wIf you’re eager to get your education underway and quickly earn a bachelor’s degree that will help you boost your career, you might be interested in an accelerated degree. Many different options are available to help students shave months – or even years – off of the time it will take them to graduate. Online undergraduate degree programs offer numerous opportunities to earn a degree quickly, ranging from degree completion programs that allow for extensive transfer credits to accelerated class schedules that help you finish a semester’s worth of study in as little as a few weeks. At certain schools, you can even get college credits for the work, life or military experience you have or by taking exams that let you test out of courses if you already know the material.
Below you’ll find the 23 fastest schools for earning an online bachelor’s degree. Choosing one of these schools can save you a considerable amount of time and money – and quite possibly put you on the road to achieving your dreams sooner.
1. Saint Louis University
Since 1818, Saint Louis University in Missouri – identifying itself as “one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic universities” – has educated students in the Jesuit tradition. As the school approaches its bicentennial anniversary, it now educates close to 13,000 students not just across the United States, but nationwide. The school’s long history and regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission aren’t the only factors that make it reputable. St. Louis University’s focus on community service has earned the school recognition as a “character-building college,” and the institution has achieved numerous honors and rankings. The Princeton Review included St. Louis University on its Best Midwestern, Green Colleges, and Best 381 Colleges lists. U.S. News & World Report recognized the private institution in several of its college rankings, including:
- National Universities (tied for 96th place)
- Best Value Schools (55th place)
- Best Colleges for Veterans (tied for 62th place)
- High School Counselor Rankings (tied for 83rd place)
- Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (tied for 151st place)
- Business programs, at 10th place for Entrepreneurship programs and 11th place for International Business programs
Saint Louis University takes online education seriously. At the undergraduate level, the school offers more than a dozen majors, as well as a number of minors and certificate programs, for online students. Possible programs of study include aviation management, computer information systems, general studies, hospitality management, industrial psychology, organizational studies, project management, security and strategic intelligence, social work and strategic communications. Many of these online degree options are part of Saint Louis University’s School for Professional Studies, an adult-focused program aimed toward educating students 22 years of age or older who have at least three years of work experience. While the institution offers a “flexible, accelerated schedule” for its online certification and degree programs, how long your program will take can vary. Students who have already completed some college studies elsewhere can graduate faster. The school’s transfer policy allows students to transfer “an unlimited number of credits” from four-year colleges and, in most cases, as many as 64 credit hours from community colleges. If you transfer the maximum number of credits, you only have to complete 30 credit hours at Saint Louis University to graduate – which can be done in as little as a year. Students in the R.N.-to-B.S.N. program, specifically, can complete their studies in just two semesters (or nine months).
Minimum Time to Graduate: As little as 9 months
How Students Graduate Faster: Degree completion program, transfer credits
2. Capella University
If you’re looking for a school that offers plenty of undergraduate degree options in less than two years, consider Capella University. The for-profit university is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but educates students primarily through online learning. Capella University has earned regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Since its founding in 1993, Capella University has awarded 68,950 degrees. Students at Capella range from age 19 to age 84, but the average age is 39, making the school a great choice for adult learners seeking a degree that will help them advance or switch careers. About 89 percent of Capella University students are enrolled part-time, but those who choose full-time study options can complete their degrees quickly. Around 18 percent of students at Capella are either active military personnel or veterans. The vast majority of learners at Capella University – 82 percent – receive some form of financial aid to help offset the costs of their education.
Capella University offers 52 degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Bachelor’s degree programs include studies in business, information technology, psychology, nursing, health sciences and criminal justice. Different programs take different lengths of time to complete, but programs that incorporate the school’s FlexPath direct assessment option offer the shortest time to graduation. Business administration students can earn their degrees in just nine months if they transfer the maximum amount of credits and take a full load of classes per term. Students studying information assurance and security can complete their degrees in just 15 months by transferring the average number of credits. Depending on transfer credits, 18-month study plans are available for students in the criminal justice program, the health care administration leadership program and the R.N.-to-B.S.N. degree completion program. Business intelligence students 20 months if they transfer the average number of college credits. Students can also shorten the length of their education by earning competency-based credit for prior learning as well as credit for work experience or by transferring up to 75 percent of credits from a previous college experience.
Minimum Time to Graduate: As little as 9 months
How Students Graduate Faster: Transfer credits, competency-based learning, accelerated schedule, prior learning credits
3. Rasmussen College
Rasmussen College may be a for-profit school, but don’t let that fact deter you from considering this institution, especially if you want to earn your undergraduate degree quickly. The school was founded in 1900 in St. Paul, Minnesota, and it has been educating students ever since, largely avoiding the notoriety that many online for-profit colleges have attracted, according to Inside Higher Ed. Rasmussen College’s close ties to the Midwest and to Florida have helped the school achieve a trusted reputation, much as non-profit local colleges often do. The institution is also regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. While the school has plenty of online degree offerings for students to choose from, Rasmussen College also has more than 20 physical campuses located throughout Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. Despite the school’s modest size, enrollment has grown consistently, even during periods of economic recession, Inside Higher Ed reported.
