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Are you considering getting a degree but unsure if you can commit to full-time studies? You’re not alone. Many students juggle work, family, or other responsibilities while pursuing higher education. This is where part-time degrees come in. 

Choosing between part-time and full-time degree programs is an important decision that can significantly impact your education, career, and personal life. 

Here’s a breakdown of the key differences between part-time and full-time degrees to help you make an informed decision:

Course Load and Time Commitment

A full-time program usually  requires a heavier course load, often consisting of 12 or more credits per semester. This means that you have to attend classes most weekdays and dedicating additional hours to studying and completing assignments.

However, part-time students have more flexible schedules, which can include evening or weekend classes to accommodate work and other commitments. They take fewer courses per semester, usually between 6 to 11 credits per semester. Furthermore, part-time programs usually take longer to complete, often extending the duration by several years compared to full-time programs.

Financial Considerations

Full-time students usually pay the full tuition rate per semester. However, they often qualify for several full financial aid packages, including grants and scholarships. 

For part-time students, they can spread out tuition costs over a longer period, with the possibility of paying less per semester. However, the total cost could be higher due to the extended program length. Additionally, financial aid options may also be limited for part-time students.

Duration of Study

Since full-time students take more courses each semester, they complete their degree faster. For example, a bachelor’s degree usually takes about three to four years to complete on a full-time basis, while a master’s degree often takes one to two years.

However, part-time students spread their coursework over a longer period, extending the time it takes to complete the degree. A bachelor’s degree might take five to six years, and a master’s degree could take three to four years. The extended timeline is usually beneficial for those who need to balance multiple priorities and need to work extra jobs.

Work-Life Balance

Many part-time students choose this route because it enables them to continue working while studying. This can be particularly advantageous for those who need a steady income or want to gain practical work experience related to their field of study. 

Full-time programs however require a significant weekly time commitment. This intensive schedule can make it challenging to maintain a healthy work-life balance, especially for students who have family responsibilities or part-time jobs.


When deciding between full-time and part-time degree programs as an international student, it’s essential to measure how each option will affect your work-life balance. The choice between part-time and full-time degrees however depends on individual circumstances, including personal and professional commitments, financial considerations, and career goals. Also ensure you assess your options and choose wisely.

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