Fastest way to get a degree

Updated July 20, 2017

In today's increasingly specialised society, a college or professional degree is becoming more and more necessary. As a degree has become more essential, college programs have become more common; so common, in fact, that the question no longer seems to be how to get a degree, but rather how to get one in the shortest amount of time. With a little planning and determination, however, finishing a degree quickly is quite easy to do.

Figuring Out Your Needs

The approaches to school are numerous, but the way to finish in the least amount of time means a lot of planning before you even enrol. Though many people end up changing their major, knowing what you want to do for a career and what certifications you will need before you start can really speed up the process. If you have no idea what you want to do, taking general education courses that are required for almost every major is a good way to figure out what program is right for you. This way you will not waste any time taking classes that will not ultimately get you anywhere. If your mind is already made up, look for schools that offer specialised programs in your area of interest. For example, you may find that getting a degree in accounting may take six years at one school, but only four or five at another. When it comes to choosing a school and major, a little foresight can save you years.

Your Degree Plan

Once you figure out your major, many people simply take classes that fulfil these requirements with little attention to what they are taking. In reality, a rough degree plan for every semester can really cut down on time and confusion. Not only will this make registering a breeze, it is also an easy way to keep up with how many requirements you have fulfilled. Generally it takes eight semesters of full-time status to complete a bachelor's degree. Most people start out by taking general education classes, but will move on to their major requirements and electives after a year or two.

Online and Summer Classes

The most important determination in how quickly you will finish your degree are how many hours you take a semester, and how well you do in these courses. Generally, maintaining a "B" average is necessary to avoid having to retake any classes, or being administratively limited in how many hours you can take. Try to take a full course load every semester; if this means you can only go to school for half of the year, consider taking a full summer load. Another possibility for making up for lost time, or even getting ahead, is online classes. These courses, which students can take in their own time, are a great way to take additional hours, or even manage a full load while working. As education becomes more essential, schools are diversifying their class types, and including more online and nontraditional credits. Taking advantage of all possible class types, and taking courses during summer and semester breaks can greatly speed up your degree process.


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