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Colleges and universities have quickly adopted online learning in light of the pandemic, and surveys have pointed out the largely positive response to it among students. But even before the pandemic, university and student participation was already on the rise!
Even the most prestigious Ivy League schools started offering fully online undergraduate degrees, with the University of Pennsylvania leading in 2018.
In 2021, numerous accredited, nationally-ranked colleges and universities offer online, and hybrid accelerated bachelor’s degree programs. Many, if not most, of these schools offer assessments to determine whether candidates are ready for online learning. Candidates can also look into online course demonstrations to determine their readiness for its unique challenges.
It seems that the more that things are changing, the more that they seem to be the same! There are still many similarities between traditional classroom-based and virtual web-based learning at the undergraduate level.
For one thing, the types of bachelor’s degrees and their titles are the same. Schools assert that traditional and virtual programs have the same quality of instruction, curriculum, and course sequence. The same faculty also teach the classes, and the diplomas issued are the same, too.
The most common bachelor’s degrees are:
- Bachelor of Arts (BA) focuses more on the arts, such as the humanities and liberal arts
- Bachelor of Science (BS) with greater emphasis on concentration courses and practical skills
- Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) pertain to the performance and creative arts, such as theater and painting
There are also less typical programs like the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS), a completion degree characterized by traditional college education and technical education.
For another thing, the duration of a bachelor’s degree program is four years of full-time study for traditional and online formats. However, there are accelerated programs that take only two to three years! The shorter duration is possible through the transfer of credits, shorter terms, and a higher number of credits earned in a single term.
But there are also valid concerns about online learning. First, is it as effective as classroom-based learning? Yes, of course, it is, and there are studies to prove it. The reasons cited included more control over study time and pace, more work-life-studies balance, and more time for reflection. The best online students also tend to be self-motivated individuals.
Second, isn’t cheating so much easier in online courses? This is a misplaced concern since many factors prevent widespread cheating among online students. These include strict anti-cheating procedures and technologies:
- Proctored on-campus exams
- Virtual proctoring using webcams and shared screens
- Sophisticated identity verification tools (e.g., facial recognition software and biometric analysis)
- Plagiarism detection apps
Third, and most important, is an online degree accepted among employers? Yes, they do, but it’s also important to ensure that the degree was earned from a reputable accredited school! There must also be a way in which employers can verify the validity of the online degree.
Keep in mind that other factors influence employability aside from a college degree: work history, references, and talent combined with attitude and potential matter, too.
Many areas of study are offered in accelerated bachelor’s degree programs. But the areas of study featured here are the most popular ones and the ones with excellent potential for employment.
The 40 schools and their programs featured here have also been chosen based on the following criteria:
- The program must have acceleration options, such as transfer credits or shorter terms.
- The school must either have national or regional accreditation and, if available, programmatic accreditation.
- The college or university must have student-friendly learning management software (LMS) and a reputation for quality instruction, competent and credentialed faculty, and student support services.
20 Fastest Online Bachelor’s Degrees
Accountants and auditors made $78,000 in median annual wage (May 2022), and their employment is projected to grow 4% (2022-2032). In short, getting a bachelor’s degree in accounting can open the door for gainful employment in several sectors!
Students in accounting programs learn the preparation, analysis, and interpretation of financial records, including the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow. Their education also involves technical training in digital spreadsheets, applications, databases, and general education courses.
The core courses include:
- Financial accounting
- Management principles and practices
- Cost accounting and management
- Accounting theory, systems, and controls
Once certification is achieved, accountants can choose a specialization, usually through further studies. The popular specializations include public accounting, forensic accounting, government accounting, and internal auditing.
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
333 South St Shrewsbury, MA 01545
This degree completion program welcomes candidates with prior educational credentials, such as college credits or even an associate degree. Candidates can request for transfer of up to 75 credits into the 120-credit accelerated program.
Students learn the necessary skill set for the demands of the accounting profession, including:
- Preparation, analysis, and interpretation, including the communication of financial information
- Application of accounting standards, concepts, and regulations in the accounting and auditing process
- Utilization of concepts and methods ineffective internal control and audit
Academic coursework isn’t the only part of education! Students must also complete an internship period and gain hands-on experience in accounting in real-world settings.
The nationally-ranked university has among the best accounting programs in the country, thanks to excellent instruction and graduate outcomes.
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
1263 Lincoln Dr, Carbondale, IL 62901
Students can complete the junior and senior years of this undergraduate Accounting degree 100% online and become eligible to sit for the CPA exam. Full-time students can complete the 60-credit program in six semesters over two years. But it’s also possible to complete the 20 courses in 18 months with more classes taken per semester.
Each course runs for eight weeks to take two classes at a time or four classes every semester. There’s also the option of taking one course at a time or two classes per semester. However, it means spending more time in the program. The program’s flexibility is among the reasons for its popularity among working professionals and adult learners with an associate degree in accounting or related fields.
Rolling admissions allow students to start the program at any of the start dates. Up to 60 transferable credits with at least a 2.0 GPA are accepted.
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and AACSB
Complete the program at your convenience since it’s in a modular format! You can rely on the strong support of your instructors and program staff for your success, but you must also work hard at it.
Management occupations are among the highest-paid in all the major occupational groups, with a median annual wage at $109,760 (May 2020). These also have faster than average growth at 5% (2019-2029), with 505,000 new jobs created in the ten years.
Many managers start their careers by earning a BS in Business Administration degree since it establishes a robust foundation for managerial work. Aside from the general education courses, students also take on core courses that cover business fundamentals, including:
- Business principles, practices, and operations
- Managerial and cost accounting
- Organizational behavior
- Human resources management
- Management information systems
- International business
Since managers must also possess soft skills, students also engage in interpersonal development, business writing, and ethics classes. Most programs also offer specializations, such as human resources or marketing, and minor subjects to diversify the students’ skillsets. Internships are also common, usually in business organizations.
Purdue University Global
610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907
The ExcelTrack BS in Business Administration isn’t your typical online program due to its personalized competency-based format. Every student takes a series of assessment tests that will demonstrate their existing knowledge and skills and pinpoint their areas of improvement. Then, a personalized program of study based on the test results can be created.
