25 Quickest Online Bachelor Degree Programs [2021 Guide]
Searching for the quickest online bachelor degree programs? If you want to finish your degree fast, here are the colleges that offer accelerated online classes that take HALF the time to complete compared to traditional classes.
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Getting to work fast only pays off in the long run when you do your research and choose a degree that is affordable, practical and suits your career interests.
Finishing Your Bachelor’s Degree Quickly
Accelerated online bachelor’s degrees help you finish your 4-year degree in significantly less time. These programs aren’t magic — you still have to put the work into completing your degree. But there are some secrets that aren’t widely known that can help you finish your bachelor’s degree quickly.
Tips to finish your bachelor’s degree quickly:
- Attend a college that offers accelerated online classes (finish college in half the time)
- Get college credit for your life experience
- Take a few 90-minute multiple choice exams to test out of easy college classes
- Use these tips to get 15 college credits fast
The quickest online bachelor degree programs will be determined by your interests, capabilities, previous work and experience, and the individual program you choose. Of course, there are some degrees that require you to continue on to graduate school or to sit for an exam. These degrees, which are discussed below, are perhaps best to avoid if you’re looking for a quick degree and want to get to work in your field immediately.
Most bachelor’s degrees, however, can be achieved quickly by considering the following factors before choosing a program. If you keep these in mind, you may just find yourself enrolled in one of the quickest online bachelor degree programs out there.
Quick Does Not Mean Easy
Getting your degree fast doesn’t mean that it will be easy. In fact, it will most likely be more intense than in a more traditionally paced program. There is no getting around the minimum course hour requirements, whether you achieve some of them through your previous course work or training or you complete all of them through an online degree program, you will have to clock, on average, 120-150 credit hours to complete your degree.
Here’s a list of accelerated bachelor’s degree programs:
- Accelerated Accounting Degrees
- Accelerated Biology Degrees
- Accelerated Business & Management Degrees
- Accelerated Computer Science Degrees
- Accelerated Construction Management Degrees
- Accelerated Counseling Degrees
- Accelerated Criminal Justice Degrees
- Accelerated English Degrees
- Accelerated Finance Degrees
- Accelerated Fire Science Degrees
- Accelerated General Studies / Interdisciplinary Studies Degrees
- Accelerated Health Sciences Degrees
- Accelerated Healthcare Administration Degrees
- Accelerated History Degrees
- Accelerated Hospitality Management Degrees
- Accelerated Human Resources Degrees
- Accelerated Human Services Degrees
- Accelerated Liberal Arts Degrees
- Accelerated Nursing Degrees
- Accelerated Political Science Degrees
- Accelerated Project Management Degrees
- Accelerated Psychology Degrees
- Accelerated Social Work Degrees
- Accelerated Sociology Degrees
- Accelerated Theology Degrees
Yes, there are many opportunities to accelerate these hours and complete more in a shorter time frame, but you still have to demonstrate full mastery of the subjects you’re studying within that shorter time frame. For some people, this can be stressful, but for others who are rearing to get to work right away, a quick degree might give them the motivation and boost they were looking for when they started their online degree search.
The quickest online bachelor degree programs may be among some of the most difficult because of their demands of time management, dedication and focus. Many people complete these quick degrees with success and go on to rewarding careers in their fields, so it’s more than possible to obtain a fast bachelor’s degree if you’re committed to your education.
Prior Course Work
One of the easiest ways you can speed up your degree is by getting college credit for your work experience and life experience. If you have taken any courses at all in the past, see if you can apply those credits toward your degree. Sometimes you can knock out most or all of your basic requirements, putting you well on your way to earning your degree faster.
Each major requires a slightly different set of basic requirements, so if you started down a path to study science, for example, it would probably mean a quicker degree if you continued on a related path. This way, you could use your previously completed science classes toward your new degree.
Experience and Training
Don’t worry if you’ve never completed a college course before. Many programs allow you to earn credit for previous work experience and training. If you’ve been in the military or had service training like fire and rescue, you can most likely earn credits toward your degree. Some programs even grant credit for relevant experience you’ve earned in a job if you can successfully demonstrate mastery of the subject area. It’s worth inquiring, as some programs will grant credits on a case by case basis.
Credit through Exams
Another way to put your knowledge to good use is by completing exams like the DANTES or CLEP exams. For a small fee, you can take short exams (approximately 90 minutes in length) to demonstrate your knowledge in basic subjects like English, History, Social Sciences and Math. If you pass one or more of these exams, your degree program may reward you with credit. So for a fraction of the cost and time, you can have a handful of credits under your belt before you even start working toward your bachelor’s degree.
So it is not necessarily any type of degree or program that will get you your degree faster, but rather the experiences you’ve had before starting your program. These experiences can equate to the quickest online bachelor degree programs that are available to you.
Accelerated Programs and Courses
If you’re looking for the quickest online bachelor degree programs out there, choose a program that is either accelerated fully or one that offers accelerated course opportunities. If you’re in an accelerated degree program, you’ll be able to complete your degree online faster than the average time (four years) it takes to complete a bachelor’s degree. This is possible through an accelerated class format. You will complete more credit hours per semester by taking twice as many classes. This is possible because classes will meet for eight weeks instead of 16. Be prepared to do the same amount of work and complete the same amount of assessments, though, within that eight week time frame. These accelerated platforms can really speed up your degree, no matter the major you choose.
Tuition and Fees
There’s nothing that can slow you down faster in your degree track than the cost of your education. If you run out of money to pay for your courses or program, your quick path will become stalled. If cost is a factor in your decision, make sure you understand exactly what your degree will cost you. Is there a registration fee (which can sometimes be upwards of $500) that you’re charged for each term? You have to factor these costs into your overall tuition bill before you get started because they will appear at the beginning of each semester and your program will expect you to pay for them in a timely manner.
Additional Time Commitments
There are a handful of bachelor degrees that prepare you to continue on in your studies. In other words, once you earn these degrees, you will still have to take exams, apply for licensure, or continue to a graduate program in order to begin your career. For example, if you desire to become an accountant, you’ll probably want to sit for the CPA exam in order to obtain the best possible job in the field. The CPA exam requires a minimum of 150 hours to sit for it, which is usually beyond most bachelor degree program requirements.
You’ll most likely need to continue onto graduate school before you can sit for this exam. The same is true for becoming a licensed social worker (LSW). If you study psychology at the bachelor’s level but want to become a licensed psychologist, you’ll need to continue to graduate school and most likely to a competitive doctoral program. It’s wise to research which majors require you to continue on to graduate school or sit for licensure, both of which take additional time and money. If finding the quickest online bachelor degree programs is one of your top priorities, it’s best to avoid these tracks. Other popular degrees that may demand testing and licensure include Education and Nursing.
Most Popular and Quickest Online Degrees
The quickest online bachelor degree programs are essentially going to be the ones that enable you to get working immediately after completing your degree. The most popular online degree right now, according to US News, is Business Administration, and this degree enables you to get to work in the field immediately after graduation.
Other similar degrees include Computer and Information Systems and Programming, Communications, Healthcare Management, Economics and Political Science, among many others. Some degrees enable you to earn certification of various sorts while you’re still enrolled in the program and don’t require you to apply to a national board or organization to sit for an exam and apply for licensure. These will be your best bet if you’re looking for a fast degree.
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