Top Self-Paced Online College Degrees for 2024

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

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Many schools have rolling admissions, which means you can start a program in a few weeks!

With this students are capable of finishing their degrees swiftly and can begin launching a career in a small fraction of the time it would take to finish a degree in a majority of 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.

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 to 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.

Popular Online Programs That Might Interest You

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

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

self paced online colleges

“Self-pacing can improve memory performance.”

Online College at Your Own Pace?

Because they allow students to learn at their own pace self-paced online institutions are gaining popularity. As an alternative to the conventional semester schedule, several institutions now provide self-paced online courses. There is no fixed time or place for studying, and students can work around other commitments such as family, day jobs, etc. Because self-paced programs are flexible, students of various ages can take part in the lessons.

Given that they would have so much more control over their study schedules many people feel that self-paced online college courses are simply not as thorough or successful as traditional college courses. 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.

Before deciding which system is best for learners, students must examine the benefits and drawbacks of both. 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.

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 40 self-directed majors 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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The 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.

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 over 180 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 – $20,000

Flexpath’s 1-year master’s degree – $18,000

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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: $7,452

Average Master’s Tuition: $8,444

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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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Popular Online Programs

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 BA in Business Administration usually includes courses like 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 their associate's degrees or have completed 24-30 units can further their studies toward a bachelor's degree in nursing through competency-based education. By concentrating on certain areas of knowledge and practice, this style of learning enables nurses to acquire the abilities they need to flourish in their careers. 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

Obtaining a bachelor's degree in computer science or information technology can open up rewarding professional options. These lessons may be taken online and asynchronously making them perfect for anyone who wants to work from home.

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 field of criminal justice is intricate and dynamic. Understanding the various career possibilities that are open to you in this industry is crucial. Law enforcement, correctional, and legal professionals make up the three primary categories of the many distinct vocations in criminal justice.

Police officers, detectives and other law enforcement specialists are all employed in law enforcement. Correctional officers and other experts in the field make up the field of corrections. Paralegals, judges, and other legal professionals are those who work in the legal system.

Example: Penn Foster College

B.S. in Social Science

A broad degree, a bachelor's in social science involves study in subjects including sociology, psychology, anthropology, and economics.

Students who are interested in pursuing professions in law enforcement, education, business or corporate, government or policy making, consultancy, academe, or other fields that are related can benefit greatly from earning a bachelor's degree in social science.

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.

Popular Online Programs That Might Interest You

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

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