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UF CJC ONLINE FAQ

Your guide to our most frequently asked questions.


How does online learning work?

Schedule and Learning Experience

UF CJC Online courses are offered in the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters on a 4, 12, 13 or 16-week schedule depending on the master’s or certificate program and degree plan. Each weekly module features either a live or pre-recorded lecture, learning objectives, reading resources and assignments. For courses with live lectures, you will meet in an online classroom using Zoom video conferencing. Live lectures are hosted in the evening to accommodate working professionals. If you are unable to attend live lectures, the instructor will work with you to ensure you’re able to participate in some way.

Online learning often offers greater flexibility than a traditional in-residence course as you can attend or watch lectures from anywhere. All UF platforms have been designed for both desktop and mobile use to allow you to work on course requirements at home or on the go.

Time Commitment & Program Length

Students can expect to spend up to 10 hours per week per course watching or attending lectures, reading articles, working on assignments and projects, and engaging in discussions.

A certificate program can be completed in as few as two semesters. A master’s degree program usually requires two years to complete depending on the number of courses a student enrolls in each semester and the total number of credit hours required for the specialization.

Students can pursue graduate education on either a part-time or full-time enrollment schedule. If you plan to apply for federal financial aid, you will need to pay close attention to enrollment requirements by semester.

Technical Requirements

Participation in a UF CJC Online course requires:

  • Regular and frequent access to a computer
  • Speakers or headphones
  • Microphone and webcam for presentations and live courses
  • Reliable Internet connectivity and a compatible browser
  • Additional technological requirements as noted in the course syllabus or via instructor communication

Community

UF CJC Online redefines storytelling by connecting people to the singular purpose of moving the world forward through meaningful communication. As Gators, our purpose is greater. Founded in theory and rooted in industry, we push each other to think beyond the classroom and to do more. Equipped with the skills and unrelenting work ethic to create change, Gator communicators make a positive impact in an ever-changing world. 

The UF CJC Online community consists of:

Instructors
The UF CJC Online instructional team consists of accomplished faculty and industry professionals who are passionate about transforming lives through education. These instructors are responsible for:

  • Equipping students with the skills they need to be successful in the workplace
  • Providing detailed feedback on all assignments to facilitate student growth and learning
  • Assigning projects that challenge students to demonstrate valuable competencies
  • Encouraging students to create professional work

Classmates
Other students in the course add value to the online experience. Classmates enrich the student experience through:

  • Networking with each other and building professional relationships
  • Building teamwork skills during group projects
  • Establishing lasting friendships

Program Directors
An appointed program director oversees each program. Program directors contribute by:

  • Guiding instructors through course creation
  • Ensuring courses meet rigorous academic and professional requirements
  • Interacting with students through career advising

Academic Advisors
Students in all of our online programs are assisted with personalized course schedules that are developed specifically for them by their academic advisor. Advisors also assist students by:

  • Recommending elective courses that are suited to the student’s interests
  • Providing advice regarding course equivalency substitutions, prerequisites, and academic requirements
  • Monitoring student progress
  • Assisting students with obstacles to academic success such as extenuating circumstances or emergencies

Success Coach
Students are encouraged to work with our student success coach to improve:

  • Managing time and priorities
  • Balancing work and family life
  • Establishing calendars for optimal academic performance

Course Delivery

UF CJC Online graduate programs allow working professionals to earn an advanced degree from the convenience of home. Students benefit from the full resources, academic rigor and faculty of a top public university without having to relocate or leave their current jobs. All lectures, assignments, discussions, and projects are hosted through our online E-Learning system, which means students are not required to step foot on campus. Although it’s not required, students are welcome to attend commencement and walk across the stage upon completion of their master’s program.

Courses are delivered through elearning.ufl.edu, home to the Canvas E-Learning management system. Each Canvas course houses weekly modules that feature objectives, reading resources, lectures, assignments, discussions and more. Course projects and assignments are intended to foster growth, inspire creativity and build valuable skills.

