The standard Associate’s Degree is generally a two-year program requiring 60 credits on average to complete. While the average student might complete this degree in two years, it is possible (although difficult) to earn an associate’s degree in one year.
How to Accelerate your Associate’s Degree Program
If you are looking to complete an associate’s degree in under one year, it is likely going to require a combination of things:
- Completion of high school credits that count as college credits that your college or university will accept towards the completion of your Associate’s Degree.
- Enrolling in an accelerated program that allows you to take courses at your own pace so you can complete your classes faster. Some schools offer this as an option, but it’s going to take some research on your end to find the right school and the right program for you. These can range from schools that allow for trimester (3 semesters per year) programs, in-class hybrid programs, or online-only programs.
- Completing course competency examinations. Some schools will either count work experience or let you sign up to take competency tests for a fee to see if you can test out of certain classes and receive credit for the course.
- Schools that accept work history or have an internship/practical application component included in the curriculum. This means that you will generally have to take classes while completing the internship or practical application classes simultaneously.
Completing your Associate’s Degree Program in one year is going to be very difficult. Most students that do so generally fit into a combination of the items outlined above, meaning they had some high school classes that counted as college credits, passed some competency exams to get credits, and then found an accelerated program to complete their degree ahead of schedule.
Without falling into one or more of the processes above, it’s going to be challenging to find a quality program that gives you 60 credits of classwork in only one year.