FAQ: Distributed Learning
What is the Distributed Learning (DL) format?
UBC MPH Program began offering the DL format in 2009 in order to provide an opportunity for working public health professionals across BC & Canada to obtain an MPH degree. This format appeals to not only professionals, but anyone wishing to complete the MPH Degree and work at the same time. Students are required to be on campus 4 full days per month, 3 times per term. In addition to the weekends, students are expected to have 15 hours of extra curriculum online per course, some of which will include readings, video conferencing, teleconferencing, etc.
How often do I have to come on campus?
DL students come to UBC Point Grey campus 4 days per month, three times per term. Each 4-day session runs Thursday – Sunday and each of these days is dedicated to a particular course (normally 8:30am – 4:30pm). So, if a student is taking 3 courses in a given term, they will only need to be on campus for 3 of the 4 days. To see what a weekend schedule looks like, go to the SPPH Winter 2011 Term 1 webpage and scroll down to the bottom to see the current Distributed Learning schedule.
How do I decide if I should choose the DL or traditional format?
The format choice depends on preference and availability. The curriculum and learning objectives are the same in both the traditional and DL formats. The mandatory courses are offered in both formats, most often but not always by the same Instructor, but the elective courses can vary (some are offered in traditional format only, some DL only, some both).
Although many of our students work full-time while completing the MPH, the DL format requires the same amount of work as the traditional format, so it's important to have a flexible workplace and an understanding family. The time commitments are the same for both formats.
If applicants are concerned about face time with faculty and other students, please note that the DL group has ample opportunity to meet others in the School as school-wide events are planned around the weekends when the DL group is on campus. The DL group support each other as they are in contact online frequently in addition to 4 full days each month together.
Will choosing only one format affect my chances of getting in the program?
Your choice of format will not influence whether you are offered admission.
If I only want to do the MPH in traditional format do I put down DL as a second choice (or vice-versa)?
No. If applicants are only able to do one particular format, please indicate the one choice. If applicants can complete the program in their second-choice format as well, please indicate this.
Do you have a fully online degree option?
Is the Distributed Learning format a part-time program?
No. The DL format is considered full-time and requires the same amount of work as the traditional format, so it's important to have a flexible workplace and an understanding family. The time commitments are the same for both formats.
Can I work and handle the course load of the Distributed Learning format?
The DL format enables students to attend classes once per month for a full-day session for each course. Courses may be held on Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday. It may be possible to attend classes only on Saturday or Sunday, but the course schedule is subject to change based on instructor availability. Because most of our students who choose the DL format option continue to work full-time, we've structured this format to be accommodating to them. It is usually necessary to miss 2 days of work per month, so employer support is key to success.
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