Biochemistry is an exciting, fulfilling field for ambitious students. The field requires a serious dedication to study and learning. Online education in this area is not as popular as many other fields because of the strong clinical requirements in biochemistry courses. For students with a strong sense of time management and work dedication, an online degree in biochemistry can allow them to continue working at a current job while preparing for future advancement. Plus, online degree programs allow students to work at the own pace at their own convenience. It is essential that a prospective online student know the right questions to ask before committing themselves to a course of study. Ask the following questions if you're interested in biochemistry degree programs online.
What prerequisites are needed to be admitted to this program?
Most actual Biochemistry programs require a strong background in science such as advanced Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. If a program doesn't require this background they may simply be a general science course posing as Biochemistry to get students. In addition, the more strict the admission requirements are, the greater emphasis the school places on its graduates succeeding after completion.
Is lab work required and how is this accomplished?
The reason there are few biochemistry programs online is that many require lab work, which is difficult to achieve online. Asking about lab work will let prospective students know if the school partners with local hospitals, schools, or labs to allow completion. Knowing whether the school or the student is responsible for finding lab access is necessary.
How accessible are the instructors?
Do the instructors maintain office hours for questions? Can a student email and receive answers if necessary. This type of program often requires clarification beyond class time and it is important to know it is available.
How is the coursework delivered?
Students have different learning styles. A good online program will offer lectures, forums, reading and research, and possible lab work. The more forms of instruction offered, the greater the chances of an in-depth education.
What is the graduation rate in this particular program?
If the admission requirements are strict, the graduation rate should be high. If the majority of students drop out, it is important to find out why. It could be any number of things but a good program wants its students to succeed. If the drop out rate is particularly high, find out why.
Do you offer job placement services?
Every graduate could use assistance in finding a job. A school that offers placement service, or at least a job bank, will increase your chances of being employed after graduation.
Do you offer specialization?
This is important if you already work in a field but want to further your career. Fields like cell biology and endocrinology require specializing. Find out if the program offers specialization or if you will simply be covering familiar ground.
Where are past graduates working now?
Finding out how many of the graduates are actually using their degrees will help determine how well-respected the program is in the field in general. You want to focus on programs where the higher percentage of graduates have Biochemistry-related careers.
Is your program recognized by licensing agencies?
A degree does no good if the graduate can't get a license in their area. The program must meet certain accrediting guidelines and these should be acceptable throughout the nation, not just in the home state of the program.