40 Fast Online Degrees & Programs [2021 Degree Rankings]
We’ve ranked 40 Fast Online Degrees for 2021. Explore fast college degrees & get your bachelor degree faster online from an accredited college.
Want to get your bachelor’s degree online fast? This degree guide can help! With fast track classes, you can finish your college degree quickly online. Campus-based degrees programs are usually 16-weeks long, but the fastest online degree programs have classes that are just 8 weeks long. That’s half the time!
Why spend extra time sitting in class when you can get your bachelor’s degree faster online? Check out our fast degree program guide to see how you can finish your degree more quickly!
Fast Online Degrees & Programs
These online degree programs offer 5 week, 6 week, or 8 week online classes:
- Business Administration
- Computer Science
- Criminal Justice
- Education & Teaching
- Emergency Management
- Environmental Policy
- Fire Science
- Forensics / CSI
- Health Science
- Healthcare Administration
- Human Services
- Information Technology
- Legal Studies
- Liberal Arts
- Public Administration
Both of these fields offer plenty of opportunity for growth, a lot of different job prospects, and plenty of job security.
Accounting Degrees Online
Every business needs an accounting team or at least a go-to accountant who can sort out the numbers and pay vendors on-time. For those who want to work with money and help companies spot opportunities and problems, an accounting degree could be the top online program for you.
Companies are always looking for individuals who can fastidiously analyze data and solve even the toughest financial challenges. With an online bachelor’s degree in accounting, you could quickly move into any graduate business degree, allowing you to become a successful CFO in the future.
These degree programs involve classes in income taxation, auditing, ethics, data analysis, profit and loss, economics, regulatory laws, and many other degree courses around financial fundamentals.
In the end, you can easily set yourself up to pass the CPA exam and became a certified accountant or auditor. You’ll need at least 120 credit hours at an accredited university.
Online degree programs in accounting are best for those who have great time managerial skills and can easily work on problems on their own, but any accounting online program worth its salt will have collaboration and online meeting capabilities.
Business Degrees Online
Entrepreneurs, marketing majors, and soon-to-be business executives typically get their start with a business administration degree. Online baccalaureate degree programs in business administration challenge students to be analytical decision-makers who can turn problems around with creative solutions.
Online business programs are quickly becoming one of the most popular degree choices among students. In fact, 6 million American workers currently have an undergraduate degree in business.
An online bachelor’s in business can help turn you into a business leader, whether you decide to get into business, marketing, manufacturing, hospitality, finance, or technology. It’s simply a versatile online degree that can help with multiple fields of study.
One major benefit of this online degree program is that you can keep your job full-time and quickly earn a degree that could bump up your salary to $71,000, which is the average for those who hold a business degree.
Computer Science Degrees Online
For those who want to quickly get into a technology field, computer science online degree programs may be one of the best ways to go. Forbes actually reported that computer science graduates go on to make the most right out of college with an average of $59,000 per year.
In this fast, digital landscape, individuals with an online tech degree can work in a variety of fields, including web development, software engineering, information technology, or cybersecurity. In addition, technology jobs are in high demand, meaning that you will likely be able to find a job quickly depending on what you specialize in.
The best online computer science degree programs allow you to pick tracks that are popular in today’s ravenous tech fields, such as web development, network security, network administration, cloud computing, database management, data analysis, and other web sciences.
Typical online computer science degree programs can be tailored to the programming language you want to learn or the skill that you’ll need to succeed in a particular field of technology, preparing you for graduate school or the workforce. It’s one of the best fast degrees online to go for if you want to work in technology and earn a high salary quickly.
Criminal Justice Degrees Online
When you study criminal justice, there are a world of opportunities in legal fields, law enforcement, psychology, and cybersecurity. Online degree programs are so diverse that many programs allow you to specialize in studies that quickly prep you for a number of in-demand careers after graduation.
Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing field that needs more people who understand technology, software, data analysis, and coding. If you have a slight love for computer science or information technology, this online degree can take you extremely far in law enforcement, including positions at the FBI and Department of Homeland Security.
For those interested in these fast degrees online, you’ll be happy to note that the average salary after graduation is $58,000 with the highest paid earners being detectives and criminal investigators who make about $70,000 per year. Not too shabby when you can get your degree quickly online!
Education Online Degrees
If you want to be a teacher, an elementary education degree is a great place to start, and it’s one of the top majors currently in-demand. In addition, those who earn this online degree are more than likely to become mentors, role models, and coaches for the next generation.
For those who love to motivate and teach others, this could be the right field for you, and it’s easy to earn this degree online quickly.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported fast growth with 250,000 new teaching jobs available by next year. Special education and English teachers are in high demand, as there is a particular shortage in this degree concentration.
