25 Quickest Online Bachelor Degree Programs [2024 Guide]

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We've ranked the 25 Quickest Online Bachelor Degree Programs for 2023. See which bahcelor's degree you can earn at the fastest pace.

Searching for the quickest online bachelor degree programs?

If you want to finish your degree fast, there are a number of accredited colleges that offer accelerated online classes that take half the time to complete compared to traditional, 16-week classes.

What are the Quickest Online Bachelor Degree Programs?

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Here are some tips to help you choose between the fastest bachelor degree online programs.

Finishing Your Bachelor’s Degree Quickly

Finishing Your Bachelor's Degree Quickly

Accelerated online bachelor’s degrees help you finish your 4 year degree in significantly less time.

Tips to finish your bachelor’s degree quickly:

These fast bachelors degree programs aren’t magic — you still have to put the work into completing your degree. But there are some secrets that aren’t widely known that can help you finish your bachelor’s degree quickly.

The quickest online bachelor degree programs will be determined by your interests, capabilities, previous work and experience, and the individual program you choose.

Here’s a list of accelerated bachelor’s degree programs:

Of course, there are some degrees that require you to continue on to graduate school or to sit for an exam. These degrees, which are discussed below, are perhaps best to avoid if you’re looking for a quick degree and want to get to work in your field immediately.

Most bachelor’s degrees, however, can be achieved quickly by considering the following factors before choosing a program. If you keep these in mind, you may just find yourself enrolled in one of the quickest online bachelor degree programs out there.

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Quick Does Not Necessarily Mean Easy

Getting your degree fast doesn’t mean that it will be easy. In fact, it will most likely be a bit more intensive than a traditional, 16-week semester long program.

There is no getting around the minimum course hour requirements, but there are easier ways to get credit than others. Whether you decide to earn college credits by taking 8 week online classes or through credit for job experience and training, you will have to earn, on average, 120 credit hours to complete your degree.

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Yes, there are many opportunities to accelerate these hours and complete more in a shorter time frame, but you still have to demonstrate full mastery of the subjects you’re studying within that shorter time frame. For some people, this can be stressful, but for others who are rearing to get to work right away, a quick degree might give them the motivation and boost they were looking for when they started their online degree search.

The quickest online bachelor degree programs may be among some of the most difficult because of their demands of time management, dedication and focus. Many people complete these quick degrees with success and go on to rewarding careers in their fields, so it’s more than possible to obtain a fast bachelor’s degree if you’re committed to your education.

Prior Course Work

college credit Prior Course Work

One of the easiest ways you can speed up your degree is by getting college credit for your work experience and life experience.

If you have taken any courses at all in the past, see if you can apply those credits toward your degree. Sometimes you can knock out most or all of your basic requirements, putting you well on your way to earning a degree.

Each major requires a slightly different set of basic requirements, so if you started down a path to study science, for example, it would probably mean a quicker degree if you continued on a related path. This way, you could use your previously completed science classes toward your new degree.

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Experience and Training

college credit Experience and Training

Don’t worry if you’ve never completed a college course before.

Many programs allow you to earn credit for previous work experience and training. If you’ve been in the military or had service training like fire and rescue, you can most likely earn credits toward your degree. Some programs even grant credit for relevant experience you’ve earned in a job if you can successfully demonstrate mastery of the subject area.

It’s worth inquiring, as some programs will grant credits on a case by case basis.

Credit through Exams

college Credit through Exams

Another way to put your knowledge to good use is by completing exams like the DANTES or CLEP exams.

For a small fee (less than $100), you can take short exams (about 90 minutes in length) to demonstrate your knowledge in basic subjects like English, History, Social Sciences and Math. If you pass one or more of these exams, your degree program may reward you with credit. So, for a fraction of the cost and time, you can have a handful of credits under your belt before you even start working toward your bachelor’s degree.

So, it is not necessarily any type of degree or program that will get you your degree faster, but rather the experiences you’ve had before starting your program. These experiences can equate to the quickest online bachelor degree programs that are available to you.

Accelerated Programs and Courses

Accelerated Programs and Courses

If you’re looking for the quickest online bachelor degree programs out there, choose a program that is either accelerated fully or one that offers accelerated course opportunities.

If you’re in an accelerated degree program, you’ll be able to complete your degree online faster than the average time (four years) it takes to complete a bachelor’s degree. This is possible through an accelerated class format.

You will complete more credit hours per semester by taking twice as many classes. This is possible because classes will meet for 8 weeks instead of 16 weeks.

Be prepared to do the same amount of work and complete the same amount of assessments, though, within that 8 week time frame. These accelerated platforms can really speed up your degree, no matter the major you choose.

Tuition and Fees

There’s nothing that can slow you down faster in your degree track than the cost of your education. If you run out of money to pay for your courses or program, your quick path will become stalled.

If cost is a factor in your decision, make sure you understand exactly what your degree will cost you. Is there a registration fee that you’re charged for each term? A technology fee? You should factor these costs into your overall tuition bill before you get started as they will appear at the beginning of each semester and your program will expect you to pay for them in a timely manner.

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Additional Time Commitments

There are a handful of bachelor degrees that prepare you to continue on in your studies. In other words, once you earn these degrees, you will still have to take exams, apply for licensure, or continue to a graduate program in order to begin your career.

For example, if you desire to become an accountant, you’ll probably want to sit for the CPA exam in order to obtain the best possible job in the field. The CPA exam requires a minimum of 150 hours to sit for it, which is usually beyond most bachelor degree program requirements.

You’ll most likely need to continue onto graduate school before you can sit for this exam. The same is true for becoming a licensed social worker (LSW).

If you study psychology at the bachelor’s level but want to become a licensed psychologist, you’ll need to continue to graduate school and most likely to a competitive doctoral program.

It’s wise to research which majors require you to continue on to graduate school or sit for licensure, both of which take additional time and money. If finding the quickest online bachelor degree programs is one of your top priorities, it’s best to avoid these tracks. Other popular degrees that may demand testing and licensure include Education and Nursing.

Most Popular and Quickest Online Degrees

Most Popular and Quickest Online Degrees

The quickest online bachelor degree programs are essentially going to be the ones that enable you to get working immediately after completing your degree. The most popular online degree right now, according to US News, is Business Administration, and this degree enables you to get to work in the field immediately after graduation.

Other similar degrees include Computer and Information Systems and Programming, Communications, Healthcare Management, Economics and Political Science, among many others.

Some of the fastest online bachelors degree program options enable you to earn certification of various sorts while you’re still enrolled in the program and don’t require you to apply to a national board or organization to sit for an exam and apply for licensure. These will be your best bet if you’re looking for a fast degree.

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Joy is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy & Foreign Policy at Liberty University and holds a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management from Amberton University, as well as a Bachelor's in Business Administration from Columbia College. With over 20 years of experience navigating online degrees and courses, Joy's focus is helping non-traditional students find accelerated degree options and credit for prior learning opportunities.