Rasmussen College offers more than 30 online degrees at the associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s levels as well as certificates and diplomas. Though these online degree programs are just as rigorous as their on-campus equivalents, they’re offered fully online for maximum flexibility. If you really want to earn your degree quickly, look for one of Rasmussen College’s numerous accelerated bachelor’s degree completion programs. With offerings from the School of Business, the School of Health Sciences, the School of Education, the School of Justice Studies and the School of Technology, it’s safe to say there’s an option to fit just about every interest. If you transfer the minimum number of credits, you can graduate in 24 months. Students transferring the maximum number of credits, 80, can get their degrees in just 12 months. You can also shorten the time it takes to earn your degree by choosing the Flex Choice learning option, which allows for either self-paced competency-based learning or self-directed assessments that you take independently online to earn college credit.
Minimum Time to Graduate: As little as 1 year
How Students Graduate Faster: Degree completion, transfer credits, competency-based learning, self-directed assessment tests
4. Albertus Magnus College
For adult learners, an online degree program at Albertus Magnus College could be precisely what you’re looking for to give your career a boost. The school was founded in 1925 by the Dominican Sisters of St. Mary of the Springs (now called the Dominican Sisters of Peace) and has since retained its Roman Catholic affiliation. U.S. News & World Report ranked the New Haven, Connecticut, college as tied for 108th place among Regional Universities North as well as tied for 205th place among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. The private liberal arts school is on the small side, with close to 1,200 total undergraduate students and about 300 online undergraduate students. The small size of the institution equates to small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of just 14 to one. Like many private schools, Albertus Magnus College has a tuition rate that may seem a little steep – $30,650 per year if you choose the traditional undergraduate path. Fortunately, not only do nearly 90 percent of Albertus Magnus College students receive financial aid to lessen the cost of college, but students in an accelerated program pay considerably lower tuition rates of $1,530 per three-credit course.
Albertus Magnus College offers Online & Flex Programs that culminate in a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in subjects such as accounting, business management, computer information systems, criminal justice, finance, general studies, health care management and sociology. Students can choose from fully online programs, blended courses, programs that allow you to mix online and on-campus learning and accelerated on-campus programs. Students in an accelerated degree program typically take two courses per eight-week term, completing 30 credits per year. Students who have taken college classes before at other schools can further accelerate their progress by transferring up to 90 credits from a four-year school or 64 credits from a community college – reducing the amount of credits they need to earn to one year’s worth of accelerated study. You can also apply life experience credits toward earning your degree by taking CLEP or DANTES examinations or challenge exams or by creating a portfolio of your professional experience and projects.
Minimum Time to Graduate: As little as 1 year
How Students Graduate Faster: Accelerated programs, transfer credits, credit for life experience
5. Colorado State University
Colorado State University is a school with a great reputation online and offline. The public university has been educating students since 1870. Based in Fort Collins, Colorado, the institution is located an hour from Denver, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Colorado State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and the school has earned recognition on many top colleges rankings lists. The Princeton Review ranked Colorado State University on its Best 381 Colleges, Best Western and Top 50 Green Colleges lists. U.S. News & World Report recognized the institution on several of its ranking lists, including:
- National Universities (tied for 129th place)
- Top Public Schools (tied for 61st place)
- Best Colleges for Veterans (tied for 86th place)
- Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (tied for 75th place)
- High School Counselor Rankings (tied for 117th place)
Colorado State University’s online programs, too, performed well. U.S. News & World Report recognized five of the school’s online graduate degree programs. The undergraduate online program, which has a total enrollment of around 543 students, tied for 48th place on the publication’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs list.
The school’s online learning options are offered through Colorado State University’s Global Campus, where eight-week terms help students graduate more quickly. How long it will take you to graduate depends on how many transfer credits and alternative credits you have. The school’s transfer policy allows students to make use of up to 90 credits, potentially cutting down your time to graduation to just one year of full-time study. Alternative credit options include credit for competency-based exams, advanced placement exams, CLEP tests, military service, prior learning assessments, corporate training and professional certifications and licenses. Students can choose from 13 online bachelor’s degree options in subjects such as accounting, applied social sciences, business management, communication, criminal justice, health care administration, human resource management, human services, information technology, management information systems, marketing, organizational leadership and project management. Online courses at Colorado State University include a great deal of virtual interactions with instructors and fellow students, and coursework comes in the form of critical thinking assignments and portfolio projects. SCU’s Global Campus offers a Tuition Guarantee that ensures that once you enroll, your tuition rate won’t increase.
Minimum Time to Graduate: As little as 1 year
How Students Graduate Faster: Accelerated courses, transfer credits, alternative credits
6. Regis University
Since its founding in 1877 as a Jesuit university in Las Vegas, New Mexico, Las Vegas College has had a Roman Catholic religious affiliation. The institution retained that affiliation even after the school took on its new name, Regis University, and moved to its current Denver, Colorado, location in 1887 – and it continues to stand by that religious tradition today. The school is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Five colleges make up Regis University: Regis College, the College of Contemporary Liberal Studies, the Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions, the College of Business and Economics and the College of Computer and Information Sciences. U.S. News & World Report ranked Regis University as tied for 23rd place among Regional Universities West. The school also earned recognition for its online programs specifically, including tying for 156th place among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs and 133rd place among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs and taking 29th place among the Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs.
