Benefits of Residency Programs

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Advocates of academic residency in doctoral programs claim that the requirement ensures a cohesive educational experience for students. Participants are required to spend a pre-determined number of semesters/hours on campus, and this provides numerous benefits to the student in the area of socialization, skills, scholarship and social change.

Because of the face-to-face interaction during academic residency, students who may not otherwise meet are forced, by program design, to socialize with one another. Aside from the obvious networking potential, students can connect and collaborate over material with one another (“Academic Residencies”, 2013). This exchange of information is valuable, as each student may learn from other students and take away new ideas.

Students also improve their professional and academic skills during their academic residency experience. Being on campus will increase a student’s access to practical information through invaluable participation in activities such as departmental research seminars, or other activities relating to their field of study (“Ph.D.”, 2009, p. 2). Many students will also attend “on-campus colloquiums, collaboration, collegial discussions and other processes” (Ph.D., 2009, p. 2). This kind of engagement further broadens a student’s knowledge base and supports their broader academic goals.

In-person student/faculty dialogue is also an important component of the residency program. Students meet with academic advisors who can provide academic support with “planning, writing and research projects” (“Academic Residencies”, 2013). Participation in other on-campus activities, such as labs or other discussions, provides a new level of engagement for these college professionals (“Types of Residency”, n.d.). The combination of these experiences is another important component of the academic residency program.

Lastly, the academic residency requirement helps effect positive social change. Students matriculating on campus meet other students with different educational and cultural backgrounds. These students can then bond together over common educational goals, creating new cross-cultural relationships (“Academic Residencies”, 2013). This help build bridges between different social groups.

There are many positive outcomes realized by participating in academic residency on campus. The physical interaction with other students and faculty members is clearly beneficial for socialization, skills, scholarship and social change. As such, the residency requirement is an important part of any doctoral program.


Academic Residencies. (2013). Accredited Online University Degree Programs. Retrieved from

Ph.D. Program in Management. (2009, July). Raymond J. Harbert College of Business. Retrieved from

Types of Residency Requirements for Online Graduate Schools. (n.d.). Types of Residency Requirements for Online Graduate Schools. Retrieved from