5 Week Online College Courses [2024 Guide]

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Get your degree in less time with 5 week online college courses. Explore 80+ online degrees in fields like Business, IT, Education, Psychology, and more.

Get your degree in less time with 5 week online college courses. Explore 80+ online degrees in fields like Business, IT, Education, Psychology, and more.

5 week online college courses students

Big goals of earning a college degree, but can’t fathom spending the next four years in a classroom? You’re in luck. When you’re a working adult, the idea of fitting four years of full-time school into your life can feel nearly impossible.

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Instead of putting your college dreams on hold, check out these schools offering fast track classes. Accelerated classes help you earn college credits in less time. That’s a huge bonus for anyone with a busy schedule.

Best Colleges Offering 5 Week Online Courses

American university student

How Do 5 Week Online Courses Work?

When you take 5 week college courses online, you can arrange your coursework around your normal, everyday life. The flexibility of this format is a good option if you need to continue to work your day job, take care of your family, and pursue other interests while pursuing your online bachelor degree program.

You’ll find that the learning environment for accelerated online classes is similar to other classes offered through distance learning.

Your activities will generally include:

  • Using the student login weekly to access the online student portal
  • Completing your assigned reading
  • Participating in online discussion (post to forums with classmates)
  • Interacting with professors via forums and email
  • Completing assignments

Online learning courses often run on one-week cycles. For example, if Monday marks the start of a new class week, the assignments for that week will likely be due the following Sunday.

The main difference between 5 week online courses and 16 week courses is pretty straightforward: You cover the same amount of material in less time. So, the study workload can be more intense.

But the satisfaction of finishing your degree fast is priceless!

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What Are Accelerated Courses?

Best online classes for students

Traditional schools offer two main blocks of classes each year: a fall semester and a spring semester. At these universities, it typically takes four to five years to earn your bachelor’s degree. If you don’t plan to stay in school that long, you’re in the right place.

  • Accelerated classes offer comparable content, but they do it in one-third of the time!
  • Accelerated online college classes are offered year-round
  • You can start classes right away since you don’t have to wait for the Fall or Spring semester
  • You can learn and get college credits at a faster pace

Accelerated classes come in a variety of lengths: five-week courses, six-week courses, and eight-week online courses being the most common.

Undergraduate students aren’t the only ones who can benefit from accelerated classes. Graduate students can also enroll in 5-week or 6-week classes leading to online master’s degrees.

Are There Any 5 Week Summer Classes?

accelerated Summer Classes

Yes, most online schools with 5 week terms offer their accelerated coursework throughout the year.

Unlike traditional courses, you don’t have to wait until the fall semester to begin. Whether you want to begin your studies in January, June, or August, you can start any time.

Are Accelerated Online Programs Cheaper Than Traditional Ones?

It depends. Accelerated courses can be less expensive, but the costs vary widely depending on the university.

The best way to find out the total cost is to narrow down your school choices:

  • Does the university offer your college major?
  • Does the university have accelerated classes?
  • Are there any tuition discounts for military or first responders?
  • Is there a special online tuition rate or eTuition rate?
  • Does the university offer financial aid: scholarships, grants, loans, or payment plans?

At some schools, the amount of time that you spend enrolled in the degree program determines your final costs. For example, when you pay a flat fee rather than paying by the credit hour. Therefore, if you finish quickly, you may pay less. Other schools sometimes require extra online fees that you wouldn’t have to pay if you attended classes on campus. But on the flip side, campus programs often charge additional fees like parking, activity center fees, and so on. This is where a net price calculator can come in handy.

Another thing to keep in mind… finishing your degree quickly could mean that you land your dream job sooner. For that reason alone, fast-track classes might make the most financial sense.

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What is the Fastest Way to Get a Degree Online?

If you’re looking for the fastest way to finish your degree, start with accelerated online courses.

Keep in mind, though, that the quickest way to earn a degree can depend on a number of different factors.

Things to consider:

  • Does the university offer accelerated classes?
  • How many college credits will the university allow you to transfer into the degree program?
  • Does the university accept work or life experience to grant college credits?
  • Can you test out of any classes using CLEP or DSST exams?
  • Does the university offer any military education benefits (if applicable)?

Fast track programs condense the same amount of material into a shorter time period. That alone will help you get your degree faster. But if you can leverage transfer credits, credit for prior learning, or credit by exam, you can finish your degree much more quickly.

