An accelerated general studies degree program can allow you to explore different interests without being stuck following one track or in school longer than you need to be.
An online bachelor’s degree in general studies can be your stepping stone, either into another bachelor’s degree program, an entry-level position, or graduate school.
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Online General Studies Degree Options
Online accelerated general studies degrees appeal to many students. You may explore different areas of study while earning a bachelor’s degree in much less time and for a fraction of the usual tuition cost.
Earning your general studies degree could be a stepping stone toward the start of your career or advanced degree programs.
A general studies degree is a flexible degree that can allow you to study a variety of different topics. Typically, students are required to create a degree plan based on a focus topic or combination of topics. Some possible options are:
- Human Resources
You won’t find many job opportunities that list “general studies” specifically as a degree requirement, but your general studies degree can help you develop skills that are valued in many careers. Your knowledge of the topics you decide to focus on could help you pursue entry-level careers in those fields.
Alternatively, you could also make sure you get good grades in your general studies degree program and get admitted to a specialized degree program or apply for graduate school.
Accelerated General Studies Degree Programs Overview
A general studies degree can help you develop the skills you need to work in many industries. Your degree program can help you become a:
- Problem solver
- Good writer
- Confident public speaker
- Competent manager
- Strong decision-maker
These skills are transferrable to whatever career path you choose. The wide range of knowledge that can potentially be obtained can help you develop the tools needed to go far in your career.
The typical general studies degree program (also known as an interdisciplinary degree program) requires up to 42 credits of core competency classes, 48 credits focused on a major, and 30 hours of free electives. It is like a choose your own adventure degree!
The typical general studies degree program will allow you the freedom to pick around 26 classes of your own choice.
You might take classes in:
- Aviation Safety
- Marriage and Family Therapy
- Business Leadership
- Social Media Management
- Computer Science
- Fashion Design
- Criminal Justice
- Athletic Training
- Global and Intercultural Communications
These classes may sound very random and unconnected, but these choices mean you are in charge of creating your own path. Earning a general studies degree might be a perfect fit for the entrepreneur and self-starter in you.
If you want to open your own fitness gym, for example, you could major in business, athletics, and management.
Careers with an Accelerated General Studies Degree
The careers you can pursue will be dependant on the studies you take in your accelerated general studies degree program. You have the opportunity to match your interests and your goals to your studies in a very self-directed way.
Your top 3 chosen areas of studies can help you determine which career is a good fit for you or prepare you for multiple careers in your lifetime.
According to Career Change Statistics, the average person will change careers 5-7 times in their lifetime, sometimes even changing jobs every 12 months. A general studies degree may give you the flexibility to reinvent yourself for each new career.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are some possible careers and their average salaries that could be pursued with a general studies degree:
|Careers||Annual Median Salary|
|Administrative Services Managers||$98,890|
|Nonprofit Program Managers||$69,600|
|Writers and Authors||$67,120|
|Administrative and Executive Assistants||$63,110|
|Public Relations Specialists||$62,810|
Some of these careers may require further experience to obtain. With any career field, you likely won’t start at the management position, but you can potentially earn it through experience and hard work.
Another tip for making your general studies degree more valuable is to add classes in marketing, sales, business, social media, graphic design, data analysis, computer programming, IT, communications, management, research, and operations.
No matter what career you take, these classes can help prepare you for almost any role. You might even desire to go on to a master’s degree program to advance your career.
Why Enroll in An Online Accelerated General Studies Degree Program
Maybe you are thinking, “I need a degree fast!”
If this is your primary goal, then taking 8 week, online classes might be a good option. There are three main benefits of taking online accelerated classes.
A general studies degree is all about doing what works best for you. This even counts for when you start your degree. Almost all online colleges and universities will offer you start dates for your general studies degree every month.
Instead of waiting for September to roll around to start your first class, you could potentially register for a class today and start this month.
The typical accelerated class operates a lot like a traditional on-campus class. The school gives you a start date, end date, and assignment due dates that you must keep pace with. The difference is that the class schedule is often twice as fast at 8 weeks instead of 16 weeks.
Study When and Where You Want
With many of the fastest online degree programs, you may log in and watch lectures when you want. You won’t need to drive to campus and sit in class at a certain time.
General Studies Degree Accreditation
Accreditation means that the school you are attending has met the standards of an accrediting board that has reviewed the curriculum, faculty, and research. It is the golden stamp of approval that proves to future employers and grad schools that your degree is valid.
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A general studies degree program will likely not have specific programmatic accreditation because it does not focus on a specific field of study. Instead, it is important for you to ensure the school you choose has regional accreditation from one of these boards:
- Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
- New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
- WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
If a school does not have regional accreditation, you can’t be sure of the quality of education you’ll be getting, and other universities and future employers may not recognize your degree.
Financial Aid for a Student in General Studies
You may still qualify for financial aid even if you don’t declare a traditional major. You can start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see what the government can offer you in free grants and low-interest, payment-deferred student loans.
You can also look into:
- State funding
- Scholarships from your university
- Scholarships from private organizations
- Employer tuition assistance
All of these sources of funding may reduce your college expenses significantly.
What Is the Fastest Way to Get a Bachelor’s Degree Online?
It depends on what works best for you. One way to get a bachelor’s degree online fast is to enroll in accelerated classes. You may also consider testing out of classes, submitting a portfolio of prior learning, and transferring in any existing college credits you have.
If you take the maximum number of classes year-round, you could potentially finish in 18-24 months instead of 4 years.
What Is an Accelerated Degree Course?
An accelerated degree course features classes that take less time to complete. A typical on-campus semester is 16 weeks long. An accelerated class is only 5-12 weeks long. A typical accelerated class is 8 weeks long, which is half the length of a traditional class.
What Is the Quickest Degree to Get?
Typically, the quickest degree to get is one you can earn through online accelerated classes. Fortunately, there are many options for online accelerated degrees.
A bachelor’s degree typically requires 120 credit hours, which usually takes 4 years to earn if you follow a traditional schedule. If you take the max number of accelerated classes per semester, including in the summer, you may finish in just 2 years.
Can I Finish My Bachelors in 2 Years?
Yes, you may be able to finish your bachelors in 2 years. The key is taking online accelerated classes. These classes usually take half as long to complete as on-campus classes.
You might also consider testing out of classes using programs like CLEP and submitting a portfolio for prior learning to earn college credit for any job training, military service, or other educational experiences you may have had. You could potentially save yourself a year and a half with these methods.
Hit the Books Running!
A general studies degree earned with accelerated online college classes can help you start down your career path quickly, no matter what field you want to pursue, even if you don’t know what field to pursue!
You might make your own career, design your own degree, and choose exactly how you complete your degree.
This is a degree with the utmost flexibility!