A hybrid degree is a newer type of college degree program that features both online classes and some more traditional courses. Many colleges offer these programs as a way to appeal to students who do not want to move away from their own home towns and cities. You can get almost any type of degree through a hybrid program.

What Does the Program Entail?

The name hybrid refers to the combination of two different class types that you take. The first of those two are the online classes that you take. You can take these courses when you get a break from work, when you get home from work or even during a visit to the library. Most classes require that you log in and participate in discussions on virtual message boards, do some readings for the week and take a short quiz or complete a short paper. The programs include classes that meet on the campus too.

Who Takes These Classes?

Though hybrid programs are open to all types of students, many of those who enroll are students with busy schedules. Professionals cannot afford to take hours off work each week just to take a few college classes, but their schedules may prevent them from taking weekend or evening classes too. Some of the students in these programs are those who have family obligations and commitments too such as young children living at home or an elderly loved one they take care of at home. A small number of students enrolling in these programs are traditional students.

Is There Ever a Residency Component?

Some of the newer hybrid degree programs do include a residency component, but completing a residency program lets you take fewer online classes to graduate. Instead of taking one or more classes every week on the campus, you visit the campus for a long weekend up to a few weeks. The university will either take care of your accommodations or help you find accommodations. All the classes you take during this period count towards your degree and limit the number of classes you need to take in the future. Colleges offer accelerated classes that let you learn as much in a few days or weeks as you would in a semester.

How Can You Apply?

The way you apply for these programs will depend on whether you are a graduate student or an undergrad. Undergrads will need to complete an application, submit an official ACT or SAT test score and give the university an official high school transcript. The university may ask for a letter of recommendation or a reference and a writing sample. Some colleges accept samples done in previous classes, but other schools require a new sample. Graduate students need to complete a similar application, submit a standardized test score and provide a resume and/or letters of recommendation.

What are the Benefits?

You may wonder about the benefits of getting your degree through one of these programs instead of a traditional degree program. The biggest benefit is that it lets you save money on the cost of going to college. Globe Correspondent Joan Axelrod-Contrada points out that these programs often cost less and that some colleges worked out deals with hotels that offer affordable rooms for students who need to complete a residency component.

Whether you want to earn a bachelor’s degree or go back to school and earn a graduate degree, you have more options than traditional programs today. A hybrid degree program is one that combines both online and offline learning to help you earn your degree through classes taken on campus and online.