Which are the best college majors if you are interested in getting a degree fast? These top ranked U.S. accelerated degree programs get that degree quickly.
Are you looking for a college degree or major that can get you into the job market as quickly as possible? Here’s a list of the 10 Best College Majors with Accelerated Programs!
Compared to regular-length courses, accelerated courses move along more quickly, and weekly (if not daily) assignments, quizzes, and examinations are typical. As a result, it’s critical to stay on top of your tasks and commit daily to your coursework.
Instead of a typical ten to fifteen week long session, an accelerated class may only last four weeks. As a result, students are able to complete more courses in a shorter amount of time, and consequently earn their college degree more quickly than a traditional degree.
Accelerated degrees follow the same curriculum as their traditional degree programs. The only difference between accelerated and traditional degrees is the time frame to completion.
Accelerated programs allow students to complete a typical four-year, 160-credit-hour curriculum in a condensed period of time, usually within two to three years, saving the valuable time it takes to complete their degree.
There are also some accelerated degree programs that allow students to graduate with master’s degrees for an additional 1-1.5 years.Back to Top
Thanks to the advancement of technology, many colleges and universities have been able to adjust their curriculum to cater to non-traditional students.
These majors are the most common to offer 8-week classes instead of the traditional 15-week. Many of these programs can be completed online, saving you from a long, lengthy, and costly college journey as an on-campus student.
Some of the most common college majors that are offered in an accelerated degree format include:
While an accelerated degree program helps you graduate faster, knowing what you’re getting into after graduation is still important. You don’t want to regret your time spent pursuing a major that has a poor job outlook.
In order to make an informed decision before immersing yourself in an accelerated degree program, here’s an overview of the career and salary outlook of the top accelerated majors.
According to the BLS, accounting majors at the undergraduate level have an average median annual salary of $77,250, with expected job growth of 6 percent from 2021 to 2031.
Students in online accounting programs can enjoy a variety of professional prospects across numerous businesses and have a bright future in the field. The demand for financial management, tax preparation, auditing, and compliance services in the public and commercial sectors fuels the demand for accounting professionals.
The field of business administration is broad and includes many facets of running and managing a company. Graduates of business administration can work in various areas of business and financing.
Professionals in business administration have a generally favorable employment outlook. Business and Financial Occupations are seen to rise by 7 percent from 2021 to 2031. However, depending on the chosen expertise and the state of the economy, the actual growth rate and opportunities may change.
Communications graduates are qualified to pursue a number of career opportunities. Examples include:
Media and Communication Occupations have an expected growth rate of 6 percent from 2021 to 2031 and have an average annual median wage of $62,340.
Computer science is among the most in-demand and lucrative fields today. With an average job growth of 15 percent within the decade, graduates can expect a fruitful career. It’s among the highest-paid professions as well, with a median annual wage of $97,430.
Students who enjoy helping others in need can consider pursuing a degree in counseling. Although a bachelor’s degree in counseling can lead to several entry-level positions within the field, licensure is only possible with a graduate degree in the subject and further study.
Criminal justice bachelor’s degree holders can work in the judiciary, the police, or private security. This career path offers stable employment, significant salary potential, and various employment options.
According to the BLS, 50% of professionals in this field are paid a median wage of $64,990.
The education industry is best suited for someone who enjoys challenges and seeks variation in their career because it moves quickly and is constantly changing. This major is aimed at those who wish always to continue learning.
You can become a community education officer, early education teacher, education administrator, and more with an education degree.
Depending on criteria including degree level, institution type, location, years of experience, and specific jobs within the sector, the salary for careers in education vary considerably.
Everything from asset management and banking to insurance, private equity, and venture capital is part of the quick-paced financial sector. The sector is anticipated to expand by 7 percent between 2021 and 2031. Some popular jobs include budget analyst, financial advisor, and investor relations associate.
Graphic design is a good major for degree-seeking students pursuing a career within a reputable and secure sector that employs 265,000 Americans. It’s best suited for individuals who want to work for themselves or as paid art and design professionals.
According to BLS, Graphic Designers earn a median annual of $50,710. However, the job growth in this field is slower than the national average.
