Fastest Online Bachelor's Degree Programs

Updated November 10, 2022

Accelerated degrees let you earn a bachelor's degree faster than usual. Explore the fastest online bachelor's programs and how to graduate in two years or less. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Most bachelor's degrees take four years to get. But if that sounds too long, then don't worry — there's a solution. You can get a bachelor's degree fast if you enroll in an accelerated or fast-track program, which you can complete in 1-2 years.

The speed does come with a trade-off, though. Accelerated programs have more intense workloads and demand a higher work ethic. But some programs can be easier if you're allowed to transfer credits or earn credits through past work experience.

In general, fast online degrees may be just what you need to advance your career without waiting four years.

Check out this guide for everything you need to know about an accelerated bachelor's degree online.

Featured Accelerated Programs

What Are Fast Track Online Programs?

An accelerated degree program consists of courses that last 5-10 weeks. A typical college course takes 16 weeks to finish.

But professors don't cut out content to speed up accelerated courses. Instead, you complete the same amount of work in a shorter time. For some students, the quick turnaround can pose a challenge. But for others, focusing on school — and only school — is the goal.

Accelerated degree programs appeal to many students, but they greatly benefit students with gaps in college attendance. Accelerated programs often allow these students to use past credits to make up for lost time and reach their professional goals sooner.

When researching accelerated degree programs, focus on programs that complement your skill set and experience. And look for programs that build crucial skills you'll need for your desired career.

Common Questions About Accelerated Bachelor's Program

What is the quickest way to get a bachelor's degree?

An accelerated online bachelor's program is usually the quickest way to earn a bachelor's degree.

Students can take more credits at once and graduate earlier — sometimes in 1-2 years. However, most bachelor's programs take about four years, and part-time online programs can take much longer.

Is an accelerated bachelor's degree worth it?

Yes, accelerated programs can shorten the completion time for a bachelor's degree to two years or less. Accelerated programs move faster and allow students to earn credits quicker than usual. A bachelor's degree can provide you with higher earning potential, better job opportunities, and safer job security.

How long does an accelerated bachelor's take?

An accelerated bachelor's can take as little as one year to complete. However, the exact length depends on the school, program, and how many credits you take.

Are accelerated degrees good?

Yes, an accelerated bachelor's degree is good as long as you choose a program offered by a regionally accredited university. If you attend a school that doesn't have the appropriate accreditation, employers may not recognize your degree. Always check a school's accreditation before enrolling.

What is the easiest degree to get?

The most common degrees include psychology, criminal justice, and English. But the easiest degree varies for each person and largely depends on your skills. What's hard for somebody else may be easy for you, and vice versa.

Are online degrees faster?

Most online degrees take the same time to complete as a traditional degree, which is about four years. But you can finish accelerated online degrees in as fast as 1-2 years, though they come with a heavier course load.

The Fastest Online Bachelor's Degree Programs

Our Methodology

Here at, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%

Affordability - 15%

Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

#1 Fastest Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Manchester, NH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A private institution in Manchester, Southern New Hampshire University offers undergraduate degrees. The school provides 84 options for learners seeking an online degree, including a BA in general studies. Those who prefer enrolling online benefit from the institution's strong track record in distance education.

At the school, online learners enroll in synchronous and asynchronous classes. Academic advisors and career counselors help majors complete a college degree and plan their next steps. Distance learners also participate in hands-on learning opportunities like internships. Programs work with enrollees to connect with internship sites in their local area.

Graduates from the school's online programs receive an accredited bachelor's degree. A bachelor's degree meets the requirements for entry-level roles in business, education, healthcare, and other growing fields.

Southern New Hampshire University Fast Facts:

Online Student Enrollment: 106,762

Online Bachelor's Programs: 35

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 22-to-1

Admission Rate: 88%

Accepts Transfer Credits: Accepted

Average Tuition
Retention Rate
Admission Rate
Students Enrolled
Institution Type
Percent Online Enrollment
94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#2 Fastest Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Eastern Kentucky University

  • Richmond, KY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its Richmond campus, Eastern Kentucky University offers undergraduate degrees as a public institution. In addition to in-person options, the school delivers 52 online programs. The online bachelor of arts in general studies program offers rigorous academics in a flexible format.

At the school, online learners choose course formats that fit their schedule. Academic advisors and career counselors help majors complete a college degree and plan their next steps. Distance learners pursue internships to strengthen career-focused skills. While taking online classes, enrollees complete internships at local community sites.

Graduates from the school's online programs enter the workforce with an accredited bachelor's degree. With a bachelor's degree, graduates can launch careers in business, education, healthcare, and other in-demand fields.

Eastern Kentucky University Fast Facts:

Online Student Enrollment: 6,661

Total Bachelor's Programs: 89

Online Bachelor's Programs: 17

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15-to-1

Admission Rate: 94%

Average Tuition
Retention Rate
Admission Rate
Students Enrolled
Institution Type
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Fastest Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Albertus Magnus College

  • New Haven, CT
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A private institution, Albertus Magnus College operates from its main campus in New Haven, Connecticut. Learners interested in an online degree can choose from 21 options at the school, including a BA in general studies. Online degree-seekers benefit from a flexible format with high academic standards.

At the school, online learners can take classes with live sessions or no set meeting times. Majors participate in career counseling and academic advising. Distance learners pursue internships to strengthen career-focused skills. Enrollees work with the institution to find local experiential learning sites.

Students who complete general education and major requirements graduate with an accredited bachelor's degree. A bachelor's degree can lead to opportunities in business, healthcare, education, and other in-demand fields.

