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Accelerated Bachelor Degree Online: Program Overviews

Accelerated bachelor's degree programs put a student on the fast track to graduating with a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in less than the typical four years. Online degree programs allow students to attend college at a far-off university or college.

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What Is an Accelerated Online Bachelor's Degree Program?

An accelerated online bachelor's degree program is designed to take as little as two years to complete through distance education. Students take classes all year long without breaks, and classes are often compressed into 5- or 8-week terms instead of the 18-week semesters of a traditional university schedule. Both brick-and-mortar and online-only colleges have accelerated bachelor's degree programs online, commonly resulting in degrees in business, management, health care or general studies. Many accelerated programs are offered as a degree completion program for students who already hold prior coursework.

Methods of Delivery

Colleges use synchronous and asynchronous distance learning processes. Synchronous or real-time courses have a set class time during which students must participate in live chat or streamed video lecture. Asynchronous programs let a student access course materials and work on exercises at any time of day, with communication by methods such as email, message boards, blogs or bulletin boards.

Taking classes at a set time may bring stability and structure to the learning experience, but a class may be set at a time that is not convenient for an online student. Taking classes at any time may be suitable for a student with a job, but can also cause problems if a student is not focused and motivated.

Admission Requirements

Schools may specify the number of credit hours that a student needs for admission to an accelerated bachelor's degree completion program. Online degree completion programs usually require that students hold some prior college coursework in liberal arts and sciences or an entire associate's degree to enter the bachelor's degree program. Students must meet a school's specified grade point average requirements. Some schools also require a statement of purpose and a resume.

Choosing a Program

A prospective student in an accelerated online bachelor's degree program may want to determine that the school is accredited by a reputable accrediting agency to ensure that employers recognize the degree conferred. When choosing a degree program, students might also examine the cost of tuition and books. Taking an accelerated bachelor's degree program online gives students many choices of schools, so students can shop around to find a high-quality education within their budget.

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