Healthcare facilities, including hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes, fall under the umbrella of healthcare administration. The opportunities for Medical and Health Services Managers will increase by 28 percent between 2021 and 2031, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
History is among the most crucial areas of the liberal arts. However, there are a lot of misconceptions about graduates of a history degree program. Many believe that graduates will have a difficult time finding a job after graduation, but this is not the case. Traditional occupations for history majors include curator, anthropologist, teacher, archivist, historian, and other related positions.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that the outlook for careers for human resources specialists is excellent. Job growth for HR professionals with an HR degree is anticipated to increase by 8 percent on average, which is greater than expected overall employment growth.
You can select from a variety of career paths with a college degree in information technology. You can pursue a career in database administration, information architecture, web development, computer systems analysis, programming, and more.
According to the BLS, Computer and Information Technology Occupations will grow 5 percent from 2021 to 2031, with an average median annual wage of $97,430.
A degree in the liberal arts qualifies you for a wide variety of jobs. Your choices are limited only by your creativity, interests, and desire to put in the necessary time and effort! However, the majority of liberal arts majors will require you to attend graduate school to be able to pursue high-paying careers.
Marketing is a strong major because of its extraordinary adaptability and potential to lead to a wide range of high-paying, in-demand occupations with excellent job satisfaction and chances for continuing education. Marketing majors could earn between $77,680 and $208,000 annually.
Nursing programs or BSN degrees are among the top majors online with accelerated program options. Graduates in accelerated nursing degree programs can anticipate better compensation, greater employment options, and career development. Many acute care hospitals and public health organizations will only employ nurses with a BSN.
A psychology degree brings up a wide range of job prospects and the chance for personal improvement for students. There is also much room for specialties, which can help you seek more rewarding employment options. However, becoming a psychologist requires holding a PhD or PsyD.
Anyone interested in a profession in building and maintaining a positive public image for businesses should consider earning a public relations degree. Public Relations Specialists earn an average of $62,800 yearly and hold an expected job growth of 8 percent, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Majoring in social work may prepare you to enter a field with various positions and work settings. An undergraduate social work program may provide you with a foundation in social work theory. According to the BLS, employment for Social Workers will grow by 9 percent until 2031.
Bottom Line: Pursuing a major that offers a high median annual salary and a favorable job outlook will allow prospective students to make the most of their accelerated degree. After all, a quick entry into the job market is the ultimate goal for students in fast degree programs.
Online learning was once considered strange, and the worth of an online degree was, at best, debatable. Due to the demand for socially remote education, even the most traditional institutions and universities have started offering online college courses.
One study proved that 61% of HR professionals believe online degrees are on par with or superior to conventional, on-campus programs.
Additionally, they discovered that many HR professionals are interested in an emphasis on competency and abilities rather than academic qualifications like degrees. According to U.S. News & World Report, rather than the more rigid semester schedules, many businesses are more interested in competency-based progression in online degree programs that allow students to go through the curriculum as they gain familiarity with it.
Online students have a chance at employment that is on-par with on-campus students because of an improvement in public perception. Companies place a much greater value on a school’s accreditation and the caliber of its graduates than they do on the process used to obtain a degree.
Because accreditation holds more weight than the learning methodology, students can now take advantage of flexible online degrees and accelerated degrees and still experience the same employability as traditional college graduates.
Key Points: Not all accelerated degree programs online are made the same. Enrolling in an accredited institution is the best way to ensure you’ll earn a degree that will be respected by employers.
Keep in mind that there won’t be any indication on your degree that your classes were done online or that they were accelerated classes. Only your course completion and your grade will appear on your transcript.
Analyzing different programs’ tuition costs, course offerings, and other elements is necessary to select the best accelerated degree for you. To find the most up-to-date information, visit your chosen college’s website or contact the admissions offices.
Of the many factors to consider, some of the most important things to note about the accelerated programs you are interested in include:
Accelerated programs often have different costs than traditional degree programs. Because you spend less time in the program, accelerated degree programs frequently have lower costs.