Online bachelor degree programs for education will usually provide courses to help you pass the certification exam to get your license. The best online degrees for education include programs that help with instruction planning, new technologies for the classroom, and theories on different learning styles.
Emergency Management Online Degrees
Emergency management is often listed under a public administration degree. However, earning a bachelor’s degree in emergency management could be useful if you plan to work in government, community, or medical-related fields.
Students earning fast degrees online in this field will learn project leadership, communication skills, social skills, civil rights and ethical leadership, hazard planning and preparedness, and human resources.
English Online Degrees
While it may seem like a broad degree, online English degree programs allow you to explore literature, learn creative writing, study philosophy, and even learn about films and screenwriting.
There are so many ways to use an English degree professionally as well. It can even be a fast track into law school because English degrees require a great deal of writing.
Students who want to earn an English degree online can quickly go into a variety of fields. Some go into digital marketing because of their copywriting abilities and strategy skills, and others go into journalism or web content creation. You can become a teacher, a social media manager, a foreign language teacher, or even a novelist.
What you do with your English degree is up to you, but it’s a great starting point for a master’s degree or law degree. Reports show that most English majors go on to earn degrees in education, law, and literature.
Since there are hundreds of online degrees out there, it’s important to pick one with official accreditation and course of study that will bring you success quickly after graduation.
Environmental Policy Online Degrees
Environmental policy degrees focus on the relationship between private and public agencies involving protecting society and the environment.
Quick online degrees in this field have courses related to sustainability and facing environmental challenges. These degree programs typically require 120 credits depending on the university and the specialization that you select.
Online environmental policy degrees prepare you for research and leadership positions, where you’ll be required to know methods and tools related to analyzing information and data. You’ll also learn theories, principles, and concepts related to environmental leadership, policy, and global disasters.
Careers in this field typically place students in environmental protection positions or other scientific fields. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, environmental policymakers are in demand, and there are almost 90,000 jobs available in this field.
The average pay for those in this field goes up to $71,000. Most undergraduates will need to get into a master’s degree program in environmental science or environmental law.
Finance Degrees Online
Every business needs those who are skilled in finance, including accountants, planners, analysts, and managers. Online finance degree programs give you some leeway in specializing for the career you want, but all business degree students learn the same basic business core curriculum before specializing in a given field.
Coursework for these fast online degrees takes students through accounting courses, investments, financial planning, corporate finance, business analysis, and related accounting tools, such as Microsoft Excel.
The top graduates in these degree programs can go into incredibly lucrative careers, and if you earn an MBA, you could even become an executive or CFO. When choosing an online degree in the finance field, you should pick a university that has ties to a great business college so that you can access award-winning professors and coursework.
Fire Science Degrees Online
Firefighters go into fire science online degrees to jump into higher positions and earn larger salaries. A bachelor’s degree in fire science allows you to learn about emergency management, hazard detection, and coordinated response.
It’s also about learning the new technology related to fire prevention and suppression. Firefighters work closely with law enforcement, so you’ll have courses in legal studies and investigation as well.
The main coursework in this fast degree program pertains to emergency service response. Graduates are able to go into fire inspection and firefighting with a fire science degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also projects that this job will continue to grow.
If you are interested in working in the public sector and want to help law enforcement, firefighting and investigation are great ways to go.
You’ll be able to earn an average salary of $50,000, but you can earn more as a fire inspector or fire investigator. There are also specializations in forest fire management and emergency medical technicians, or paramedics.
Forensics / CSI Degrees Online
Have you ever wanted to work a crime scene? Do you like working on puzzles? Do you have an analytical personality? Working in forensics and crime scene investigation may be the right path for you. This bachelor of science degree in forensics can also take you into cybersecurity and network defense as well, depending on your specialization.
Lab technicians who earn this online degree can earn around $56,000 a year at first, but as you grow and gain experience, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that you could earn up to $75,000 a year.
Along with your coursework in crime science investigation, forensics, ballistics, chemistry, and criminal justice, degree courses may also take you through cyber-criminal cases, psychology, and legal studies.
For those who want to use their forensics degree to go into CSI or law enforcement, it’s important to maintain a high GPA and get certified upon graduation, which may require additional coursework and a master’s degree in criminal justice. Many jobs related to cybersecurity and hacking are also in demand.
Health Science Degrees Online
Online health science degrees are perfect for those who want a career in the healthcare field.
While you can use your bachelor degree to get ahead in both clinical and non-clinical settings, most bachelor degree earners go on to master’s programs for occupational therapy, chiropractor studies, healthcare informatics, athletics, nursing, and other healthcare roles.
