What Are Accelerated Bachelor's Degree Programs?

Jennifer Leigh

Accelerated bachelor's degree programs are created for adults who are not able to complete a bachelor's degree in the traditional four-year time frame due to personal or professional restraints. These degree programs generally take less time to complete because the student has already completed class credits, does more credit hours per semester than standard students, or takes tests so that he or she does not have to take certain courses. Some institutions offer credit, or can waive class requirements, based upon work or life experience. Online classes are another method utilized to accelerate a bachelor's degree, as some online classes take less time to complete.

Accelerated Bachelor's Degree programs are typically for those who were unable to complete their degree in the typical 4-year program.
Accelerated Bachelor's Degree programs are typically for those who were unable to complete their degree in the typical 4-year program.

Some institutions offer accelerated bachelor's degree programs that are set up for students to complete them faster than normal. These programs already have a curriculum set up for students to finish in a set amount of time, providing that they meet the qualifications for admissions. Institutions might require that students entering into the program already have professional experience in a field or a certain number of college credits from another school before being allowed to begin the program. These types of accelerated bachelor's degree programs can take anywhere from one to four years to complete, depending on how many credits the student already has.

Students can also create their own accelerated bachelor's degree programs by choosing to take more classes than a traditional student. Some institutions allow students to take a higher class load per semester, which can drastically increase the amount of time a student spends working towards his or her bachelor's degree. Online classes are sometimes more flexible in their time frames than traditional on-campus classes, so students have the option of finishing them more quickly depending on the amount of work they are willing to put towards them.

Another method for accelerated bachelor's degree programs is for students to take standardized tests to waive requirements in specific areas such as languages, mathematics, and sciences. Life experience is sometimes an allowable substitute for required courses at institutions as well. If a student has taken classes at another institution in the past, even many years ago, he or she might be able to transfer those classes into the current bachelor's degree program. Institutions vary on the amount of credits that a student can transfer, waive, or test out of when working towards creating accelerated bachelor's degree programs for themselves, so students should check with the college or university before beginning the process.

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