How long will it take for me to complete an online degree?

What’s the big attraction to online learning? Without a doubt, it’s the flexibility that it provides. With our busy home and work schedules, who has time to travel back and forth to school, arrange for daycare, or take time off work to attend school? Through the online learning format, you can stay home and work at your convenience. But does that mean you can work at your own pace, too? Not necessarily.

While online degrees offer students a more convenient way to learn on their own time, the time put forth in earning online degrees are typically comparable to brick-and-mortar programs. Furthermore, depending on your hard work and dedication, you may be able to accelerate your studies and earn your degree in less time. According to the University of Phoenix, students can earn an associate degree in 20 months or just a little under two years.

If you’re considering a more elevated track of study, such as a bachelor’s degree, be prepared to commit to two additional years of school after you’ve earned an associate degree, as earning a bachelor’s degree will include up to four years of study, just like the on-campus experience. Accelerated learning tracks may offer students the possibility to gain a bachelor’s degree in three years, but it may require non-stop classes throughout the year.

Are you interested in obtaining an online master’s degree? Generally, earning your online master’s degree will take you approximately two years to complete, if you are attending full-time. If you choose to, many schools will allow three to four years to complete your master’s program, including your thesis project.

What’s next? Naturally, you will want to earn a doctoral or Ph.D. degree in your chosen field, if it will benefit your career, or perhaps, you would like the personal satisfaction and prestige that a doctoral degree provides. Even though it can be a lengthy process, it’s well worth it. Primarily, a student earning this accolade will spend about three to four years in coursework, comprehensive examinations, and the dissertation process, if you are working on your syllabus full-time. In some instances, your Ph.D. degree program can take up to six years to complete, depending on your degree track and your dedication to the program.

Need more time to finish your degree? If you know that you cannot complete your studies within the specified time frame, ask your potential school about their guidelines. You will want to find a school that can work with you on this matter, without a doubt. Students should consider their career and lifestyle to make sure they’re picking a program that will work throughout their studies.

If you would like to learn more about online learning options, see our selections for the Top Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education Online Degree Programs.