30 Fastest Online Programs to Get a Bachelor’s Degree Quickly

Not everyone has four years to spend earning a bachelor's degree. Here's how to get that diploma, fast — and then get right to work.
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Updated on December 22, 2023
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Tyler Epps is an editor for BestColleges. He writes and edits content about higher education, specializing in degree planning and college rankings. He is passionate about helping students prepare for college and navigate their educational journey. He...
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www.bestcolleges.com 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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  • Accelerated online degree programs are the fastest route to a bachelor's degree.
  • Students who choose the right accelerated degree can enter the job market for their chosen field in as little as two years.
  • An accelerated online degree saves students time, money, and opportunity costs.
  • On this page, we've curated the fastest bachelor degrees around — there's something for everyone.

In a hurry to get a degree and start your career?

No problem: An accelerated online bachelor's program can cut your time to degree in half. We've curated a list of all the fastest accredited programs — so you can get started right away.

Acquiring a Bachelor's Degree Quickly with an Accelerated Program

Don't get it twisted — an accelerated degree isn't exactly the easy way out. You'll cover the whole curriculum of a 4-year degree in just 2-3 years. Here's how to survive and succeed:

Featured Online Bachelor's Programs

Top Accelerated Degree Programs by Study Field

There's an accelerated program for almost any subject you can dream up. Just pick one that best supports your career goals.

1. Accounting Degrees

An accelerated accounting degree covers accounting principles, financial reporting, taxes, and auditing. This degree is great for analytical, organized, and number-oriented students.

Grads typically work as accountants, auditors, financial analysts, and tax specialists. In 2021, the median annual salary for accountants and auditors was $77,250, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Featured Online Accounting Program

2. Art and Art History Degrees

During your art or art history degree program, you will learn about the history of art, theory, and criticism while analyzing, interpreting, and creating your own visual art.

It's a great degree for creatives interested in museum curation, art conservation, or teaching. In 2019, art professors averaged $83,220 a year (BLS) — not bad!

Featured Online Art and Art History Program

3. Biology Degrees

An online biology bachelor's degree will teach you all about living organisms and their processes. You can leverage that expertise across industries like healthcare, pharmaceutical development, environmental science, agriculture, and biotechnology.

As of 2019, biology majors made a median annual salary of $65,000 a year (BLS).

Featured Online Biology Program

4. Business Management Degrees

In an accelerated business management bachelors program, you'll explore the principles of business, marketing, finance, and organizational leadership.

Grads can go on to get great jobs across industries with titles like business analyst, operations manager, project manager, and financial manager. In 2021, financial managers had a median annual salary of $131,710 (BLS).

Featured Online Business Management Program

5. Computer Science Degrees

An accelerated computer science degree is a quick path into the hottest industry out there: tech.

Use everything you learn about programming, software development, and data science to land a job as a software engineer, machine learning specialist, or cybersecurity analyst. The median wage for computer and IT occupations was $97,430 in 2021 (BLS).

Featured Online Computer Science Program

6. Construction Management Degrees

A degree in construction management will prepare you to execute large construction projects. Students with a knack for math, engineering, and leadership will do well.

Graduates pursue well-paying roles in positions like cost estimation, cost engineering, or construction management. In 2021, construction managers made a median salary of $98,890 (BLS).

Featured Online Construction Management Program

7. Counseling Degrees

With a bachelor's degree in counseling, you can help people navigate their mental health, relationships, and substance abuse. Qualify for jobs like community manager or substance use counselor, or go on to pursue a graduate degree.

Substance abuse and mental health counselors made a median salary of $48,520 in 2021 (BLS).

Featured Online Counseling Program

8. Criminal Justice Degrees

In an online criminal justice program, you'll learn all about the legal system, law enforcement, and criminal behavior. From there, you can go on to work as a probation officer, police officer, corrections officer, forensic analyst, or detective.

In 2021, police officers and detectives made a median salary of $66,020 (BLS).

Featured Online Criminal Justice Program

9. Engineering Degrees

Engineering degrees cover mathematics, physics, and computer science, enabling students to design and test complex systems like bridges, aircraft, and software. If you're a problem-solver, you'll love it.