Assignments

All assignments, projects, discussions, and quizzes will be delivered online through the Canvas E-Learning management system. All projects are intended to build competencies and skills.

Capstone Experience

The capstone is the final course in the master’s degree program. The capstone experience allows students to use all of the skills they’ve learned throughout their graduate study and apply those competencies to a real-world communication issue. Capstone students typically work on teams to propose meaningful and strategic communication solutions for an actual client. Capstone clients can include nonprofit organizations, start-up companies, established businesses, etc.

What are my options for online graduate education?

Graduate Certificates and Master’s Degrees

A graduate certificate is a shorter term of study where students complete four courses or 12 to 14 credit hours in a communication specialization of their choice. UF CJC Online graduate certificates feature introductory and core courses that give students the opportunity to learn new skills. The certificate is awarded upon successful completion of the four courses. Certificate courses can sometimes be used to satisfy degree requirements for a master’s degree dependent upon the institution’s requirements. Learn more… 

A master’s degree is a longer term of study consisting of at least 30 credit hours. Students who complete all degree requirements in a UF CJC Online master’s specialization graduate with a Master of Arts in Mass Communication degree with a specialization in the area of their choice. Learn more…  

What are the main differences between a certificate and a master’s degree?

Key differences include:

  • Graduate certificate students do not qualify for federally guaranteed financial aid (student loans).
  • Graduate certificate students have a shorter application process than do master’s students since certificate applicants do not need to provide GRE scores.
  • Master’s degrees allow for greater flexibility for degree customization through elective choices.
  • A master’s degree is a formally recognized graduate degree.

What is the cost?

Tuition

Tuition varies by specialization and number of credit hours associated with the degree plan. UF CJC Online master’s specializations range from $17,441-$34,545. You can find the per credit hour tuition amounts on each specialization page or in the Information Packet.

Residency

There are no out of state fees for UF CJC Online programs.

Financial Aid

Degree-seeking online students are eligible for the same financial aid as campus-based students as long as they meet the required number of credit hours per semester. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to satisfy the first requirement requested by the Financial Aid Office. Click here for instructions and details.

Fee Deadlines and Payment

Current online students may review financial obligations through MyUFL. Student Financial Services handles student financial matters including payment deadlines and online billing and fees. Financial aid funds are not disbursed until after Drop/Add. Students can check fund disbursement and tuition payments prior to the fee payment deadline in MyUFL.

How do I apply?

Enrollment Period

There are three enrollment periods each year in Fall (August class start date), Spring (January class start date), and Summer (May class start date). Apply early to ensure you meet all application requirements and satisfy all deadlines. For specific application information, review the application checklist.

Application Deadlines:

Fall 2018:
Final – July 1
Spring 2019:
Final – November 1
Summer 2019:
Final – April 1

 

How do I calculate GPA?

The upper-division division GPA usually includes classes completed after the first 60 credit hours of a degree. Typically, these courses are completed during the applicant’s junior or senior year. To help you calculate your self-reported GPA for the UF Application, please use the GPA Calculator. For applicants with a nontraditional GPA, the UF Office of Admissions will calculate an equivalent GPA.

GRE

The GRE is required for all master’s degree applicants. Competitive applicants earn minimum GRE scores of 156 verbal and 146 quantitative. Writing scores are subject to consideration. To be eligible, GRE scores must be from within the past five years.

While the GRE is not required for graduate certificate applicants, applicants need to take the test at a later time if they plan to transfer into a full master’s degree track.

See our page for tips on tackling the GRE.

Admission and Application Requirements

Applicants must meet the following requirements in order to be considered for either the certificate or master’s degree program:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • GPA of 3.0 or better for overall undergraduate studies
  • GPA of 3.0 or better for all upper-division undergraduate work
  • Submit a UF application and pay the application fee
  • Submit a statement of goals
  • Submit a current resume

Additionally, applicants for the master’s program must:

All applications are reviewed holistically. Meeting the minimum application requirements does not guarantee acceptance.