Regis University offers more than two dozen accelerated online degree programs – including Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS) and Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) options – for adult learners. Its offerings include studies in business, nursing and health care, liberal arts, computer technology, communication, criminal justice, education, psychology and anthropology. Accelerated programs are also available on campus in the evenings for students who prefer face-to-face interaction. Students can transfer as many as 90 credits taken at other colleges into their program at Regis University, drastically reducing the amount of time it will take to earn you degree. The fastest degree you can earn is the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Accelerated degree, a one-year program intended to prepare students with a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing for a career as a nurse. Some programs offered online at Regis University have as many as six start dates per year, so you don’t have to put your ambitions on hold for half a year while you wait for the next term to begin.
Minimum Time to Graduate: As little as 1 year
How Students Graduate Faster: Accelerated terms, transfer credits
7. Champlain College
Champlain College is a private nonprofit college in Burlington, Vermont, that has educated students since 1878. The school’s small size – 2,200 traditional undergraduate students – allows it to offer small classes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14 to one. Despite its small size, Champlain College is global in scope, with additional campuses in Dublin, Ireland, and Montreal, Canada and students enrolled from 17 nations. The Princeton Review included Champlain College on a number of ranking lists, including the Best 381 Colleges, Best Northeastern, Top 50 Game Design (for undergraduates) and Top 50 Green Colleges. The school also earned accolades from U.S. News & World Report, which ranked Champlain College third among the Most Innovative Schools, tied for 52nd among the Best Colleges for Veterans, tied for 91st among Regional Universities North. U.S. News & World Report also recognized the school’s online undergraduate degree programs, in which 1,676 students were enrolled, as tied for 148th place among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in the nation.
Champlain College offers 11 fully online Bachelor of Science degree programs in subjects such as accounting, business management, healthcare administration, computer and information systems, cybersecurity, web development, software development, computer forensics and economic crime investigation. The academic calendar is split into three semesters per year, each of which is further divided into two seven-week terms. These accelerated courses allow students to make more progress toward their degrees faster and focus on a smaller number of courses at a time. The school’s transfer policy allows students with previous college experience to transfer up to 90 credits toward their 120-credit bachelor’s degree, shrinking the number of credits you must complete at Champlain to just 30. The more courses you take per semester, the quicker you’ll be able to earn your bachelor’s degree. Of course, you’ll need time to complete the coursework for each of your classes. Champlain College recommends planning to spend 10 to 15 hours per week studying and working on your assignments for each online undergraduate class you take.
Minimum Time to Graduate: As little as 1 year
How Students Graduate Faster: Accelerated terms, transfer credits, credit for professional training, credit for competency based on test-out exams
8. Charter Oak State College
Charter Oak State College in New Britain, Connecticut, is a small, public liberal arts school with an undergraduate enrollment of just 1,735. The school’s online program caters to adult learners, which makes the school an excellent choice for students who have busy work schedules or who have already completed some college-level studies and want to finally finish their degrees. In fact, past completion of at least nine college credits at another college or university is one of Charter Oak State College’s admission requirements. Since its founding in 1973, Charter Oak State College has awarded degrees to 15,000 alumni. The institution has earned regional accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The school offers competitive tuition rates, with in-state undergraduates paying just $287 per credit and out-of-state students paying $377 per credit. Students can also take advantage of interest-free payment plans to put the cost of college within reach.
Charter Oak State College offers six programs of study at the bachelor’s degree level as well as numerous concentration and elective options. Students can major in business administration, cyber security, health care administration, health information management, psychology or general studies. As a school with a strong focus on degree completion, the most significant way students can speed up their education is by taking full advantage of Charter Oak State College’s transfer policy. Students are allowed to transfer as many as 87 credits – even credits earned at a community or junior college – toward their bachelor’s degree program. You can also receive credit through the school’s Prior Learning Assessment program in a number of ways. You can test out of courses through standardized exams like CLEP and DSST. If you already hold a professional license or certification, you can turn that credential into college credits, too. You can apply your past work experience toward your degree by seeking credit for professional training or military training or by building a portfolio of your work.
Minimum Time to Graduate: As little as 1 year
How Students Graduate Faster: Degree completion, transfer credits, credit for military training, credit for portfolio, test-out credit
9. Western New England University
The private institution Western New England University is quickly approaching its 100-year anniversary of educating students, having been founded in 1919. The school is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges but has also earned specialized accreditation for individual degree programs from numerous highly-respected accrediting bodies, including AACSB International, ABET, Inc., the Council on Social Work Education and the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education.
U.S. News & World Report recognized Western New England University in a number of its ranking lists, including:
- Best Value Schools (27th place)
- Best Colleges for Veterans (tied for 39th place)
- Regional Universities North (tied for 67th place)
- Engineering Programs at schools that don’t offer doctoral studies (tied for 88th place)
- Business Programs (tied for 446th place)
What makes the school such a great value is its generous financial aid policy. Close to 98 percent of students at Western New England University receive some form of financial assistance in the form of a Merit Scholarship, a need-based scholarship, a grant, a job on campus or student loans.