Graduates can become engineers, project managers, or technical specialists. Engineering professionals earned a median annual pay of $79,840 in 2021 (BLS, 2021) — with some specializations earning even higher salaries.

Featured Online Engineering Program

10. English Degrees

An accelerated English degree will arm you with a host of transferable skills, including writing, communication, research, and analysis. English majors go on to work in every industry and field — though their generalist education may make it harder to break into specialized positions.

English graduates made a median income of $51,000 in 2019 (BLS).

Featured Online English Program

11. Finance Degrees

In a finance bachelor's degree, you'll learn about managing money, investing, and analyzing economic trends. You'll learn to make strategic financial decisions that impact businesses and individuals alike.

Finance graduates get jobs as financial analysts, investment bankers, and accountants. The median annual salary for finance careers is $76,570 (BLS, 2021).

Featured Online Finance Program

12. Fire Science Degrees

A fire science degree teaches the science behind preventing, managing, and suppressing fires. You'll also learn about building construction, hazardous materials, and fire investigation. It's a great path for aspiring firefighters and emergency responders!

In 2021, firefighters earned a median annual wage of $50,700, and fire inspectors earned $63,080 (BLS).

Featured Online Fire Science Program

13. General Studies/Interdisciplinary Studies Degrees

A general or interdisciplinary studies degree lets you create a personalized college curriculum. You can choose an area of specialization like business, liberal arts, or information technology.

Your career path will depend on your specialization. According to the BLS, those with a general liberal arts degree earned a median annual salary of $50,000 in 2021.

Featured Online General Studies Program

14. Health Sciences Degrees

A health sciences degree teaches you about the scientific and practical aspects of healthcare. You can leverage it into many careers, including administration, laboratory work, or health education.

The median annual wage for health education specialists in 2021 was $60,600 (BLS). For medical and health services managers, it was $101,340 (BLS, 2021).

Featured Online Health Sciences Program

15. Healthcare Administration Degrees

Healthcare administration is great for people who care about healthcare but don't necessarily want to provide it. You will learn to keep healthcare organizations running smoothly.

Graduates can get high-paying careers as hospital administrators, policy analysts, and medical service managers. In 2021, medical service managers made an annual median salary of $101,340 (BLS).

Featured Online Healthcare Administration Program

16. History Degrees

In a history program, you'll explore the political and cultural development of human societies over time. This provides a good foundation for various careers in law, journalism, government, or education.

Many jobs in the history field require a master's degree. Historians earned a median annual wage of $63,940 in 2021 (BLS).

Featured Online History Program

17. Hospitality Management Degrees

Love to host? By studying a hospitality management bachelor's teaches you how to run hotels, restaurants, and resorts — including business management, food science, hygiene, and safety.

Graduates typically go on to work in hotel and restaurant management, operations, or sales. The median annual wage for lodging managers in 2021 was $59,430 (BLS).

Featured Online Hospitality Management Program

18. Human Resources Degrees

A degree in human resources (HR) prepares you to manage employees — including hiring, training, developing policies, and handling complaints.

Every business needs HR professionals, so you will have plenty of job options. The median annual wage for HR specialists was $62,290 in 2021 (BLS). HR managers earned $126,230 (BLS).

Featured Online Human Resources Program

19. Human Services Degrees

A human services degree prepares you for helping fields — you'll study social work, public health, counseling, psychology, and sociology.

It can help you qualify for entry-level jobs like case manager, advocacy coordinator, or community outreach specialist. Human services professionals made a median annual salary of $45,760 in 2021 (BLS).

Featured Online Human Services Program

20. Liberal Arts Degrees

Liberal arts provides a broad education and hones critical thinking, writing, and research skills. Specialize in what you love — like literature, philosophy, history, or languages.

Graduates can go far in their careers. They can teach, run businesses, and climb corporate ladders. These graduates made a median salary of $50,000 in 2019(BLS).

Featured Online Liberal Arts Program

21. Marketing Degrees

An online marketing bachelor's program trains you to analyze market trends, create winning strategies, and sell products in a way that resonates with consumers.

Marketing students find work as public relations specialists, market research analysts, advertising managers, and copywriters. They made a median annual salary of $69,510 in 2021 (BLS).