If a cheaper education is important to you, choose a public university. You should note, however that public universities may charge considerably more for out-of-state students. Several private colleges offer flat-rate tuition fees, even if you’re an out-of-state student.
In addition to tuition, you should also factor in other fees, including technology and assessment fees. Before applying, weigh the prices of on-campus vs. online college programs.
Accelerated degree programs are often available online, allowing students to flex when they study to best suit their busy work schedule. An on-campus accelerated program can be completed in a shorter time frame, but will require you to physically be on campus for lectures.
Traditional degree programs often hold class sessions that are 15-17 weeks long. On the other hand, accelerated degrees have 5 to 10-week class sessions.
Some accelerated degree programs allow you to enroll part-time. But if you truly want to expedite your college degree, enrolling as a full-time student will help you complete an accelerated degree even faster.
Many accelerated programs, such as nursing (BSN) and psychology, are not 100% online. These degree programs often require students to visit the campus for experiential learning opportunities. If you’re opting to earn a degree in healthcare, you should choose a college or university near your area for any on-campus or residency requirement.
Note that some online schools will allow you to complete experiential learning in facilities near or within your area.
When assessing accelerated programs, whether online or on-campus, accreditation is a crucial factor to consider. Accredited schools ensure that you’ll receive a degree recognized by employers.
Moreover, the only way that you can qualify for federal financial aid is by attending an accredited college or university.
Verify that any college you are applying to has received national or regional accreditation. The main accrediting bodies with the United States include:
Some particular programs may also receive programmatic accreditation in addition to school accreditation.
When enrolling in an accelerated program, burnout and distraction are two of your worst enemies. You will need all the right support!
Student support services are essential in online education to guarantee that you have a great learning experience, receive proper support, and have access to resources and assistance when you need them. There are numerous accelerated bachelor’s degree programs that provide support services for students. These services include:
Accelerated degrees are offered at all degree levels, through both on-campus and online degree programs. Students can be confident that there are fast degree programs that will allow you to complete a college degree as quickly as possible, no matter where you are in your higher education journey.
Accelerated bachelor’s degrees are offered both on-campus and in an online bachelor’s degree program format.
Compared to four-year traditional degree programs, accelerated bachelor’s degree programs allow students to finish their undergraduate degrees in two to three years as mentioned previously. But how do these programs accomplish this?
Accelerated bachelor’s degree programs offer courses that can be completed in a shorter time frame, may give credit for prior learning, and many offer flexible scheduling options. Taken together, an accelerated bachelor’s degree gives students a quicker route to graduation.
Moreover, students in accelerated bachelor’s programs are given year-round study opportunities, shorter course periods, and opportunities to take more courses per semester.
That being said, it is important to note that this does not mean that students do less work in an accelerated program. In fact, they must complete the same amount of coursework, but do it in a compressed amount of time, so hard work and an extreme attention to time management and organization are of the utmost importance.
Accelerated master’s degrees are offered both on-campus and in an online degree format.
Accelerated online master’s programs allow students to complete all necessary coursework in 12-18 months instead of the usual two years. However, just like accelerated bachelor’s degree programs, these degree programs are often more challenging and intense than their traditional counterparts.
Condensed sessions and more frequent classes are two accelerated delivery formats that can be used for courses to cover the same information as traditional programs more quickly.
Accelerated doctorate degrees are offered both on-campus and in online PhD program formats.
Doctorate degree completion times are typically shortened via accelerated programs. Depending on the curriculum and the student’s course load, accelerated programs may be finished in 2-3 years, much faster than the customary 4-6 years or more. Accelerated doctoral programs still require students to work closely with faculty mentors, conduct extensive research, and advance their field of study.
Students with prior college credit hours or an associate degree may be qualified for a degree completion program. These programs, often called “bridge programs,” are offered both online and on-campus and allow students to finish their bachelor’s degree faster.
Through degree completion programs, students can transfer their previously earned college credits into their current accelerated program to complete the remaining requirements for a bachelor’s degree quickly.
Competency-based degrees, otherwise known as competency-based education (CBE), are educational programs that emphasize particular abilities and competencies over traditional metrics like credit hours or seat time. In CBE programs, students advance according to their capacity to demonstrate mastery of predetermined skills or learning goals.
