How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Program?

Jan 19, 2022

4 min read

You are ready to take the next step toward your educational goals but aren’t quite sure how you are going to complete a program with your busy schedule. You might be thinking, “How long is it really going to take to complete the program?” Rest assured; you are not alone–this is a very common question. 

Go At Your Pace

The amount of time it will take to complete an online program can vary from student to student. Many online students with the University of Nebraska (NU) are busy adults with full time jobs, families and other responsibilities who are looking for a convenient, flexible and high-quality option to continue their education. An online program with NU gives you the ability to complete your coursework when it is convenient for you. Most online courses at the University of Nebraska are asynchronous, meaning class is not happening at a set time, and allow students to log on and do the work when it fits their schedule. Early birds, night owls and lunch breakers all make time to do their work when their day allows it.

Check the Credits

The amount of time that your program of interest will take to complete depends on how many credit hours per semester you are willing to take, as well as how many credits are in your program. Most students studying online with the University of Nebraska are attending part-time, taking 1-2 online courses per semester as their schedule allows it. Prospective students interested in knowing the amount of credits in their program can view the “Courses You’ll Take” tab on the NU Online program page.

What other factors might affect the amount of time it takes to complete a program?

Transferable credits: Students who have existing credits that were earned at other regionally accredited institutions may be eligible to transfer their credits toward their program of interest. An online program specialist or academic adviser can take a look at your transcripts to see which credits might transfer.

Course load: The number of online courses that students enroll in each semester could affect the length of time that it will take to complete an online program.

Degree type: The type of degree, certificate, or endorsement program you are looking to complete will also depend on the amount of time it will take you to complete. The majority of our online bachelor programs are 120 credit hours while master’s programs can vary between 30-48 credit hours.

Degree program: The specific program you are interested in may affect the amount of time it will take to complete. Most online programs follow the traditional semester schedule: fall, spring and summer terms. Fall and spring terms generally consist of 16-week courses, but some programs also offer 8-week course options. Summer sessions offer a more accelerated learning experience with terms ranging from 3-8 weeks long. 

University of Nebraska campuses are fully accredited regionally by the Higher Learning Commission, and many programs that also carry accreditation by prestigious associations in specific fields. For more information about the 150+ online programs and to request more information, visit