Individuals who want to complete one or more degrees more quickly than they would in a traditional program may be able to find an accelerated degree program that meets their needs.
Accelerated Degree Program Overview
Accelerated degree programs are offered in a format that lets students graduate in a fraction of the time it takes to complete a traditional program. These programs are generally suitable for working adults who find it difficult to hold down a full-time job and earn a degree at the same time. Moreover, in order to retain employees, employers may provide tuition reimbursement to cover the costs of these work-related educational endeavors.
Accelerated programs generally allow students to apply alternative forms of credit toward degree requirements, including the following:
- Credit for work experience
- Credit for military experience
- Passing scores on proficiency exams or subject tests
- Transfer credits
Other accelerated degree programs allow students to earn dual or joint degrees by combining or connecting program requirements. Individuals often pursue these dual or joint degree programs to gain cross-discipline knowledge. For instance, people pursuing degrees in the medical field may enter dual or joint degree programs to simultaneously earn degrees in business or public policy. When selecting a dual or joint degree program, most people choose degrees that complement each other in ways that align with their professional goals.
Accelerated degree programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate degree levels. They are available in many fields of study. A few of them include:
- Biomedical engineering
- Information systems
- Criminal justice
Accelerated degree programs can be completed on campus, online or in a hybrid format, depending on the school. Hybrid programs allow students to complete their studies partially in class and partially online.
Accelerated degree programs typically include more admission requirements than a traditional undergraduate or graduate degree program. Students might be asked to accumulate a set amount of credits before being admitted. In an accelerated bachelor's degree-completion program, for example, students may need to already hold an associate's degree or a corresponding number of college credits. Other requirements vary by program and school policies.
Depending on the school, individuals pursuing dual or joint degree programs may have to apply to more than one department. For example, someone pursuing a dual degree program that combines a Master in Business Administration (MBA) degree with a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree would have to apply to both the business administration department and the dentistry department. Each department has their own set of requirements that individuals must meet to be accepted into both programs.
Accelerated degree programs can be found in many different subjects, and sometimes combine multiple degrees. Some are offered on-campus, while others are provided in online or hybrid formats.