Albertus Magnus College Fast Facts:

Online Student Enrollment: 692

Online Bachelor's Programs: 10

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14-to-1

Admission Rate: 83%

Average Tuition
Retention Rate
Admission Rate
Students Enrolled
Institution Type
Percent Online Enrollment
49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

The Pros and Cons of an Accelerated Degree

Pros of an Accelerated Degree

  • Opportunity for lower degree cost
  • Earn your degree faster than usual
  • Get a head start on your career
  • Increase your earning potential sooner

Cons of an Accelerated Degree

  • Heavier course loads
  • Higher potential for stress
  • More demanding of your time and energy
  • Requires extensive time management

How Quickly Can I Get an Accelerated Bachelor's Degree?

Accelerated bachelor's degree programs give students plenty of options to finish their degrees quickly. The following methods and programs help students graduate faster than students in traditional programs:

  1. 1

    Competency-Based Programs

    Competency-based programs focus on specific skills and knowledge students need for their current or future careers. Students must demonstrate proficiency with one skill before moving on to the next. Instead of traditional tests, students prove their mastery through projects or other tasks that reflect their chosen fields' expectations.

  2. 2

    Challenge Exams

    Schools use challenge exams, such as the College Level Examination Program, to allow incoming students to test out of courses. Each school sets its policy on how many tests students may attempt or how many courses they may skip. Passing challenge exams allow some students to graduate one semester sooner than their peers.

  3. 3

    Credits for Life and Professional Experience

    Students can earn college credits by submitting a portfolio of relevant work experience that meets certain course requirements. Schools may also require students to prove their knowledge by completing interviews with faculty members. Military veterans often receive these credits as their training provides them with valuable skills and knowledge.

  4. 4

    Flat-Rate Programs

    A flat-rate program allows students to pay one price for a set of courses. Flat-rate programs can help you graduate faster and save more money. Students who pay a flat tuition rate for 12 credits can take about six additional credits without extra charges. Some schools allow students to take more than 18 credits each semester. But each school is different. You may need approval before taking on a heavy course load.

  5. 5

    Transfer Credits

    You can transfer credits you've previously earned to a new school and degree. Each school has different transfer policies that can affect how quickly you can graduate and how much you pay. But transferring credits can reduce the time to degree completion by 1-2 years.

  6. 6

    Degree-Completion Programs

    Degree-completion programs accept students with associate degrees who plan to earn a bachelor's in the same subject. If incoming students meet all application requirements, their prior education automatically counts toward their bachelor's degrees. Students can earn their bachelor's in two years or less in these programs.

Popular Accelerated Bachelor's Degrees

Accelerated bachelor's degrees provide all the same career skills and training as traditional bachelor's degrees but at a faster pace. There are many for you to choose from.

The following are some of the most popular:

  • Accounting

    An accelerated accounting degree focuses on accounting skills for the public, tax, and managerial settings and prepares you for the certified public accountant's exam.

  • Business Administration

    A business administration degree teaches communication, critical thinking, and leadership skills for fields like marketing, human resources, accounting, and finance.

  • Education

    Accelerated education degrees prepare you to teach different ages in various educational settings and qualify you to pursue certification and licensure.

  • Marketing

    A marketing degree teaches you strategies for connecting with consumers and gives you foundational skills in research, critical thinking, and communication.

  • Healthcare Administration

    Healthcare administration degrees prepare you to work in healthcare settings with knowledge of policy, compliance, and business planning.

  • Communication

    Accelerated communication degrees provide specialized knowledge for writing-based fields like public relations, advertising, and journalism.

Accelerated One-Year and Two-Year Programs

A one-year or two-year accelerated program consists of shortened classes lasting between 5-8 weeks. The following accelerated programs explain what you can expect from them:

1 Nursing Programs

An accelerated nursing program teaches core knowledge and clinical skills for the nursing field. Nursing students learn patient-focused healthcare, spend time in clinics, and work directly with patients.

2 MBA Programs

An accelerated master's in business administration (MBA) prepares students for business careers. And it gives them the chance to earn their MBA in 1-2 years. MBA students often specialize in general management, strategic leadership, and marketing.

3 Law Programs

An accelerated Juris Doctor (J.D.) program provides broad and specialized legal education. Law students learn legal procedures and receive extensive real-world training in clinics and law offices. Plus, you can earn your J.D. in two — not three — years in an accelerated program.

Q&A With Real Online Students and Grads

Q: Why did you decide to pursue an accelerated degree?

"I wanted to pursue a career that would perfectly combine the skills I had, but [I] needed to get the right degrees to showcase my expertise."
 — Heather Welch, BS in Finance and IT
"The decision to pursue an online accelerated degree for me is driven by the passion I have to teach. Being employed full time and with other obligations to manage, an in-person program could not provide that flexibility. In addition, the affordability of an online degree and lack of travel expenses proved to be the best value and opportunity for me to reach my goal of becoming an educator."
 — Milton Paredes, BA in Global Education

Q: In your opinion, what is the value of earning an accelerated degree?

"I did both a financial degree and an IT degree online through an accelerated program. It still took a while, and I must admit, I had some struggles to meet the deadlines, but it did pay off in the end."
 — Heather W.
"The value of earning an accelerated online degree for me is time and money. The pace of classes is faster, which equates to a shorter time to earn my degree but without compromising the content to equip me with what I need. This translates to quicker income potential for me."
 — Milton P.

Q: What is your biggest piece of advice to students considering an accelerated online program?

"Make an effort to learn, and focus a lot on the subjects and educational material you get with the courses. You get out what you put in — that's so true for the case of an accelerated degree."
 — Heather W.
"Do not be discouraged if you feel like you are not initially successful in navigating through courses. With a little time, it will become familiar to you and when it does, remember why you started your journey, and keep working toward your goal!"
 — Milton P.

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