Frequently Asked Questions

The University at Buffalo’s Graduate School of Education has been offering fully online and accredited degree programs since 2001.

We currently offer a variety of PhD, EdM, MS degrees, as well as a number of Advanced Certificates and individual courses online.

How Do I Know If I'm Ready for Online Learning?

Find out if you are ready for online learning by taking the Quick Quiz developed by OPEN SUNY, or find out how you can become a more successful online student by completing the 30 minute SmarterMeasure Quiz.  The results from the SmarterMeasure quiz will not only indicate the degree to which distance learning will be a good fit for you, but will also help you prepare to be a successful online student. 

What Is the Time Commitment?

Fall and Spring courses are generally 15 weeks in length, and students can expect to spend an average of 9-12 hours per week on readings and assignments for a 3-credit course. Our Summer courses range from 6 to 12 weeks in duration.  As these courses are delivered over a shorter period of time, students should expect to spend between 13.5-18 hours  per week on readings and assignments. An additional time commitment may be required when researching or preparing for final papers. Some programs may also contain online group work, field work or other requirements that should be considered when registering.

How Is Course Content Delivered?

All courses are delivered completely online through UBlearns, the university’s Internet-based learning application. All course materials, from syllabi and assignments to important messages, are posted in this forum. Students typically interact with faculty and peers in an asynchronous format, replying to message boards, viewing videos and more by simply logging in. However, some of our courses have synchronous web-based video conferencing interaction.

How Do I Interact with My Classmates and Instructor?

You will interact with your classmates and instructors through UBlearns's many tools, including discussion board, blogs and group work. You may also communicate via Skype, Webex, email and, in some cases, podcasting and video tools.

How Flexible Is the Course Schedule?

GSE Online courses follow the same academic calendar as campus-based courses. They are not self-paced, but adhere to a calendar that will be outlined in your syllabi.  You can log in to your class and post to the discussion board from anywhere, anytime before an assignment’s due date.

How Long Does It Take to Finish a Program?

This answer varies for each student and within each program. Some students are able to complete their studies within one calendar year, while programs with more requirements can take two years or more. All programs are offered on a part-time basis only, and students should choose a program that best accommodates their schedule.

What Kind of Computer/Internet Access Do I Need?

All students are required to have access to an adequately equipped computer that meets the University computing standards as well as daily access to a reliable broadband connection. Students are also expected to have basic computer competency before beginning their coursework.

Am I Eligible to Apply for Financial Aid?

To be eligible for financial aid:

  • You must be in good academic standing, a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
  • You must be registered for selective service (males only).
  • You must be registered for at least six (6) credits or be a half-time equivalent as determined by the Graduate School.
  • You must be admitted to receive a formal financial aid award.
  • You must NOT be in default on a previous educational loan.

The University at Buffalo’s Financial Aid office is available to assist students with any questions they have regarding financial aid.

Can I Participate in Graduation Ceremonies at the University?

Online students who complete a master's or doctoral degree are encouraged to come to the University at Buffalo to attend the commencement ceremony. Each May, the Graduate School of Education holds their commencement in The Center for the Arts Main Stage Theater.  All September, February and June conferrals are invited to attend. 

Please note:  Both on-campus and online students who receive an advanced graduate certificate do not participate in the commencement ceremony.

How Can I Stay Connected to UB after I Graduate?

As a member of the UB Alumni Association, you will gain access to professional development tools and a network of graduates from across the world. Members can also capitalize on networking and outreach opportunities with alumni through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.