How to Get a Bachelor’s Degree Fast [Quickest Ways]

Want a bachelor's degree in less than four years? Learn how to get a bachelor's degree fast with accelerated online programs.
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An award-winning historian and writer, Genevieve Carlton, Ph.D., has published multiple scholarly articles and a book with the University of Chicago Press. She currently works as a writer and consultant. She holds a Ph.D. in history from Northwestern...
Updated on September 28, 2023
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Daniella Ramirez is an associate editor for BestColleges, where she focuses on core content. She is passionate about college accessibility and helping students succeed. She previously worked as an associate editor on The Points Guy (a blog that produ...
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An accelerated online program is the fastest way to get a bachelor's degree. You can earn credits quickly and maximize your transfer credits to finish a bachelor's degree in as little as 1-2 years.

And with an accredited online program, you can feel confident in the quality of your degree.

Featured Online Bachelor's Degrees

Quickest Bachelor's Degrees to Get Online

Need to graduate before four years? Then learn more about the quickest bachelor's degrees you can earn online.

You can study business, education, design, tech, or other fields in an accelerated format to graduate sooner. And you can jump into the workforce faster by choosing an accelerated online bachelor's degree.

Ready to get started? Learn more about the classes, career paths, and earning potential with different online bachelor's programs.

1. Accounting

Want a fast bachelor's degree that can lead to careers that pay more than the national median? Then check out accounting programs. You'll learn how to create and analyze financial documents. After graduation, you'll qualify for titles like accountant and auditor.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accounting careers reported a median pay of over $77,000 per year in May 2021. Or, you can go into finance for an even higher earning potential.

Featured Online Accounting Bachelor's Programs

Choosing the right accounting program can be the fastest way to get a bachelor's degree. Maximize your transfer credits and look for accelerated programs that have generous transfer credit policies.

2. Anthropology

Anthropology majors explore human culture, from the earliest humans to those in modern society. And with a bachelor's in anthropology, you can work in diverse fields like marketing, international development, or law enforcement.

An anthropology degree strengthens research, analytical, and communication skills. The average salary for someone with an anthropology degree hit $65,000 as of April 2023, according to Payscale.

Featured Online Anthropology Bachelor's Programs

Are you looking for a major similar to anthropology? Then consider a degree in sociology, political science, or global studies. You'll gain solid social science skills in these majors.

3. Arts and Design

If you've got a creative side, choosing an art or design major might be the quickest way to get a bachelor's degree. You can earn a degree in art or study graphic design, interior design, or another design field.

Careers like graphic design and interior design report median salaries between $50,000-$60,000 per year (BLS, May 2021). Or, you might consider a career in special effects or animation, which reports a median yearly pay of over $78,000 (BLS, May 2021).

Featured Online Arts and Design Bachelor's Programs

Can you earn an art degree online? Yes, many top-ranked colleges offer art programs in a virtual format. The flexibility can help you graduate in less time.

4. Business Administration

Strengthen analytical and management skills with a business administration degree. You'll take accounting, marketing, and finance courses while you gain leadership skills.

You can work as a management analyst, financial analyst, or project management specialist with a business degree. Curious about your earning potential? Project managers earn a median annual salary of $94,500 (BLS, May 2021).

Featured Online Business Administration Bachelor's Programs

Do you have transfer credits? If you've taken many business classes, a business administration degree can help you make the most of your prior credits and graduate faster.

5. Communication

Strong communication skills can help you in any field. You'll study technical writing, journalism, media, and business communication during a communication program.

After graduation, you can become a reporter, public relations specialist, technical writer, or grant writer. These media and communication occupations report a median annual salary of $62,340 (BLS, May 2021).

Featured Online Communication Bachelor's Programs

Curious about similar majors? Check out journalism, public relations, and English programs. You'll strengthen your communication skills with all of these majors.

6. Computer Science

Want to know how to get a bachelor's degree fast in tech? Look into computer science programs.

You can graduate quickly with an accelerated program if you already have strong programming and technical skills. Comp sci is a great major for software developers, a field that reports a median annual salary of about $109,000 (BLS, May 2021).

Featured Online Computer Science Bachelor's Programs

Other careers with a computer science degree include computer systems analyst, information security analyst, and database architect. You can also work as a programmer, web developer, or software tester.

7. Counseling

Want to work in the counseling field? Then look for accelerated counseling programs. You'll learn how to lead group therapy sessions and conduct assessments.

And with a bachelor's degree, you can work as a substance misuse or behavioral disorder counselor.

Featured Online Counseling Bachelor's Programs

A bachelor's degree in counseling is also a great first step if you want to enroll in a grad school program in counseling, social work, or another community or social services field.

8. Criminal Justice

Are you fascinated by law enforcement and the legal system? Then a criminal justice degree could be a great fit to get a bachelor's degree fast.

You'll study criminology, corrections, and the court system. With a bachelor's degree, you can become a police officer or work in federal law enforcement. Police and detectives earn a median annual salary of about $66,000 (BLS, May 2021).

