Schools and Colleges with Accelerated Degree Programs

Students who want to earn a degree in an abbreviated time can look into accelerated degree programs. Available in many fields and at different degree levels, these programs commonly offer a shorter duration, but they might have different admissions requirements.

Accelerated Degree Program Details

The characteristics of an accelerated degree program typically depend on how a school defines the program. The common theme of accelerated degree programs is that students can earn a degree in a shorter period of time than if they enroll in a traditional program. The divergent factors generally include admission requirements, the number of credits per course, and the type and number of degrees awarded.

Undergraduate programs might require a minimum high school GPA, work experience, some college credit, or completion of a lower-level degree program. Some programs allow undergraduates to earn dual credit toward both bachelor's and advanced degrees, often requiring a year less than if students enroll in both programs individually. At the graduate level, schools might award credit for undergraduate courses with a minimum GPA, professional certification, or work experience.


Several schools offer accelerated degree programs in nursing at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Admissions requirements could include a lower-level degree in nursing or a bachelor's degree in any field, previous college coursework, a registered nursing license, certain healthcare certifications and immunizations. Students can find accelerated nursing degree programs in full-time, part-time, online, and in blended on-campus/online formats.

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Accelerated MBA programs are also available at several schools. These programs are usually 12-24 months long, and often offer different concentrations or dual-degree options. Concentrations might include marketing, global management, finance and entrepreneurship. Dual degree programs might include an MBA along with a bachelor's degree, law degree, or a master's degree in another field. Many schools offer these programs fully or partially online and either full-time or part-time.


Many schools now offer accelerated two-year Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree programs rather than the traditional three-year program. These programs generally include a summer semester but require the same number of courses and credits as three-year programs.

Another accelerated law degree option includes a J.D./MBA programs. These programs generally require law courses for the first year of study and then begin incorporating business courses in the second year. Accelerated dual-degree programs in law and business take 3-4 years, are full-time and are for students that show exceptional ambition and ability for the rigorous course load.


Students without a bachelor's degree can find accelerated dual-degree programs that award a bachelor's degree as well as a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.). Normally, these degrees separately can take eight years; with the accelerated option, students can earn both degrees in as few as six years. Many schools require pre-med undergraduate studies, though students could also select any major for their bachelor's degree. Admission to these accelerated programs often requires candidates to have graduated within the top 10% of their high school class.

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