Accelerated degree programs are undergraduate or graduate programs that could potentially be completed in less time than normal. While courses in these programs might be similar to their traditional offerings, schools trim the fat from their curriculum.
Doing so offers students a condensed course load that may still cover the essential fundamentals in their chosen field.
Why Pursue Accelerated Degree Programs?
Many students might choose to pursue an accelerated degree program because it could potentially be a faster way to earn a degree and work towards their goals. That being said, your end goals with pursuing fast online degrees might be different from other students’. The following are just a few reasons you might want to pursue accelerated degree programs.
- Pursue a new career that requires a postsecondary degree
- Change career fields
- Potentially enhance your current career
- Return to your postsecondary education
- Work and study simultaneously
In short, accelerated degree programs could be a perfect fit for perspective students that are eager to complete their education and begin working on their goals.
Who Pursues Accelerated Bachelors Degree Programs?
Earning an accelerated bachelors degree could potentially benefit you in many ways. For starters, many choose to pursue this type of degree program if they’re returning to their education later in life. In fact, many programs have designed accelerated online degree programs for working adults. These programs take adults’ potential challenges and obstacles into account when scheduling class times.
The quicker timeline could be more convenient for their current lifestyle. They could continue to maintain their outside obligations and professional pursuits while also working towards earning a degree.
Others may seek out accelerated bachelors programs to possibly pursue career enhancement. In these cases, the quicker timeline could mean less time spent in the classroom and more applying that knowledge to the workplace.
Be aware the available bachelors programs may differ between schools. This could include different academic prerequisites, program lengths, and more. For more information about these programs, contact the admissions team.
Earn a Bachelors Degree in 3 Years
3 year bachelor degree programs snip off one of the traditional years of earning a bachelors degree. Instead of cutting corners to do this, these bachelors programs take into account alternative learning opportunities. Namely, they consider competency based education systems. Or, in other words, education experience you may have gained during an internship or professional position.
Students may be interested in this position if they’re currently working in the professional sphere and looking to potentially earn a bachelors degree online fast. Tasks that might be part of your daily routine at work could transfer into valuable college credit. Or, outside certifications you may have earned for a role might also contribute to your bachelors degree credit hours.
Additionally, military members might also be able to translate their experience to 3 year bachelor degree programs. Potential schools could evaluate positions you filled within the armed forces and see if they equate to any courses within your desired 3 year bachelor degree online program.
In other cases, students may also be able to contribute associate degree credits towards their bachelors degree program. By doing so, they could test out of required courses. This could significantly shorten the amount of time required to pursue a bachelors degree, even if your previous degree was in an unrelated field. In some instances, this might even help you earn a bachelors degree in 2 years.
For both cases, students may have to provide letters of recommendation from a supervisor verifying outside experience.
Transferrable credits may depend on your chosen field of study. For more information about competency based education systems, speak with potential school’s admissions teams.
Rasmussen University offers3 year bachelors programs. As part of this, they offer a large assortment of accelerated bachelors programs.
Besides the reduced course load, not much else differs from their typical programs. The core curriculum of RU’s 3 year bachelor degree programs follows the same guidelines you would encounter inside the classroom. This could involve exams, papers, required readings, and more.
At Rasmussen University, you might be able to pursue some of the following bachelors programs.
- Healthcare Management
- Criminal Justice Leadership and Management
- Computer Science
- Data Analytics
- Information Technology Management
These are only of the few accelerated bachelors programs offered as RU. For a complete list of their bachelors degree offerings, speak with an admissions counselor.
Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University emphasizes pursuing an accelerated bachelors program to get a head start on your future potential career. This could be a great choice for students who took a gap year prior to working towards their bachelors degree and want to catch up with their peers. Or, you could potentially go on to pursue your professional goals faster than your classmates!
A part of this, SNHU offers accelerated programs in many of its traditional academic departments. For instance, you could go on to pursue some of the following accelerated bachelors degree programs.
- Business Administration
- Fashion Merchandising Management
- Hospitality Business
- International Business
- Sports Management
SNHU offers other accelerated bachelors programs in addition to these few. For more information about any of the programs on this page contact a SNHU representative.
American University offers an accelerated bachelors program called the Three-Year Scholars Program. As part of this, students could pursue degree in some of the following departments.
- Global Relations
- Public Health
- Politics, Policy, and Law
Some of these three-year programs may also require students to take part in a study abroad program. Typically, study abroad experiences are skipped during accelerated bachelors programs because they could detract from valuable class time. Instead, AU incorporates these semesters into its general curriculum to ensure students are capable of graduation in 3 years.
Accelerated Masters Degree Online Programs
Accelerated masters programs (AMP) may be offered as part of a bachelors degree program. In these programs, the bachelors program curriculum feeds directly into the masters program. These types of programs may also be called “4 + 1” programs, because they combine a traditional bachelors program with one additional year of graduate work.
By combining course materials, students may not have to rehash similar fundamental courses topics in both programs. By doing this, you could potentially shorten your masters program length by one year.
To do this, students may be required to earn bother their bachelors degree and masters degree at the same university. But, some colleges may pair with external universities if they don’t support graduate coursework themselves.
Many students who pursue this type of degree do so because their potential future career may require them to earn a masters degree. By earning this degree, they could shorten the amount of time they spend in school so they could go on to earn valuable certifications or join the workforce.
Keep in mind that many accelerated masters degree online programs may only be offered in conjunction with bachelors programs. These shortened programs are not usually offered as freestanding graduate programs. Accelerated masters program availability might differ between schools. Reach out to school representative for more information about their graduate course options.
University of Alabama
University of Alabama’s accelerated masters program might allow students to simultaneously take both their bachelors and masters degrees. As part of this program, students select 15 credit hours that contribute to both degrees they are pursuing. By doing so, they eliminate some of the time they would normally spend earning their masters degree.
While not every masters program is available in the accelerated track, many are. In fact, many traditional programs are offered in this two-for-one format. You could choose to pursue some of the following accelerated masters programs at UA.
- Criminal Justice
- Political Science
Many other accelerated programs are offered in addition to these few examples. For a complete list of program offerings, speak with intended schools’ admissions teams.
University of Alabama students could apply to take part in this program after completing 90 credit hours of their bachelors degree. Usually, this takes place during their junior year.
University of Massachusetts
During your junior year at University of Massachusetts, you could decide to continue your education in an accelerated masters program. By doing this, you could have ample time to discover if you’re passionate about your undergraduate concentration before deciding to continue your studies at the graduate level. Students could also apply earlier than their junior year if they’re certain they want to continue their education.
In this program, you could choose to pursue some of the following masters concentrations.
- Political Science
These are only a few examples of accelerated masters degree programs offered at UMass. For more information, speak with department faculty or their admissions team.
As part of this combined program, students may be asked to complete an internship in their preferred field. The internship requirement could be put towards both your undergrad and graduate credit hours. This criterion could even be completed during your summer semester to ensure a potentially fast program timeline.