Students must be self-motivated, disciplined, and dedicated learners with real-world professional experience to succeed in the program. This is designed for accelerated learning with the exceptional quality of education for which Purdue is known and for less money.
There are 174 single-credit courses, including:
- Corporate Finance
- Operations Management
- Management Information Systems
- Marketing Research
- Project Management
The culmination consists of a 6-credit capstone course. All courses equip students with a balance of technical competencies and soft skills, including leadership skills.
Accreditation: HLC and Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
You have the flexibility of choosing as many or as few one-credit courses depending on your needs, and at a flat rate, too. Your progress will also be measured in terms of your demonstrated competencies.
1300 Eagle Road, St. Davids, PA 19087-3696
Eastern’s BS in Business Administration is also designed for adult learners and working professionals who want to strengthen their managerial capacity. Students can choose a fully online or a blended learning experience, but either choice involves completing 36 credits. The average completion rate is two years, but it can be shortened depending on your transferred credits and course load every semester.
Courses run for seven weeks, and their costs can be reduced through alumni discounts and financial aid. Students and instructors benefit from the small class sizes. Students can tap into the career development resources offered by the university.
Accreditation: HLC and Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
The distinguished faculty includes successful business practitioners, consultants, and professionals whose real-life experience is a source of inspiration. You can also find practical applications for the lessons learned online.
Students in bachelor’s in construction management programs learn the skillset to identify and solve construction issues efficiently. With the fast-paced developments in construction projects in particular and the construction industry in general, they also learn to think quickly, creatively, and decisive.
Due to the multidisciplinary aspect of construction management, the core courses include:
- Principles and practices of modern construction
- Civil engineering
- Construction health and safety management
- Legal issues and possible solutions
- Cost estimation and analysis
- Computer-aided design
With their hazardous nature of work, aspiring construction managers undergo internships to prepare them for the job. These internships can involve participation in the construction of residential and commercial structures.
Being a construction manager has its perks, too, including good salaries – the median annual wage is $101,480 (May 2022). Employment projection is also at 5% between 2022 and 2032, so there will be plenty of jobs for graduates.
Indiana State University
200 N 7th St, Terre Haute, IN 47809
The 120-credit fully online program consists of 39 general education credits and 81 core credits. But candidates can ask for a transfer of credits during the admission process. The program takes only three years, and even less with sufficient credits transferred, such as from an associate degree.
The curriculum incorporates both managerial and technical skillsets that prepare students for management positions in the construction industry. The courses emphasize these areas:
- Building design, planning, and execution
- Principles and practices in safe, effective, and efficient construction projects
- Practical construction skills, including the use of tools and technologies
- Project management, from cost control to human resources
Indeed, students leave the program with a thorough understanding of their future in construction management!
Accreditation: HLC and American Council for Construction Education. (ACCE)
You have excellent opportunities to obtain an entry-level management position, such as project manager, safety manager, or superintendent. The graduate outcome at ISU is among the best, with graduates getting gainful employment for 1-3 months.
340 E. Parker Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
Students in the LSU Online program must complete 122 credit hours to graduate from the prestigious program. But it’s possible to shorten your stay in the four-year program through the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) program!
Prior credits can be earned through professional certifications and military experience, with the number of credits depending on the assessment. For example, 3-6 credits may be ascribed to professional certifications.
Students learn the technical and managerial skills that prepare them for a career in the construction industry. Among the diverse careers available for graduates are construction managers, field engineers, and building consultants. Students can also diversify their education by choosing a minor in business administration or technical sales or pursue the American Institute for Constructor’s (AIC) Associate Constructor Certification.
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and American Council for Construction Education (ACCE)
LSU is Louisiana’s flagship university, and, as such, it’s known for being among the best in the state! You will truly benefit from the top-notch instruction, innovative online format, and awesome student support services.
Accelerated bachelor in criminal justice programs typically requires candidates to have relevant work experience or an associate degree in a related field for entry. This way, the previously earned credits can be applied, and, thus, the program of study can be shortened.
Once the general education requirements have been fulfilled, the sequence of the core courses can be planned. These core courses include:
- Corrections procedure
- Public safety
- Child and young adult psychology
- Sociology and social policies
- Constitutional law
There may also be specializations offered, such as emergency preparedness or homeland security. Possible careers include police officers and detectives, probation officers, and criminal investigators.
1000 Galvin Road South, Bellevue, Nebraska 68005
This is an accelerated cohort program wherein candidates can transfer credits from their associate degrees, even AAS degrees, and military experience. This way, eligible students won’t retake courses and earn their degree in less time and with less effort. The 127-credit program can be finished in three years or less in this manner.
Students take one course at a time and, thus, they can learn the subject by heart instead of being pressured with one too many concerns. Since it’s a cohort program, students learn with the same group of peers resulting in better learning experiences and stronger networks.
The learning outcomes include:
- Assess and address issues related to criminal justice operations
- Analyze trends in the industry and provide possible directions
- Examine criminal behavior and its impact on the individual and society
Starting your career in criminal justice can be easy! Bellevue’s admission requirements exclude standardized tests, and its smooth transfer policy and eight starting points make for an easy-peasy entry. But it’s a rigorous program once you get into it.
University of Bridgeport
1126 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06604
The accelerated online format of UB’s program is characterized by six start dates and a 7-week accelerated semester format. Students with a full-time course load can earn their BS in Criminal Justice degree in less than four years! The time can further be shortened with transferable credits.
The 120-credit program equips students with a thorough understanding of these aspects:
- How the criminal justice system and correction system work
- How the judicial branch of government work with law enforcement and other concerned agencies
- How criminal justice theory is applied in real-life situations
The university has gained numerous accolades for its ethnic diversity, social mobility, and value for money, and these are enough reasons to look into its programs. You will also thrive in the supportive and innovative environment that extends to its online programs.
Do you want to help people overcome difficult situations in their lives, create positive change, and make an impact on society? If yes, you must consider a bachelor’s degree in Counseling!
Professional counselors have a challenging yet rewarding job since they work with diverse people, including children, families, and persons struggling with mental illness and addiction. The employment growth projection is also among the highest at 18% (2022-2032), with the median annual wage at $49,710 (May 2022).
