Definitions for Types of Online Degrees & Programs

Degree Program

A course of study leading to an academic degree at the Baccalaureate, Master’s, Doctorate, and Professional (i.e., JD; Pharm.D) level.


A focused course of study comprised of credit-bearing, degree-eligible courses in a specific area or discipline. Certificates may be offered at the undergraduate or graduate level, but do not result in the awarding of a degree. In some cases, certificate courses may be applied to a degree program.

Professional graduate certificates are available to individuals with an undergraduate degree and provide access to courses for professional and educational advancement.  They may include Course of Study Certificates and Gainful Employment.

Online Degree or Certificate Program

An online degree or certificate program which may be earned entirely through the use of online/internet technology, and which does not require class attendance in a traditional on-campus setting.

Hybrid Degree or Certificate Program

A hybrid degree or certificate program consists of a combination of online and on-campus courses. On-campus courses may also utilize online components.  The number of on-campus courses varies depending upon the individual program requirements.