While students often laud online education for its flexibility and the way in which programs can fit around a busy life, some students want to get their degree fast. Whether you’re a first-time student, re-tooling for a new career, or just want to finish a degree you started years before, there are more accelerated online options than ever before. While all the programs below are fast, they often provide the opportunity to obtain a degree quickly in different ways. That’s why we’ve placed the following programs into different categories: from super-accelerated courses (the fastest), to programs that will allow you to transfer tons of credit or shorten your degree based on work experience. Check out the 30 fastest online degree programs below.
- Time Until Degree (100%): the estimated time until a bachelors-level degree may be completed if students take advantage of all accelerating program components.
This section highlights programs that offer a large variety of class start dates throughout the year, as well as variable course lengths such as 5-, 6-, 10-, or 12-week course lengths.
Liberty University offers a wide range of fully online bachelors level degree programs that can be accelerated through a number of means, including the ability to obtain credit by examination, for military training, for professional training and life experience, through MOOCs, and through the submission of a portfolio. Twenty one bachelors-level programs with a large number of minors and concentrations are currently available online.
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American Intercontinental University offers an accelerated program that tests students prior knowledge for credit in general education and core courses. This allows many students to reduce their time to degree by 50% for associates-level programs, and 30% for bachelors-level programs. Students who receive scores of 70% or greater on prior learning assessments receive credit for courses. Students not achieving a score of 70% may simple enroll in the class they are trying to test out of.
Regis University’s Center for Professional Studies offers courses in accelerated 5 or 8 week terms, with classes starting some six times per year. If you’re close enough to attend some courses on campus, Regis offers a number of accelerated delivery methods, including campus-based, online, or directed study. Currently 20 bachelors-level, accelerated degrees are offered online through Regis University’s Center for Professional Studies.
Albertus Magnus College offers a number of accelerated undergraduate courses of study for adult learners, including courses available in five-, six-, and eight-week terms. Adult learners can choose between two accelerated programs: the new dimensions program–which exposes students to one course at a time and with a new class every week–or the traditional accelerated program, in which students take two courses at a time in eight-week increments. Currently 17 degrees are available for adult learners in an accelerated online format.
Becker College offers a number of accelerated undergraduate courses of study for adult learners, including courses available in five-, seven-, and fifteen-week increments. Currently only a bachelors of science in business administration with a focus on management, as well as two undergraduate-level certifications are available in an accelerated format fully online. Though other degrees may be obtained in an accelerated manner with coursework taken on campus.
Lamar University offers a number of accelerated programs through their partnership programs, which allow for a wider variety of course start dates and durations. Most undergraduate accelerated courses are available in 8-week increments, with some courses offered at potentially shorter durations. Credit for prior experiential learning is also available, further accelerating progress. Accelerated bachelors-level programs that are currently available include a bachelors of science in criminal justice, a bachelors of general studies, and a bachelors of applied arts and science.
Immaculata University offers a variety of accelerated degree options through their college of lifelong learning. While most online accelerated programs are fifteen weeks, a number of accelerated offerings may be completed in as little as seven weeks. Students may take up to eighteen credit hours per semester. Coupled with some transfer credit or credit for past experience, this shortens the time until degree of some students to two years. Currently nine degree-granting bachelors-level programs are available in an accelerated format online.
Colorado State University’s Global Campus offers a wide variety of bachelors and masters-level degree programs online in an accelerated format. Courses start monthly, allowing students to jump into their course of study when its convenient to them. Eight-week courses allow for a much accelerated time until degree completion. Thirteen bachelors-level programs as well as a number of specializations are available in an accelerated format online.
Marquette University offers a number of accelerated undergraduate offerings for adult learners with courses that may be completed in eight-week increments. Course delivery is flexible, including night classes, Saturday classes, blended online, and fully online offerings. Four majors are currently available fully online in an accelerated format.
The University of Indianapolis offers a variety of accelerated undergraduate degree offerings fully online through their School of Adult Learning. Though most courses are available through the first eight weeks of a term, a number are offered through the second eight weeks of a given term, allowing students to string together accelerated offerings. Testing and prior learning credits are also available. Six accelerated undergraduate degrees are currently available.
Philadelphia University offers an accelerated degree completion program for a range of bachelors of science topics. Accelerated terms begin five times a year, with courses accelerated into eight-week durations. Up to seventy two transfer credits may be brought into the program, as well as CLEP and military credit. Currently 11 majors are offered through the accelerated bachelors of science program.
Park University offers a variety of accelerated undergraduate degrees online with term dates starting five times yearly and courses accelerated into eight-week durations. Currently seventeen accelerated bachelors-level programs are available fully online, including offerings in business, criminal justice, education, the humanities, information/computer science and mathematics, natural sciences, nursing, public administration and leadership, and the social sciences and psychology.
Notre Dame College offers a variety of accelerated online undergraduate offerings, with courses provided in 8-week increments. Currently accelerated course work is available in business, criminal justice, education, and nursing. Accelerated post-secondary learning opportunities are also available for high school students looking to begin their college studies early.
Northeastern University offers a number of fast-track programs through their college of professional studies. Courses are offered in accelerated increments of twelve-weeks each. With some transfer credits, degrees may be completed in as little as eighteen months. Currently five accelerated bachelors of science degree programs may be taken entirely online.
Concordia University of Chicago offers five bachelors-level degree completion programs that may be completed in as little as sixteen months taking live classes once a week. Five week terms allow for students to focus on courses one at a time and accelerate progress. Current accelerated online offerings include healthcare management, organizational management, sports and recreational management, and management information systems.