Often, the first step toward being a professional counselor is to earn a Bachelor’s in Counseling or a related field, such as psychology. Most states require a master’s degree in Counseling for licensure purposes, and the undergraduate degree must enter a graduate program.
Grand Canyon University
3300 West Camelback Road – Phoenix, AZ 85017
The BS in Counseling with a concentration in Addiction, Chemical Dependency, and Substance Abuse is a 120-credit program. The credits include general education (34-40 credits), major (72 credits), and open electives (8-14 credits) that can be taken completely online. Candidates can transfer up to 90 credits, with 84 credits being lower division.
Aside from the credit transfers, another way that it’s an accelerated program is the duration of classes. While the on-campus classes last for 15 weeks, the online courses are in a condensed 7-week format. Students can then earn their degrees faster.
The courses include:
- Psychopharmacology in Treatment of Addiction and Substance Use Disorders
- Foundations of Addiction and Substance Use
- Multicultural Counseling in a Diverse Society
- Trauma, Addiction and Substance Use Disorders
Students learn with a strong Christian perspective, so the role of spirituality is given emphasis.
If you’re a working professional, you will find the flexibility of GCU’s program beneficial. You can learn while you earn, as well as benefit from outstanding instruction with a Christian worldview.
1971 University Blvd, Lynchburg, VA 24515
Liberty University’s online BS in Psychology with a concentration in Crisis Counseling allows students to cut their program of study in half! The 8-week courses mean fast completion of classes resulting in less than four years spent on a bachelor’s degree. Add in the fact that candidates can transfer up to 75% of the credits required for graduation, and it’s the best program, indeed.
Keep in mind that Liberty is a private evangelical Christian university and, as such, its students receive Christ-centered education. Students then learn about crisis counseling through a program that integrates professional skillsets, ethical principles, and Christian values.
You will receive both an intensive academic background in crisis counseling and practical training through a 125-hour internship. Your education is in the good hands of experienced and credentialed professors, too.
Budget analysts, finance analysts, and cost estimators are just a few of the possible occupations that individuals with a bachelor’s degree in finance can qualify for. Their annual median wage is $76,850 with a projected growth of 10%, or about 911,400 new jobs, through 2032. Indeed, it’s among the best undergraduate degrees because of the excellent employment and higher education prospects.
Individuals with an inquisitive, creative and analytical personality can thrive in a finance-related environment. While above-par math skills are a must, the ability to see the larger picture while also understanding the details is just as important. The coursework varies, but the typical curriculum includes general education courses, electives, and core courses like investments, capital management, and security analysis.
385 Douglas Ave Suite #1000, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
Full-time students can earn their Bachelor’s in Finance degree within 18 months, among the shortest duration. Rasmussen’s learning experience includes an online learning platform, field experience, campus support and resources, and its FlexChoice program.
Admission is open for students with either:
- An associate degree in accounting, business management, and other related fields from Rasmussen University or a regionally accredited institution
- At least 40 semesters or 60 quarter completed credits with a minimum of “C” grade
Candidates must also complete Rasmussen’s Excel course or its equivalent, Principles of Financial Accounting for Managers, Financial Markets and Institutions, or Principles of Finance. This is a competitive program, but it’s worth the effort considering its career-focused, hands-on design.
You become qualified to sit for the Level I Exam of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), a credential with a high value among employers. You will also be proficient in financial analysis and management and Excel, and communication of financial information.
University of Maryland Global Campus
1616 McCormick Drive, Largo, MD 20774
The 120-credit BS in Finance program features 100% online learning and accepts a maximum of 90 transfer credits from the prior college experience, among others. Students learn the theoretical foundation of finance, business, and economics with a robust foundation in their practical applications. Intensive case studies of real-world situations develop their analytical and critical thinking skills, too.
UMGC is the online component of UMD, the flagship university of the University System of Maryland. Its prestige attracts students from around the country and the world; it’s common for its BS in Finance program to have a diverse student body.
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
With a BS in Finance earned at UMD, you can sit for the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification exams. Both of these certifications will open doors of opportunities either as an employee or a consultant.
US healthcare spending is projected to rise to $6.19 trillion by 2028, and it will account for 19.7% of the gross domestic product (GDP). Healthcare administrators will then be in greater demand to balance between providing quality healthcare and managing available resources.
A bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration is a surefire way of preparing for the job, as well as for higher education. With a 32% job growth (2019-2029), students pursuing the degree have a high chance of getting hired after graduation. There are also good compensation packages awaiting them; the median annual salary is $104,280 for medical and health services managers.
University of Virginia
Zehmer Hall, P.O. Box 400764, Charlottesville, Virginia 22904-4764
This is an online degree completion program open for working professionals with a career advancement plan, particularly to make it into managerial roles. Candidates with an associate degree in allied healthcare can transfer between 45 and 60 credits and, thus, facilitate their early graduation. Students should earn 60 credits (minimum) in the 120-credit program from the University of Virginia to be eligible for graduation.
There are two start dates – August and January – and the program duration varies from three to four years depending on transferred credits and course load per semester. The course load is flexible with synchronous online (evening classes) classes combined with selected asynchronous courses.
You will be studying in a nationally-ranked university known for its exceptional quality of instruction, generous financial aid policies, and outstanding graduate outcomes. It’s ranked #4 in the public national university category of the US News and World Report’s 2020 rankings.
Colorado State University Global
585 Salida Way, Aurora, CO 80011
Earning a BS in Healthcare Administration degree at CSUG is a balance between foundational knowledge and valuable skills for the workplace. Students are trained to become effective healthcare settings through a mix of general education, core, and elective courses. There are also concentrations and certifications available for students to choose from.
These courses total 120 credits in total, but candidates can request up to 90 credits for transfer; only 64 credits are allowed from community colleges. Candidates must request a Transcript Evaluation Summary during the admission process for this purpose.
The graduate outcomes are truly impressive! The majority of graduates report high rates of being hired in related jobs soon after completion. Alumni also report getting more than $60,000 in annual starting salary and a 7.34% increase in pay after a year of earning the degree.
Individuals with a bachelor’s degree in fire science are trained to detect hazards, coordinate fire-related responses, and manage emergencies. Due to their training, their skill set also includes the prevention, suppression, and investigation of fire incidents. Their training also includes effective leadership, efficient resource allocation, and prompt emergency service response.
