In a previous entry, we’ve talked about how more workers are getting the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree thanks to distance learning programs and online degrees. The rise of accredited programs from top universities has sparked a new trend of professionals and business owners returning to school and pursuing master’s degrees.

Now the online education landscape just got better thanks to more majors to choose from, more programs from top names such as The University of Arizona now widely available, and the fact that getting started with an online learning program is easier than ever. We talked to online students and they’ve shared the best tips on getting started with an online degree. Here are a few to keep in mind.

Mind the requirements

Just because the program is conducted online, it doesn’t mean it’s any easier or relaxed than the equivalent offline program. In fact, accredited online courses have the same enrollment requirements as offline programs. Before you can join a particular course, you need to meet these requirements.

An online master of public health degree, for example, requires you to submit certain documents through SOPHAS when enrolling. Documents such as transcripts, personal statements, resumes, and letters of recommendation will be reviewed closely and the faculty will determine if you are eligible based on the information you submit.

Take the enrollment process seriously and make sure you supply the right, valid information. A good recommendation letter and a well-written resume will also help you begin your journey towards getting an MPH degree online – or any other master’s degree you’re pursuing.

Get your schedules in order

Online courses can be quite challenging, especially if you don’t start the program correctly. Instead of just studying whenever you can, it is always best to have a clear schedule and stick to it. You need to allocate a minimum of an hour every day for studying. The amount of allocated time can be increased if you have more course assignments and materials to cover. However, you should never decrease the allocated time.

Don’t forget to review the program closely before enrolling or starting your journey. A good university will always display its complete curriculum, including the amount of credits you have to cover, as well as other requirements for completing the program. The MPH online degree we talked about earlier, for example, requires you to also complete six units of internship.

Prepare yourself mentally

Going back to school can be both easy and difficult. It is fun to face new challenges and adjust to the program, but course assignments and exams can be daunting, especially at the beginning of the course. What you need to do is to prepare yourself mentally.

Take the time to connect with lecturers at the beginning of every term. Introduce yourself and ask basic questions if necessary. Get accustomed to the online learning platform, too, since it will be the tool you use most of the time to keep up with the program. Complete these simple preparations and you’ll be ready for the course.