Top 10 Accelerated Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs 2024

Online Accelerated Bachelor's Degree

Author: Brenda Rufener / Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson / First covered: February 2020

Key Takeaways:

  • Our #1 ranking college for an accelerated online bachelor’s program is Purdue University Global, followed by Arkansas Tech University.
  • Accelerated degrees shorten education time, enabling faster advancement by integrating undergraduate and master’s course credits.
  • Students often need a GPA above 3.5 to qualify for these programs, which can sometimes start as early as the sophomore year.

Accelerated online bachelor’s degrees provide convenient educational pathways for busy and working students. Adult learners seek these fast bachelor’s degrees online to accommodate their busy personal lives. Earning a quick degree online is an option from accredited colleges and universities. By getting a fast bachelor’s degree online, you get the best of both worlds: a quick completion time and a flexible class schedule to accommodate your busy life.

Featured Programs

A growing number of online colleges and universities are offering some of the fastest online degree programs to date. Students no longer have to attend brick-and-mortar classes. Programs offering accredited, fast online degrees are available from some of the nation’s top-ranked schools. The fast bachelors degrees can sometimes be combined with fast master’s degrees to accelerate the process of earning both bachelors and masters degrees.

Exploring 10 Fast Bachelor’s Degree Online Programs

The following are the 10 fastest online degree programs for bachelor’s degrees. This list is featured randomly. But the schools have been selected by applying the following criteria:

  • Accreditation (regional or national school and program accreditation)
  • Number of online bachelor’s degree programs
  • School rankings with major publications

Below is a list of schools offering the top 10 fast bachelor’s online degree programs.

#10. Lamar University

Beaumont, Texas

Website
Tuition per credit: $314
Completion time: Classes offered in an accelerated 8-week format

At Lamar University, fast online degrees are the norm. They allow students to earn a bachelor’s even with personal or professional obligations. LU Online is set up to fit the needs of working students. The school offers multiple start dates throughout the year. Students can work at their own pace. Courses run in an accelerated eight-week format or can be extended to 15 weeks. Some of the popular undergraduate online programs include:

  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • General Studies
  • Management
  • Nursing (RN to BSN)

Lamar is accredited and affordable. Also, the school ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. Lamar’s recent rankings include #293-#381 in the best national universities.

Pros:

  • Rolling admission
  • Courses available in accelerated or extended format
  • No SAT/ACT requirements

Cons:

  • High student-to-faculty ratio
  • Lack of communication in online instruction

#9. Florida Institute of Technology

Melbourne, Florida

Website
Tuition: $12,240
Completion time: Three years

Ranked and accredited, Florida Institute is a top choice for quick and easy online degree programs. It offers a wide selection of online bachelor’s degrees. They can be completed faster than traditional programs. Online bachelor’s programs include:

  • Accounting
  • Aviation Management
  • Business Administration
  • Criminal Justice
  • Human Resources Management
  • Management
  • Psychology

When earning the degree online, these programs take less than four years to complete. Florida Tech is fully accredited and has received rankings from U.S. News and World Report. Rankings include #202 in best national universities and #297 in top performers on social mobility. Also, the online bachelor’s degree programs rank #133 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

Pros:

  • Excellent support staff
  • Small class sizes

Cons:

  • The financial aid system can be difficult to navigate
  • Lower-than-average student diversity

#8. American Public University

Charles Town, West Virginia

Website
Tuition per credit: $325
Completion time: Courses vary from 8 to 16 weeks

American Public University offers accelerated online degree programs. These can be completed in less time than a traditional, on-campus bachelor’s degree. APU’s online degrees are designed for convenience. Flexible online classes allow students to access their program from anywhere and any time of the day or night. Quality online bachelor’s degrees include:

  • Accounting
  • Criminal Justice
  • Cybersecurity
  • Emergency and Disaster Management
  • Public Health

APU offers one of the largest selections of online undergraduate degrees on our list. APU has received rankings from major publications like U.S. News and World Report. Recent rankings list APU as a top regional university in the South.