Fire science programs are ideal for both fresh high school graduates and working professionals or adult learners who want career advancement or a career shift. For the latter cohort, the opportunity to obtain supervisory or managerial positions is higher with a bachelor’s degree.
Most graduates enter the public sector as firefighters, arson investigators, fire inspectors, and forest fire specialists. While their jobs may be dangerous, the rewards come in the opportunities to be of public service and save lives.
Bowling Green State University
124 Williams Hall, Bowling Green, OH 43403
Thanks to the credentialed faculty and above-par student support services, the 100% online BS in Fire Administration is one of the best of its kind in the region. BGSU has also been the State Fire School since the 1970s, a distinction that it continues to uphold with its top-ranked bachelor’s degree program.
The program needs 122 credits for completion, consisting of general education, core, and elective courses. Students also need to fulfill a capstone project to complete the degree in 2-3 years. Candidates with prior credits can request for transfer of up to 90 credits and. Thus, only 30 credits may be completed at BGSU.
Aside from the non-residency aspect, the program attracts students looking for the best training in fire administration. Graduates report their readiness for leadership roles, particularly in communication, fire technology, and data analysis.
Eastern Kentucky University
Commonwealth 1711, Richmond, KY 40475
Graduates of EKU’s BS in Fire, Arson, and Explosion Investigation program become fire investigators, fire marshals, and arson investigators. The curriculum features the latest science and technology in fire science, the best in academic coursework, and ample professional preparation. Students also acquire practical skills through a two-week training at its Richmond lab.
Early graduation is possible through its generous transfer credits policy. The 120-credit program accepts 90 transfer credits, meaning at least 30 credits must be completed with EKU. Acceleration is also possible since the program has 8-week terms and six start dates.
Accreditation: SACSCOC and International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC)
Military veterans will find EKU’s program ideal because of its veteran-friendly policies, including tuition. EKU is also a nationally-ranked university with numerous accolades and, thus, it’s a well-respected institution in the community.
A bachelor’s degree in hospitality management comes in different forms, including BS, BA, Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), and Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS). While there are differences in curriculum, these programs typically combine academic coursework and hands-on training. The internship period is considered vital for students to learn the day-to-day demands of a job in hospitality management.
Accelerated programs welcome candidates with prior credits, such as AP, CLEP, or an associate degree. The coursework is a mix of:
- Management principles and practices as these apply to the hospitality industry
- Hospitality laws
- Hospitality information technology
Entry-level jobs in casinos, restaurants, and hotels are among the popular career options.
1200 E. Diehl Road, Naperville, IL 60563
DeVry University is a pioneer in online learning with its 20-plus years in the field. The platform and resources used in its BSBA with a specialization in Hospitality Management have been in place for several years. Students are then provided with every support necessary for their success.
The program requires earning at least 122 credits for graduation, and it can be completed in two years and eight months. This is possible through its accelerated eight-week format, and it’s possible to graduate earlier with qualifying transfer credits.
The coursework includes topics like:
- Foundations of Hotel Management
- Tourism Management
- Meetings and Events Management
- Customer and Personal Service
The credits earned are stackable, which means these can be transferred to other programs in higher education. These can include a master’s degree and professional certification.
Every student has access to 24/7 on-demand live tutoring, one-on-one faculty support, and career services resources. The latter includes resume writers, certified career coaches, and job leads – truly, every support you will need for success.
University of Central Florida Online
4000 Central Florida Blvd. Orlando, Florida 32816
UCF’s BS in Hospitality Management program isn’t for fresh high school graduates! Applicants should have two years of relevant experience in the hospitality industry before being considered for admission. Students undergo rigorous training to become top executives and thought leaders in the industry.
This limited access program requires the completion of 120 credit hours. But the transfer of credits from prior degrees and work experience is possible.
Students learn about finance, daily operations, and human resources, among others, of the hospitality industry. Specialized coursework in lodging management, golf and club management, and theme park management expands their skillset.
You have 24/7 access to your learning materials so you can enjoy a good work-life-studies balance. UCF is also a great school for working professionals who want the convenience of online education with the prestige of a brick-and-mortar school.
The beauty of a bachelor’s degree in human services is in the diversity of job opportunities available for its holders. Graduates can apply for entry-level positions like community outreach workers, behavioral management aides, and child life specialists. For individuals who are already in human services-related occupations on an associate degree, the bachelor’s degree can also lead to managerial or supervisory positions.
Students also have the opportunity to customize their program of study according to their professional goals. This comes in specializations, such as social policy analysis and planning; disaster, crisis, intervention; and community intervention. Each specialization has unique core courses but shares numerous general education and elective courses. Some specializations may also be prerequisites for certification or licensure.
Candidates must have an open mind, sensitivity to other people’s plight, and organizational skills. Many of these skills can be developed during their studies and internship.
100 S Washington Ave Suite 1210, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Students of Walden’s BS in Human Services program choose from several specializations:
- Child and Adolescent Development
- Disability Studies
- Criminal Justice
- Leadership and Administration
Every student can personalize his/her program of study depending on the chosen specialization, professional goals, and transferred credits. The average completion rate is three years, but it can be shortened in many ways; ask the admission officer or academic advisor about it.
Students assert that the rigorous curriculum prepares them for the demanding occupations in human services. They can choose to go on an internship or not, although it’s highly recommended.
You will graduate an empowered individual with a specialized skill set in your chosen specialization. You can become a productive worker in a non-licensed, non-therapeutic setting, too. You may also take graduate-level courses that can be applied to a master’s degree in the future.
Old Dominion University
5115 Hampton Blvd, Norfolk, VA 23529
ODU’s BS in Human Services program is designed as a degree completion program and welcomes fresh high school graduates. For students with prior college credits, at least 30 credits of the 120-credit program must be earned at ODU. For high school graduates, the start-to-finish programs mean the 120 credits can be earned 100% online.
The internship aspect differs between the cohorts, too. If you have direct work experience in the field, you may skip the actual internship. You will be required to submit a work portfolio, which will be evaluated for its merits. But for other students, a supervised internship in the last semester of studies is a must for graduation.
