What if I want to go to grad school? If you think law school, medical school or grad school is in your future, you should know that some colleges offer pre-professional advising programs (such as Premed or Prelaw). These programs are not the same as majors, and you will still need to choose a major in another subject. As long as you fulfill a grad school's course requirements, it really doesn't matter what you major in.
Full-time students can typically earn an associate degree in two years. An online associate degree is ideal for those who have a high school diploma and who want to quickly gain practical career skills. Associate degrees are less expensive than a bachelor's degree, and many online community colleges offer programs that open the door to vocational and administrative support positions such as legal assistant, medical assistant, and medical biller and coder. An online associate degree program is also a cost-effective way to complete general education requirements before transferring to a four-year program.
In some cases, individual programs may also be accredited by an independent board. One example is the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, which evaluates academic programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology. These agencies assess the competence of both on-campus and online degree programs giving students the peace of mind that their school's department offers a reputable program.
Still, the generous pay might make relocating and competing for the few spots worthwhile, if you’re interested in this subject. The median income for nuclear engineers is $103,043 a year. And in the top-paying states, the average annual wage ranges from $122,950 in Idaho and $138,970 in New Mexico, according to the BLS. To get started in this lucrative field, you definitely need a bachelor’s, but some employers may require a master’s degree or even a PhD. Whatever education level you attain, expect your course load to include many math and science classes, as well as more specific classes such as nuclear engineering design, nuclear-risk assessment and management and thermal hydraulics for nuclear plants.
And it likely all pays off in the end. These degree holders tend to have little problem finding work with 85.1% being employed full-time, according to the Hamilton Project. Most majors go on to become mechanical engineers (naturally), who have a median salary of more than $83,400 a year. But some also find other well-paying jobs as other types of engineers, including civil and aerospace, and even as software developers and similar positions.
All online students pay the same per-credit tuition rate regardless of their major or state residency status. Active-duty military personnel receive a substantial tuition discount. Additionally, students do not need to pay for application fees or transfer credit evaluations. Concordia University receives regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

When should I declare a major? At most two-year colleges, you can declare a major depending upon whether you are enrolled for a career oriented major or preparing for transfer. You can enroll in general studies or target specific transfer arrangements. At most four-year colleges, you aren't required to declare a major until the end of your sophomore year. If you're in a two-year degree program, you'll probably select a major earlier because your course of studies is much shorter.
It won't take much force to accelerate a physics major toward a lucrative career (regardless of mass). Physicists have a promising projected job growth rate of 16.1% and a generous median annual salary of nearly $118,830. And while you may need to get an advanced degree to land this role in many research and academic settings—which may be worth the extended and more expensive journey, if you’re so inclined—the federal government and private-sector employers do offer positions to physics bachelors. And your education can also prepare you well for positions in other fields, including technology and engineering, as well as teaching high school. Some jobs to consider with a bachelor's in physics include mechanical, computer and civil engineers—all of which offer above-average growth projections and pay.
Admission requirements include a minimum 2.3 GPA and SAT/ACT scores. Online courses at CSU Global begin every four weeks and do not meet at set times, allowing students to follow a completely asynchronous schedule. The bachelor's degree tracks consist of 120 credits, and undergraduates can transfer up to 90 credits from other accredited institutions. Most online bachelor's programs at CSU Global require a capstone project, and some, such as degrees in human services and criminal justice, offer specializations.
Not too shocking: Our gadget-driven world has a high demand for people who can design, build and improve electronic and electrical devices. Indeed, following a decade of job growth at a robust rate of 22.7%, the number of positions for electrical engineers is expected to keep growing by 10.7% over the next decade. And the paycheck reflects the high demand: Median income is $94,515 a year with average pay topping $110,00 a year in the highest-paying states of Massachusetts and Alaska, as well as the District of Columbia.

For example, suppose that a school has minimum requirements are SATs of 1100 and a GPA of 3.0. If a person applies to an impacted major, the school can raise the minimum requirements as much as needed to weed out the students that it is unable to accommodate. Because of this, some students may opt to apply to a school as "Undeclared". If in the above example the school implements requirements of SATs of 1300 and a GPA of 3.4 for the impacted major, a student may find it better to apply as "Undeclared" if they meet only the minimum requirements. The student may then have a better chance of being accepted and generally will have the option of declaring his/her major at a later date anyway.


