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Part Time & Full time Degree Programs: Differences, Advantages and Disadvantages


Part-time and full-time degree programs are among the popular terms used by students seeking admission into undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs in Nigeria yet many can’t tell the striking differences between both.


In this post, I will be defining part time and full time degree programs for you as well as letting you know the differences, advantages and disadvantages of running either of both mode of admission.

Part Time & Full time Degree Programs: Differences, Advantages and Disadvantages 1


Part tine and full time programs refer to the duration and intensity of study required to complete a degree.


A full-time degree program typically requires a student to enroll in a specific number of credit hours per semester or term, and complete the program within a designated period, usually 4 years for an undergraduate degree and 2 years for a graduate degree. Full-time study requires a significant commitment of time and energy, and students are expected to attend classes, complete assignments and exams, and engage in research and extracurricular activities.

A part-time degree program, on the other hand, allows students to take a lighter course load, usually less than 12 credits per semester or term, and complete the program over a longer period of time. Part-time study is often more flexible, allowing students to work or attend to other responsibilities while pursuing their degree. It may take longer to complete a part-time degree program, usually 6 years or more for an undergraduate degree, and 3 or more years for a graduate degree.

10 Advantages and disadvantages of Part time Degree Programs

Advantages of part-time degree programs:

  1. Flexibility: Part-time degree programs are often more flexible than full-time programs, allowing students to balance work, family, and other responsibilities while pursuing their education.
  2. Lower Cost: Part-time studies often costlier than full-time study, as students are able to spread the cost of tuition and fees over a longer period of time. It is assumed that part time students are working, hence their financial stability.
  3. Income Generation: Students pursuing a part-time degree program may be able to continue working part-time or full-time, which can help them earn an income while studying.
  4. Improved time-management skills: Part-time study requires effective time-management skills and self-discipline, which can improve students’ ability to balance their time and meet deadlines.
  5. Access to Education: Part-time study may be more accessible to individuals who cannot commit to full-time study due to family or work obligations.
  6. Professional Development: Students pursuing a part-time degree may be able to apply their education to their current job, enhancing their professional development and career prospects.
  7. Reduced Stress: Part-time study may be less stressful than full-time study, as students are able to balance their coursework with other obligations.
  8. Opportunity for Networking: Part-time study provides opportunities for networking with professionals in the field, which can lead to future job opportunities.
  9. No need to quit your job: With part-time studies, students do not need to quit their job to continue their education.
  10. Self-paced Learning: With part-time studies, students can learn at their own pace, which can be beneficial for individuals who learn at a slower pace.
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Disadvantages of part-time degree programs:

  1. Longer duration: Part-time degree programs often take longer to complete than full-time programs, which may not be desirable for some students.
  2. Limited course availability: Part-time students often have limited access to certain courses or programs due to scheduling conflicts with work or other obligations.
  3. Limited availability of resources: Part-time students may have limited reach to resources such as career counseling or academic advising.
  4. Reduced Social Interaction: Students running part time programs may have less interaction with their peers and faculty due to a reduced course load.
  5. Difficult to manage: Part-time study requires excellent time-management skills and self-discipline, which can be difficult for some students.
  6. Limited financial aid: Part-time students may have limited access to financial aid, scholarships, or grants compared to full-time students.
  7. Reduced job opportunities: Part-time students may have reduced job opportunities due to the lack of full-time commitment to their studies.
  8. Reduced participation in extracurricular activities: The students have lesser participation in extracurricular activities, such as clubs or organizations, due to scheduling conflicts.
  9. Limited access to campus resources: Part-time students also have limited access to campus resources, such as libraries, labs, and athletic facilities.
  10. Reduced academic support: Last but not the least, PT students may have limited reach to academic support, such as tutoring or office hours, due to scheduling conflicts.
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Disadvantages of part-time degree programs:

  1. Longer duration: Part-time degree programs often take longer to complete than full-time programs, which may not be desirable for some students.
  2. Limited course availability: Part-time students may have limited access to certain courses or programs due to scheduling conflicts with work or other obligations.
  3. Limited availability of resources: Part-time students may have limited access to resources such as career counseling or academic advising.
  4. Reduced Social Interaction: Part-time students may have less interaction with their peers and faculty due to a reduced course load.
  5. Difficult to manage: Part-time study requires excellent time-management skills and self-discipline, which can be difficult for some students.
  6. Limited financial aid: Part-time students may have limited access to financial aid, scholarships, or grants compared to full-time students.
  7. Reduced job opportunities: Part-time students may have reduced job opportunities due to the lack of full-time commitment to their studies.
  8. Reduced participation in extracurricular activities: Part-time students may have limited participation in extracurricular activities, such as clubs or organizations, due to scheduling conflicts.
  9. Limited access to campus resources: Part-time students may have limited access to campus resources, such as libraries, labs, and athletic facilities.
  10. Reduced academic support: Part-time students may have limited access to academic support, such as tutoring or office hours, due to scheduling conflicts.

10 Differences between part time and full time degree programs in Nigeria

  1. Time commitment: Full-time degree programs in Nigeria require students to commit to full-time study, while part-time programs allow students to study while working or fulfilling other obligations.
  2. Course load: Full-time degree programs require students to take a full course load each semester, while part-time programs offer a reduced course load.
  3. Duration of study: Full-time degree programs are typically shorter in duration than part-time programs, as students are able to complete their degree requirements in a shorter amount of time.
  4. Cost Implication: Part-time degree programs in Nigeria often cost less than full-time programs, as students are able to spread the cost of tuition and fees over a longer period of time.
  5. Class schedules: Full-time degree programs typically have set schedules for classes, while part-time programs offer more flexibility in scheduling.
  6. Job opportunities: Full-time degree programs may provide more opportunities for internships and job opportunities, as students are able to fully commit to their studies.
  7. Campus life: Full-time students often have a more immersive college experience, with access to campus activities, events, and social life, while part-time students may have limited participation in these activities.
  8. Faculty interaction: Full-time students may have more opportunities for faculty interaction, as they are present on campus more frequently than part-time students.
  9. Academic support: Full-time students may have greater access to academic support services, such as tutoring, writing centers, and library resources, than part-time students.
  10. Admission requirements: Admission requirements may differ between full-time and part-time degree programs in Nigeria, with full-time programs often requiring higher entrance exam scores or a higher Gross Point Average (GPA) than part-time programs.
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Both full-time and part-time degree programs have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between the two depends on a student’s individual circumstances, including their goals, finances, and availability of time. Full-time study may be more immersive and provide a more traditional college experience, while part-time study may allow students to balance work and family responsibilities while pursuing their education.



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