This is a top-notch online human services degree program with approvals from the Virginia Certification Board and the Virginia Board of Counseling. Graduates can start a career as Alcohol and Drug Counselors (CADC) or Substance Abuse Counselors (CSAC).
The crucial roles that nurses play in society cannot be overemphasized! Students in RN-to-BSN and other similar programs are on the right path toward enjoying a challenging but rewarding career. With a job growth projection of 7% (2019-2029) and a median annual wage of $75,330 (May 2020), nurses enjoy a good life.
The admission requirements vary, but BS in Nursing (BSN) programs provide students with robust foundational knowledge, useful hands-on skills, and vital interpersonal skills to succeed in their profession. All these programs come in hybrid form since aspiring nurses must undergo clinical rotations in healthcare settings.
Depending on the program, suitable candidates can either be:
- Fresh high school graduates with minimum GPA, or
- Students with prior credits, such as lower-level general education or lower-level core courses
Accelerated BSN programs allow students to graduate in 1-2 years but with transferable credits. The science-heavy coursework includes courses in anatomy, microbiology, and pharmacology.
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
800 Algoma Blvd.Oshkosh, WI,54901
This is an accelerated BSN option designed for individuals with a bachelor’s degree, which may or may not be related to nursing. Candidates with a healthcare background, including an associate in nursing degree, will likely find the rigorous curriculum easier.
Candidates can start on three different dates – February, May, and October – with each start date consisting of a new cohort. Students can earn their BSN degree in 12 months, and their curriculum includes online academic coursework and on-site clinical rotations. Students must also complete three on-campus residencies.
Accreditation: HLC and Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
The BSN program has an impressive NCLEX pass rate and a <1% attrition rate. While it’s a rigorous program where students must meet, if not exceed, high standards, it’s worth the effort.
Thomas Edison State University
111 W State St, Trenton, NJ 08608 (609) 777-5680
Students of TESU’s BSN program have 15 months to complete the program, and it will be a challenging time in your life because of the fast-paced, rigorous curriculum. Candidates are usually adult learners who are either:
- Holders of a non-nursing or non-healthcare bachelor’s degree; or
- Holders of some or no credits in college-level courses
Students must be on full-time enrollment and must be 100% committed to the program. This is a hybrid program with online and on-campus courses and on-site clinical experiences in healthcare facilities in New Jersey.
Accreditation: MSCHE and CCNE
Graduates have a consistent record of getting scores above the average NCLEX pass rates on the state and national levels. Combined with affordable tuition, generous transfer credit policies, and convenience, it’s a popular program. Plus, nine credits earned in the undergraduate program can be applied to TESU’s MS in Nursing program.
Accelerated project management programs are suitable for working professionals who want to acquire in-demand skills and credentials for managerial or supervisory positions. Many can be completed in 2-3 years, while some can be finished in as little as eight weeks.
Students learn the challenges of contemporary project management situations and their possible solutions. Critical thinking, analytical and problem-solving skills are a must, as well as communication and interpersonal skills. Many programs combine online academic coursework and on-site internships, although the latter can be optional.
George Fox University
414 N. Meridian St., Newberg, OR 97132
GFU’s BS in Project Management is only one of two programs of its kind in the State of Oregon, and it’s among the best in the country, too. Students can complete it in 16 months because the transfer of credits has been made as an acceleration method. At least 62 major credits must be completed for a student to be considered for graduation.
The 100% online program is also cohort-based, meaning that students attend 16 months of online coursework with the same peers. Students take the major courses in a sequential format, and these courses are also condensed for acceleration purposes. For this reason, 100% commitment to the rigorous program is recommended.
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Your rigorous training is a stepping stone toward a successful career as a project manager. GFU’s curriculum is under the Project Management Institute (PMI) standards, too. You can then proceed to earn PMI certification, a highly valued credential.
3904 Lonas Drive, Knoxville, TN 37909
Students can rely on the guidance of their instructors in gaining a professional understanding of project management. The academic coursework combined with hands-on activities will prepare them for the occupational demands in a globalized economy.
The broad coursework includes contract management, economics, business research, marketing, and accounting. Of course, project management courses take center stage. Students may want to consider aiming for the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) credential awarded by PMI.
South College requires that at least 60 credit hours are earned in the program. Students with prior credits can then earn their degree at an earlier time.
Accreditation: SACSCOC and International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)
You will gain the competitive skills that can open job opportunities in the public and private sectors. You also have a greater chance of passing the CAPM exam.
Bachelor’s in political science programs encourage their students to actively engage in discussions and activities related to politics, government, and governance. Indeed, political science is among the most exciting and dynamic areas of study!
Students learn about comparative politics, the theory and practice behind political campaigns, and political theory and behavior. Intensive studies about the US constitution, the form of government, and laws are also common. Students can also choose from concentrations like environmental politics, global politics, and foreign policy.
With a degree in political science, many career opportunities are available. These include educators, researchers, and analysts in the public and private sectors, such as in congressional offices. With experience and higher education, many become political scientists with a median annual wage of $128,020 (May 2022).
Arkansas State University
2105 East, Aggie Rd, Jonesboro, AR 72401
Students must complete 120 credit hours to be eligible for graduation. These credit hours include general education courses (38), major courses (42), and electives (40). But it’s possible to earn the degree earlier by transferring prior credits from an associate degree, CLEP, and military service. Up to 90 credits can be transferred.
This is also a flexible degree in that it can be used as a valued credential for employment or as a stepping stone toward a master’s degree. Up to nine credits from the bachelor’s program can be transferred to the graduate program, both at A-State.
Students learn in-demand skills that can be useful in a wide variety of occupations, from political campaigners to lobbyists. These skills include political analysis, effective communication and negotiation, and critical thinking skills.
Affordable tuition for in-state and out-of-state students, education from a prestigious university, and ample student support services. These are the primary reasons for taking up political science at A-State. That, and the opportunity to earn a double degree, such as a BA in Political Science and a BA in Sociology.
Northern Illinois University
1425 W. Lincoln Hwy., DeKalb, IL 60115
Suitable candidates for NIU’s BA in Political Science degree completion program include:
- Holders of an associate degree from a community college and other regionally accredited schools; and
- Students who have met the university’s general education requirements, including foreign language.