You might be surprised to learn that the accelerated programs at Western New England University are considered part-time. Don’t let this term trick you – these programs allow adult learners with prior college experience to complete their bachelor’s degrees in as little as one to two years. While on-campus students can choose from close to 50 part-time undergraduate programs available during the day or in the evening, the school also offers a popular Online Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree through its College of Business. To be eligible for this fully online degree completion program, prospective Online BBA students must transfer in at least 30 hours of college credits completed at another institution. However, the school’s transfer policy allows for as many as 70 credits earned at a two-year college or 90 credits from a four-year college to be applied to your bachelor’s degree requirements. To earn a degree from Western New England University, transfer students must complete a minimum of 30 credits at the school.
Minimum Time to Graduate: As little as 1 year
How Students Graduate Faster: Degree completion, transfer credits
10. East Coast Polytechnic Institute University
For students interested in science, East Coast Polytechnic Institute, or ECPI University, might be the place to enroll. The institution’s mission is to provide students with a learning environment that uses education to enhance students’ professional and personal lives. ECPI University was founded in 1966 and operates in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. The school also offers numerous degree programs online in fields such as technology, health science, nursing, and business and criminal justice. In order to provide a high-quality education, ECPI University follows four Core Values. To excel in academics, ECPI University maintains industry-relevant programs and promotes theoretical foundations. The school is committed to its students and offers internship experiences. To demonstrate professionalism in action, ECPI University reinforces punctuality, attendance and professional appearance in its courses. The institution makes it a priority to offer students plenty of opportunities, including on-site employer interviews, networking and professional events. ECPI University utilizes a year-round schedule that allows students to complete their majors quickly.
ECPI University has many online Bachelor of Science degrees that can be completed in just two and a half years. Students interested in technology have options to study cloud computing, electronics engineering, mechatronics, web design and development, software development, mobile development, or cybersecurity. Students with an affinity for business and criminal justice can focus on accounting, criminal justice, homeland security, business administration, hospitality management, or even IT management. For health science-oriented students, the only option to graduate in two and a half years is by earning a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration. However, ECPI University’s Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences degree completion program can be completed quicker. The program allows students with an associate’s degree in Radiography to complete their bachelor’s degree in one year. The knowledge students gain through ECPI University’s undergraduate radiologic sciences degree will allow them to advance in the radiology profession to become a leader, educator or even an administrator – without having to uproot their current life.
Minimum Time to Graduate: 1 year
How Students Graduate Faster: Degree completion, year-round schedule
11. Gwynedd Mercy University
Gwynedd Mercy University is a private institution with a 160-acre campus located in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, just half an hour from Philadelphia. Adult students in Gwynedd Mercy University’s Graduate and Professional Studies program can also study at satellite locations in Center City Philadelphia and Bensalem. The Roman Catholic institution was founded in 1948 and currently educates 2,035 undergraduate students and 632 graduate students. U.S. News & World Report ranked Gwynedd Mercy University as tied for 137th place among Regional Universities North. Gwynedd Mercy University has earned regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The school offers a competitive tuition rate and a financial aid policy that awarded aid to 100 percent of first-year, full-time undergraduate students. The institution has a student-to-faculty ratio of just 11 to one. The school has a retention rate of 84 percent, which means that the vast majority of incoming freshmen students choose to return to Gwynedd Mercy University in their sophomore year.
At the undergraduate level, Gwynedd Mercy University offers accelerated online degrees in business administration, nursing and psychology. The school’s online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree can be completed in just two years and offers concentration options in health administration and Organizational Management. Applicants must have 46 credits of college experience completed elsewhere to apply to the degree completion program. The applied psychology degree program, also two years, requires students to transfer in at least 30 college credits. Registered nurses who want to pursue their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) degree can do so in just two years with the accelerated online R.N.-to-B.S.N. program, while aspiring nurses who have a bachelor’s degree in another field can complete an online accelerated B.S. N. program in as little as 15 months. Accelerated courses at Gwynedd Mercy University take just five weeks and are offered 100 percent online, though students may also have the option of choosing classes offered on-campus or in a hybrid format, as well.
Minimum Time to Graduate: As little as 15 months
How Students Graduate Faster: Degree completion, transfer credits, accelerated degree programs
12. Indiana Wesleyan University
Indiana Wesleyan University, located on a 320-acre campus in Marion, Indiana, is a private nonprofit institution. The school also offers degree programs for adult learners at 15 Education Center locations across Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Of course, these programs are also available online – and they have been since 1997. Since the school’s founding in 1920, the evangelical Christian institution has retained an affiliation with the Wesleyan Church, influencing the school’s “Christ-centered community” and its academic offerings. U.S. News & World Report ranked Indiana Wesleyan University as tied for 27th place among Regional Universities Midwest. The institution is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Indiana Wesleyan University has a total enrollment of 14,102 students and has awarded degrees to more than 79,243 alumni since its founding. Indiana Wesleyan University is home to five colleges, the College of Adult and Professional Studies, the School of Nursing, the Graduate School, Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University and the College of Arts and Sciences, which is further split into the John Wesley Honors College, the School of Arts and Humanities, School of the Physical and Applied Sciences, the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Business, the School of Teacher Education and the School of Theology and Ministry.
