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Earning an accounting undergraduate degree normally takes four years because of the number of credit hour accounting degree requirements. Contrary to popular belief, the study of accounting is closer to learning a foreign language than it is to the study of mathematics. Therefore, as with a foreign language (you cannot go directly from French II to French IV), much of your curriculum is built on the progression from one course to another. This makes it a bit difficult to rapidly accelerate your studies to earn your Bachelor's degree in accounting in a short period of time. Earning an accounting bachelor degree online will take approximately the same time, but you might have the opportunity to treat your program like a “trimester” plan, using the summer months as another semester to take more credits. Most accounting undergraduate degrees require between 120 and 135 credit hours, normally between 40 and 45 three-credit courses. Accounting degree requirements also normally dictate that you won't be required to “cram” for exams. Since you learn techniques as you go along, which build on prior knowledge and segway to the next level of learning, you truly do gain expertise as you progress through each course. Once again, don't be concerned if you weren't a “math whiz” in your prior life. Most basic accounting techniques involve only normal mathematics (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) with some algebra used for certain techniques. You could try to accomplish your goal in two to three years but it is highly unlikely, as an accounting major, to achieve this feat, although pursuing an online degree might help you do it.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|