What is an Accelerated Degree Program?

Flickr user Grant Doig

Typically, earning a bachelor’s degree the traditional way can take up to 4-5 years. But did you know you can actually complete a bachelor’s degree in as little as one year? An accelerated degree program means you can earn your bachelor’s or master’s degree in a much shorter time span than is typical.

Sound too good to be true? Well, there are quite a few differences between a traditional education and an accelerated one. First and foremost the entry requirements are different. A traditional undergraduate application will require a high school diploma (or GED), but an accelerated program might require that plus an associate’s degree (or even a normal bachelor’s degree!) and up to as much as 60 college credits under the applicant’s belt.

Since the education is happening over the course of months rather than years, the course-work is condensed and intense. Electives are not as frequent (if required at all) in an accelerated degree program, so students can really focus on the core of their field of study.

Those interested in accelerated degree courses are usually older students who already have a college education or a career. But given the dedication required to complete a degree in 12-18 months (with no semester breaks), they typically do not work while earning their degree.

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Allison Wignall

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