Top Schools With Accelerated Master’s Programs

Are you looking to complete your master’s program quickly? While most graduate degrees take at least 2 years to complete the coursework, there are accelerated options out there for you. Some top schools that offer accelerated master’s programs include Duke University, Northwestern University, the University of Vermont, and more. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect from accelerated degrees, including online degrees, and more information about the school’s offerings.

Graduate giving speech at ceremony.

What is an Accelerated Master’s Program?

On average, a master’s degree takes about 2 years to earn. This can vary from student to student, but this is generally what is advertised by schools. However, an accelerated master’s program works by offering heavier course loads. Students can take more graduate classes in a shorter period of time – even while they’re still earning their undergraduate degree – in order to get their graduate degree faster. These degrees are also just as validated as a degree that took 2 years to earn; they’re simply at an accelerated pace.

As a result, these classes and semesters can be challenging and intensive, and they’re not for everyone. They are available for a wide variety of majors, but it’s very important to note that not every university will have accelerated programs for every major they offer. Some may only have a single accelerated program available to students!

If you are curious about what your school offers in the way of accelerated programs, be sure to talk to your advisor or related department for further details.

4 Top Schools with Accelerated Master’s Programs

These are just a few of the top schools that currently have accelerated master’s programs available.

#1. Northwestern University 

Northwestern University offers a number of different programs in their graduate school but offers accelerated options for a few including Public Policy and Administration. It can be completed in one year if you attend classes full-time, but there is also a study at your own pace option where you can take the courses part-time.

The accelerated option requires that you take three to four courses per quarter.  Some on campus and some online. This particular major is only available to start in the fall and will require the student to take both daytime and evening courses.

Northwestern University itself has a 6 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio, an 86% four year graduation rate, and a 99% first year retention rate. It also comes in 11th on the College Raptor 2023 overall rankings.

Find out more about Northwestern’s Accelerated Master’s Program.

#2. Duke University

At Duke University, students can opt to take an accelerated master’s program in Quantitative Management: Business Analytics. Eligibility for this program requires completion of an MBA from Fuqua or a comparable school. Your credits from these degrees, though, can be put towards your accelerated master’s requirements.

The university also boasts a 6 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio, a 98% first year retention rate, an 89% four year graduation rate, and the 10th spot on our overall rankings for 2023.

Find out more about Duke’s Accelerated Master’s Program.

#3. Cleveland State University

Cleveland State University offers an accelerated Master of Business Administration (MBA). Throughout 32 credits, students will learn about business strategy, accounting, and more. The program is completely online.

The university currently has just over 15,300 students enrolled, with 10,481 undergraduates and 4,827 graduates.

Find out more about Cleveland State University’s Accelerated Master’s Program.

#4. University of Vermont

The University of Vermont offers a number of accelerated master’s programs including in biochemistry, biology, history, public health, and more. However, these are designed to be pursued in conjunction with a bachelor’s degree. The programs allow students to take their courses in just 5 years, including 6 concurrent credits that are counted towards both degrees and 3 credits that can be taken as an undergraduate but count towards the master’s.

The University of Vermont has an 89% first year retention rate and accepts around 64% of undergraduate applications each year.

Find out more about University of Vermont’s Accelerated Master’s Program.

These are just a few examples of excellent accelerated master’s programs available out there. If you’re curious about the options at your school and whether there are accelerated degrees available, whether undergraduate or graduate, it’s important to talk to your advisor or your department head. Remember, though: unless you are completing an accelerated program that is devised to help you complete both your bachelor’s and your master’s at the same time (like at the University of Vermont), you don’t have to complete your master’s at the same school you earned your bachelor’s. You can absolutely look for an accelerated program at another university!

If you’re looking for an accelerated master’s program and want to know what will be expected of you in the major, start with our College Major search tool. There you’ll find information about the coursework, jobs associated with the major, and the top schools in each area of study.