Featured Online Marketing Program

22. Music Degrees

Music-lovers: A music degree can turn your passion into a career. Learn about music theory and application; Create a portfolio; Hone your craft; Specialize in an area of interest.

Music graduates often work as professional musicians, educators, or composers. Musicians and singers made a median salary of $60,980 in 2021 (BLS).

23. Nursing Degrees

A bachelor's in nursing (BSN) emphasizes evidence-based practice and nursing theory. It can boost your career and help you qualify for advanced positions.

With a BSN, you can become a nurse manager, quality assurance coordinator, or case management nurse. Nurses made a median annual salary of $77,600 in 2021 (BLS).

Featured Online Nursing Program

24. Political Science Degrees

In political science, you'll explore politics, government, and international relations — which can help you get cool political science jobs in government, public policy, business, nonprofit organizations, and civil services.

Public policy occupations earned a median salary of $47,000 a year in 2019 (BLS). Political scientists with a master's degree made a median salary of $122,510 in 2021 (BLS).

Featured Online Political Science Program

25. Project Management Degrees

With a project management degree, you'll master project planning, risk management, people management, and budgeting — so that you can lead teams and carry out major projects within companies

According to the BLS, the median annual salary for management occupations was $102,450 in 2021.

Featured Online Project Management Program

26. Psychology Degrees

In a psychology program, you'll learn to understand, explain, predict, and even change human behavior — hopefully, for the better. It will prepare you for graduate school and many entry-level jobs across industries.

In 2019, the median annual wage of psychology graduates in all fields was $60,000 (BLS).

Featured Online Psychology Program

27. Science Degrees

Students studying science and science education learn about all the different scientific disciplines.

Graduates are in high demand for teaching jobs and can also compete for many good STEM careers. In 2021, Life, Physical, and Social Science occupations earned a median salary of $72,740 (BLS).

Featured Online Science Program

28. Social Work Degrees

A social work degree will provide you with a broad foundation in social work practice and theory. You'll explore social justice, counseling, policy, and more.

You can qualify for entry-level social service jobs, which, in 2021, paid a median salary of $48,410 (BLS). A graduate degree is required for licensure.

Featured Online Social Work Program

29. Sociology Degrees

As a sociology student, you'll research the societal structures and systems that impact human behavior. This rigorous program equips you with skills and insights useful across occupations, including marketing, human resources, social services, and academics.

People working in the social sciences earned a median wage of $64,000 in 2019 (BLS).

Featured Online Sociology Program

30. Theology Degrees

Theology is an academic program that teaches you to read and analyze religious texts, engage in theological dialogue, and consider practical applications of religious doctrines.

Many theology students attend seminary or pursue careers in religious leadership. In 2021, clergy in the US earned a median wage of $49,720 (BLS).

Featured Online Theology Program

How to Get a Bachelor's Degree Fast: 4 Ways

There are several things you can do to earn your bachelor's degree quickly. These four strategies are the most impactful:

1. Accelerated Online Classes

Accelerated online programs offer 6-8 week-long intensive courses. Flexible scheduling also makes it easier to stack your study term with extra courses (if you can manage the workload).

Eight-week classes provide a slightly less intensive pace than six-week classes, but both options help you to speed up your degree.

2. Earn College Credit in High School

Passing AP exams is a great way to earn college credits, which can reduce how many intro-level classes you have to take to earn a bachelor's degree. The fewer classes you have to take, the faster you can finish! Sometimes it really pays to put in the extra work on the front end of your college career.

3. Work and Life Experience

Many schools also award college credit for life and professional experience — an important benefit to look into if you are one of the 20% of college students over the age of 25.

Some examples of life experience might include military or law enforcement service, corporate training, or professional credentials earned (like certifications and licenses).

4. Earn Credit through Exams

Prior-learning assessments (PLAs) test for knowledge acquired through work, experience, or non-traditional learning. They include exams like CLEP and DSST, which are designed to measure knowledge in specific subject areas. Passing these tests may earn you college credit in those subject areas.

Be sure to find out which schools accept PLAs.

BestColleges.com 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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