Short Total Program Length
This section highlights programs that offer a short expected time frame for degree completion, whether through generous transfer policies, the ability to test out of classes, or alternative program structures.
Elmhurst College offers both in-person night classes as well as accelerated online courses for adult learners. Accelerated bachelors-level degrees can be completed in as little as fourteen months. Currently four bachelors-level programs are available in an accelerated format fully online: business administration, information technology, communication, and applied psychology.
Arkansas Tech University offers an accelerated degree program fully online that can be completed in as little as 18 months with the help of prior learning for credit assessments and transfer credits. Currently the program offers a bachelors in professional studies with concentrations available in agricultural business, applied leadership, criminal justice, early childhood education, industrial/organizational psychology, information technology, interdisciplinary studies, or public relations.
Limestone College offers accelerated evening and online bachelors-level offerings that may be taken in eight-week increments. Two courses may be taken at once, allowing students to take up to 36 credit hours per year, roughly one-and-a-half times the pace of traditional college programs. Generous transfer policies, the ability to CLEP classes, and the acceptance of AP credit also help to expedite the time to degree for online students at Limestone College.
Western Governors University offers the ability for students to massively accelerate their bachelors-level studies through two core features of their program: competency-based education, and the ability to take as many credit hours as you want for an unchanging subscription fee. While programs may also be slowed down, students with previous experience may test out of subjects, and the more assessments you can pass, the closer you are to obtaining your degree. With a flat rate subscription fee regardless of the number of credit hours completed, highly motivated students have no financial disincentive to only take a set number of courses.
Fisher College offers a number of bachelors-level degree programs fully online and on an accelerated schedule. New accelerated course start dates begin six times yearly, with courses lasting eight weeks each. Currently fifteen bachelors-level degrees are available fully online, as well as a number of certification options.
Eastern Kentucky University offers a variety of accelerated offerings at associates through doctoral levels of study. Courses of study are tailored to working adults, and allow students to start at six potential dates throughout the year, allowing a large number of accelerated courses to be taken throughout the year. Currently ten bachelors level offerings are available in fully online accelerated formats.
Indiana Wesleyan University is an Evangelical Christian school that offers a number of bachelors level degree options fully online and tailored to working adults. Many online programs have five start dates yearly, allowing adult learners to take courses in an accelerated fashion or as they fit into their busy lives. A generous transfer policy is also in place for students wishing to continue a degree they had previously started. Currently six bachelors level programs are available fully online, as well as a number of graduate level programs.
This section highlights programs that may be completed at an extremely fast pace, through credit for prior knowledge of experience, testing out of classes, degree completion programs, credit for portfolios, or other personalized learning experiences.
The University of Wisconsin system offers a flexible competency-based program that allows students to complete a variety of bachelors-level degrees in a fraction of the time of a traditional degree. Experience from prior courses, real world or military experience is all accepted if you can prove your competency. Current flex program degrees offered at a bachelors level include an RN to BSN program, a diagnostic imaging program, information technology and sciences, business & technical communications, global skills, and sales degrees.
Florida State College at Jacksonville offers an accelerated schedule, with courses offered at faster paces then traditional sixteen-week semesters, as well as the ability to accrue a large amount of credit for past experience. Currently credit may be obtained through credit for prior learning, portfolio assessment, credit by examination, and credit for military experience. There are currently a wide array of majors offering credit through the accelerated college at Florida State College at Jacksonville.
Charter Oak State College offers a wide variety of in-demand bachelors-level degrees in an accelerated environment. Procedures through which students may accelerate their degree include a generous transfer policy, CLEP tests, military training, corporate and agency training, the Connecticut Credit Assessment program, and portfolio assessment. Currently accelerated online programs are available in Business, Health Care, Public Safety, and Information Systems.
Degree Completion or Bachelor/Masters Completion Programs
This section highlights programs that offer a wide range of degree completion options, or that offer bachelors and masters degrees in an accelerated and bundled format.
Saint Louis University’s school of professional studies offers a wide range of bachelors, masters, and bridge programs for busy adults. While there are currently seven degree programs that may be taken fully online, only two are truly accelerated: leadership and organizational development, and applied analytics. Both programs are bridge programs allowing students to take masters level classes while still an undergraduate. A number of minors as well as certification programs are also available.
Jones International University offers a number of accelerated bachelors to masters in business administration/communication programs that may be taken entirely online. Students showing particular promise are allowed into the program in which undergraduate work is finished in three years, four months, and the remainder of the time that would have been spent on the bachelors degree is used to finish the several course concentration of a MBA or MBAC degree.
Grand Canyon University offers several hundred online bachelors-level degree programs, many of which can be efficiently worked through due to their four-credit, one-course-at-a-time process. Two accelerated programs also provide opportunity for driven students: a 3+1 and a 4+1 year program. The 3+1 program allows students to work year around to obtain their bachelors and masters in a topic, while the 4+1 allows students to obtain a bachelors and masters in 5 years, while taking summer off.
California Baptist College offers a wide range of degree completion and accelerated online offerings through their Online and Professional Studies departments. Coursework is tailored to the needs of working adults through flexible schedules as well as a generous transfer policy that allows students to finish previously started degrees at an accelerated rate. Currently 21 bachelors level degrees are available fully online and at an accelerated pace, as well as a number of graduate-level offerings.