If you have previously earned credit towards an associate degree, but never completed it, whether those credits were earned while in high school or at a community college, it may be possible for those credits to be transferred into an associate degree program.
While we are not specifically covering accelerated associate degree programs in this article, contact the admissions department of a college that offers an associate degree you are interested in to verify their rules around credit transfers. Many two-year colleges are open to transferring credits to shorten your time to graduation.
Bottom Line: No matter where you are in your higher education journey, there is likely an accelerated program that will help you earn a degree much quicker than you would in a traditional degree program. This is a perfect solution for busy working professionals or returning students who need a degree quickly.
Admissions criteria for accelerated degree programs will vary based on the college or university and the specific degree program. But here are the most common admission requirements of an accelerated degree program:
It’s important to contact the school’s admissions office to have precise requirements and processes.
Before pursuing accelerated degrees or courses, prospective students should carefully weigh their advantages and downsides.
When choosing between accelerated and traditional courses, it’s crucial to consider your learning preferences, time constraints, and capacity for handling a heavier workload. The decision ultimately comes down to your objectives, limitations, and learning preferences.
Because accelerated courses are designed to be completed in a much shorter time than traditional college courses, they are more intense and fast-paced. This can result in a heavier workload and require students to dedicate more time and effort to keep up with the accelerated pace.
Accelerated degrees often offer a more streamlined learning process, which can narrow the focus on key ideas. On the other hand, traditional courses may provide greater time for in-depth topic investigation and wider coverage of course material.
Although an accelerated course’s basic material may not change, one last difference is that the delivery format and costs will differ between accelerated and traditional courses.
Planning, choosing practical courses, and taking proactive measures to speed up your progress are all necessary for completing a bachelor’s degree in less than four years.
You can enroll in the maximum amount of credits every semester in an accelerated bachelor’s degree program. Consider taking 18 credits or more per semester instead of the typical course load of 12 to 15 credits. You can finish extra coursework by taking advantage of the summer and winter terms or intersessions.
If you are still a high school student, look into high school dual enrollment programs that let you earn college credits before beginning your degree. Consider credit-by-exam programs like AP, CLEP, or the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST). You will receive college credit if you pass these examinations and demonstrate your mastery of a subject.
Other strategies to consider to earn online bachelor’s degrees in under four years include:
If you plan to pursue a graduate-level degree in less time, you can pursue a dual undergraduate degree program.
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Northwestern University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Located in Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern University maintains an academic community that is committed to diversity, quality teaching, cutting-edge research, and its students’ intellectual and personal development.
Northwestern University offers several accelerated programs to help students earn their degrees more quickly.
Three of its renowned accelerated degrees include:
NWU is also known for its dual-degree programs in Biomedical Engineering, Public Health, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Comparative Literary Studies, and more. Visit NWU’s Dual Graduate & Undergraduate and Dual Bachelor’s Degrees catalogs.
Northwestern University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Tuition + fees
University at Buffalo’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
The University at Buffalo, established in 1846, is a public, four-year institution focusing on research. UB is the biggest and most comprehensive among the SUNY system’s 64 campuses. The university also offers over 80 bachelor’s degrees, 184 master’s programs, and 78 doctoral programs.
One of UB’s most sought-after academic programs is its Accelerated BS Program in Nursing which can be completed in one year. Tailored for those holding a bachelor’s or master’s in another field, the Accelerated Baccalaureate of Science (ABS) in Nursing Program offers a second-degree option to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
In addition to the ABSN degree, UB offers a combined bachelor’s and doctorate—the 3+3 Accelerated BA-JD law degree program.
UB obtained full accreditation from the Middle States Consortium for Higher Education.
Tuition + fees
Seton Hall University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
With over 90 challenging academic programs, Seton Hall University has claimed its reputation as one of the most prominent Catholic universities in the US. Seton Hall provides rigorous educational programs, illustrious alums, cutting-edge facilities, recognized faculty, and a wide range of internship, research, and scholarship opportunities.
