Your online learning experience for the Berkeley MPH Online Program is primarily asynchronous, with optional scheduled synchronous events and office hours. It also includes on-campus learning on scheduled dates.
- Asynchronous class time means that you can log in at your convenience anytime and listen to lectures, view video clips, get reading assignments, post questions, take quizzes, participate in discussion sessions, and submit homework. Course material, as well as technical support, are available 24/7.
- Synchronous class time means that you, your peers, the instructor, and/or the graduate student instructor (GSI) are interacting with each other live. Some discussion sessions are synchronous, allowing time for you to ask questions and clarify class materials, as needed. All discussion sessions are archived and can be reviewed throughout the duration of the course.
Instructors and graduate student instructors (GSIs) hold scheduled office hours, but you’re also able to send them questions at any time.
Why choose an online degree?
Online learning is a rewarding experience that provides you with relevant, highly sought-after skills in a way that integrates with your busy work schedule and life. Rather than taking time away from your job, online degrees provide an opportunity to earn an income and continue your career path from anywhere in the world. The program provides you with valuable knowledge, perspective through coursework, and interactions with faculty and fellow students.
While an online degree is flexible, it requires a good deal of time management. Online courses, like any academic endeavor, require significant effort and a commitment to keeping up with assignments and engaging with course materials. With this in mind, we offer some advice for how to get the most out of your online education.
Online degree basics: Are you prepared?
- Schedule: Consider your schedule and other commitments. Think about your top priorities at work and at home, and what you may be able to shift to create time for readings and assignments.
- Money: Begin researching scholarships and options for financial aid if needed, and talk to your employer to find out if they can contribute to your education. Below are good resources to check out:
- Time: Utilize time and resource management tips from the experts. Here are two great articles:
- Technology: You’ll be spending a lot of time online; make sure you have the right tools to make it happen. Make sure you have a strong internet connection that can support videos and online meeting. You’ll need access to a computer with a webcam/microphone to connect with your professors and cohort.
Check out our blog post created specifically for On-Campus/Online Master’s in Public Health students, and get another 9 tips to succeed in online learning.
- Learn to say no – cut back on social obligations and assess your priorities to make time for school
- Let go of perfectionism – learn to skim readings for key ideas and concepts, get rough drafts of papers down, refine them later
- Give yourself more time than you think you need – to complete assignments, to read
- Communicate – with your professors, family, friends, classmates, partner) so people understand what you need and what you are working on. often they can provide support and direct you to resources to help reach your goals
- Get into a routine – set specific time out each week just for school– better for focusing, scheduling
- Set aside time to have fun and relax
Studying to achieve your master’s degree in public health will mean a big leap forward in your career. The benefits you gain by continuing to work while you complete your studies, as well as the opportunity to connecting with others in your field is unparalleled. But it’s important to remember that working full time while going to graduate school is a challenge. As you move forward in your program, remind yourself of the adage attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, “Nothing worth having was ever achieved without effort.”
There is a big difference between simply completing each course and excelling, and we’re not just talking grades. Achieving true success means finding a balance between your work, school and home life. Balance doesn’t mean doing a little of everything all the time, but prioritizing certain areas of your life over others and making sacrifices. Equally important is checking in with yourself and your professors about how you are doing and setting realistic goals. This balancing act is not easy, so we’ve put together some resources that you can rely on as you progress throughout this journey, from your first class all the way to graduation day.
9 tips to succeed in online learning: Our blog post created specifically for Berkeley MPH Online students.
Going to Grad School Part-time: From the folks at idealist.org, a great analysis on the pros and cons of participating in a part-time graduate program, and how to make it work for you.
Balancing Work and Grad School? Your 4-Step Survival Guide: Helpful advice on integrating your academic work into your job responsibilities and the importance of not only working hard, but working smart.
4 Steps to Flourish as a Grad Student: Simple steps that will prepare you for the transition to being a student again.
Balancing Act: A Study of Adult Learners Who Successfully Persisted in Graduate Studies: A scholarly article that explores factors that lead to success in graduate studies while balancing outside demands.
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