What Are Accelerated College Degree Programs?

Attending an accelerated college degree program will help you earn a degree more quickly than you would in a standard program. Depending on the type of program you attend, you could be awarded a single degree or dual degrees. Keep reading for more information.

Overview of Accelerated Degree Programs

Earning a college degree can require a big commitment. Accelerated degree programs are designed for students who would like a quality education in a short amount of time and with more flexibility. Some accelerated degree programs offer you the chance to earn a single degree faster, while others will let you earn two degrees concurrently. If you decide to go after an accelerated degree program, be aware that these programs sometimes have different acceptance requirements. For example, they might require you to apply for admission separately or to meet higher academic standards.

Important Facts About Accelerated Degree Programs

Prerequisites Vary, depending upon degree level and institution; most schools require GRE, GMAT, or LSAT score
Fields of Study Information systems, economics, cultural studies, museum studies, mathematics, public health, religion, media studies, financial engineering
Online Availability Fully available for select programs
Possible Careers Engineer, teacher, multimedia artist, technical writer, budget analyst, cost estimator, software developer, graphic designer, computer programmer

Single Degree Programs

Accelerated programs are offered for many degree types and levels. Instead of taking courses in a normal semester or quarter format, these programs typically condense the amount of time a course runs, thereby allowing you to earn more credits per year. These courses are usually offered in an evening, weekend or online format, giving you flexible scheduling options. By attending one of these programs, you could earn an associate's degree or master's degree in 18 months instead of two years, a bachelor's degree in three years instead of four years and a doctoral degree in three years instead of five years.

Dual Degree Programs

In a dual degree program, you'll be able to work toward earning two degrees at the same time, which should shorten the amount of time you'll need to earn both. Two common ways you can earn dual degrees include receiving a master's degree en route to earning a doctorate and attending a concurrent bachelor's degree and master's degree program.

Concurrent Bachelor's Degree and Master's Degree

Instead of earning a bachelor's degree then attending a master's degree program, some schools let you finish both degrees in a span of five years. To facilitate this, you'll take some graduate-level courses while you're finishing your undergraduate degree; in some cases, these credits are then double-counted, or applied to both degrees' requirements. This will allow you to finish your master's degree program in a year, instead of in two years.

Master's Degree En Route

If you'd like to earn a doctoral degree, you might be able to earn a master's degree while finishing your doctoral degree requirements. Not all programs offer this option, but if so, you could potentially earn both degrees in 4-5 years instead of in 5-7 years. To earn a master's degree en route, you'll have to complete a significant amount of your doctoral coursework and possibly pass written or oral exams.

Benefits of Accelerated Programs

You may find that earning your degree or degrees in an accelerated format will give you several benefits. Because the programs involve spending less time in school, you could potentially save money on tuition. You probably won't have to make too many adjustments to your family or job responsibilities, since many accelerated programs plan their courses to meet the needs of nontraditional students. You'll also be ready for your career field quicker, which means you can start earning money and gaining the experience you'll need for advancement sooner.

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:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • George Mason University

    George Mason University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at George Mason University:

    • Master

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    Popular programs at Georgetown University:

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    Popular programs at Strayer University:

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    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

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    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

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    Popular programs at Johns Hopkins University:

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