When it comes to earning a degree in college or university, many people commonly work toward their bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree takes four years to complete and is the basic requirement for many entry-level positions.
However, as the job market becomes more competitive, the demand for more skilled workers rises. Today, employers want someone who meets more than just the minimum requirement, which is why a master’s degree is so important.
Master’s degree holders are individuals who have spent a great deal of time undertaking rigorous work in order to gain skills in their chosen field.
One reason why individuals may choose to forego earning their master’s degree is the time it takes to complete. After spending four years earning a bachelor’s degree, some individuals don’t have the luxury of spending an additional two years earning their master’s degree.
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But with the convenience of online programs and combined bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, it’s now possible to earn your master’s degree from the convenience of your own home within a much shorter time period.
What is a Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Program?
A combined degree program allows you to complete your bachelor’s and master’s degree in one continuous program. These are sometimes referred to as the 4+1 program.
The requirements for a combined program is that the two degrees must be related. This allows for a large number of credits to be carried over from the undergraduate program to the graduate one and makes it possible for an individual to earn both degrees in five years, rather than six.
A combined degree program is often confused with an accelerated degree program. However, the two are not the same. An accelerated program is a college degree program that takes less time to complete. For example, instead of taking four years to earn your bachelor’s degree, you can earn it in three years through an accelerated program.
One of the benefits of an accelerated program is that you can work toward a combined degree program online through an accelerated program. This means you can earn your bachelor’s degree in three years and then move on to your master’s degree.
These programs are often available to students online, which gives you even more opportunities to earn your degree at your own pace and study from the comfort of your own home.
Benefits of Earning Your Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Online
One of the biggest benefits of a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree program online is the savings in time and money. You take a year off of your coursework, perhaps even more if you are a part of an accelerated program.
With college tuition costing several thousands of dollars per semester, being able to earn your master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in a shorter amount of time saves you a great deal of money. This also allows you to enter the job market and start your career sooner.
Another key benefit of the combined program is that you don’t have to apply to a master’s program. Master’s degree programs can be very competitive and you must perform well in your undergraduate studies for you to enter the master’s degree program.
When taking a combined course, you bypass those difficulties and immediately transfer all of your credits toward your master’s degree. As long as you maintain the required GPA, you can receive your master’s degree by the end of the program.
By signing up for a combined program, you can schedule your coursework and make sure everything lines up with your bachelor’s and master’s degree goals. This saves you time and money and keeps you from taking courses that may not be useful for your future goals.
When taking these courses online, you get the benefit of studying from home. Most online degree programs allow you to complete your coursework at your own pace. You don’t have to meet the same class requirements as you would if you were on campus.
If you have a busy schedule and can’t commute or live on campus, you can still earn your graduate degree from home while maintaining your current way of life. This is particularly useful for those who are already working and want to make a career change.
Best Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Online Programs
Not every school offers a combined degree program, especially as an online option for students. Below is a list of some of the best schools that offer a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree program online.
University of Miami
The University of Miami is a private institution that serves 17,000 students. The University of Miami is an accredited university. Thanks to its close proximity to both the marine reserves and the Space Center, the university has a strong focus on research and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.
The university currently offers combined programs in exercise physiology, geological sciences, and Latin American studies.
Due to state law that required this institution to offer fully online degrees at an affordable rate to students from within and outside the state, the University of Florida has been offering online education to students since 2014.
With over 200 research centers and a faculty led by experts in the field, the University of Florida offers several combined degree programs to students who want to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Some of the course offerings at the University of Florida include the following: Accounting, Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, History, Interior Design, Journalism and Mass Communication, Political Science, Public Health, and Statistics.
Northwestern University is a private institution and one of the highest-ranked universities located in the United States. The university has over 21,000 students and an alumni list of 19 Nobel Prize Laureates.
Some of the combined degree offerings the university has includes the following: Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Linguistics, Mechanical Engineering, Plant Biology and Conservation, and Public Health.
Grand Valley State University is a public university that caters to over 24,000 students across its two campuses. The university competes in over 20 varsity sports and is considered a major football college.
In terms of combined degree programs, Grand Valley State University offers the following: Exercise Science and Athletic Training, Accounting, Cell and Molecular Biology, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Engineering, Information Systems, and Computer Information Systems.
Capella University is actually a publicly-traded company. The university is primarily online, which means it doesn’t have a proper campus. There are local learning sites for students that want a more in-person learning environment.
The school offers several combined degree programs for students who wish to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Some of their programs are the following: General Information Technology and Information Assurance and Cybersecurity, General Psychology and Clinical or Psychology, Health Care Management and Health Administration, and Human Resource Management.
Boston University is a private university that has over 30,000 students across its undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Boston University also boasts an impressive alumni list of eight Nobel Laureates and over 20 Pulitzer Prize winners.
In terms of combined degree programs, the university offers them in the following fields: Biotechnology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Linguistics, Mathematics, Political Science, and Public Health.
American University is a private university that has a strong focus on STEM fields and research. In fact, the university even possesses a space grant.
Among their combined degree offerings, the university has them in the following fields: Anthropology, Art History, Chemistry, History, Biology, Literature, Philosophy, Statistics, and Political Science.
Excelsior College is a private institution, originally named Regents College. The school has a strong focus on adult education and offers several long-distance and part-time programs to help students reach their educational goals while still working.
With a focus on adult education, Excelsior College provides several combined degree programs. These are just some of the fields in which students can earn their master’s and bachelor’s degrees: Accounting, General Business, Health Sciences, Information Technology, Marketing, Finance, and Nuclear Engineering Technology.
If you are interested in pursuing your college degree, it is worth considering a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree program compared to just getting your bachelor’s and then waiting to hopefully earn your master’s degree later.
Many employers now seek professionals who have a master’s degree, so having it makes you a more competitive prospect in the job market. Undertaking a combined program online means you can complete your master’s degree in a much shorter amount of time.
In fact, some universities allow you to earn your bachelor’s and master’s degrees within as little as 120 credit hours, which is typically how long it takes just to earn your bachelor’s degree.
This means that within four to five years, you could earn both degrees and be well on your way to a successful career.
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