Students automatically enroll in the Politics and Governance emphasis. This is considered the most flexible concentration because students have relative freedom in choosing their electives according to their professional goals.
NIU is a nationally recognized university known for its excellent political science, public affairs, and urban policy programs. Students are provided with every student support service that is vital for their academic success.
At the bachelor’s level, emergency management programs lean more toward the theoretical study of related subjects with a brief internship period. Students learn to plan, prepare and respond to emergencies as well as create recovery and rehabilitation afterward. Concentrations, such as homeland security, may also be available and minor subjects intended to expand on the students’ skillset.
Most programs have a 120-credit curriculum with transfer credit policies that allow for accelerated completion. Programs may also have either a capstone project or an internship as a culmination project.
The coursework can include:
- Preparedness Planning and Risk Mitigation
- Legal, Political and Social Foundations in Emergency Services
- Disaster Response and Recovery
Entry-level positions are the common career opportunities for fresh graduates. But for degree holders with prior work experience, career advancement is a possibility. Job opportunities include disaster recovery manager, hurricane program manager, and emergency response team leader.
University of Central Missouri
116 W South St, Warrensburg, MO 64093
UCMO’s BS in Environmental, Safety, and Risk Management is a degree completion program for transfer students. Candidates must have an associate degree in the same or related field, and the admission officers will work hard to ensure that the earned credits can be transferred. Students can then spend two years or less on completing the program, meaning reduced costs.
Student learning outcomes include:
- Gather, analyze and interpret disaster risk mitigation and prevention data
- Create and execute effective training in safety and risk management
- Apply effective safety and risk management techniques
Graduates can rely on UCMO’s career services to achieve gainful employment in many sectors. You can also earn your degree without paying an arm and a leg for it.
Eastern New Mexico University
1500 S Ave K, Portales, NM 88130
Since it’s a degree completion program, candidates must have one of the following credentials to be considered for admission:
- Possess an AAS degree from a Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)-accredited institution; or
- Possess a sufficient number of credit hours in a related field from a CHEA-accredited school
This is a 120-credit program with a significant number of credits from a prior college education, as mentioned above. Within the 120 credit hours, a student must complete the academic requirements for primary and secondary concentrations. The choices in secondary concentrations are:
- Fire and Emergency Services (FESA)
- Emergency Management (EMGT)
You have the assurance that the faculty will provide proper guidance in your program of study, including the sequence of courses. You can also join clubs and other student organizations even if you’re an online student, which means you get the full college experience.
Are you interested in being part of the solution for current public health issues? If yes, then you must consider a bachelor’s degree in public health! There are plenty of cohorts to serve with your education, from the baby boomers to the underserved groups. Plus, there are plenty of job opportunities matching your skillsets, such as health educators and occupational health and safety specialists.
Public health is an interdisciplinary discipline that demands broad technical knowledge, effective soft skills, and a deep commitment to better population-focused healthcare services. A bachelor’s degree is one foot in the other, so to speak, into the rewarding field, or it can be a step toward a master’s degree. There’s also the opportunity to work on a local, national or international scale, such as relief organizations.
University of Missouri Online
130 Heinkel Building, Columbia, Missouri 65211
Mizzou’s 120-credit program accepts up to 60 transfer credits, meaning that the program’s duration can be cut nearly in half. Whether a new student, a transferee, or a working professional with an associate degree, you will enjoy world-class education. There are no residency requirements.
Students must be diligent and determined in their studies as it’s a rigorous program, thanks partly to its accelerated format. The courses are a mix of Mizzou’s general education, major core, general elective courses, and diversity courses. The major core courses include social and behavioral health, public health ethics, and qualitative methods in public health.
Accreditation: HLC and Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)
You will have a competitive edge – your bachelor’s degree, particularly – when you’re on a career advancement path. You can apply your degree in the public and private sectors and local, national, and international settings.
Capella Tower, 225 S. 6th St., 9th Floor, Minneapolis, MN 55402
Students in the 180-quarter credit BS in Public Health program must be prepared for the intensive education and training, a hallmark of Capella education. The academic coursework includes topics on:
- Intro to Theories of Social and Behavioral Change
- Intro to Biostatistics
- Intro to Epidemiology
Rigorous academics are supplemented by practical experience via the VIla Health platform, Capella’s simulated healthcare environment. Students must also complete a capstone project.
With your interdisciplinary skills, you can find gainful employment as social and community services manager, health manager, or policy analyst. You may even take the Accelerated Master’s Pathway (AMP), where you can take master’s degree courses during your undergraduate years.
Holders of a bachelor’s degree in history may qualify for entry-level positions in the field, but most find rewarding employment in other fields with their transferable skills. These include careers in journalism, management, and law, where research skills are valuable. In May 2020, historians earned a median annual wage of $64,540, with the job growth in their field at a respectable 3% (2022-2032).
Many programs emphasize public history since it’s the most popular career path. With such a concentration, students can aspire for careers as museum workers, historians, and paralegals. Many also pursue careers as consultants for organizations interested in international operations where cultural sensitivity is a must.
650 Maryville University Drive St. Louis, MO 63141
Flexibility is the keyword with Maryville’s BA in History program. Students may tailor their program of study based on their professional goals, whether it’s employment after graduation or a master’s degree.
Completion of 128 credit hours is a must for graduation, and these include general education (42), major (36), and electives (50) courses. Candidates with earned college-level credits can request for transfer and, thus, fast-track their completion.
Start dates are in the fall, spring and summer. Students can access their courses 24/7 through their computers and mobile gadgets and access student support services. To graduate from this BA degree, students must complete the internship and a local history seminar requirements.
This is a 100% online program, so there are no required campus visits. You will still enjoy the best of experiential learning with a career-oriented curriculum.
Oregon State University ECampus
4943 The Valley Library, Corvallis, OR 97331
OSU’s ECampus offers two-degree programs in history – a BA and a BS program. Both are online 180-credit programs with four start terms and liberal transfer credit policies. But their respective curriculums have a different emphasis – the BA program emphasizes the liberal arts while the BS program has a more scientific bent.
