How Long Does It Take to Get a Business Degree?

How Long Does It Take to Get a Business Degree?
Campus is the new alternative to online community college that provides a 100% live and online Associate of Arts in Business Administration degree program. Our comprehensive, career-focused business program equips students from across the U.S. with a solid foundation in core business principles to set them up for success no matter what their next step is. Read on to explore the world of business and how starting with a business degree might be your next best move.

Most people have an understanding that it takes about four years to complete a degree, but what about business degree? How long does it usually take to complete a bachelor's in business? What about an associate degree in business?

There are all kinds of business degrees, so to answer the question, "How long does it take to get a business degree?" you'll need to understand several factors before determining your answer.

A key factor is understanding how many credits you need to complete your program.

For instance, associate degrees typically require 60 credit hours and are usually designed to be concluded in two years of full-time study. Meanwhile, bachelor's degrees tend to require 120 credit hours.

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If you're seeking a master's in business, you'll probably have to bump up your bachelor's hours by roughly 30 credit hours or more. Many students who do this can expect to take on another two years of study to obtain their master's degree, though it could be longer or shorter.

Type of Degree Typical Credit Hours Required
Associate Degree 60
Bachelor's Degree 120
Master's Degree 30-60

*Note that the credit hours above are averages and vary by institution and program.

However, the time it will take you to complete your specific type of degree still depends on a few additional variables.

For example, your enrollment status, degree type, and the number of transfer credits you bring in can all affect your time to completion. Let's dive into each one.

Key Factors That Determine Your Business Program Length

Enrollment Status (Full-time vs Part-time)

The duration it takes to earn a business degree can greatly depend on your enrollment status. That is, if you are a full-time student or a part-time student.

Full-time students, who typically take a heavy course load each semester, can generally complete their degree faster than part-time students. It's common for full-time students to complete a bachelor's degree in business, for example, in approximately four years, while master's programs may take around two years.

Is it possible to earn a business degree part-time? Yes, part-time students can earn the same business degree that full-time students can. However, these students, who balance their studies with other commitments such as work or family, often take fewer courses each semester. As a result, the time it takes for them to complete their degree may extend by a few semesters or even years.

These students might take a little longer to complete the degree than full-time students. Of course, there are programs that still give students the opportunities to both work and study full-time, like the Campus online associate degree in business program! Our classes take place at night, allowing for many of our students to keep their day jobs and take classes in the evenings.

Note that these timelines can vary based on several factors, including the specific program, personal pace of study, and any previous credits earned.

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Type of Degree Specialization

What program of study do you wish to pursue?

Some programs have requirements that can affect the time it takes to earn the degree. While you could pursue a general business degree, there are also specialized degrees to consider as well.

Beyond business administration, you may want to have a focus on accounting or communications. These specialized programs usually involve diving deeper into specific topics, which might mean taking extra courses and extending the duration of your studies.

Here are a few more examples of specializations:

  • Marketing
  • Management
  • International Business
  • Finance
  • Project Management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Human Resource Management

On top of that, some specializations may require internships or practical experiences, adding more time to your journey. So, it's important to take into account the requirements and commitments of your specialization when planning your educational path.

Always be sure to research your program to understand the degree requirements so you can anticipate how long it will take to earn a business degree!

Transfer Credits

What are some ways students can accelerate the completion of a business degree? One of the easiest ways to complete your degree program quickly is through transfer credits. People who transfer credits from a previous institution, or those who earn prior learning credits from work experience, may have an advantage in completing their degree more quickly than those who don’t.

Can work experience be applied to shorten the duration of a business degree? While this varies from program to program, some colleges can award students credit for work experience.

Commonly, the more credits you bring to the program, the less time it takes to get a degree.

So, if you're a transfer student, meaning you've previously attended another university or college, or perhaps completed relevant coursework, those credits might be counted towards your business program.

However, it's crucial to remember that not all institutions accept transfer credits, and among those that do, policies can vary greatly. It's very important to speak with an academic advisor to understand how your past credits might be applied.

key factors that determine your business program length

How Long Does It Take to Get A Business Degree Online?

The time it will take to complete a business degree also varies for online students.

We'll use an online associate business degree program as an example, which could take more or less than the average two years.

Online students, just like traditional students, can generally decide how many classes they wish to complete each term and may finish the associate degree program in less than two years.

They may also take fewer classes at once, balancing their education with work and family obligations and prolonging the two years of online schooling. Regardless, by studying full-time online, students generally can graduate in two years.

The Campus business program is on a quarter, not semester, schedule. A quarter schedule breaks the year into terms lasting 10-11 weeks from start to finish (10 weeks of classes plus finals/exam week).

To earn an associate degree in business administration online, you would be expected to earn 90 credits to graduate, which usually means around twenty courses. In the quarter system, a full-time student enrolled in three quarters per year would earn 45 quarter credits a year, 15 during each of the three quarters (excluding summer).

The Campus program requires 92 credits to graduate, which – while slightly higher than the usual credit requirement – can still be completed in two years of full-time, year-round study.

With this faster pace of learning, the quarter system is perfect for working students who want periodic fresh starts, the ability to understand the material quickly, and the flexibility to experiment. It's a great match for students with solid time-management skills and self-discipline – it’s also a great opportunity for students to improve those skills.

Looking for the Right Business Degree Program?

Now that you have an idea of how long it will take to earn a business degree, it's time to take a deep dive into your own academic and career goals to determine the right type of business degree program for you.

If you'd like to learn more about how to find the right program, check out our guide.

Earn Your Associate Degree in Business Online with Campus

The less time it takes to conclude your degree, the quicker you can enter the workforce and earn. Consider earning your associate degree in business administration online in as little as two years!

The Campus online associate degree in business program can jumpstart your career in almost any industry and for nearly any kind of organization. Whether your passion is technology, film, sports, finance, or music, every sector needs highly qualified, enlightened, and competent business leaders to grow.

Learn more about Campus and our online business program by requesting more information today.

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Our admissions advisors can answer your questions.