Pros:

  • Online programs are easy to navigate
  • Program flexibility

Cons:

  • Lower-than-average graduation rate
  • Issues with reviewing online student work

#7. Bellevue University

Bellevue, Nebraska

Website
Tuition per credit: $449
Completion time: Two years or less

Bellevue offers some of the fastest bachelor’s degree completion times available. In fact, some of these accelerated online degree programs can be completed in less than two years. Some of the available online programs at Bellevue include:

  • Adult Education
  • Communication
  • Graphic Design
  • Healthcare Management
  • Hospitality Management
  • Liberal Studies
  • Sport Management

Bellevue ranks with major publications. In fact, Bellevue was recently ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the Midwest. Also, Bellevue’s online bachelor’s programs rank #176 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News. This makes it a top choice for accelerated bachelor’s degree online programs.

Pros:

  • Among the fastest accelerated programs
  • Excellent student resources

Cons:

  • Lack of communication between faculty/administration and students
  • Some aspects of online programming can be difficult to navigate

#6. University of New Hampshire (formerly Granite State College)

Concord, New Hampshire

Website
Tuition per credit: (in-state) $314; (out-of-state) $370
Completion time: Varies depending on transfer credits

The University of New Hampshire offers fast-paced and accelerated online bachelor’s degree completion programs. They are designed for working adults who have an associates degree in a related field. They can be completed quickly and efficiently. Programs include:

  • BS in Allied Health Leadership
  • BS in Applied Studies – Education and Training
  • BS in Applied Studies – Management
  • BS in Health Information Management
  • Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • BS in Public Service Management
  • BS in Service and Hospitality Management

Several online bachelor’s programs for students without an associate’s degree are offered. These selections include:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Criminal Justice
  • History
  • Marketing
  • Psychology

UNH ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the North. The online bachelor’s programs rank #106 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

Pros:

  • 100% acceptance rate
  • No application fee

Cons:

  • Transferring credits can be an issue
  • 42% graduation rate is below the national average

#5. Drexel University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Website
Tuition: (in-state) $7,806; (out-of-state) $9,150
Completion time: Two to three years

Drexel University offers some of the most accelerated online degree programs on our list. There are 18 online bachelor’s degree programs. Undergraduate minors are also offered in nearly every discipline available at Drexel. These online bachelor’s degrees can be completed with accelerated classes and online instruction. Some of Drexel’s popular online undergraduate programs include:

  • Behavioral Health Counseling
  • Business Administration
  • Communication
  • Criminology and Justice Studies
  • Education

The school also offers a fast online RN to BSN degree for registered nurses with an associate’s degree. Drexel is a fully accredited private institution founded in 1891. The school has earned rankings from major publications like U.S. News and World Report. They ranked 97th best national university. Also, Drexel’s online bachelor’s programs rank #99. The online bachelor’s programs for veterans rank #61 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

Pros:

  • 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • Most programs are asynchronous

Cons:

  • Securing financial aid can be challenging
  • A 3.75 GPA is required for admission

#4. Upper Iowa University

Fayette, Iowa

Website
Tuition: $495 per credit
Completion time: Self-paced programming and completion times vary

Upper Iowa University offers quick and easy online accelerated programs. They are designed for those seeking accelerated bachelor’s degrees online. The school is nationally recognized as a leader in distance education. They offer quick online degree programs in a number of disciplines. For example, students may earn several bachelor’s degrees online, including:

  • Accounting
  • Communication
  • Emergency and Disaster Management
  • Financial Management
  • Graphic Design
  • Liberal Arts
  • Sociology

Fast-paced courses and short completion times earn UI a spot on our list. Also, Upper Iowa ranks with U.S. News and World Report, making it a reputable and quality school. Recent rankings include #117-#153 in the best regional universities in the Midwest and #86 in top performers on social mobility. Upper Iowa’s online bachelor’s programs rank #171 in the best online bachelor’s programs out of more than 1,200 surveyed by U.S. News.