Are Accelerated Courses Worth the Effort?

Whether you take courses at a traditional pace or go with an accelerated program, school can be a challenge.

So, it’s only natural to ask if it’s worth it. Let’s do a quick fact check.

Studies have been performed on both sides looking at career paths and salaries, along with less tangible benefits like becoming a more critical thinker and having greater self-confidence.

Accelerated 5 week courses comparison

Studies have shown that a degree may help you get better job opportunities, become a more critical thinker, and give you more self-confidence.

Take a look at the difference in lifetime income between someone with a high school diploma and someone with a college education. Bachelor’s degrees boost income considerably, but advanced degrees and graduate programs increase earnings even more.

Here’s what the experts have to say:

The evidence that a college degree significantly improves one’s employment prospects and earnings potential is overwhelming. Bachelor’s degree holders are half as likely to be unemployed as their peers who only have a high school degree and they make $1 million in additional earnings on average over their lifetime.

Accelerated classes sometimes offer an additional level of challenge because you have less time to complete the same amount of coursework.

If you choose to go this route, it will be important to be organized and to maintain focus on your studies. Only you can decide if earning your college degree is worth the effort. But studies do show that earning your college degree generally leads to higher lifetime earnings.

And with an accelerated program, you can move on to the next phase of your life more quickly… whether that’s career advancement or an advanced degree.

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Are Accelerated Classes More Difficult?

Accelerated classes are not more difficult than other online education classes. They just allow you to earn your degree faster.

Most of the professors teaching traditional classes are the same ones teaching your accelerated ones.

For example, if you decide to get an accelerated bachelor degree in project management, you will still be required to take courses in business administration, finance, and so on… just like traditional, campus-based students. In this way, the two types of degree programs are identical.

Accelerated online Programs

The main difference is that you’ll have to do the same amount of work in less time with fast-track classes.

For some people, the condensed format could be a challenge. However, if you are a determined student, you should be able to handle the workload that comes with this method of schooling.

Types of Accelerated Programs:

To help you better manage the coursework, schools generally limit online students to two to three courses at a time. This is different from traditional-format schools, where you may take five classes at a time. In this regard, you may find an accelerated program easier because you can focus all of your attention on just a few subjects at a time.

How Long Does It Take to Finish an Accelerated Bachelor’s Program?

Accelerated Bachelor's Program

Many variables influence the length of time that it will take you to complete your degree online.

For one thing, not all accelerated programs go at the same pace. So, your time to completion will depend on the college that you choose. Additionally, if you begin with some credits already under your belt, it may take you less time than it would take to start at the very beginning.

As a general guideline, though, it’s reasonable to expect it to take around two years to finish an accelerated bachelor’s program.

How Do I Find Quick Online Degree Programs?

Quick Online Degree Programs

Online college programs are becoming more and more popular, so when looking for an accelerated program, you’ll have plenty of options from which to choose. Of course, that also means that you might have a more difficult time narrowing down your options.

To begin, check out our list of colleges offering 5 week classes online. After you find one that catches your eye, click on one of the links and get the facts you need from the university.

Keep in mind that the highest quality degrees are from schools that are accredited by an organization approved by the United States Department of Education. In order to maintain their accreditation, they have to adhere to strict requirements.

When you select an accredited college, you can trust that the accelerated degree program is sufficiently thorough and rigorous. Accredited schools have quality faculty, good student support and worthwhile educational experiences.

Quick Online college Degree

Here’s an example. American Intercontinental University has 5 week online courses. At AIU, you can complete online coursework to obtain your associate’s or bachelor’s degree. The schedule is flexible, and you can start with one of the many cohorts that begin throughout the year.

There are also quite a few universities offering online 6 week classes or 8 week college courses as well.

At a glance:

  • 5 week online courses
  • You can transfer up to 75% of the college credits needed for graduation
  • Over 45 fully online degree programs, both undergraduate and graduate
  • Around-the-clock support
  • Financial aid is available to qualified students, including a variety of grant options
  • Access to a digital library
  • Discounts for military members and their families

AIU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, ensuring top quality.

Why are Accelerated Classes the Fastest Way to Finish College?

Accelerated Classes to Finish College

Traditional courses, whether taken online or in person, are usually arranged in trimesters or semesters that are each 10 to 16 weeks long. It can take several years to finish a program like that. For example, a bachelor’s degree earned on a traditional schedule may take four or more years to achieve.