Since the rise of technology, many health sciences degrees have popped up with tracks that can take you into becoming a surgical technician or a paramedic, but the most popular is occupational therapy, physical therapy, and radiation therapy.
These are specialized fields that may require additional study and certification after earning your bachelor degree.
Jobs have increased quickly in this field as more therapists and administrators are needed to meet growing demand. In the medical and health service managerial role, graduates can earn up to $96,000 a year, but occupational therapists often find their jobs more rewarding and make an average of $80,000 per year.
Healthcare Administration Degrees Online
The medical field has always needed skilled doctors and nurses to take care of patients, but there are a number of jobs available for administrators and managers in healthcare. With new technology, the field has expanded even more requiring new specialists and skills for the latest medical advancements.
Health Administration online degrees are for those who want to work in the medical field on the business side. You may work in hospitals, clinics, rehab centers, nursing homes, and other medical locations.
These fast degrees walk students through accounting, leadership positions, finance, economics, and ethics. You may also take courses related to laws and liability handling for hospitals.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 70,000 new jobs would be available by 2020. Most entry-level healthcare administrators earn around $40,000, but your salary increases after a few years.
Human Services Degrees Online
Online human service degrees mainly center around social work and community services, such as administrative roles and criminal justice positions.
Social work is one of the 10 majors that can help change the world, and many in this field take on these roles because they want to make the world better. The curriculum focuses on ethics, research, and theory.
Students are able to specialize in social and community advocacy, including global health services, public health needs, criminal justice, intervention, and family guidance.
These fast online degree programs also can be used to go into many other fields of study at the graduate level, including healthcare, psychology, political leadership, education, and law.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be an increase by 2020 for jobs in social work. These services are also necessary to help the aging population in America, as well as a new rise in drug addiction treatment needs.
The average salary for human service graduates ranges from $33,000 to start up to $82,000 for administrators in medical offices and nursing homes.
Information Technology Degrees Online
The IT field is quickly expanding. While it used to be a role for network administrators and computer engineers, it now includes web developers and even web designers.
The information technology field is quite broad, so it’s important to pick a specific online degree that is perfect for your interests. For example, if you’re interested in programming, then you would want to select software development or a programming specialization.
You can also go into a STEM field rather quickly using an information technology degree. The most popular jobs include network and computer systems administrators, computer network specialists, data analysts, database administrators, and cybersecurity specialists.
The average salary for someone in IT is $80,000 per year. While tech jobs are expected to grow fast, you should pay close attention to new technologies and look for internships that help you learn in real situations, too.
Legal Studies Degrees Online
Online legal studies degrees can help you get into a number of different legal fields, depending on the track and specialization that you choose. For example, there are paralegals and criminal justice majors who tailor their legal studies program towards their careers.
Fast degrees in legal studies typically require 120 credits with your core curriculum comprising of different government studies, policies, cases, ethics, torts, and business laws. Most law schools look for excellent marks in your undergraduate degree studies, so if you’ve got your eye on law school, it’s important to keep your GPA over 3.0.
Liberal Arts Degrees Online
For those who want to go into political science, teaching, psychology, and other scientific studies, liberal arts degrees may be a good option. Students with a wide variety of interests can excel in an online liberal arts program. It allows you to study art, philosophy, theory, history, literature, and more.
Students can use their online degree fast to go into an administrative position, but typically, students will need to complete a master’s or certificate program to get into a better position with a good salary.
Much of the courses in liberal arts degrees revolve around writing fiction, studying different cultures, sociology, anthropology, and arts-based courses. While all programs are different, you can expect to take 120 credits in these courses.
Management Degrees Online
Want to get ahead fast in your current position? Business management degrees focus on building your leadership and improving your skills in communication, as well as project management and human resources.
There are a number of managerial degrees, so it’s important to pick the one that will take you to the career you want fast. For example, you can use this degree to become a department manager, operations analyst, sales manager, and so forth.
Most of these programs require 120 credits and take you through business law, marketing, project leadership, employment law, and international business coursework.
Marketing Degrees Online
Online marketing programs combine creative writing, sociology, theory, public relations, social media strategy, communications, and business in a rather unique way. New technology is also helping marketers use digital tools to create incredible opportunities for advertising.
While marketing majors have to be strategic and creative, many of these fast degrees revolve around communications. Being an effective speaker is important to pursue a position in marketing or public relations.
Many schools offering this degree focus on communities, philosophy, business strategy, digital marketing technology, marketing development, and economics as well as business laws regarding infringement. Fast degree programs are rigorous, but can pay off in the end.
