Top Self-Paced Online College Degrees for 2022

Self-paced online colleges have become a popular option over the past decade. It is now easier than ever before for students to complete an online degree program with the flexibility of their own schedules.

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Popular Self-Paced Online Colleges | Self Paced Online Degree Programs

This means that many students are able to complete their degrees on time, thus getting a jump-start on their careers in less time than it would take to complete a degree in most fields

If you’re someone that understands the meaning of responsibility and time management, then self-paced online courses are probably the route you want to go when it comes to a college education. Students who pursue self-paced degrees typically find that traditional curricula move too slowly for them.

Online Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.  

Within these programs, agendas and due dates are generally very loose, as they are specifically designed to accommodate busy schedules. Students pursue their degrees without the added stress of exam dates, overdue assignments, long commutes, or group projects. Though it takes drive and self-discipline to take part in these kinds of specialized courses, which are offered by multiple online colleges throughout the country, the rewards are high and long-lasting.

Self-paced online college students enjoy the flexibility and freedom of learning at their own pace and on their own terms.

self paced online colleges

“Self-pacing can improve memory performance.”

Online College at your Own Pace?

Self-paced online colleges are becoming increasingly popular because students are able to learn at their own pace. Many colleges now offer self-paced online courses as a supplement to the traditional semester system. There is no fixed time or place for studying, and students can work around other commitments such as family, day jobs, etc. The flexibility of the system means that people of all ages are able to take part.

Many believe that self-paced online college courses are simply not as thorough or effective as traditional college courses, especially because students will have so much more control over their study schedules. Others argue that this new system actually makes learning far more effective since students can move at a speed that best suits them. Traditional courses can be a struggle for those who learn more slowly, but self-paced online college courses need not be a problem.

Students will have to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of both systems before deciding which one works best for them. There are certainly some clear advantages to self-paced online courses; however, the traditional semester system still has much to offer.

Procrastinators Need Not Apply

In general, self-paced online courses are a great option for working adults looking to finish their degrees. These classes are NOT recommended for procrastinators. Though the schedules are lenient, there are definite time limits and those who intentionally put off coursework will not be catered to. Students who fail to finish their coursework within the allotted semester may have to pay extension fees. These courses are recommended for self-motivated individuals that can stay on task unsupervised.

Online students should consider carefully whether regular or self-paced online learning is the best fit for them.

Online Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.  

Popular Accredited Self-Paced Online Colleges List

Thomas Edison State University

TESU offers flexible online courses that allow students to finish their degrees at their own pace, when and where they want. The university offers more than 25 self-directed classes in a variety of fields, such as business, English, economics, and more. Courses are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

An associate’s degree requires 60 credits to complete while a bachelor’s degree program requires 120.

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University of Illinois Online at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign is a world-class institution with a strong commitment to undergraduate education and research/scholarly activities. The university has been ranked in the top ten universities by the Brookings Institution for its contributions to the public good. It has also been ranked in the top 5th nationally by U.S News & World Report for its contribution to minority students in terms of quality and quantitative measures.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers self-paced virtual courses for both degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking students. These are designed to accommodate even the busiest of schedules and are open for enrollment year-round.

UI at Urbana-Champaign offers continuous, self-paced NetMath and Math Teacher Link courses, which provide short, online courses for math teachers of 9-14th-grade levels.

University of North Dakota – Online & Distance Education

The University of North Dakota offers “Self-Paced Enroll Anytime” courses. These are independent study mechanisms that take approximately 3-9 months to complete. Although self-paced students enjoy the flexibility and convenience of online (or even mail-in) curricula, no financial aid is available for these programs.

UND online offers 93 online self-paced courses covering topics such as chemistry, geology, economics, math, physics, psychology, and more.

The University of North Dakota, through its online college courses and programs, prepares more than 6,700 students annually for successful careers and lives. It offers more than 120+ course options, which include traditional and accelerated health care programs, designing and problem-solving programs, and competitive academic programs.


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Capella University

Capella offers Flexpath, a self-paced online degree program formatted to fit your lifestyle. With no preset class times or deadlines, students have the freedom to earn their degree at a much faster pace and at a minimal cost. For one flat tuition rate, students can take up to 2 courses at a time, allowing them to complete as many as possible in the space of 12 months. Flexpath offers both self-paced online bachelor’s and master’s programs in education, psychology, health care, and more.

Flexpath’s 1-year bachelor’s degree – $10,000; RN-to-BSN – $12, 800

Flexpath’s 1-year master’s degree – $9,600-$11,200

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Penn Foster College

Penn Foster College offers self-paced, online associate’s degrees and career diplomas. Students have up to 2 years to complete diploma tracks and up to 6 years to complete college degree programs, and extensions are requested before being approved. College-appointed proctors oversee the final exams. Penn Foster holds accreditation from the Distance Learning and Training Council (DETC).