How competitive is the program?

To be a competitive applicant, you must meet the minimum academic and application requirements.

Your application is reviewed holistically by our admissions committee. Where one segment may be weak, other segments may compensate for the weakness.

Do I need a background in communications to be successful in the program?

You do not need prior experience or a degree in communications in order to be successful in the program. Students from various backgrounds succeed in our online programs because each degree plan starts with foundational courses that teach introductory skills. As the students advance through the degree plan, they learn more advanced digital storytelling skills and competencies.

When will I find out about my admissions decision?

Admission decisions are issued on a rolling basis. Applicants typically receive an admissions decision within two weeks of submitting a complete application packet for review. To ensure you have met all application requirements, refer to the checklist. You can also check your application status online.

I’m accepted! Now what?

New Student Orientation

Congratulations on your acceptance! The UF CJC Online team will provide you with information on how to set up your Gatorlink student account and access our New Student Orientation shell in the Canvas E-Learning management system.

Register for Courses

Before you register for your first class, you will have a brief consultation with your assigned academic advisor. This is an excellent opportunity to review your personal goals and help you decide the optimal workload for your schedule. You will then submit a registration survey indicating your preferred courseload for the upcoming semester.

Each semester students will receive an email from their advisor with registration information prior to the start of the next semester. Regularly checking UF email will allow students to be prepared for important dates, deadlines, and messages.

Prepare the Course Materials

You may be required to purchase books, software, social media spending, etc. during your time in the program. Any expenditures will be outlined in your course syllabus. In addition to paid resources, instructors will also use UF library resources and online articles as part of your reading load.

Access the Course

All online courses are delivered through the Canvas Learning Management System.

Each Canvas shell will house lectures, reading assignments, projects, and any other material students need to be successful in the course. Canvas courses typically open to students the Friday before the semester begins.

To log into Canvas and access your course:

  • Visit elearning.ufl.edu and log in with your Gatorlink information.
  • Your Dashboard will display all of your courses. Select the course you would like to access.
  • If a course is not available, contact distancesupport@jou.ufl.edu.

How can I get more information?

Contact an Enrollment Coordinator

Submit general questions through our Contact Us form. An enrollment coordinator will respond via email. You may also call an enrollment coordinator at 352-273-3412 Monday-Friday.

How can I succeed as an online student?

Tips for a Successful Learning Experience

Here are some tips to help you as you begin your online program:

  • Determine your priorities. You cannot do everything at once or be everywhere at the same time. Outline your priorities now, and make a plan for how you will devote time and energy to each priority, realizing that some low priority items may need to receive less attention.
  • Identify your support system. You have numerous resources at UF to help you through this program such as your advisor, success coach or instructor.  In addition to these individuals, identify significant people in your life who will support you. Share with them your goal of succeeding in school, and ask for their support and encouragement. They will be the best people to turn to if your motivation wavers and the best people to cheer you on towards your master’s diploma or graduate certificate. Also, don’t forget your fellow classmates. They too are facing many of the same challenges you are, but the collaborative nature of online courses with the ability to ask for and provide feedback at any time provides you with a constant support system to bounce ideas off of, share your knowledge, and learn from them.
  • Speak up if problems arise.  Let your instructor know if you’re experiencing issues of any kind. If the issues are severe, please communicate with your advisor as well.
  • Pick a personally helpful calendar and make a to-do list. Track your due dates in a digital calendar to help you stay organized. Include work, social, family, and extracurricular tasks on your calendar. This allows you to see the whole picture of what you need to accomplish in a certain time frame. Don’t forget to include time for relaxation. This will prevent burnout and give you something to look forward to.
  • Review the course syllabus and schedule. Before your class begins, add any academic deadlines to your calendar. By reviewing the course requirements before class begins, you will know what to expect and can budget your time accordingly.
  • Estimate the amount of time each task will take. If you estimate how long your tasks will take on a weekly basis, you’ll have a better idea of when the best time is to fit them into your schedule. If you are not sure how long it will take to accomplish your study goals, estimate conservatively. It is better to have an extra 30 minutes at the end of your study session than to be surprised when a task takes much longer than you originally anticipated.