Brittany Pierce wanted to be pushed beyond what she knew from years of teaching. She came to WGU prepared to work hard, using the ability to accelerate through her program to her advantage, and graduated in 11 months. Brittany talks about using lessons from her coursework in the M.A. Science Education program in her own classroom the very next day, and she says completing her program quickly took focus and self-motivation.
Not only will you learn more about computers—hardware and software—but you'll also learn about the applications of such knowledge, such as how technology fits into a business scenario. As a computer science major , you'll be exposed to areas such as robotics, natural language recognition programs, artificial intelligence, programming languages, numerical analysis, and gaming technology. Problem solving is a major component of computer science, no matter which segment of the industry you want to pursue.
Harvard tied for a first-place ranking on U.S. News and World Report's most recent list of schools with the best biology programs from 2014. Harvard's life sciences major offers concentrations that include chemical and physical biology, human developmental and regenerative biology, human evolutionary biology, integrated biology/organismic and evolutionary biology, molecular and cellular biology, and neurobiology. Students may participate in life sciences research at one of Harvard's labs. A master's degree is also available.
Regis University is a private, Jesuit University with its main campus located in Denver, Colorado. The online college offers a catalogue of courses to suit students hoping to advance their career path, earn a bigger paycheck, or to fulfill their passions. A long list of flexible programs allows students to pick and choose which suits their needs best as they juggle work, family, and school. The school boasts some impressive statistics, such as 89% placement rate after graduation, and 50% higher than Colorado State average. Regis University is a excellent option for those seeking a reliable online program.
The University of Arkansas at Monticello features an online Bachelor of Science in Education Studies. The program is designed for nontraditional students, and particularly for full-time public school paraprofessionals. Anyone may apply. Freshman admission requires a diploma and a minimum GPA of 2.0. The ACT is preferred. Transfer students also need a minimum 2.0 GPA. The program does not lead to licensure but on completion, graduates may choose to enroll in UAM's online MA in Teaching, which does lead to certification. Sample courses include Education, Schools and Society, K-6 Planning, Curriculum and Programming, and Needs of Diverse Learners in Inclusive Settings.
Consider the rapid growth in the number of online degree programs available between 2012 and 2014. Over the last three academic years, we've seen a 45% increase in the number of online programs offered across the United States, for a total of 13,092 in 2014-2015. You can choose from over 550 individual degree programs alone that are offered by the 4-year colleges featured within our list of the best online universities.
If you find yourself delving into why certain people react to certain aspects of their environments in a certain way, then studying psychology will help you learn about the biology of our brains. Psychology majors focus on such features of the human mind as learning, cognition, intelligence, motivation, emotion, perception, personality, mental disorders, and the ways in which our individual preferences are inherited from our parents or shaped by our environment. Within the field, psychologists seek to educate, communicate, and resolve many of the problems surrounding human behavior. In the job market, this degree can set you up to be a therapist or counselor, obviously, but also a teacher, child development specialist, lawyer, or consultant, depending on the experiences and post-grad studies with which you complement your degree.

Because Appalachian State exclusively offers degree completion programs at the bachelor's level, incoming students need at least 30 credits from another accredited institution. The school also reserves several institutional scholarships for transfer students. Appalachian State University receives regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Prescott College, located in Prescott, Arizona, offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Education and Professional Educator Preparation. The program combines a liberal arts core with global ecological and cultural literacy and best practices in teaching. Admission is holistic, but does require a diploma or GED. The degree requires two 30 credit "breadths," which are equivalent to minors. Courses in the program include Educating for the Future: Multicultural and Environmental Issues, and Positive Child Guidance and Inclusive Child Management. Online tuition is $598 per credit hour. Note: This program requires an orientation session on the Prescott Campus.

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Choosing your field of study is the first step in your online education, a process that takes time, commitment, and energy. The online degree program you decide to pursue will affect your career path, income potential, and level of employment. Online colleges offer a number of diverse options, and your area of interest may cross over several different degree programs. To help you find the online degree program that matches your interests and gives you best chance of financial success, explore our online degree comparison tool for information about earning potential, degree costs, and time commitments.