Nonetheless, students in both programs study the effects of past events, personalities, and actions on the contemporary world. These are research-intensive programs that encourage outstanding critical thinking and communication skills vital in history-related careers.
World-class faculty members created the courses with extensive experience in history-related research and education. Plus, OSU’s Ecampus is among the country’s top-ranked online education providers.
Journalism and Mass Communication
Students in BA and BS in Journalism and Mass Communication programs must have above-par written and oral communication skills. Proficiency in the English language is also a must, emphasizing proper sentence structures, grammar, and syntax. Students must be prepared for a writing-intensive program that will challenge their technical skills and their worldview.
Such is the importance of the abovementioned aspects that typical admission requirements include writing samples and demonstrating public speaking and English skills. Depending on the program, fresh high school graduates or working professionals with prior college credits are welcome.
The wide-ranging courses include:
- Fundamentals of mass communication
- Television news writing
- Broadcast journalism
- Ethics in journalism and mass communication
Career opportunities are present in traditional and digital media. Job titles include media researcher, photojournalist, and news reporter.
2020 East Maple Street, North Canton, Ohio 44720
Designed for adult, working professionals, the BA in Communication program features an accelerated format. The courses are offered in 8-week sessions, which means faster completion of the curriculum and earlier graduation.
Transfer credits from various are accepted, too, which further cuts the program’s duration. Aside from college credits earned from an associate degree, CLEP, DANTES, and professional training and portfolio can also be accepted for credit.
The best candidates are individuals with strong communication skills, particularly in written and oral forms. Creative, critical thinking, and analytical thinking skills are also vital. Students engage in diverse communication-related activities, including rhetoric, public speaking, and mass media writing.
You can tailor your program of study based on your academic interests and career aspirations. You may also choose to pursue a few minors or get a double major since the communication curriculum has a fairly small number of major credits.
University of New Mexico
MSC03 2190, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131-0001
Students must complete 45 credit hours of major courses for graduation. This is an accelerated program with its 8-week classes, and the liberal policies on transfer credits contribute to faster completion. Take note that faster degree completion doesn’t mean it’s an easy-peasy program!
Students must be diligent and dedicated to their studies as the curriculum covers the research, design, and writing aspects of strategic communication. The fields cover traditional media (radio, television, and print) and digital media, which are seen as interconnected media.
You will have the competitive skillset to pave the way for careers in diverse fields, from public relations to information management. You won’t be confined to just one occupation, too, thanks to your transferable and marketable skills.
There’s a choice between a BA and a BS in Psychology that interested individuals should look into. The BA programs have more liberal arts courses, while BS programs have science courses. The difference can be significant, such as when a BS degree is more suitable for healthcare occupations.
Most job opportunities in psychology, however, prefer a master’s degree and a license. But a bachelor’s degree is the first stepping stone and a solid foundation for these credentials. Job opportunities are at the entry-level in diverse areas like healthcare, sales, and management.
Common courses include:
- History of psychology
- Developmental psychology
- Psychology of learning
- Ethics in psychology
Specializations are aplenty, too, with the more popular being clinical psychology, forensic psychology, and developmental psychology.
Roberts Wesleyan College
2301 Westside Dr. Rochester, NY 14624
Three years is the target completion rate for the BA in Psychology program, and it’s among the fastest of its kind. Except for the shorter duration, there are no significant differences between the accelerated and traditional 4-year BA programs.
Both programs share the same curriculum, for one thing. Students in the BA program can also start their master’s degree a year earlier than the traditional model.
But admission into and retention in the program are difficult. Candidates must have at least six college-level or AP credits. Students must also enroll in at least 17-course credits for two semesters and then take summer courses.
Concentrations are available, including:
- Clinical/ Counseling Psychology
- School Psychology / School Counseling
- Research/ Social Psychology / Developmental Psychology Track
- Forensic Psychology
- Industrial-Organizational Psychology
An internship is a must for graduation, and it lasts for 90-120 hours.
You can take on pre-professional, entry-level jobs involving supportive counseling and behavior modification after graduation. Your broad education in psychology will lead to many other entry-level jobs, too.
450 S. Easton Road, Glenside, PA 19038
The 3-year accelerated format of Arcadia’s BA in Psychology program is a great fit for students with exceptional academic ability. Every student has a tailor-made program since his/her earned credits, such as AP and dual enrollment credits, are considered. Academic advisors are assigned to individual students to create an individualized program of study.
Summer terms can be used for internship or service-learning opportunities, but these are optional except for International Studies students. Learners can choose from four concentrations:
- International Studies
Students should maintain at least a 3.0 overall GPA to remain in good standing and continue the course overload format.
Your education will be based on Arcadia’s recognized evidence-based approach that establishes a robust foundation in psychology.
Individuals interested in working in civil service institutions, government agencies, and non-profit organizations will likely benefit from a bachelor’s degree in public administration. This is an excellent choice for individuals who want to positively impact society, even when it starts on a small scale. The primary learning outcome is the competent ability to participate in the management of public organizations.
Public administration programs tend to have competitive admission processes and retention requirements. High academic ability combined with commitment is necessary to complete the program. The rewards are worth it, with public administration being a fast-growing field.
Common courses include:
- Introduction to Public Administration
- Microeconomics and Macroeconomics
- Basic Sociology and Psychology
201 S Grant Ave., Columbus, OH 43215
For the people behind Franklin’s BS in Public Administration program, its heart and soul is service. Students don’t just learn about public administration but also learn the skills to become the best servant-leaders. Graduates are well-prepared to become part of management teams in the public sector.
The 120-credit-hour program allows for the transfer of 94 college-level credits from various sources. Only 30 credit hours must be completed at Franklin for a student to be eligible for graduation.
Students learn skills in fiscal administration, program management, organizational leadership, and political advocacy. More importantly, practical skills necessary for policy implementation, ethical management practices, and political system analysis are learned.
Franklin’s curriculum is designed specifically for working professionals with hectic schedules that lend well to online learning. Plus, you will be earning your degree from a nationally-ranked, non-profit university.
University of LaVerne
1950 Third Street, La Verne, CA 91750
Known as the Campus Accelerated Program for Adults (CAPA), it’s a program designed with busy working adults in mind. Learning and earning are possible because the program offers online and hybrid courses that allow for self-directed learning.