The top online programs in marketing will set you up to work in the business field as a digital marketing manager, marketing executive, digital strategist, marketing analyst, advertising specialist, or copywriting for marketing. Marketers typically start out earning $40,000 a year, but the highest earners are over $100,000 per year.
Nursing Degrees Online
For those who want to take your current RN credential to the next level, an RN to BSN might be a good choice. Fast college degrees can be rigorous and difficult for those who are not a fan of chemistry, anatomy, biology, and other sciences, but it’s worth it if you want to advance in the medical field.
In addition, new technology in nursing has made it necessary for new courses and specializations, which could increase your salary potential. Health care delivery platforms and other data analysis are also going to be important to help medical offices and hospitals use new technology correctly.
If you want to get into a higher managerial position or even become a director, then earnings are around $75,000 a year.
Nutrition Degrees Online
Nutrition degrees help students learn about different diets and human health problems related to what they eat.
Most nutritionists take courses in food science, human anatomy, and other medical courses related to human diseases such as obesity. There are a number of careers in this field, but most graduates will go on to careers as dietitians.
Students will take fast courses in nutrition science, human biology, physiology, organic chemistry, and biochemistry. The highest paid earners pursue master’s degrees or medical degrees as well.
Psychology Degrees Online
Psychology degree programs provide students with a knowledge of sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, and psychology theories. Students will understand different neuropsychology theories, developmental psychology, and behavioral sciences.
These fast degree programs are mainly designed to prepare you for graduate psychology programs or medical school. Other options include going into criminal justice fields, social work, or counseling.
Public Administration Degrees Online
A public administration degree may be a great choice for those who want to go into policymaking, political leadership, city management, and human resources.
Fast degrees online in public administration teach students to help people in various professional situations as a leader and manager. Policy analysis, ethical leadership, ethics, and legal studies help these graduates work in government positions at local, state, and the federal government.
For these programs, you’ll be expected to take coursework in policy, community development, ethics of public service, administrative law, finance, and project leadership.
Fast online degrees in public administration prepare you for nonprofit, business, and human resources. Your specialization depends on the track and courses you select. It’s important that you have organizational skills, excellent communication, and a desire for legal knowledge to be successful.
Questions about Fast College Degrees
Are fast online degrees accredited?
Yes, fast online degrees are offered by accredited colleges and universities in a wide range of fields.
Regional accreditation is the gold standard of accreditation:
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- Higher Learning Commission
When you attend a regionally accredited college, you will be eligible for Federal financial aid and the credits you earn will transfer to other regionally accredited universities.
Are there any 6 month bachelor degrees online?
No, there are no 6 month bachelor degrees online, but you can earn your bachelor’s degree faster if you pick the right college.
Although you may not be able to find any 6 month degree programs online, that doesn’t mean it’ll take you 4 years to get your bachelor’s degree online.
- Over 2,000 universities will allow you to test out of some of your degree requirements
- Some colleges help you finish your online degree faster by giving you college credit for your experience
- Dozens of online schools now offer fast online courses so you can finish your degree quickly online.
Together, these three strategies can help you finish your bachelor’s degree fast, even if it’s not as quick as the 6 month bachelor degree you were hoping to find online.
Can you get a bachelor degree in 12 months online?
There aren’t any accredited colleges promising that you can quickly get your bachelor degree in 12 months, but that doesn’t mean you have to take 4 years to finish your online degree either.
If you have existing college credits, you can transfer them to a university that offers fast online classes (generally 8 weeks or less). You can also apply to get college credit for your work, military, or life experience that meets the university’s standards.
Not all online schools offer this faster degree option, but a growing number do through a program generally referred to as credit for prior learning.
Finally, you can get a lot closer to the 12 month bachelor degree you were hoping for if you take CLEP exams, accepted by over 2,000 universities nationwide. These are low-cost, multiple choice exams that award college credit.
This can help you get college credit for a course without actually having to take it. This is a great time-saver when you are looking for fast college degrees so you can finish your degree quickly online.
Can you get a bachelor degree in 18 months online?
You may be able to get a bachelor degree in 18 months if you select an accredited college offering online fast classes (8 weeks), college credit for experience, and credit via multiple choice exam.
If you put these three strategies together along with any existing college credits, you may be able to finish your online bachelor degree in 18 months.
Here are some things that typically help move the needle faster:
- You have significant, relevant work experience
- You hold certain licenses or certifications
- You have documented job training
- You served in the military
- You have existing college credits
- You have the ability to maintain a full-time online course load
Obviously, we all have unique backgrounds and experiences, so whether or not you can complete your online bachelor degree in 18 months is going to depend largely on your background and the university you select.
