If you have an associate degree and want to advance your education, you’re undoubtedly eager to do it as soon as possible. Continuing your education can help you improve your job performance, raise your employment chances, increase your compensation, and develop a more profound knowledge foundation in your profession that you can build on and expand. It’s a fantastic choice!
It’s thrilling when you’ve decided that’s what you want to do next, and you’re here because you don’t want to wait! However, getting your Bachelor’s degree doesn’t have to take an excessive amount of time. In this article, we will show you some ways to quickly earn a Bachelor’s degree by answering the question: “What is the fastest way to get a bachelor’s degree if you have an associate’s degree”?
What Is an Associate’s Degree?
An Associate’s degree is the first level of undergraduate degrees and is the foundation of all other academic degrees. An associate’s degree program typically consists of 60 credits and includes required general education courses in science, mathematics, and language arts. These are introductory courses that prepare the student for further studies.
Also needed are courses specific to your chosen area of interest (major or minor), commonly referred to as electives. On average, this degree takes two years of full-time dedication to complete. Two of the most popular online schools for obtaining an Associate’s degree are:
Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University is a private university located in Manchester, New Hampshire. Founded in 1932, The University is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education. SNHU offers eleven Associate’s degree programs in an online format, including an Associate in Computer Science degree and an Associate in Fashion Merchandising degree.
Indiana Wesleyan University
Indiana Wesleyan University is an evangelical university located in Marion, Indiana. It was founded in 1890 and is the largest private University in Indiana. The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. IWU offers thirteen Associate’s programs in an online format, including an Associate of Arts in Creative Digital Media degree and an Associate of Science – Professional Pilot degree.
For more information on Associate’s degrees, click here.
After obtaining an Associate’s degree, the next step to a successful career is a Bachelor’s degree.
What is a Bachelor’s Degree?
In addition to the general education courses in an Associate’s degree, a Bachelor’s degree includes specialized courses in the students’ primary subject (major). In addition, course requirements emphasize supplementary areas of study that relate to or support the career path selected by the student.
The typical Bachelor’s degree consists of 120 credits and takes an average of four years to complete. Students who already have an Associate’s degree can focus solely on the specialized courses for the chosen major. In addition, most schools accept transfer credits from other institutions, allowing students to use their Associate’s degree to fast-track their Bachelor’s. Three of the most popular online schools for obtaining a Bachelor’s degree are:
North Carolina State University
North Carolina State University is a public university located in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was founded in 1887 and is the largest University within the Carolinas. The University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. NSU offers an award-winning online Bachelors of Arts – Leadership in the Public Sector degree program.
Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University is a private university located in Provo, Utah. It was founded in 1875 and is fostered by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. BYU offers six online Bachelors’s degree programs, including Applied Technology and Professional Studies.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a public university located in Urbana, Illinois. It was founded in 1867 and is the flagship university of the University of Illinois system. It is one of the largest public universities in the United States by enrollment. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. U of I offers an online Bachelor of Science in Sustainability and The Environment degree program.
For more information on these schools and more schools offering online degree programs, click here.
Online Learning – The Fastest Way To Earn a Bachelors Degree
Online Bachelor’s degree programs are as comprehensive as the traditional on-site programs. They meet the same educational standards but are more convenient, and the courses are administered by the same professors that teach the on-site classes. Additionally, the diploma you receive does not discern between the formats, giving the same merit to the degree.
Most online degree programs are asynchronous, allowing students to complete courses at their own pace. This gives students the option to work at an accelerated pace and finish the degree quicker than on-site programs. Other advantages of studying for a Bachelor’s degree online include the freedom of mobility and flexible scheduling.
Degree Completion Programs: A Quick Way To Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree
Another quick way to bridge the gap between these two degrees is through Bachelor’s degree completion programs. These programs are offered both on-site and online. Degree completion programs can be the fastest route to obtaining a Bachelor’s degree if you have any previous college experience, especially with an Associate’s degree.
The acceleration is built into the structure of the program in several ways. First, there is ample room to bring in credits. If you have your associate degree, you already have at least 60 credit hours. Degree completion programs often allow transfers of up to 100 credit hours, including those earned during your Associate’s degree as well as alternative credits.
Secondly is the course duration. Courses can be as short as seven weeks each! Schools offering degree completion tracks tend to run more terms, longer terms, or even year-round, so you don’t have to take any time off that you don’t want to. The third way the acceleration is built-in is the opportunity to take more credit hours simultaneously than available in a traditional format.