Students complete a minimum of 40 semester hours for graduation eligibility; these consist of 28 semester hours for core subjects and 12 hours on electives. Coursework includes:
- Policy-Making Process
- Administrative Processes
- Management of Change and Conflict
The learning modality includes class participation, exams and quizzes, and special projects. Research reports are also common.
Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission
Why spend thousands of dollars and hours on protracted programs when you can enjoy LaVerne’s accelerated program? Employers will recognize your degree as proof of your competency in public administration.
The interdisciplinary nature of a BS in Sciences program means that students learn about several related fields. These include environmental health, sustainable resource development, and ecological sustainability. Students also tackle natural resources management, environmental processes, and the impact of the human population on the environment.
The professional understanding of environmental sciences leads to qualifications for entry-level jobs in diverse occupations. These include marine biology, wildlife biology, microbiology, and job titles like environmental technician, environmental specialist, and environmental science teacher.
University of Arizona
Shantz Building Rm 429, 1177 E 4th St. Tucson, AZ 85721
Students choose between two concentrations with different coursework for the major subjects.
- Soil, Air, and Water emphasis include courses in environmental physics, biostatistics, and environmental chemistry. Students also learn about the techniques for professional development that will serve them well in their future careers.
- Leadership, Sustainability, and Communication emphasis include topics related to the fundamentals of environmental science and sustainability, environmental ethics, and environmental justice. Students learn the best ways of communicating these topics, too.
Take note of the prerequisites that aren’t offered in a 100% online format.
Your intensive training will become your competitive edge when applying for jobs in the fields of biology, data analysis, and laboratory research. Think out of the box in finding sustainable solutions to current issues in the natural environment.
American Public University
111 W. Congress Street, Charles Town, WV 25414
The seamless blending of natural and social sciences and management, policy, and environmental science contribute to the program’s uniqueness. Students learn the scientific facts behind the natural environment, including how and why it works the way it does. There’s an emphasis on environmental preservation through courses tackling natural resources and their stewardship.
Students complete 120 credits but can transfer as many as 90 credits. The course duration lasts between eight and 16 weeks. The concentrations include:
- Fish and Wildlife Management
- Environmental Technology and Management
- Regional and Community Environmental Planning
The culminating project is a senior seminar in environmental science.
The university prides itself on high-quality higher education that’s also relevant, affordable, and accessible.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can you do to accelerate the completion of your bachelor’s degree?
When the phrase “fastest online bachelor’s degrees” comes into the conversation, the first thing that comes to mind is a two- to three-year completion rate. This can be achieved through various degree acceleration methods that can be combined to shorten the completion time further. Some students can earn the degree in less than two years!
- Take Advanced Placement (AP) classes in high school since these translate to college credits. You can take AP classes in English and math to satisfy the general education courses in college. You may also take AP classes in your planned degree, such as biology classes, if you’re planning on a bachelor’s in biology degree.
Tip: Ask the admissions officers at whatever colleges or universities you’re planning to attend for your bachelor’s degree about AP courses. This way, you can take AP courses in line with your educational goals.
- Enroll in concurrent or dual enrollment programs while in high school. You can take two college-level courses every semester at your community college during your senior year. You may also take two college-level courses the summer before college starts.
You may be able to graduate from college in three years in this manner. But remember that dual enrollment programs are competitive and demanding.
- Test out of the prerequisite classes, an efficient means to skip the lower-level classes and jump to the higher-level classes. You will then spend less time – and spend less money, to boot – in college. Examples include CLEP, DSST, TECEP, and Excelsior/UExcel, combined for more college credits earned.
- Take more classes every term. But you must ask the admission officer or academic advisor as there may be a maximum number of courses. If you can take as many courses as you can, then do so!
In a semester-based program with 120 credit hours, full-time students must take at least 12 credit hours every semester. If you can take 15 credits every semester, you can graduate in eight semesters instead of 10 semesters. You may also enroll during the summer term.
- Get credits for your associate degree, work and life experiences, and military service. You will be required to present proof, such as the Joint Services Transcript, work certificates, and college transcripts.
Of course, enrolment in an accelerated degree program is a must! You will find many excellent examples, including the programs featured here.
What is the day-to-day online learning experience like?
There are significant differences in the learning technologies, course requirements and sequence, and instructional methods between programs. But most use a specific LMS for a wide range of activities, including:
- Delivery of learning materials and lectures
- Assessment of learning comprehension, including exams and quizzes
- Monitoring of student progress, including delivery of feedback and reports
- Accept student work, including assignments and projects
The more popular LMS include Blackboard and Canvas. You may want to research the LMS used in your preferred online program and determine your comfort level with it. But remember, too, that things can be learned, and it’s the purpose of learning.
What’s the deal with hands-on fields being offered as online bachelor’s degree programs?
Hands-on fields like nursing, engineering, and social work are typically offered in a hybrid format. Students engage in their academic coursework online but complete their internship, clinical rotations, or supervised fieldwork on site. Candidates must consider the on-campus or on-site requirements when looking at accelerated programs, too.
What are the support services offered, if any, by online schools?
Colleges and universities usually offer on-campus and online students similar, if not the same, student support services. The medium and delivery methods will likely be different, but the quality tends to be the same.
The student support services can include tutoring, personal counseling, academic advising, financial consulting, legal advice, library access, and career services. But instead of face-to-face delivery, these services are delivered through virtual meeting rooms, video conferencing, and web-based platforms.
What are the ways that students can interact with their instructors and fellow students?
One of the common misconceptions about online learning is the lack of social interactions between students and instructors. In reality, there are plenty of opportunities for both academic and social interactions, including:
- Live classes allow for real-time, virtual face-to-face interactions.
- Group work using video conferencing, Google Docs, and online chat rooms also strengthen social bonds between students. These online exercises in teamwork are also a preparation for an increasingly globalized workplace where companies maintain different physical locations.
- Discussion boards allow for student-instructor interaction in real-time.
- Social media, including Facebook and Instagram, also provides students and instructors with another avenue of interaction and expression.
And then, there are also face-to-face interactions during on-campus or on-site activities, such as during internships. Many schools even allow their online students to participate in on-campus clubs, events, and activities.
More resources to check out: