Accelerated Liberal Arts Degree Online

Ready to start your journey?

An accelerated liberal arts degree online can help you finish in 2 years instead of 4 and prepare you for a variety of careers. See how!

Accelerated Liberal Arts Degree Online

Forbes online states that “employers in every sort of industry are interested in people with [liberal arts] majors.”

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With a liberal arts degree, you may continue on to become a:

  • Teacher
  • Lawyer
  • Politician
  • Journalist
  • Computer programmer
  • Fashion designer
  • Business owner
  • Musician
  • Museum curator
  • Sales Manager
  • Graphic designer
  • Social Media Manager

Forbes also lists Leidos, one of the biggest defense, intelligence and homeland security contractors in the States, as topping the list of companies who want to hire grads with liberal arts degrees.

Types of Accelerated Liberal Arts Degree Programs

Types of Accelerated Liberal Arts Degree Programs

A liberal arts degree has dozens of different concentrations you can choose from. Typically, you will start with a Bachelor of Arts and then major in:

  • Humanities (English Literature, Modern Languages, History, Philosophy)
  • Social Sciences (Anthropology, Economics, Geography, Political Science, Sociology, Finance, Psychology)
  • Creative Arts (Fine Art, Theatre, Speech, Creative Writing)
  • Sciences (Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science)

Accelerated Liberal Arts Degree Programs Overview

Accelerated Liberal Arts Degree Programs Overview

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics states that no matter what industry you are interested in you will need to be able to:

  • solve problems
  • write well
  • speak well
  • bring multiple perspectives to decision making
  • be a good manager
  • be cross-culturally competent

That is the goal and foundation of a liberal arts degree. You may develop a broad and diverse range of knowledge so that you are prepared for any career you decide to pursue.

You may gain the tools you need to succeed beyond just getting a job. You may become prepared for life success through classes like:

  • Business Communication
  • Public Speaking
  • Public Relations
  • Graphics and Layout in Print Media
  • Introduction to Journalism
  • Social Media
  • Editing for Media and Publication
  • Writing for New Media
  • Writing and Publishing
  • Screenwriting
  • World Civilizations
  • Making History

Instead of focusing on technical skills that may be obsolete by the time you graduate, you may learn to use new technologies while being forward-thinking, innovative, and creative. Your ability to adapt to a rapidly changing world is the most important skill you may pick up in your liberal arts degree.

Careers with an Accelerated Liberal Arts Degree

Careers with an Accelerated Liberal Arts Degree

What kind of career can you get after getting an accelerated liberal arts degree? Almost any job you want!

But you can’t walk into a job interview thinking you will automatically get a job with a degree in liberal arts. Even if it is just an associate’s in liberal arts, to be successful with a liberal arts degree, you will often need to view your degree as a starting or launching point.

Add to your degree with knowledge and skills in a specific field, like marketing, sales, business, social media, graphic design, data analysis, computer programming, IT, communications, management, research, or operations.

You may add these skills through extra business or technical classes, entrepreneurship, an internship, or work experience. Many liberal arts students go on to earn a master’s degree in any number of fields or even strive for a master of liberal arts online degree. Here are some possibilities to aim for.

Careers Annual Median Salary
Computer and Information Systems Manager $151,150
Financial Manager $134,180
Sales Manager $132,290
General Manager $103,650
Writer/Author $67,120
Market Research Analyst $65,810
Designer $63,750
Elementary School Teacher $60,940
Social Worker $51,760
News Reporter $49,300

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Your liberal arts degree may take you nearly anywhere, but you need to have a plan for what you do next.

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The Benefits of an Online Accelerated Liberal Arts Degree Program

student studying comfortably on his laptop

Besides being a versatile degree, there are three primary benefits of taking a liberal arts degree online through accelerated classes.

Start Your Degree Now! Are you ready to get started? Excited about the broad range of classes you could take? There is no reason to wait. Almost every college and university that offers accelerated liberal arts degree will have new start dates each month.

Finish Faster! If you go to a typical university, you might be looking at committing to a 16 week semester. About 4 months to finish each class. Accelerated classes may allow you to complete the exact same classes but in 6-8 weeks. Same classes. Twice as fast.

Work on Your Schedule! You won’t need to drive to or move onto campus to attend class at certain times. It’s up to you when you want to do your classwork and listen to lectures.

3 Ways to Accelerate Your Liberal Arts Degree Even More

students running to their classroom in university building

When you are looking at your liberal arts degree as a launching point for your next move, you don’t want to spend too much time or money on the first step. There are 3 strategies that you may use to move through your degree much faster than the typical 4-year plan.

1. Test Out of College Classes (Save Up to 1 Full Year)

You can register with the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and just take the exam. In 90 minutes, you might earn 3 college credits. Most colleges will allow for up to 30 of your degree credits to be through credit by exam.

Buy a study guide, spend some time studying, and then take the exam. All you need is 50% to pass and earn the credit.

2. Get College Credit for Your Life and Work Experience (Save Up to 1 Full Semester)

What have you done before deciding to head back to school? That valuable life experience might count for credit toward your liberal arts degree.

You will usually find this listed as Credit for Prior Learning. Each university has a policy for how the process works. But the general idea is that you prepare a portfolio listing your training, credentials, experiences, and letters of reference. You submit this portfolio to your faculty member and may earn up to 15 credits. A whole semester of credit!

3. Stay Continuously Enrolled with the Max Courseload

Most college students take two 15-credit semesters a year. The faster option is to maximize your course load every semester with 18 credit hours. That gives you 6 extra credits per year.

But there is also a summer semester. In 1 year, you may take 3 semesters of 18 credit hours and end up with 108 credits in 2 years. If you used this strategy alone, you might be done in 2.5 years.

Bonus: Transferring Your Existing College Credits

Pre-existing college credit is golden for a liberal arts degree. No matter what college classes you took before, it may fit into your new degree. Here are the necessary checks to make sure your class is transferrable:

  • You attended a college that was accredited
  • You earned at least a C in the class
  • You can find a spot for the class in your liberal arts degree

Even if there isn’t a perfect fit for your pre-existing class, you might have the option of transferring the class as an elective. Any credit is good credit and saves you time and money!

How to Lower Tuition Costs for Your Liberal Arts Degree

screenshot of FASA website

You may lower your college expenses by reducing the number of classes you take. A liberal arts degree will always require 120 credit hours. If you earn a portion of those credits by exam or through your Prior Learning portfolio, you don’t have to pay for those classes. Yes, there will be a fee for each, but not nearly as much as tuition would be.

The next step is to apply for financial aid. When you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you’ll see what the federal government will approve you for in terms of grants and loans. Then, you can apply for state funding, scholarships from universities and businesses, and ask your employer about tuition assistance.

Look for financial aid from any number of sources to lower your final bill as much as possible.

Liberal Arts Degree Accreditation

logos of six regional accreditation boards

You might think you can save even more money by getting a liberal arts degree from a budget online program. Don’t go that route. You could end up with a degree that is worthless. That saves you nothing!

Accreditation is a process that a college or university goes through to provide validity to their school. They may be accredited regionally or nationally. Some of the accrediting councils you should look for include:

  • 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)

Regional accreditation from one of these boards will give your degree the gold stamp of approval that employers and grad schools need to see.

Study What You Want… Quickly!

liberal arts degree graduate in a job interview

An online accelerated liberal degree program can help set you up for success. Join the ranks of Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks and Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube. Both are proud liberal arts degree holders.

But play it smart. See how many classes you can test out of. Submit a portfolio for prior learning. Get any credits that are waiting for you.

Then, get your liberal arts degree. Using this attitude of flexibility, adaptability, and innovation, your liberal arts degree may take you in whatever direction you set your mind to.

Ready to start your journey?
Joy Cromwelle
Joy Cromwelle
Joy is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy & Foreign Policy and holds a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management, as well as a Bachelor's in Business Administration. Joy's focus is helping non-traditional students find accelerated degree options and credit for prior learning opportunities.