Bachelor degrees typically take four years to complete. Most schools require their students to complete 120 credit hours, which breaks down to 30 credits per year, or 15 credits per semester. The 120 credits are usually divided between introductory general education courses that form the core curriculum, and then upper level courses in a specific area that students choose to major in. Students are often allowed to take up to 20 credits a semester, which would allow them to complete their degree in three years, though there are also accelerated programs which allow students to earn their Bachelor’s degree even faster. Accelerated programs are designed to allow motivated students with excellent time management skills to expedite their education. This requires students to take heavy course loads which can become overwhelming, and it is not recommended that students work a full time job if they are in an accelerated program. However, if a student can handle the extra work, it can pay dividends by allowing them to enter the workforce faster than usual. To further consider whether an accelerated program is right for you, refer to our guide that goes into detail about Accelerated Bachelor’s Degree Programs: The Advantages and Disadvantages.
Finding the Right Program
If you have decided that an accelerated bachelor’s degree is a good choice for you, the next step is to find the right school. Many accelerated degrees are offered in online formats, because it allows students to maintain some level of schedule flexibility while they are overloaded with work. For reference to the fastest accelerated online programs, check out our list of the 30 Fastest Online Bachelor’s Degrees. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of the fastest online Bachelor’s degrees.
Lamar University is a large public research university located in Beaumont, Texas, with a student population of over 15,000. The university offers accelerated degree programs both on campus and online. Students looking to enroll in an accelerated online Bachelor’s degree program from Lamar University can choose from thirteen different majors, including Criminal Justice, General Studies, and Applied Arts and Sciences. Most of the online classes are offered in traditional 15-week semesters as well as accelerated eight-week programs, allowing students to complete their courses faster than normal. At the competitive rate of $248 per credit hour, students can save time and money by enrolling in an accelerated Bachelor’s degree program at Lamar University.
Western Governors University
Western Governors University is a private, nonprofit university that was founded in 1997 and is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Their university offers online degrees from four colleges: College of Business, Teachers College, College of Information Technology, and College of Health Professions. Their colleges offer 29 different online Bachelor’s degrees, and a variety of online Master’s degrees. The university has a unique strategy for accelerating class schedules by basing their programs on competency-based education (CBE) as opposed to time spent in class, which allows students to earn their degree as soon as they have mastered the material. This allows students with previous knowledge and experience to streamline their educational experience, and test out of a course before the completion of a full semester. At the cost of $290 per credit hour, students at Western Governors University will get a good deal and be able to finish their degree faster than usual.