How long does it take to get an Associate’s Degree in Business online? With the advent of MOOCs and online colleges catering to business, it’s no wonder that so many people are wondering about the timeline to getting a foundational degree in this area. But while there is a general answer for how long it takes to earn the degree, there are some factors that may influence how much time a student actually spends in college.
Requirements for an Associate’s Degree
Most associate’s degrees in the field of business require 60-semester credits or 90 quarter credit hours for graduation. Traditionally, this works out to two years spent in school. But because many online programs offer options in terms of academic terms, J-term, summer terms, and more, a student can either take less than a year or more than five years to complete the requirements for the degree. In fact, the average length of time a student spends in school earning their associate’s degree works out to a year and a half.
Full-Time or Part-Time
As with all online programs, a student has a variety of factors to consider when choosing how long they want to stay in school in order to earn their degree. The question of full-time versus part-time is one of those factors. If a student chooses to study full-time, that gives them the stress and weight of completing a full course load while working or taking care of their obligations. If they choose to study part-time, they alleviate some of that burden, but will also spend longer in school to earn their associate’s degree. Some schools will also require a minimum number of credits earned per term in order to ensure their students graduate within an acceptable timeline.
For students who have made use of credit-eligible MOOC programs, or who have credits from the previous schooling, it could be possible to transfer those credits into an online associate’s degree program. While this is dependent on the school, most students will find that at least 15 credit hours will be eligible for transfer credit. This means that a student could potentially have the first quarter of their degree completed before they even begin the program. It’s also now possible to take courses through MOOC sites that stand for credit, meaning that a student who has already met the maximum amount of credits allowed per term can take on more work and register it as transfer credit during the next term.
Traditional Academic Schedules or Year-Round
Online term schedules operate much differently than academic schedules. Most online programs operate on eight-week or five-week terms. These shorter terms mean that students take on fewer courses but receive an accelerated schedule that sees them finish their degree faster than on the traditional 15-week academic schedules of traditional colleges. Students who also take on courses during the winter term, also known as J-term, and during the summer can also eliminate at least two terms from their schedule, allowing them to finish in a little over a year in some cases.
An associate’s degree in the business world is always appreciated by business owners and entrepreneurs. It is the first step in solidifying a career that will only grow over time. For those interested in earning an Associate’s Degree in Business online, the timeline can be short, but it is definitely worth it.