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College is supposed to represent the best years of a person’s life. But, sometimes, people prefer to get to the end of it and graduate as early as possible. Some students prefer to fast-track this process, get out there and get a job rather than spend more time studying, going to classes, or taking notes until their hands cramp. But, can you graduate early? And if so, the next issue is how to graduate college early? We have the answers, so read on and find out.

Why Would You Want to Graduate Early?

Between the increasing tuition rates and the opportunity to start gaining work experience earlier than your peers who can become your competitors, the concept of graduating from college earlier is intriguing for many students. Some of the top reasons why they want to graduate earlier have to do with their own college experiences, financial matters, or even career opportunities.

You don’t enjoy your time in the college

Sometimes, you might just not have a nice college experience, and that is why you want to graduate and be done with it as soon as possible. Whether it be your accommodation, social group, or the courses you are taking, there is always one or many factors that can contribute to your overall dissatisfaction with college. Of course, we would advise you to seek other simpler routes first. But, if you are sure that you would rather graduate earlier, then it is a good enough reason to start preparing for it.

You want to start your next education phase early

Maybe you are in a hurry to finish your undergraduate studies so that you can proceed with the next educational stage earlier. Graduating earlier means you can pursue a master’s degree that involves a more in-depth level of study regarding the area of your interest.

You want to enter the workforce as soon as possible

You might want to graduate early to gain more work experience. Understandably, some people would rather practice what they learn in college instead of spending more time in classrooms or dealing with homework. Graduating earlier can present you with the opportunity to grow professionally more quickly than your peersof course, only if you are committed and put in the needed effort.

You want to save the money you would use for tuition fees

It is no secret that tuition fees are higher than ever and compared to the 1980s, the costs have more than doubled. According to the U.S. News & World Reports, the average cost of tuition and fees to attend a ranked public college in the United States is $10,388, whereas private colleges cost an average of $38,185. By graduating even only a semester early and skipping the tuition, you will be saving a good amount of money.

Can You Graduate College Early?


We talked about why you might want to, but the more important question is can you graduate college early. The answer is yes, it is possible to graduate earlier from college. Generally, to earn an undergraduate degree, you are expected to attend college for 4-6 years. However, some institutes offer dedicated students the resources and tools necessary to graduate earlier than their peers. With the proper planning, hard work, and dedication, in three years, or even less for some majors, you can earn your degree and get a jumpstart on your career.

How to Graduate College Early?

The key to graduating earlier lies in maximizing the college credits you earn while simultaneously minimizing the time spent in school. Follow the below-mentioned tips to quickly go through college, earn your degree and break into the job market.

Set a graduation date

The first step is to set the graduation date. Based on how near or far it is, you can start to determine the course timeline you should follow. Get the help of a guidance counselor, your parents, or friends to assist you in creating a general plan you will follow for the remaining school years. However, the gist of it is that the closer the graduation date is, the more classes you will need to take.

Identify the courses you will need to take

After calculating how many classes you need to take per year, now is the time to determine the courses you need to take. Especially if you are still in high school while making plans about graduation, you should speak to your school’s guidance counselor and do extensive research on the school you plan to graduate from.

Calculate the number of credits you will need to take

Next, calculate the number of credits you will need to take before you can graduate. In some cases, schools have a specific number of credits required for graduation. So, gather all the information about the school’s requirements, and incorporate it into your plan.

Take classes in the summer and winter intersession

Although most students cannot wait for summer and winter break so they can kick back, sleep in, and rest, those who plan to graduate early take advantage of this time. The summer and winter intersession is an opportunity for you to take more classes and earn more credits.

Find the accelerated terms or semesters

Accelerated courses are courses offered at every degree level, just like the traditional ones. However, these courses are shorter in length. Generally, accelerated courses can take approximately five to eight weeks to complete. Similarly, there can be semesters that take less time to complete. Many schools offer this opportunity for those students, such as you, who are keen on finishing certain semesters earlier so they can move on to bigger things.

Take online classes


Last but not least, taking classes online can provide a faster path to graduation. In such circumstances, students are not constrained to attend class physically. So, with the more flexible format, you can manage your course load in a way that benefits you the most. Furthermore, nowadays, you can even attend accredited online universities, get your education, and graduate faster than through traditional colleges.


There is an abundance of reasons why students may want to graduate early, and they all can benefit from the tips we listed. It is all about understanding the graduation requirements and utilizing the opportunities provided by the school. From classes in the summer and winter intersession to accelerated courses and semesters, there are many ways how you can accumulate the needed number of credits to earn your diploma. To put it simply, the answer to the question of how to graduate early is to be thorough with your planning, stay determined, and work hard.



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