Accelerated class terms last from five weeks to eight weeks. This type of schedule can speed up the overall time that it takes to finish your degree.

Plus, accelerated programs often offer year-round classes. By not taking long breaks in the middle of the year, you may be able to have your degree in hand sooner.

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How Fast Can I Get My Degree with an Accelerated Online Program?

Accelerated Online degree Programs

A general rule of thumb is that, with an accelerated program, you can earn a degree in half the time that it would take to earn the same degree the traditional way. In that case, a bachelor’s degree could take you two years instead of four. A master’s program that normally takes two years may allow you to get your master’s online in one year.

Some accelerated programs take even less time. You may be able to finish your online degree in one-third of the time that it would take to complete a traditional program. In that case, you could earn your bachelor’s degree in around 18 months.

As mentioned, universities vary somewhat in a number of ways. For example, Regis University has 8-week online classes. But on-campus, they have 5 week classes. Granite State College has 6-week courses, while Troy University has 9-week classes.

So, choosing the right university is clearly important. If you want to finish in less time, sitting in a class for 5 weeks vs. 9 weeks can make a pretty big difference.

What Is a Bachelor’s Degree Completion Program?

Bachelor's Degree Completion Program

You may have started your college career at a local state university, but stopped before you earned your bachelor’s degree. Perhaps life got in the way or you had other priorities at the time, but now you’d like to finish your schooling.

Degree completion programs allow transfer students to apply completed coursework towards a bachelor’s degree at a new school. Because you won’t be starting your pursuit of a bachelor’s degree from scratch, these programs may allow you to finish your education in less time.

Related Accelerated Bachelor’s Degrees:

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration – General Business
  • Business Management
  • Computer Science
  • Consumer Information Systems
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education – Adult Education and Training
  • Education – Curriculum and Instruction
  • Education – Early Childhood Education
  • Education – General Education
  • Education – Instructional Technology
  • Education – Secondary Education
  • Environmental Studies
  • Finance
  • Forensic Science
  • Graphic Design / Web Design
  • Health Services Administration
  • Healthcare Management
  • History
  • Homeland Security / Law Enforcement
  • Hospitality Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Human Resources
  • Human Service
  • Information Security
  • Information Technology
  • Instructional Design and Technology
  • Liberal Arts
  • Library Science
  • Management Information Systems
  • Network Administration
  • Nursing Education
  • Occupational Safety
  • Operations Management
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Political Science
  • Project Management
  • Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Real Estate Management
  • Social Sciences
  • Software Development
  • Sports Management
  • Technology Management

You may be able to use college credit from associate degrees, community college, or other previously earned credit hours. Some schools even give you credit for various types of professional experience that you demonstrate through certifications, licensures, exams, or military training.

The number of credits that you can transfer in can vary widely among schools. Colleges admissions departments can provide specific details about how many credits you can bring into their programs.

It’s also helpful to see if the college provides benefits to new students like military benefits, grants, student loan opportunities, or help for international students.

List of Universities Offering 5 Week Online College Courses

Rankings Methodology

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited, offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format, and have accelerated classes that are 5 weeks or less in duration.

American Intercontinental University

American Intercontinental University campus

AIU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Community College of Baltimore County

Community College of Baltimore County campus

CCBC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Des Moines Area Community College

Des Moines Area Community College campus

DMACC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Gwynedd Mercy University

Gwynedd Mercy University campus

GMercyU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Indiana Wesleyan University

Indiana Wesleyan University campus

IWU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Middlesex County College

Middlesex County College campus

MCC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

South Texas College

South Texas College campus

STC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Taking the Next Step

college degree online classes

Whether you want to start on your associate degree or finish your bachelor’s degree, online classes give you the opportunity to reach your goals without sacrificing your life (or sanity)! Some online classes start anytime, meaning you are not stuck following a strict time frame.

Student success stories abound… I’m one of them!

I went from working full-time while attending night classes to finishing my degree online in less time from a great school. And you can, too!

Make your dream a reality. Take the next step and see what these schools have to offer!

Ready to start your journey?
Joy is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy & Foreign Policy at Liberty University and holds a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management from Amberton University, as well as a Bachelor's in Business Administration from Columbia College. With over 20 years of experience navigating online degrees and courses, Joy's focus is helping non-traditional students find accelerated degree options and credit for prior learning opportunities.