Featured Online Criminal Justice Bachelor's Programs

What else can you do with a criminal justice degree? You can also work as a correctional officer, probation officer, or correctional treatment specialist.

9. Education

Have you always wanted to work in education? Then consider earning your bachelor's degree in education in an accelerated format.

You'll study assessment methods and instructional approaches while gaining hands-on experience during a practicum. After graduation, you can apply for a teaching license and become a K-12 teacher.

Featured Online Education Bachelor's Programs

If you want to teach in public schools, make sure your bachelor's program meets your state's requirements for a teaching license or credential.

10. Engineering

Engineering offers some of the highest-paying careers for professionals with a bachelor's degree. And you can earn an engineering degree quickly if you plan ahead.

Take materials science and engineering classes on an accelerated schedule to choose your focus area and prepare for the job market. Mechanical engineers earn a median annual salary of about $95,000 (BLS, May 2021).

Featured Online Engineering Bachelor's Programs

Most colleges offer multiple engineering degrees, including specializations in mechanical, aerospace, civil, and electrical engineering. You can take lower-division engineering classes to choose your specialization.

11. Finance

Finance is an in-demand field that pays above the national median salary. During a bachelor's in finance program, you'll strengthen your analytical skills while studying financial management.

The degree can lead to a career as a financial analyst, which reports a median annual salary of over $95,000 (BLS, May 2021). You can also work as an accountant, budget analyst, or financial examiner with a finance degree.

Featured Online Finance Bachelor's Programs

What else can you do with a finance degree? It's a great option if you're also interested in earning an MBA or a master's in finance degree.

12. General Studies

Not sure what to choose for your major? Then consider a general studies degree. The fastest way to get a bachelor's degree in general studies is to leverage your transfer credits.

Because they're interdisciplinary, general studies programs often grant credit for classes in many different fields. You can also customize your major around a career path or interest.

Featured Online General Studies Bachelor's Programs

As an interdisciplinary degree, general studies is a great option for a variety of careers. It's also a good choice if you want a bachelor's degree but want something other than a specific major.

13. Healthcare Management

Learn how to oversee healthcare organizations with a bachelor's in healthcare management. You'll study healthcare finance, policy, and administration.

With experience, you can work as a medical or health services manager. This career path reports six-figure median annual salaries and is projected to grow 28% from 2021-2031 (BLS, May 2021).

Featured Online Healthcare Management Bachelor's Programs

Looking for entry-level healthcare management job titles? Check out titles like health information technician, healthcare HR specialist, or health service coordinator.

14. Human Resources

Can't decide between working in tech, healthcare, education, or the public sector? Consider human resources — every industry needs HR.

During a bachelor's in human resources, you'll learn about workforce development, labor relations, and recruiting. With your HR degree, you can work as a human resources specialist, a title with a median annual salary of $62,290 (BLS, May 2021).

Featured Online Human Resources Bachelor's Programs

Within human resources, you can specialize in areas like compensation and benefits, training and development, or recruiting and hiring.

15. Information Technology

You can work in the growing tech field with a bachelor's degree in information technology. You'll learn web development and information security skills while also exploring the business applications of technology.

After graduation, you can pursue roles like information security analyst, which reports a median annual salary of $102,600 (BLS, May 2021).

Featured Online Information Technology Bachelor's Programs

What are other jobs with an IT degree? Look for titles like computer systems analyst, network administrator, web developer, or database administrator.

Interested in the law? Then consider a legal studies degree. You'll study criminal law, the court system, and legal writing while strengthening your analytical and research skills.

With a legal studies degree, you can become a paralegal or pursue roles like arbitrator or mediator. It's also a great option if you're considering law school.

Featured Online Legal Studies Bachelor's Programs

What are some interesting classes you might take as a legal studies major? During your degree, you can explore international law, corporate law, or intellectual property.

17. Liberal Arts

The liberal arts span the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. During a liberal arts degree, you'll hone your communication, analytical, and research skills.

What can you do as a liberal arts major? You can consider roles in business, human resources, or public relations. For example, public relations specialists earn a median salary of $62,800 per year (BLS, May 2021).

Featured Online Liberal Arts Bachelor's Programs

Liberal arts is a flexible option if you have many transfer credits. You can also design your own interdisciplinary curriculum in many liberal arts programs.

18. Marketing

Dive into customer research, competitor analysis, and pricing strategies with a bachelor's in marketing. You'll strengthen research and analytical skills that you can apply in marketing, advertising, or sales careers.

Marketing majors who become market research analysts can earn a median salary of $63,920 per year (BLS, May 2021).

Featured Online Marketing Bachelor's Programs

Want to know the fastest way to get a bachelor's degree in marketing? Look for programs with 5- to 8-week terms or accelerated enrollment options.

19. Psychology

Explore child development, social behavior, and mental health conditions with a bachelor's in psychology. The degree emphasizes analysis, research, and critical thinking. With this degree, you can begin careers in counseling, social services, marketing, or public relations.

