Accelerated Vs. Regular Engineering Degree: What's the Difference?

While a regular bachelor's degree in engineering generally takes four years to complete, an accelerated program can allow you to earn an M.S. with one more year of study. Read on to learn about other differences between these two programs. Schools offering Computer Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Accelerated vs. Regular Engineering Degree

If you're sure you will ultimately want to pursue an engineering master's degree, an accelerated degree program, in which you can complete both a bachelor's and master's degree program in less time than it takes to earn the two degrees separately, might be right for you. Accelerated programs can often be completed in as little as five years. However, a 4-year Bachelor of Science in Engineering might be a better option if you're not sure you want to continue your education at the graduate level.

Important Facts About Accelerated Degrees in Engineering

Requirements Some schools may require a capstone or have the option of a thesis
Concentrations Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering
Common Courses Algebra, computer programming, specialized engineering courses, thermodynamics
Possible CareersIndustrial engineer, biomedical engineer, computer hardware engineer

Admissions Requirements

Schools with regular undergraduate engineering degree programs typically look for applicants who've taken at least three years of laboratory science and math courses in high school, especially honors or advanced placement course offerings in these areas. Accelerated programs, on the other hand, often have additional admissions requirements.

Once you've complete the first two years of undergraduate coursework, you might need to submit letters of recommendation and a resume in order to be formally accepted. One of the advantages of an accelerated dual degree program is that you won't need to submit GRE scores or meet work experience requirements outlined by regular engineering master's degree programs.

Program Requirements and Coursework

After you've been accepted into a regular engineering degree program, you'll more than likely be required to maintain at least a 'C' average in your engineering courses. Accelerated programs will probably expect you to maintain a higher GPA, both in the undergraduate- and graduate-level coursework you'll take while earning your degree.

After you've matriculated into the graduate portion of an accelerated program, you might be required to take up to 18 credit hours of coursework per semester and attend summer courses in order to complete the program in as little as a year. Regardless of whether you complete graduate courses as part of an accelerated engineering program or separate master's degree, program requirements typically include about 30 credit hours of coursework.

Other Accelerated Engineering Degree Programs

Though less common, some schools also offer fast-track or accelerated programs to undergraduate students who would like to earn a doctoral degree in engineering. This option allows you to go straight from a bachelor's degree program into a doctoral program without officially earning a master's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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