Online degree offerings at Indiana Wesleyan University include 20 undergraduate programs of study in subjects such as business, communication, computer science, counseling, criminal justice, education, liberal arts, nursing, psychology and theology. Indiana Wesleyan University allows students to transfer as many as 90 credits of prior college experience, so that they can begin their studies at the school with advanced standing. This allows transfer students to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in many subjects, like business, in just 18 months. Certain programs of study, like the Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education, can take longer. On the other hand, registered nurses who want to attain their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) degree can complete Indiana Wesleyan University’s online R.N. to B.S.N. degree program in just 15 months. Transferring college credits earned at another school isn’t the only way students can advance their progress toward a degree. This institution also awards as many as 40 college credits for portfolios that demonstrate the student’s work experience, professional training and other forms of prior learning and experience.
Minimum Time to Graduate: As little as 15 months
How Students Graduate Faster: Degree completion, transfer credits, credit for prior learning, portfolio credit
13. Northeastern University
Since its founding in 1898, the private research institution Northeastern University has educated students on its Boston, Massachusetts, campus as well as its four graduate campuses across North America. Northeastern University is a well-respected school that has earned numerous accolades from reliable publications. The Princeton Review has recognized Northeastern University on its several of its lists, including the Best 381 Colleges, Best Northeastern, Best Career Services, Best Schools for Internships, Colleges That Pay You Back, Colleges That Create Futures Green Colleges, Top 25 Entrepreneurship and Top 50 Game Design. U.S. News & World Report has recognized Northeastern University on many of the publication’s college ranking lists for both traditional and online programs, including:
- Most Innovative Schools (tied for 7th place)
- National Universities (tied for 39th)
- International Business Programs(10th place)
- Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs (tied for 32nd place)
- High School Counselor Rankings (tied for 36th place)
- Best Online Graduate Business Programs, not including MBA (tied for 37th)
- Best Online MBA Programs (tied for 42nd)
- Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (tied for 53rd)
Students at Northeastern University can choose from 10 online bachelor’s degree programs: finance and accounting management, health management, human services, information technology, leadership, liberal studies, management, political science, professional communication and psychology. Some of these degree programs – like the Bachelor of Science in Health Management, Bachelor of Science in Management, Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting Management, Bachelor of Science in Leadership and Bachelor of Science in Information Technology – are available in a Fast-Track format that allows students to graduate in just 18 months. Fast Track programs are degree completion programs intended for students who have already earned an associate’s degree or completed an equivalent amount of college credits. Students can also apply additional credits to their degrees by creating portfolios that showcase their work and life experience or earning a passing score on proficiency exams to test out of classes. Students considering the Fast Track option at Northeastern University should be aware that the curriculum and course schedule in these accelerated programs are often demanding, highly structured and less flexible than a typical online class.
Minimum Time to Graduate: As little as 18 months
How Students Graduate Faster: Degree completion, accelerated degree programs, transfer credit, portfolio credit, exam credit
14. Florida State College at Jacksonville
Over the 52 years of Florida State College at Jacksonville’s history, the school has taken on a number of identities. At the time of its founding in 1965, the institution was known as Florida Junior College. In 1986, the school became known as Florida Community College at Jacksonville. Today, the institution’s designation as a state college, rather than a junior or community college, reflects its expanded academic offerings at the bachelor’s degree level. The school now enrolls 50,000 students annually – a considerable increase from the 2,610 students that made up its inaugural class. Florida State College at Jacksonville is home to several campuses located across Duval County and Nassau County: the Downtown Campus, the Kent Campus, the North Campus, the South Campus, Cecil Center, Nassau Center and Open Campus and Deerwood Center. The institution is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission. Florida State College at Jacksonville awards a number of different degrees, such as the Associate in Science (A.S.), Associate in Arts (A.A), Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) degrees.
Eight of the accelerated bachelor’s degree programs offered at Florida State College at Jacksonville can be completed online. The B.S. in Business Administration, B.S. in Financial Services, B.A.S. in Supervision and Management and B.A.S. in Public Safety Management can all be completed in 18 or 24 months. The B.S. in Human Services, B.A.S. in Logistics, B.A.S. in Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications and B.A.S in Information Technology Management take 20 months to complete. Courses offered through the Accelerated College include an accelerated curriculum, in which students complete online courses in just eight weeks and, often, juggle multiple courses at one time to complete their degree requirements faster. Students can also earn up to 45 credits toward their degree through various forms of Prior Learning Assessment. This may include receiving credits for passing exams, attaining an industry certification and cultivating a portfolio that illustrates their work, life or military service experiences.
Minimum Time to Graduate: As little as 18 months
How Students Graduate Faster: Accelerated curricula, credit for prior learning, credit by exam, portfolio credit, credit for professional training, credit for military training
15. Neumann University
For more than five decades, Neumann University has educated students in the Roman Catholic Franciscan Tradition. When the private institution was founded in 1965 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, it went by the name Our Lady of Angels and had a total student population of just 115 women. The school grew substantially over the years, changing its name to Neumann College and becoming coeducational in 1980. In 2009, after Neumann College had begun offering graduate and doctoral degree programs, the Pennsylvania Department of Education approved the switch to its current name, Neumann University. The Aston, Pennsylvania, institution is just half an hour from Philadelphia and less than 10 miles north of Wilmington, Delaware. Neumann University has earned regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Princeton Review recognized Neumann University on its Best Northeastern list. The school currently has a total student population of 3,011, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 14 to one.