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Western Governors University

Western Governors University is a self-paced online college accredited by the DETC, as well as four other regional accrediting agencies. Online students have no predetermined program lengths, meaning students can truly work at their own pace toward undergraduate or graduate-level degrees. These range in specialty from business, nursing, education, and information technology.

Average Bachelor’s Tuition: $6,670

Average Master’s Tuition: $7,405

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Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee offers Self-Paced Open Entry courses via face-to-face video chats, sync online, virtual study guides, and other network delivery methods. Instructors are available to assist students based on necessity. As long as homework and exams are completed by the end of the semester, and apart from certain proctored tests, the majority of coursework is completed independently. Students can take up to two courses at a time, paying an $8 per college credit hour student fee for open-entry classes.

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Online Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.  

Self Paced Online Degree Programs

Self-Paced Online Bachelor’s Degrees

B.S. in Business Administration

A popular self-paced program for obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration usually includes courses in economics, statistics, accounting, finance, human resource management, marketing, operations, organizational behavior, leadership, and sales. Some programs may also include courses on topics like project management and strategic management.

Example: University of Wisconson – UW Flexible Option

B.S. in Nursing (RN-BSN completion program)

Nurses who have completed an associate’s degree or have completed 24 to 30 units can further their studies towards a bachelor’s degree in nursing through competency-based education. This type of education allows nurses to gain the skills they need to excel in their field by focusing on specific areas of knowledge and practice. Courses include Pathophysiology, Research, Management, Leadership, Adult Care, Geriatric Care, and Community Health.

Nurses who have completed an associate’s degree or have completed 24 to 30 units can further their studies towards a bachelor’s degree in nursing through competency-based education. This type of education allows nurses to gain the skills they need to excel in their field by focusing on specific areas of knowledge and practice. Courses include Pathophysiology, Research, Management, Leadership, Adult Care, Geriatric Care, and Community Health.

Example: Winston-Salem State University – BSN Completion Degree

B.S. in in Dental Hygiene (A Completion Program)

The demand for dental hygienists continues to rise, and while an associate’s degree may be sufficient for some, a bachelor’s degree provides more career options for dental hygiene professionals beyond private clinical practice.

Other industries with potential for RDHs include the corporate setting, community public health, research, dental education, public administration, and entrepreneurship.

Some people who are successful in entrepreneurship venture into practice management consultancy, dental technology, marketing, and authorship. RDHs who want to stay in their current clinical work but expand their career options may choose self-paced bachelor completion programs in Dental Hygiene.

Example: Minnesota State University – asynchronous CBE BSDH program

B.S. in Information Technology/Computer Science

Completing a bachelor’s degree in information technology or computer science can offer a lucrative career. These programs can be completed online and asynchronously, which makes them ideal for those who want to work remotely.

Additionally, the course completion requirements can be submitted virtually, making this an excellent choice for those who want to get ahead in their field without having to fret over deadlines.

Example: Western Governors University

B.S. in Criminal Justice

The criminal justice system is a complex and ever-changing field. It is important to understand the different career paths that are available in this field. There are many different careers in criminal justice, but they can be broken down into three main categories: law enforcement, corrections, and legal professions.

Law enforcement careers include police officers, detectives, and other law enforcement professionals. Corrections careers include correctional officers and other corrections professionals. Legal professions include lawyers, judges, paralegals, and others who work in the legal system.

Example: Penn Foster College

B.S. in Social Science

A bachelor’s degree in social science is a broad degree that covers many different topics, such as sociology, psychology, anthropology, and economics.

A bachelor’s degree in social science can be a great choice for students who are interested in pursuing careers in the fields of law enforcement, education, business or corporate, government or policy-making, consultancy, academe, and many other similar fields.

This degree can be a great choice for students who are interested in pursuing careers in the fields of law enforcement, education, or business.

Example: Upper Iowa University

Self-Paced Online Master’s Degrees…coming soon.

Self-Paced Online Courses, Not For Everyone

While self-paced online college programs offer convenience and flexibility for continuing higher education, learners can easily slip into bad habits of procrastination. If full or part-time students fail to complete coursework on time, they run the risk of paying extension fees or being dropped from their programs entirely.

Those who can self-motivate and work unsupervised are the best candidates for online self-paced college courses. Those who can benefit from some supervision should choose campus-based college courses.

Self-paced online programs are also known as at your own pace online college or simply online colleges at your own pace.

Online Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.