What is the Difference Between an Accelerated Degree Vs. Dual Degree Program?

What's the difference between an accelerated degree and a dual degree program?

Flickr user Royal Broil

Most undergraduate students tend to go to college for four years and focus on one Bachelor’s degree. If they pursue other degrees, it is usually after graduation. However, there are other options available to students, including Accelerated Degree and Dual Degree Programs. Choosing which is right for you depends on your desired career path and personal ambitions. Here are the pros and cons of each.

Accelerated Degree Program

An Accelerated Degree Program allows you to finish your desired degree in a shorter amount of time. Many students finish in about 3 years when they choose this path, shaving a year off and saving thousands of money from the skipped semesters. Some programs also have the ability to count towards your Bachelor’s and more advanced degrees.

However, many Accelerated Degree Programs have requirements a student has to meet, including work experience, previous college credit (college credit or AP courses), and a minimum high school GPA. Some programs will also ask that a student already has an associate degree in hand. Another con of the Accelerated Degree Program is the restriction to some majors. Not all majors will be eligible for the program, but some that are common are nursing, business, law, and medicine.

Dual Degree Program

A Dual Degree Program, also known as Double Degree or Joint Degree, is for students who want to get two degrees while at college. It shouldn’t be confused with dual majors. Dual majors are two majors under one degree. The Dual Degree program allows students to obtain two degrees for separate majors at once. This could be any of the following combinations: an Associates and a Bachelor’s, two Bachelor’s, a Bachelor’s and a Masters, or two Masters.

Like the Accelerated Degree Program, Dual Degree Programs also save time and money. Instead of returning for a degree at a later time, the classes can be completed with the same time span. A good suggestion is to go after two majors that complement each other, like Biology and Chemistry. However, it also presents the opportunity to pursue two different subjects that interest you, like English and History. This achievement also looks amazing for future job opportunities.

Also like the Accelerated Degree Program however, Dual Degrees also have requirements. Students have to apply in either their freshman or sophomore years and must have a minimum GPA during those first years of college. It’s suggested that you have previous college credits from high school. You can also expect a large amount of coursework and dedicated study time.

Which One Should You Choose?

Whether you choose to go with the Accelerated Degree Program or the Dual Degree Program, you should give your decision plenty of thought and consideration. Both will require a lot more classes, homework, and studying. It is not a program to enter into lightly unless you are dedicated to the amount of work you will receive. Consider your desired career path as well as your ambitions beforehand. Students should also remember that they will have less time for other activities including social events, extracurricular groups, or even a part-time job.

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