Neumann University offers two fully online programs of study, the B.S. in Public Safety Administration and M.S. in Education. The undergraduate public safety administration program caters to adult learners – requiring applicants to be at least 19 years of age – who have busy schedules and prior college experience. Neumann University’s bachelor’s in public safety administration squeezes a full semester’s class into an accelerated course that students can complete in just six to eight weeks. New students can begin their studies three times a year, with enrollment periods taking place in the fall, spring and summer. The degree completion program at Neumann University requires prospective students to have a minimum of 60 college credits to be considered, but Neumann University allows students to apply as many as 90 credits earned at a regionally accredited two-year or four-year school toward their bachelor’s degrees. You can also get additional credit for any professional or military training.
Minimum Time to Graduate: As little as 22 months
How Students Graduate Faster: Accelerated programs, degree completion program, transfer credit, prior learning credit
16. Concordia University Chicago
Since its founding in 1864, Concordia University Chicago has educated students in the Lutheran tradition. The private liberal arts school is actually found in the suburbs of Chicago, with a 40-acre campus located in River Forest, Illinois. Concordia University Chicago has earned regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Though the school was first established as a college for teachers, it now is home to a College of Business, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Innovation and Professional Programs and College of Graduate Studies as well as a College of Education. The school’s online learning options, in particular, have won it recognition from U.S. News & World Report on lists such as Best Online Bachelor’s Programs (tied for 63rd place), Best Online Graduate Education Programs (tied for 66th place) and Best Online MBA Programs (tied for 168th place). Concordia University Chicago is one of 10 schools across the United States that together make up the Concordia University System.
At the undergraduate level, Concordia University Chicago offers accelerated online bachelor’s degrees in organizational management, healthcare management, sports and recreation, and management information systems. There is also an associate’s degree in organizational management option and a “3+1” bachelor’s degree in healthcare management offered in conjunction with the College of DuPage, a community college. For admission to these degree completion programs, students must provide documentation that they have two years of full-time work experience outside the home. To take part in a degree completion program, you need to start with at least 30 college credits earned at another institution. However, Concordia University Chicago typically allows students to transfer up to 67 credits, slashing the time it will take them to earn their degree nearly in half. Reducing your time to graduate can result in a significant cost savings in and of itself. Concordia University Chicago goes the extra mile to keep school affordable by making every student a tuition guarantee, promising that “as long as there are no interruptions in your course of study, we guarantee your tuition will remain the same and never increase.”
Minimum Time to Graduate: As little as 2 years
How Students Graduate Faster: Degree completion, transfer credits, accelerated courses
17. California Baptist University
Since its founding in 1950, California Baptist University has increased from an enrollment of just 42 students to a student body of 9,157. As the school’s name suggests, it retains a religious affiliation with the California Southern Baptist Convention, and the private institution continues to provide a “Christ-centered educational experience” for its traditional and online students. California Baptist University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and has earned specialized accreditation for its individual colleges and degree programs from respected accrediting agencies such as the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, the National Association of Schools of Music, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. U.S. News & World Report has ranked California Baptist University high on a number of college ranking lists for both its traditional programs and its online programs, including:
- Regional Universities West (tied for 37th place)
- Best Colleges for Veterans (21st place)
- Engineering Programs at schools that don’t offer doctoral studies (tied for 131st place)
- Best Online Bachelor’s Programs (tied for 8th place)
- Best Online Graduate Business Programs, not including MBA (73rd place)
- Best Online MBA Programs (tied for 95th place)
- Best Online Graduate Education Programs (tied for 101st place)
The Online and Professional Studies division of California Baptist University offers nearly two dozen bachelor’s degree programs in studies such as business, communication, computer science, criminal justice, graphic design, kinesiology, nursing, psychology and sociology. While the typical bachelor’s degree requires four years of full-time study, students at California Baptist University can complete their degree in half the time – and save themselves tens of thousands of dollars as a result. Students who want to reduce their time to graduation can do so by taking full advantage of California Baptist University’s generous transfer policy, taking two courses per session instead of just one and completing three semesters of work each year. Up to 70 semester units earned at a community college and 100 semester units earned at a four-year institution can be applied toward a bachelor’s degree at California Baptist University. Other ways students can accelerate their education at California Baptist University include earning credits for exams such as CLEP and DSST, receiving credit for military experience or experience as emergency service personnel and turning professional certifications into college credits.
Minimum Time to Graduate: As little as 2 years
How Students Graduate Faster: Transfer credits, three semesters per year, accelerated course load, military credit, exam credit, professional experience credit
18. Liberty University Online
Liberty University is an online, nonprofit Christian institution. U.S. News & World Report ranks the school 148th among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. Liberty University has a variety of online bachelor programs in fields such as:
- Criminal Justice
- General Studies
- Information Systems
- Information Technology
- Social Work
Some of these programs offer multiple educational paths. For instance, business students can study accounting or business administration. Government students can focus on government, law & policy, pre-law or political science. Religion students can choose biblical and educational studies, Christian leadership and management, or a Bachelor of Science in religion. There are numerous benefits of attending Liberty University Online. Online Liberty University students can complete their coursework from anywhere in the world as long as they have an Internet connection, so it doesn’t matter if they move to a new location. There are no required login times during the week for Liberty University Online courses, so students have flexibility when it comes to completing assignments. All students have to do is make sure they meet their professor’s deadlines.
