There are many different kinds of psychology degrees, and this may be one reason why it remains one of the top five most popular college majors. For example, there is cognitive, social, abnormal, forensic, personality, clinical psychology, and the list goes on. Regardless of your preferred specialty, there are many online programs available for working adults and non-traditional students who seek a higher education. Some schools refer to the online format as distance learning or eLearning, but the provisions are the same. That is to provide the identical degree as those attending on-campus without paying the expenses for rooming, meals, parking, and other ancillary costs. From the comfort and familiarity of home, you can receive the same education at a reduced cost and often more expeditiously.
The purpose of this report is to address the expediency in general terms as opposed to specific schools offering an accelerated bachelor’s degree in psychology. There are many schools offering a ‘Fast-Track’ format that allows you to complete your degree in as few as 18 months. To do this, look for schools that have term start dates in the Fall, Winter, Spring and/or Summer. If you take two eight-week accelerated online courses five times a year, you’ve equaled a typical year of courses taken in a traditional year (10 courses), while only having to concentrate on two subjects at a time.
Many accelerated degree programs are offered on a quarter system. This divides each year into four 12 week periods, which means you’ll be rapidly moving from one class to the next throughout the year. It also means that you won’t have any extended breaks. People in college are used to taking the entire summer off, plus having a holiday season break and spring break. But an accelerated degree eliminates this through the quarter system, dividing up the whole year into four parts, and allowing you to squeeze in extra credits. So you won’t be doubling up your workload, but you will be squeezing a lot more in.
Classes are compressed in an accelerated degree program and the number of classes fewer. Some of the main differences between accelerated and traditional degree programs are the admissions requirements, course format and competition time. Accelerated degree classes continue throughout the calendar year, with no breaks between semesters or academic years. A bachelor’s degree can be earned in 18-24 months. Some accelerated degree programs are offered in 8-week terms, versus the traditional 16-week semesters of a traditional degree program. This results in a faster-paced program. This can create a burden for the working student due to the time commitment required to keep pace with the accelerated curriculum.
Ideally, the best option for your bachelor’s in psychology is to chose a program that allows you to set your own deadlines. Thus, move through the courses at your speed by taking up to two courses at a time. This will allow you to complete a General Psychology program of 180 quarter-credits (120 semester credits) in 2 years. Less than half the time of an on-campus program. Also, for greater expediency, if you have completed some college courses, these may be transferable. If so, this will reduce the total required credits needed for graduation.
Finally, keep in mind that working from home has it’s challenges, particularly for the working student who may also have a family. You may need to elicit the support of your colleagues, family and friends before you start out on your online adventure. When most people are through with work and want to relax is most likely when you will be bearing down on your course work.