Accelerated Programs: Get On the Fast Track

college graduates throwing caps

Today, it can feel like a master’s degree is the new bachelor’s. Having a master’s out in the “real world” can make a huge difference in your job search after graduation. Earning your master’s degree could land you a higher role right out of school than someone with a bachelor’s. For example, teachers generally earn more with an advanced degree in education, while accounting majors need a master’s to become CPAs. The catch is that traditional master’s programs will keep you in school longer, upping costs and time. But this isn’t the only option for students looking to accelerate the process. Keep reading to learn about fast track programs that allow you to complete your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in less time.


The 3+1 is a rigorous program in which students typically attend class year-round. Courses are usually offered in the same format as traditional campus undergraduate programs during the day. Participants then take summer classes on ground or online to complete their accelerated bachelor’s degree in just three years. In comparison, most students take four years to complete their undergraduate education, completing the same courses over a longer period of time.

Since summer tuition and housing rates are discounted at some colleges and universities, participating in a 3+1 degree program could save students a considerable amount of money. Their fourth year would be dedicated to earning their master’s degree.


The 4+1 program consists of a traditional undergraduate experience in which a student takes four years to complete their bachelor’s degree. This allows students to take the summers off, spending time with family or working to save money for their education. After earning their bachelor’s after four years, participants would then complete an accelerated master’s degree in just one year by combining undergraduate and graduate coursework.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re eager to earn a master’s degree in a shorter time frame or you can’t wait to graduate and start searching for your dream job, participating in an accelerated degree program could be the answer. Besides the possibility of speedy career advancement, an accelerated program or accelerated online degree will save you and your family time and money. Since students do not complete an abridged or condensed course walk, they still receive the same quality of education as every other student, but in a shorter timeframe. This provides dedicated students with the chance to get started on their career journey faster than ever.

At Grand Canyon University, we offer accelerated programs that help ambitious students align their undergraduate and graduate studies early in their college career. On the GCU Fast Track, you can complete both your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in one fell swoop. For more information about accelerated degree programs at GCU, use the Request Info button at the top of the page or visit our website today.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.