To get your degree online fast, look for an online college that offers credit for prior learning assessment, accepts CLEP exams for credit, has generous transfer credit policies, and offers 5 week, 6 week, or 8 week online classes.
Are there any accelerated online colleges with 1 year degree programs?
There aren’t any colleges promising 1 year degree programs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t finish your degree in one year. To finish your bachelor degree in one year, you will need to select a university that offers fast online courses (8 weeks or less), offers credit for experience, has generous transfer credit policies, and accepts CLEP exams for credit.
Main factors impacting your ability to complete your bachelor degree in one year:
- Fast classes – only select a college that has 8 week online classes (or less)
- CLEP exams – look for a school that allows you to get 30 college credits or more via CLEP exams
- Credit for prior learning – only select a school that will consider your work & life experience for possible college credits
- Degree plan – Look for a major that has lots of open electives and no labs (if possible)
- Do not opt for a minor – There’s no need to make your degree harder by adding a minor to your degree
- Transfer credits – submit every college class you’ve ever taken to your target school as possible transfer credits
Obviously, there are a lot of factors to consider when you are looking for a bachelor degree in one year online. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible either. One year degrees are doable, but you have to do it yourself.
Open up a spreadsheet, list every course, see what you can test out of with CLEP exams, see what life, work, or military experience you have that might help you get more credits toward your degree.
What is the average cost of the fastest online degree?
According to a recent U.S. News Report, the average cost of tuition for an online college program is $305 per credit hour for in-state students. Since most fast online bachelor degrees are 120 college credits, the tuition cost for an in-state student is $36,600 for the entire four year college degree.
To help offset the cost of tuition, the best colleges and universities have a number of financial aid programs to help students make their education more affordable.
Both traditional students and adult learners can take advantage of transfer credit policies, flexible degree completion programs, fast track exams, CLEP exams, scholarships, grants, and flexible payment plans to help reduce the cost of education.
Are there any cheap online degrees fast that are accredited?
As long as you select a university that is regionally accredited, you can be assured that your bachelor’s degree will legitimate and high quality.
The cost of an online degree varies depending on the type of university and your physical location. Some universities offer the same tuition rate for in-state or out of state students, but that is not always the case. You can also save money on tuition costs by testing out of college classes and taking advantage of credit for prior learning assessment opportunities.
How fast is an accelerated bachelor’s online degree?
How fast can you get a bachelor’s degree? How fast you can complete an accelerated bachelor’s degree depends on your background and experience, but it can be as fast as one year or as long as four years if you aren’t in a hurry.
The fastest accelerated bachelor’s degree programs are those that allow you to take fast track classes, test out of courses with CLEP exams, and submit a credit for prior learning portfolio for assessment.
Although it’s not a must, it’s also helpful if you have prior college credits to transfer into your degree plan as this will speed things up considerably.
What is the easiest online degree to get quickly?
The easiest degree to get online depends on what you consider to be easy. Since easy is a subject term, we wrote an entire article about the easiest degrees based on the average GPA of students majoring in those subjects.
If you want to check out that article, you can see it here: Easy College Majors.
Colleges Offering Fast Degree Courses
The following accredited online colleges offer fast online degree courses ranging from 5 weeks to 8 weeks long. By using a combination of fast online courses, credit for prior learning, and credit by exam, you can earn your degree more quickly and spend less time sitting in class.
AIU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.
Brandman is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Brenau is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Cameron University is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission.
Central Texas College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The College of DuPage is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The College of Southern Nevada has been continuously accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) since 1975.
Colorado State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
CTU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Columbia College has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1918.
Davenport is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Elizabethtown College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
NYIT is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Excelsior is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Franklin is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Granite State is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Indiana Tech is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
IWU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Keiser is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
LeTourneau is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Liberty is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Lynn University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Mount Olive College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
NCWC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Northcentral is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Park University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Peirce is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Post is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Purdue has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCA) since 1913.
Regent is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Regis is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Saint Leo is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
University of Houston -Downtown is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
TESU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Troy is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
UMA is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
UMGC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
UIU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Walden is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
If your primary goal is to finish your degree quickly online, here are a few tips to help you reach your goal:
- Select a college that offers fast online classes (8 weeks or less)
- Make sure that college also offers credit for prior learning assessments
- Choose an online degree plan that has more electives (if possible)
- Test out of as many college classes as your online school allows (usually 5 to 10 classes are allowed)
- Don’t forget to submit any prior college courses for transfer credit
Fast online degrees from accredited colleges can help you save money on tuition while also saving you time so you can finish college faster!