A bachelor's degree meets the requirement for titles like behavioral disorder counselor and market research analysis.

Featured Online Psychology Bachelor's Programs

Considering a graduate program in social work, counseling, or psychology? A bachelor's in psych is a great way to meet the prerequisite requirements.

20. Public Health

Explore infectious diseases, public health management, and epidemiology with a public health degree. You'll gain research and communication skills that prepare you for roles in healthcare and education.

For example, you can become a health education specialist with a public health degree. Health education specialists earn a median annual pay of $60,600 (BLS, May 2021).

Featured Online Public Health Bachelor's Programs

Public health is a great major if you're considering medical school or a master's in public health. And the major can prepare you for roles like community health worker or public health researcher.

21. Social Work

Explore social welfare policy and social justice with a bachelor's in social work. You'll strengthen your advocacy and activist skills while preparing for careers as a social worker, case manager, and client advocate. Many social work programs include hands-on practica to prepare for social services careers.

Featured Online Social Work Bachelor's Programs

Want to know the quickest way to get a bachelor's degree in social work? Research online and accelerated programs, including programs that grant credit for work experience.

22. Sociology

You'll study social institutions and the relationship between self and society as a sociology major. During your bachelor's in sociology, you'll build analytical, critical thinking, and research skills.

With a sociology degree, you can work in diverse fields like business, education, public relations, and social services.

Featured Online Sociology Bachelor's Programs

What are other career paths with a sociology degree? You can work in the nonprofit or public sector or consider grad school. Law school is also a common path for sociology majors.

What Is the Fastest Way to Get My Bachelor's Degree?

Want to know the fastest way to get a bachelor's degree? Then make sure you know about accelerated courses, how to maximize transfer credits, and custom degree plans.

  • Find Accelerated Programs Online: Look for accelerated programs to earn credits faster. You can earn 45 credits or more with an accelerated program.
  • Use High School Courses for College Credit: Get the most out of high school classes that offer college credit, including AP and IB exams, along with dual-enrollment programs.
  • Use Transfer Credits: Use transfer credits to speed up your degree. Also, look into earning credit by taking exams and using work or life experience.
  • Create a Custom Degree Plan: Customize your major to maximize your prior experience and transfer credits. You can work with academic advisors to develop a plan.

How to Find the Quickest Path to Get Your Bachelor's Degree

Curious about how to get an accelerated degree? First, you need to find the right program. An accelerated format can help you graduate with a bachelor's degree in less time.

However, there are several ways to accelerate your degree. Here are three paths you can take to get your degree fast.

Featured Online Bachelor's Degrees

1. Pick a College That Offers 5-Week, 6-Week, or 8-Week Programs

Most undergrads take classes on a 16-week semester. And most colleges offer two semesters per year. But a shorter term can mean earning credits faster.

By completing classes on a 5- to 8-week term, you can accelerate your degree. And you can speed up your bachelor's degree even more by taking courses year round instead of following the typical academic calendar.

2. Attend a University Offering Accelerated Programs

Many colleges design accelerated online programs for students who want to get a bachelor's degree fast.

These programs use transfer credits, accelerated schedules, and other methods to speed up a bachelor's degree. Depending on your prior credits, you can earn a bachelor's degree in as little as one year.

3. Create Your Own Accelerated Degree Plan

Instead of choosing from a list of majors, you can customize an accelerated degree plan. At many colleges, academic advisors will help you create an individualized degree plan based on your interests and prior credits.

By making the most of your transfer credits, you'll graduate sooner.

Frequently Asked Questions About Quick Online Bachelor's Degrees

Can you earn a bachelor's degree in a short period of time?

Yes, you can earn a bachelor's degree in less than the typical four years. A bachelor's degree requires earning at least 120 credits. Most undergrads complete about 30 credits per year. You can graduate faster by using transfer credits and taking classes in an accelerated format.

For example, by taking classes on shorter, accelerated terms throughout the year, you can potentially earn 45 or more credits in a year. Depending on your program and transfer credits, you can finish a bachelor's degree in 1-2 years.

Can you complete a bachelor's degree in under two years?

Yes, you can complete a bachelor's degree in two years or less. Transfer students with an associate degree typically complete their bachelor's in two years. Similarly, you can receive credit by exam or credit for work experience to shorten the length of your bachelor's degree.

Even without transfer credit, you can accelerate a bachelor's degree by taking more classes per year. Many colleges offer accelerated online bachelor's degrees.

Is it too late to obtain a bachelor's degree at 30?

No, it's never too late to earn a bachelor's degree. A college degree can boost your earning potential and lead to more job opportunities. Adults returning to college after a gap often prefer the flexibility of an online format.

With an online bachelor's program, you can take classes on your schedule and work while in school. Make sure to ask about credit for work or life experience.

And submit any college transcripts to receive transfer credit. Maximizing your transfer credits can be the fastest way to get a bachelor's degree. 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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