Work with our Student Success Coach

UF CJC Online’s Student Success Coach is dedicated to helping students reach their full potential by providing personalized support, guidance, and valuable resources. The Student Success Coach assists individual students with the following:

  • Time management skills
  • Prioritization of tasks
  • Identifying a support system
  • Motivation
  • Understanding learning styles and personalizing study habits

Create a customized degree plan that fits your schedule

UF CJC Online programs can be customized to meet individual student needs. Most students enroll in two or three courses each semester, but others may elect to choose a different course load depending on their work and family obligations. Please note that students receiving federal financial aid assistance will need to ensure they meet the mandated credit hour enrollment requirements per semester.

What questions should I be asking when considering graduate education?

How will a master’s degree help my career?

Employers need educated people to lead their digital communication initiatives. They want proof you have the kind of expertise that can only come from a structured educational environment that teaches everything from campaign concept to execution to measuring results. A master’s degree gives you a substantial edge over your competition.

Why should I pursue a graduate program at UF?

UF CJC Online transforms lives through graduate education founded in theory and influenced by industry. We offer the most comprehensive, digitally focused online graduate programs in the world. Choose from 7 master’s specializations and 4 graduate certificates that offer unparalleled opportunities for professional growth and advancement. UF CJC Online’s flexible programs are demanding by design and competitive by nature. Equipped with the skills needed to move communication forward, UF CJC Online graduates are an unstoppable force for the Gator Good.

To ensure our graduates are always on the cutting edge, we’re proud to offer Master Access, a one-of-a-kind benefit to our students. Master Access allows our graduates to audit as many courses as they’d like in order to gain skills in specialized areas. For example, a Web Design graduate can audit Digital Strategy and Audience Analytics courses for the low annual subscription cost of $500.

How can a graduate education change my life?

With a master’s degree specializing in communication, you’ll unlock a world of opportunities. Upon graduation, you will have the skills you need to create impactful campaigns, engage with audiences around the world, solve global problems through communication, increase ROI for your organization, and more. Your dreams are limitless, and UF CJC Online can help reach new heights both personally and professionally.

Is a thesis required as part of the master’s degree program?

UF CJC Online degree specializations are professionally-focused, which means that students do not complete a thesis. Instead, students in the UF CJC Online master’s program complete a Capstone as their final degree requirement. In the Capstone, students will develop solutions to real-world communication problems for an assigned client.

Will the UF CJC Online master’s program prepare me for a Ph.D. program?

The UF CJC Online master’s program is a professionally-focused master’s program instead of a research-based, thesis program. Typically, Ph.D. programs prefer candidates who have obtained completed a thesis and substantial research projects. An in-residence master’s program may be a better fit if you plan to pursue a Ph.D.

Will my diploma or graduate certificate indicate that the program was online?

Your diploma or graduate certificate will not have any mention of “online” as the online programs are just as rigorous and respected as their in-residence counterparts. Your diploma and transcript will be indistinguishable from the diploma and transcript of students who complete an on-campus degree.

Why should I choose the University of Florida?

Earning a degree from the University of Florida connects you to an elite group, a family of more than 415,000 living Gator alumni across the globe. The Gator Nation is everywhere, which can open doors you never thought possible. Ranked as a top ten public university, the University of Florida provides an excellent education at an affordable cost. At the University of Florida, you’re more than a student…you’re a Gator. Some people are Gators. Are you?

Need more convincing? Read for yourself why employers love Gator graduates.

 


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