The average person believes that the only way to earn a degree is to attend school full time for 4 years, but new and modern accelerated degree programs can cut the time it takes to earn a degree in half. If you are serious about attending college but you are interested in earning a degree faster than the average individual, then you may want to start doing your research so that you are familiar with the differences between a standard degree program and an accelerated degree program. Here is your guide to understanding accelerated programs and institutions so that you can make the right decision.

Accelerated Degree Program Vs. Standard Degree Program

The amount of time it takes to earn your degree is based on the type of degree you are pursuing. If you are pursuing an associate’s degree from a traditional school, you would expect to commit 2 years to the program full-time. With a school offering the accelerated alternative, you may be able to complete the program in 18 months. If you are pursuing a Bachelor’s degree, you can take 1 year off of the traditional 4 years and earn your degree in 3. Many schools also offer accelerated Master’s degree programs that can be completed in 12 to 18 months with a Bachelor’s degree.

The primary difference between a traditional program and a fast track option is how quickly curriculum is covered. Most of these programs are still accredited, so you will have peace of mind in knowing that the program meets the standards of reputable accrediting bodies. While admissions can be competitive with any type of school program, because the coursework is so intensive on the fast track, your prior academic performance may be more important when you apply for a accelerated degree program.

Various Types of Accelerated Degree Programs

As you start to research all of the accredited programs that can be completed much faster than the standard format, you should distinguish between single degree options and dual degree options. If you want to earn a specific degree in a specific field, the single degree program will condense the duration of time a single course runs so that students earn more credits each year. These single degree programs also offer shorter breaks between each course, and many offer flexible scheduling on the weekends or at night. Some of the single degree options even offer online courses for added convenience.

A dual degree is another option if your goal is to earn both and undergraduate and graduate degree. The work you complete towards your first degree will also go towards the prerequisites that you must have under your belt to earn a Master’s in the field as well. Concurrent Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree programs are an option if you want a Master’s in 5 years, or the Master’s Degree en Route if you want a doctoral is an alternative.

Whatever program that you choose, be sure that the program is accredited. By holding an accreditation, the program meets the standards of agencies that oversee curriculum, student to teacher ration, and academic achievement regardless of the program layout. By completing an accelerated program, you can save off of the average cost of attendance and put the degree to work faster. Compare the options, save time, and ultimately save money while you earn your degree.