Pros:

  • Zero application fee
  • Committed to diversity

Cons:

  • A lack of online student support
  • Lower-than-average graduation rate

#3. Utica University

Utica, New York

Website
Tuition: 24,308
Completion time: Varies by program, can be less than two years

If you are searching for the easiest bachelor’s degree online, check out Utica University. It ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 86th-best regional university in the North. UU is fully accredited. Also, the online bachelor’s programs rank among some of the best in the country. In fact, U.S. News recently ranked Utica’s accelerated online bachelor’s programs #66 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed. Online bachelors degrees at Utica include:

  • Business Data Analytics
  • Criminal Justice
  • Cybersecurity
  • Healthcare Management
  • Nursing (RN to BSN)

The online BSN takes approximately 16 months to complete. This makes it a top accelerated bachelor’s program.

Pros:

  • Highly rated online bachelor’s programs
  • 81% acceptance rate

Cons:

  • Lack of student support

#2. Arkansas Tech University

Russellville, Arkansas

Website
Tuition: $5,820
Completion time: Varies based on degree program

Arkansas Tech offers accelerated bachelor’s degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. ATU has flexible programs led by the same professors who deliver on-campus courses. Some of the popular online programs include bachelor’s degrees in:

  • Business Administration
  • Criminal Justice and Criminology
  • Emergency Management and Administration
  • History
  • Professional Studies
  • RN to BSN

ATU is fully accredited and ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, ATU’s rankings include #75 in best regional universities in the South and #30 in top public schools.

Pros:

  • A wide range of majors and programs
  • 94.4% acceptance rate

Cons:

  • Lack of diversity
  • Below-average graduation rate

#1. Purdue University Global

Various Locations, including Cedar Rapids, IA

Website
Tuition: $371 per credit
Completion time: Self-paced programming varies by knowledge and experience

For fast online degrees, Purdue University Global offers one of the widest selections. Accelerated programs can be found in a range of disciplines. Some popular online bachelor’s degrees at Purdue Global include:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Fire and Emergency Management
  • Fire Science
  • Health Care Administration
  • Psychology

Special online military programs offer bachelor’s degrees for military personnel and their families. These programs accept transfer credit and offer accelerated pacing. Many of the accelerated programs take less than three years to complete. Purdue University Global is a fully accredited institution. It has received rankings from major publications like U.S. News and World Report. We included PG for its affordable options and number of accelerated online programs. If you’re seeking a fast online degree, Purdue Global has one of the largest selections of programs.

Pros:

  • A wide range of degree program options
  • Offers a Returning Student Relief Grant

Cons:

  • Purdue Global is a relatively new program so there isn’t much of a track record
  • Graduation rate is well below average

Frequently Asked Questions

How is an online accelerated bachelor’s degree program different from a regular one?

Earning fast online bachelor’s degrees can be rewarding and beneficial. Students enrolled in these programs earn their degrees online faster than regular online degrees. However, these differences can help you choose if an accelerated program is right for you.

Accelerated online bachelor’s degrees move at a quicker pace. The program often leads to a bachelor’s degree in one to two years faster. Courses are shortened, compressing a semester’s worth of instruction to eight weeks. In general, traditional on-campus courses run for sixteen weeks. Even regular online courses can run twelve to sixteen weeks. In an accelerated program, students can complete one class in 5, 8, or 10-week sessions.

Students in an accelerated online degree program can earn their degree in as little as 12-24 months. Their on-campus counterparts spend four years in the classroom.

Are there advantages of an accelerated bachelor’s degree online?

The short answer is yes. Earning a fast online bachelor’s degree does offer its advantages. This is helpful if you have a busy schedule. Getting an online degree can make a difference if you have family and work responsibilities. Accelerated programs offer quick and efficient options for earning a degree. For example, you spend less time in class and earn a degree in less than two years. This is much different than a traditional program, which generally requires four years of classes.

Busy individuals benefit from online accelerated programs. But not only will the program require less time, but you can also save money. Earning your degree in a shorter amount of time will likely cost less. Due to the flexibility, you can also continue to work while taking fast online classes.

This concludes our ranking of the top 10 accelerated online bachelor’s degrees.

CVO Staff