Liberty University offers an online RN to BSN degree program that most students complete in just two years. One way students accomplish this is by transferring up to 90 college credits earned at other schools into this program. The Office of Transfer Evaluations helps new Liberty University students to transition smoothly and to avoid having to retake courses. Liberty University also has an Experience Plus Program designed to help students earn additional credits towards their degree through six different options. Students can take examinations to show their knowledge in multiple subjects. Those with a military background can use courses they took in military service schools to earn undergraduate credit. RN to BSN students can use their professional nursing experience to earn credits for job training they have undertaken. Liberty students can also take a History MOOC (massive open online course) through Liberty University to earn free elective credit. Students might even get credit as a result of any unaccredited certificate programs they have completed. Last but not least, students at Liberty University can earn credit through an Experience Plus Portfolio that evaluates their previous experiences and job training.
Minimum Time to Graduate: 2 years
How Students Graduate Faster: Transfer credit, exam credit, military credit, credit for job training, portfolio credit
19. Columbia College
Columbia College was founded in 1851 and has more than 150 years of experience in higher education. Columbia, originally called Christian Female College, started as the first women’s college west of the Mississippi River. In 1970, the institution became a coeducation college and took on its current name. Though it still has connections to its Christian origins, Columbia College is a nonsectarian school and accepts students from any religious denomination. While its main campus is located in Columbia, Missouri, Columbia College has 36 extended campuses located in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington and even Guantanamo Bay. In addition to its physical locations, Columbia College offers online classes with over 800 courses and 29 full degrees. U.S. News ranks Columbia University’s online programs highly, with the undergraduate program of more than 5,000 students taking 103rd place among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. The publication also recognized Columbia College as 15th among the Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs.
Students interested in nursing should consider Columbia College’s RN to BSN program. This accelerated program allows students to complete the program in just two years, so they can go out into their professional field as quickly as possible. This program is fully online, which allows students to continue working in their current capacities as registered nurses. Columbia College’s RN to BSN program has six class sessions per year, with new sessions starting in August, October, January, February, May and June. Courses students will take include Fundamentals of Nursing, Professional Nursing Practice, Community Health Nursing and Leadership and Management in Nursing Practice. Unfortunately, this program does have some limitations in certain states. Students from the District of Columbia, Idaho, Minnesota, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Washington are not allowed in the RN to BSN program. In addition, Alabama students have the opportunity to take part in the advanced degree program, but the program does not indicate eligibility for approval to practice as an advanced practice nurse in Alabama.
Minimum Time to Graduate: As little as 2 years
How Students Graduate Faster: Degree completion, multiple class sessions throughout the year
20. Immaculata University
For Catholics looking to further their education, Immaculata University might be the school they are looking for. Immaculata University is a Catholic, coeducational institution with programs that merge academic rigor with Christian core values. The Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary purchased the land in Immaculata, PA, in 1906. They broke ground in 1908, opened the building in 1914 and got the institution officially made a college charter in 1920, when it officially became the first Catholic college for women in the Philadelphia area. In 2005, Immaculata University began accepting male students as well. While it is Christian focused, the institution has many degree programs ranging from nursing and health care management to business management and education. Immaculata University also offers internship opportunities to all academic departments. U.S. News &World Report ranks Immaculata University 152nd on its list of National Universities and states that 86 percent of the school’s classes have fewer than 20 students, allowing for more personal help from instructors.
Immaculata University offers several online degree-completion programs that allow students to transfer up to 72 credits. By taking nine credits per semester, students can complete their degree in only two years. Immaculata University offers a variety of Bachelor of Science online degree programs, including:
- Bachelor of Science in Allied Health for Clinical Professionals
- Bachelor of Science in Business Leadership
- Bachelor of Science in Business Management
- Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
- Bachelor of Science in Emergency Planning and Management
- Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management
- Bachelor of Science in Organizational Behavior
- Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management
Immaculata even offers a R.N. to B.S.N program, allowing Christian focused students a variety of options. Even though students can take their classes entirely online, Immaculata University’s Office of Financial Aid can and will provide aid to students in need making it not only easy to take the classes but affordable as well. By taking summer classes as well as courses in the fall and spring, students can further accelerate their education.
Minimum Time to Graduate: As little as 2 years
How Students Graduate Faster: Degree completion, transfer credit, accelerated course load, year-round course offerings
21. Boston University
Since Boston University’s founding in 1839, the private Massachusetts institution has earned national and even global recognition for the quality of the education it provides. U.S. News & World Report ranked Boston University 39th among national universities and 23rd among the best colleges for veterans. Boston University’s online education stands out due to the design of its programs. The Distance Education office and Boston University’s faculty members collaborate to design outstanding online degree programs. The Distance Education office makes sure that students’ online experience reflects the high caliber of education that Boston University is known for throughout the world. Boston University faculty and staff create online programs that incorporate simulations, video, audio, multimedia, and group discussion boards. BU’s online programs were first offered in 2002 and are constantly improved as the school works to introduces new tools and apps that extend the capabilities of a traditional classroom. This has led U.S. News & World Report to name Boston University’s online programs 4th in Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs, 4th in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justices Programs and tied for 10th among Best Online Graduate Business Programs.
