What Is an Accelerated Learning Program?

Accelerated learning programs are designed to help students earn a degree or certificate in less time than normal. You can find these programs through many colleges and universities.

Accelerated Learning Program Basics

In an accelerated learning program, you'll complete your courses at a faster rate than in a traditional postsecondary program; for example, a traditional program might have 45 hours of instructional time vs. 20 hours for an accelerated learning program. Accelerated programs can be particularly beneficial for adult students who don't have time to commit to a traditional degree program; however, the condensed format of an accelerated learning program also might require you to attend night and/or weekend classes.

Important Facts About Accelerated Learning Programs

Prerequisites High school diploma or equivalent
Online Availability Yes
Degree Fields of Study Nursing, accounting, leadership, information technology
Degree Levels Programs are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels

Differences Between Traditional and Accelerated Learning Programs

The main difference between traditional and accelerated learning programs is the amount of time it takes to complete them. Traditional courses generally take a semester, while an accelerated program is likely to take 5-7 weeks. Other differences may include:

  • Participation: Accelerated courses tend to be more demanding of students and require increased participation.
  • Attendance: Students in an accelerated learning program generally must attend all sessions due to the compressed format.


When choosing an accelerated learning program, make sure it's offered through an accredited college or university. Accreditation provides a general assurance that educational standards are being met.

The condensed time frame for accelerated learning programs is less forgiving and demands more focus and commitment. Students with busy schedules or motivation issues may want to consider other options.

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.

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