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UMD's Flexible Online Psychology Major Draws National Attention
UMD's online psychology major name one of the 50 best online bachelor's in psychology programs.
UMD's online psychology major has been recognized by SuperScholar as one of the country's 50 best online bachelor's in psychology programs and was named among the best online psychology degrees for 2015-2016 by Affordable Colleges Online.
In 2000, Professor Bud McClure, the department head at the time, saw the potential for online classes and introduced some courses in that format. As the department became comfortable with the format, and developed expertise, more courses were added. After a few years, when there were enough online courses, the department formally developed the online major.
Aydin Durgunoglu, a professor in the department of psychology, notes that this year is the 10th anniversary of UMD's online psychology major. Today, all courses are offered in both online and on-campus formats, and almost all of the faculty teach both course styles. In addition, both online and on-campus majors are together in the online classes.
"To ensure the quality of the online major, we made sure that the requirements were identical to those of our on-campus major," said Durgunoglu."Our online major provides opportunities for individuals who would not be able to complete their 4-year degrees otherwise."
Alumna Amanda Kriesel, who graduated from UMD's online psychology program in fall 2015, said, "The variety offered in the online courses is helpful; the mixture of readings, forum posts that enable you to interact with classmates, videos/PowerPoints, as well as quizzes/tests, and daily assignments make the experience feel as complete as an in-classroom course."
Amanda originally attended UMD for their psychology program, but she ended up leaving to follow a different career path. When she decided to finish her psychology degree, she looked back into UMD and discovered that they had a complete online program. "I live in the Twin Cities, so the flexibility to be away from campus and complete academics after my normal work-day is why I chose the online program," said Amanda.
The online major is structured with deadlines for assignments, discussions, quizzes, and projects that are all due at regular intervals. However, students are not asked to meet online at a scheduled time. "The flexibility of taking the courses online allowed me to be able to do work where-ever and whenever was convenient for me," said alumnus Tony Jirik, who graduated from UMD's online psychology program in 2015. "I highly recommend this program to any student who is looking for a good psychology program, but who is confined by other circumstances to be on-campus."
The online psychology program accepts 15 new students to their cohort each fall semester. "Of course the number fluctuates as people take a break or as on-campus students from Duluth transfer into the online major to complete their degree" said Durgunoglu. The applicants must either have their AA degree from a two-year college or complete the MN Transfer Curriculum and obtain a cumulative GPA of 2.5.
The psychology department is student-centered and committed to excellence in teaching, research, and service. They offer students a firm grounding in the field of psychology and encourage students to embrace diverse theoretical perspectives and ideas, to develop skill in independent inquiry and to constructively and ethically apply psychological principles.
UMD's online psychology major supports lifelong learning and equal access to education for both traditional and nontraditional students.