Seton Hall offers accelerated dual bachelor’s and master’s programs in several fields, including:
Those are just a few of the accelerated, dual-degree programs at Seton Hall. You can visit the Accelerated and Dual Degree Programs website and explore other options.
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredits Seton Hall.
Tuition + fees
University of Alabama at Birmingham’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Located in the main metropolitan area of the state is a large, comprehensive urban university with a nationally acclaimed academic health center. The University of Alabama is the largest employer in Birmingham and the largest research institution in the state of Alabama.
To keep up with changing educational needs, UAB offers several accelerated learning opportunities to help non-traditional students enter the job market faster.
UAB’s Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s degree programs include:
In addition to its accelerated degree programs, UAB offers fast-track degrees that allow current undergraduate students to pursue graduate-level courses.
Visit the University of Alabama at Birmingham website and learn more about their accelerated learning opportunities.
The Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges fully recognizes UAB.
Tuition + fees
Creighton University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Creighton University, a private Jesuit Catholic institution, is among the top universities in Omaha. It was established in 1878 and presently houses more than 8,000 students. Creighton’s name honors the founding family, whose contributions enabled Bishop James O’Connor to establish the institution.
Creighton has maintained its reputation for being one of the best universities for nursing degree programs. One of their most popular accelerated programs is their on-campus Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) degree.
In addition to its accelerated nursing program, Creighton also offers several bachelor’s to master’s accelerated degree options in the field s of:
If you’re interested in Creighton’s online programs, you can visit their Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s information page and explore more about their accelerated options.
The Higher Learning Commission accredits Creighton University.
Tuition + fees
Liberty University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Since 1985, Liberty University has been a leader in distance learning and is now the country’s fifth-biggest institution and most prominent nonprofit educator. Liberty’s online programs give access to the same high-caliber course offerings as its on-campus programs in Lynchburg, Virginia, but in a more flexible format. Liberty offers over 400 fully online programs with a fast-paced curriculum.
Liberty has an Accelerated RN to BSN to MSN degree program that can be completed online. There is also an Accelerated Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree that can be completed in as little as one year.
If you are interested in a business degree, Liberty offers an Online Accelerated MBA degree that can be completed in as little as one year.
The Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited Liberty University.
Tuition + fees
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
While being relatively new in the higher education system of the United States, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley has paved the way to become one of the most progressive public research universities. UTRGV offers more than 120 graduate and undergraduate program options in various fields, from STEM to liberal arts to business communications.
Numerous accelerated degree programs are available at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley that speed up the completion of a bachelor’s degree. Accelerated online degrees at UTRGV include:
You can visit UTRGV’s website to learn more about their online accelerated degree program options.
The Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges accredits the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
Tuition + fees
Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
The research-focused learning community of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania resides in a small town in Indiana, Pennsylvania. More than 140 undergraduate programs, 56 master’s programs, and 14 doctoral programs are all available at the university.
IUP offers several accelerated degree programs, both online and on-campus. IUP’s 4+1 accelerated programs allow students to complete both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in five years, shaving at least a year off of your studies. Degrees in this program include:
To learn more about the accelerated programs, visit IUP’s 4+1 Program website.
IUP is fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Tuition + fees
National University ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
National University is known for its efforts in dismantling educational barriers. NU has a growing network of nonprofit educational institutions catering to over 41,000 students and more than 3,300 staff members.
NU has 190+ career-relevant online degree programs with options to pursue 4- and 8-week courses, allowing students to customize their learning experience and graduate faster than at a traditional university.
NU offers several accelerated degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the fields of:
To know if you’re qualified for NU’s fast-paced degrees, visit their Accelerated Studies website.
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges has regionally accredited NU.
Tuition + fees
Southeastern University was founded in Lakeland, Florida 1935 as the Alabama Shield of Faith Institute. It became a liberal arts institution in 1970 and received university accreditation in 2005. Today, it is the largest educational institution affiliated with the US Pentecostal Assemblies of God in the Southeast, with more than 80 extension locations scattered throughout the United States.
Southeastern has expanded its campus online. Today, SEU offers several accelerated programs that allow students to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees more quickly. Accelerated degree options include:
The Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges fully accredits SEU.