Students who already have 52 to 64 credits can enter Boston University’s Undergraduate Degree Completion Program and earn their bachelor’s in only 30 months. This is a liberal arts program that focuses on areas such as social sciences, humanities and natural sciences. Upon completion, students will earn a Bachelor of Liberal Studies in Interdisciplinary Studies without having to put aside family time or their career. Students can use this degree to show potential employers that they have developed interpersonal awareness and the ability to think creatively. Some Boston University students use their online degree as a stepping stone towards their graduate studies. While working on this degree at Boston University, students will take interesting courses such as:
- Exploring Philosophy Through Film: Knowledge, Ethics, and Personal Identity
- Food Stuff: A Taste of Biology
- China, the Emerging Superpower: A Model for Development?
- American Traditional Music
- Botany without Borders
- Mysteries of Archaeology
- Physics of Motion: Something in the Way It Moves
Minimum Time to Graduate: As little as 30 months
How Students Graduate Faster: Degree completion, transfer credit
22. Western Governors University
Western Governors University is a nonprofit online university, making it truly one without any boundaries. It was thought of in 1995 by a group of governors and began accepting students in 1999, with its first graduation held in December of 2000. In addition to being entirely online, WGU tries its best to keep tuition low. During each six month term, students are allowed to take as many courses as they want for a flat rate. The more classes you complete per term, the lower the cost of your education. Instead of simply relying on the amount of time you spend in the classroom to measure student success, WGU uses competencies to measure student outcomes. The competency-based school determines progress toward a degree based on whether students can demonstrate mastery of any required courses. WGU allows students to complete assessments as fast as they are ready in order to prove themselves and accelerate their education. Western Governors University’s personalized programs match students’ schedules, helping them to maintain their career and family life.
While Western Governors University is entirely online, you don’t have to start your education that way. WGU accepts students from traditional schools and allows them to finish their bachelor’s degrees online. Many students who start their WGU education with an associate’s degree are able to clear most of the lower-division general education requirements they need to earn a bachelor’s degree in two or two and a half years. Students with an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, or Associate of Applied Science might have an easier time transferring and completing in two years, but any associates will help speed up the time of completion. Even students who haven’t earned a degree might be able to clear some requirements by having an official transcript evaluation completed for them by Wester Governors University. This opportunity gives non-traditional students who didn’t finish college or who earned only an associate’s degree the first time around the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree without having to spend four more years studying at the undergraduate level.
Minimum Time to Graduate: As little as 2 to 2.5 years
How Students Graduate Faster: Degree completion, transfer credit, competency-based credit, accelerated course load
23. Becker College
Finishing out the list of the 25 fastest schools for online bachelor’s degrees is Becker College. Since its founding in 1785, the institution has been focused on delivering transformational learning experiences to every student, with the goal of becoming a nationally recognized institution of higher education. Becker bills itself as a “Transfer Friendly” college and dedicates Tuesdays to help new students transfer to Becker. In addition to help actually transferring, students will receive help with the selection of their classes, accepting financial aid awards and determining the best start date for them, whether it is the fall or the spring. Becker College strives to create an environment that celebrates diverse cultures and currently has a student body composed of more than 2,000 students from across the country and around the world. While the Massachusetts-based school has physical campuses located in both Worcester and Leicester, Becker College also offers a variety of online classes, including all courses for their bachelor of science in business administration.
The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration is part of Becker’s Accelerated & Professional Studies program. This program will allow completion of the degree in only 3 years, shaving off a whole year from students’ completion time. To graduate in three years, students will need to take intersession and summer courses, which are all available online. Becker has a set schedule to help students stay on track and know what they need to take and when. This schedule starts with a student’s first fall semester that includes courses in Global Economics and Introduction to Business Models and continues through their third and last spring semester, when they will complete their Agile Mindset Capstone. Students can still take electives during their time at Becker, but to stay on track, they must be careful about what type of elective they take. Regardless, over the course of their education, students will study business, history and science and take five open electives.
Minimum Time to Graduate: 3 years
How Students Graduate Faster: Intersession and Summer Courses
Editor’s Note: While each school on this list offers some form of accelerated online undergraduate degree, there’s no guarantee how long it will take you to earn a specific degree at a particular institution or which college is the best choice for you. When choosing a college that will allow you to earn your degree quickly, you need to take into account what features are most relevant to you. Do you have a great deal of college credits already that you would like to transfer? Are you comfortable taking exams to test out of courses? Do you want to earn credit for your military experience or the professional certifications you have attained? Would you prefer to take your classes in a condensed format that lasts for only a few weeks, or is a full-length semester more appropriate for your schedule and learning style? There’s no one right answer. Any student who is considering ways to earn a bachelor’s degree fast should compare their options and get the facts about what kind of credit they can receive to accelerate their progress toward a degree before committing to a school or degree program.
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