Because Appalachian State exclusively offers degree completion programs at the bachelor's level, incoming students need at least 30 credits from another accredited institution. The school also reserves several institutional scholarships for transfer students. Appalachian State University receives regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Examine the different majors offered by a variety of top online colleges that relate to the field of study you are interested in. Research what specific courses are required in each major. Also consider what specific hard and soft skills will be most valuable to the work you want to be doing. You can explore our collection of academic program rankings to learn more about other fields of study and potential career paths.
Brandman University makes it easy to transfer in college credit—whether it be from one of Brandman’s partner community colleges, alternative course credit that applies to your degree, or hands-on training from a military or professional background. Brandman has been ranked among top online schools for several years and boasts exceptionally high graduation rates—a key indicator of quality.
If you find yourself generally immersed in some book—anything from Shakespeare to Cheryl Strayed—you will likely find others just like you in the English department studying the trochaic octameter of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," the stunning word choices of narrative nonfiction author Annie Dillard, or the experimental elements of the writings of Walter Abish. English programs focus on literature, language, and writing, and an English major will encounter a wide array of absorbing works of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction from around the world and throughout history. Analyzing the works of the greatest minds and imaginations that human civilization has produced will surely sharpen your critical, emotional, creative, and moral faculties. The study of literature also helps to shed some light on the answers to the enduring questions of the human condition. This degree is tremendous preparation for a future in law, journalism, publishing, graduate studies, and just about anything else.
Demand for expertise in this field is building. Expectations for population and business growth in the U.S. for the next several years fuels the need for new homes, office buildings, hospitals, schools and structures of all kinds, as well as the improvement and maintenance of existing buildings and infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and sewer pipe systems. That means growing opportunities for construction managers, an obvious professional goal for this academic path. Plus, their median income is a solid $71,781 a year.
A Set of Courses. A college major is a group of courses required by a college in order to receive a degree –– an area you specialize in, like Accounting or Chemistry. There are certain "core courses" in the specialization that everyone is required to take, along with several "elective courses". A college major may be called an "academic major", "major", or "major concentration".
You can find faculty and other students who share your discipline at our SAS research centers. These scholarly communities help students and faculty find others with similar research interests and build relationships. You can take advantage of research courses that help to inform you about methodologies, writing style and requirements. If you have specific questions that require a quick response while you write your dissertation, you can contact a research faculty member who will answer within 24–48 hours.
City University of Seattle, or CityU, is a private nonprofit institution offering online and hybrid degrees at all collegiate levels. Undergraduate options include online associate degrees in business or general studies along with 11 online bachelor's programs in fields such as applied psychology, cybersecurity, and information systems. Online graduate-level options at CityU include 10 master's degrees and two doctorates, most of which concentrate in business administration or education.
An academic major is the academic discipline to which an undergraduate student formally commits. A student who successfully completes all courses required for the major qualifies for a graduate degree. The word major is also sometimes used administratively to refer to the academic discipline pursued by a graduate student or postgraduate student in a master's or doctoral program.
The curriculum varies between programs, but courses generally provide reading, discussion, and writing forums for students on topics like education finance, the achievement gap, and education reform. Students also choose an emphasis area, such as elementary education, mathematics education, science education, special education, school administration, or educational technology, and take courses focusing on topics in that field. One of the most important components of a doctorate in education program is the dissertation. Students choose an original topic and an advising professor, then read extensively about their topic, and conduct their own research.
The University of Denver is a nationally-ranked, private (nonprofit), four-year university with a robust online presence. Through DU’s University College (College of Professional and Continuing Studies), the University provides a fully accredited educational experience. Students at the undergraduate and graduate levels can take challenging and career-relevant online classes designed for busy adults.

CSU-Global Campus has worked hard to earn a reputation as one of the best online schools for working professionals. The school is constantly pushing innovation in teaching methods, making online learning both rigorous and engaging. And CSU-Global emphasizes individualized support for students from registration to graduation, with a wide range of student resources—from tutoring to tech support. Top online degrees include:

Most online master's programs can be completed in less than three years of full-time study. Many schools offer accelerated online programs, allowing you to complete your graduate degree in just 12 months. You should consider pursuing a graduate degree if you already have a bachelor's degree but want to switch careers, qualify for more advanced leadership roles, or increase your earning potential. Some fields require a master's degree and the completion of professional licensure and certification. Example careers include licensed counselors, social workers, and certified public health employees.
The University of Southern Mississippi offers an online Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. This program is designed for current teacher assistants so they can earn a B.S.and become a certified teacher. Freshman admission is determined by a combination of GPA and SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students must have a minimum 2.0 GPA. Graduates are eligible to become certified teachers in K-6. Several endorsements are also available, which will strengthen the degree and career options. They are Math K-8, Science, Social Studies, Foreign Language and English. Classes include Science for Elementary Teachers, Tests and Measurements, and Mathematics for Primary and Middle Grades. Online tuition is $355 per credit.
The largest university in the Chicago area, the University of Illinois at Chicago has consistently ranked among the top ten schools to get an online Bachelor’s degree (and currently sits at #4 according to U.S. News and World Report). The University has been offering online programs for a decade, and currently offers over 45 degrees at the undergraduate through postgraduate levels.
WSU offers free online tutoring and a complementary writing lab for distance learners. Transfer students can apply up to 90 previously earned credits toward their bachelor's degrees, including 73 credits for lower-level courses. In terms of tuition pricing, full-time students taking 10-18 credits pay the same per-semester rate regardless of their major or state residency status. Individual per-credit rates are offered for part-time students and those taking more than 18 credits per semester.
Second, recognize we live in a world of specialization. Industries - like transportation, communications, internet and health care can be divided and broken down into thousands of areas of specialization. An academic discipline, or field of study, is a branch of knowledge that is taught and researched at the college or university level. Disciplines cross industries –such as history, linguistics, literature, performing arts, philosophy, religion, social sciences, economics, geography, political science, natural sciences, mathematics and applied sciences. In no way was that list meant to itemize them all. 
A lot of problems first-year students face can be traced back to an illness that kept them away from classes for an extended period of time that led to a downward spiraling effect. Get enough sleep, take your vitamins, and eat right. If you haven't heard the jokes about college food, you soon will. And without mom or dad there to serve you a balanced meal, you may be tempted to go for those extra fries or cookies. Stay healthy and avoid the dreaded extra "Freshman 15" pounds by sticking to a balanced diet.
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