Bachelor’s Degree Completion Programs
|Florida Institute of Technology|
|Wisconsin Lutheran College|
|University of Massachusetts Amherst|
|Arizona State University|
|California University of Pennsylvania|
|University of Oklahoma|
Accelerated online degree completion programs are the best and fastest way to get a Bachelor’s degree if you have an Associate’s degree. Ten of the most popular online schools for Bachelor’s degree completion programs are:
Florida Institute of Technology
The Florida Institute of Technology is a private university located in Melbourne, Florida. Established in 1958 as the Brevard Engineering College, it is now a research university renowned for its laser Optics work. The University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. FIT offers 18 bachelor’s degree programs in an asynchronous online format. Enrollment dates start six times per year, and the courses are accelerated with eight-week long terms.
Northeastern University is a private university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1898 as the evening Institute for younger men. The University is accredited by the New England Association of schools and colleges, Commission on institutions of higher education and is classified as an “R1: Doctoral universities very high research activity”. NU offers online Bachelor’s degrees through their Fast Track program, with the quickest program completed in 18 months.
Wisconsin Lutheran College
Wisconsin Lutheran College is a private institution located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Founded in 1973, It began offering accelerated degree completion programs through its College of Adult and Graduate Studies in 2009. WLC offers an online accelerated Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management and Leadership degree program allowing the transfer of up to 80 credits from another Institution.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
The University of Massachusetts Amherst is a public university based in Amherst, Massachusetts. Founded in 1863, it is the flagship university of the University of Massachusetts system. The University is accredited by the New England Association of schools and colleges, Commission on institutions of higher education. Umass offers Bachelors’s degree programs online through its University Without Walls. In addition to the standard 14-week format, the school provides six-week summer sessions and a three-week winter session for faster program completion.
Drexel University is a private university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1891 as the Drexel Institute of Art Science and Industry. It is one of the first Institutions to implement distance learning, with its first program available in 1996. The University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on higher education. Drexel offers 18 bachelor’s degrees in an accelerated online and asynchronous format. Students can transfer up to 135 credits from another institution. The courses are presented in four quarters per year, each lasting ten weeks, making for a faster completion time than traditional learning formats.
Arizona State University
Arizona State University is a public university located in Phoenix, Arizona. It was established in 1885 as the Territorial Normal School; It is now one of the largest public universities in the United States. The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and classified as an “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”. ASU offers online Bachelor’s degrees in an asynchronous format. Classes are 7 1/2 weeks long, and students can take up to 18 credits at a time. The University also offers summer sessions for faster completion of the degree program.
California University of Pennsylvania
The California University of Pennsylvania is a public university based in California, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1852 as a normal school to train teachers. The University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on higher education and offers over 75 degree programs through its Cal U Global U campus. The online, asynchronous format allows for completion in as little as four semesters. In addition, students can transfer up to 90 credits from another Institution. Six start dates are available each year.
Utica College is a private university located in Utica, New York. It was established in 1946 and is now renowned for its cybersecurity programs. The University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on higher education. Utica offers accelerated Bachelor’s degree programs through its Utica Online campus in an asynchronous format. The Nursing and Criminal Justice bachelor’s degrees can be completed in as little as 16 months.
University of Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma is a public university located in Norman, Oklahoma. It was established in 1990 before Oklahoma was a state. The University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. OU offers online Bachelor’s degree programs through the University of Oklahoma College of Professional and Continuing Studies. The asynchronous courses are offered in five 8-week sessions throughout the year. Students can transfer up to 90 credits from another Institution and can enroll in up to 19 credit hours per semester, allowing for faster completion time.
Walsh University is a private Roman Catholic university based in North Canton, Ohio. It was founded in 1951 as the LaMennais College. The University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. The online Bachelor’s degree programs offered by Walsh University are through the Walsh University school for professional studies. More than 11 bachelor’s degree programs are available in an asynchronous format. Students can transfer up to 92 credits from another institution, and there are six start dates throughout the year. Courses are compacted into five and 8-week sessions to accelerate completion time.
Other Ways To Get a Bachelor’s Degree Quicker
An excellent way to accelerate your Bachelor’s degree is with a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) evaluates and grants credit for learning that occurred in nontraditional settings. This means that after earning your associate degree and working in the field for some time, you may be able to skip some course requirements to earn your Bachelor’s degree. PLA credits are typically offered through specialized testing or courses.
Testing out of courses can also accelerate the time it takes to obtain a Bachelor’s degree. Some colleges offer knowledge tests in specific courses giving students who pass credit for the period without having to complete it. While these tests are more commonly available at the Associate’s level, some Bachelor’s level courses have this option.