Jump Start Your Career

Looking for a way to complete your degree in less time than a traditional four-year degree? Our three-year degree option is a great savings.

3-Year Degree Options


William Jewell College offers accelerated three-year degree options in a number of majors if you want to complete your undergraduate degrees in less than four years. More and more students are bringing credits to college from other sources, including dual-enrollment courses and AP credits, that give them a head start. Others want to focus their energy and continue their coursework between semesters and during summers in order to graduate before their peers, enabling them to enter career fields or graduate schools a year early. For many, saving a year’s worth of tuition and room and board expenses also is an important consideration.

With small classes, accessible faculty and the ability to provide an individual academic experience, Jewell is the perfect place to help meet the challenges and opportunities that accelerated programs present. Advising will begin even before the first day of classes; you will know exactly what you need to do to prepare for and succeed in one of our three-year programs. And later on, if you choose to slow down and extend your college career to four years, you will be able to do that, too.
 

Participating Programs

Accounting, Business Administration, Communication, Economics, English, Mathematics, Nursing, Physics, Political Science, Psychological Science, Spanish

How To Apply

It’s simple! Just check the 3-year option box in the application for admission. Your admission counselor will call you to go over the program in more detail and encourage you to come for a campus visit to speak with a faculty advisor.

Apply Now

Blog: Choosing a College

  • Three-Year vs. Four-Year Colleges: What's the Difference?

    Four-year colleges near me

    Are you curious about the differences between three-year and four-year degree programs? Do you find yourself asking, “what’s the difference between three-year and four-year colleges near me?” William Jewell has all the information you need to determine what kind of college degree works best for you.

    More and more students are bringing credits to college from other sources, including dual-enrollment courses and AP credits, that give them a head start. Others want to focus their energy and continue their coursework between semesters and during summers to graduate before their peers, enabling them to enter career fields or graduate schools a year early.

    We offer accelerated three-year degree options in a number of majors if you want to complete your undergraduate degree in less than four years. Likewise, our four-year college degrees offer the same high-quality courses and faculty. No matter the schedule you pursue at Jewell, our programs offer the same professional outcomes with a 99.4% placement rate. 

    For many, saving a year’s worth of tuition and room and board expenses is also essential. And with William Jewell’s low cost of tuition, affordability is even greater.

    However, many students enter this process unaware of how a three-year degree from a four-year college near them might impact their educational experience. That’s why we took the time to compile this blog. We want our students, potential and current, to have all the tools necessary to make educated decisions on how to proceed in their college careers. After all, student-focused education remains our utmost priority.

    With small classes, accessible faculty and the ability to provide an individual academic experience, Jewell is the perfect place to help meet the challenges and opportunities that accelerated programs present.

    The Difference Between Three-Year and Four-Year Colleges Near You

    While the accelerated nature of three-year undergraduate programs is not ideal for every student, it poses some distinct benefits that some learners may find better suit their goals and interests. 

    Here are the five major differences between three-year and four-year college degree programs near you.

    1. Program Length
      The most significant distinction is the time it takes to earn your degree. A three-year college degree program will normally take only three years. A four-year college degree program will take the traditional four years unless you’re a part-time student. No matter your timeframe, your faculty advisor will work with you to develop a personalized plan to help you meet your academic goals and graduate on schedule. Your time at our college is important, and we want to know if there are things we can be doing to provide you with the support you need. And if you do need accommodations or to make a change to your long-term schedule, we can help make that happen.

      Additionally, earlier graduation allows you to enter the workforce faster than you would within the structure of a traditional degree from a four-year college near you. This will enable you to acquire business experience more quickly and give you a head start as a young professional on establishing yourself within your chosen field.

      Many students pursue an undergraduate degree looking to progress to graduate degrees and postgraduate educational opportunities. Local programs, like the kind offered at William Jewell and other three-year colleges in Kansas and Missouri, allow you to work toward that goal at a faster rate. William Jewell’s three-year degree program will allow you to enter your graduate degree faster than your peers.
       

    2. Program Focus
      One of the most noteworthy but least apparent distinctions between three-year and four-year colleges near you, is the degree of focus afforded by their programming. Traditional four-year degrees are usually less focused, providing you with more time to fulfill requirements and explore subjects you find interesting. A three-year degree does not offer you the same amount of time to experiment.

      Using a three-year degree to complete a four-year degree is a helpful option if you’re looking to enter the workforce faster or looking to minimize overall program duration. Many working professionals, for instance, may find they prefer a three-year college degree to a four-year degree simply because it means fewer years out of the workforce. Whether you are seeking a promotion within your current field or a transition into a new field, our intensive, three-year program minimizes professional downtime.

      If, as a student in a four-year college degree program, you take enough general education or elective courses on a similar topic, you may declare a minor in that topic. A business administration major, for example, could minor in communication. This is less possible in a three-year college program.

      As you plan your course load with your academic advisor, you will have to think ahead. This means developing a long-term graduation plan, frequently requiring laying out the courses you need to graduate well in advance. While this may somewhat limit your capacity to explore distinct courses, it leads to a far more focused educational experience. There is less uncertainty in what classes you will need to take and less ambiguity in the requirements you must fulfill along your undergraduate journey.

      So, depending on what you’re looking to accomplish while at college, the type of degree you pursue can impact the opportunities you have to explore and delve into new subjects you are curious about.
       

    3. Earning Potential
      While a three-year degree costs less than a four-year degree, there’s a trade-off when it comes to the earning potential of graduates from those two programs.

      According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median weekly earnings of a four-year degree holder are $1,305, which equates to nearly $68,000 a year. Unlike an associate’s degree, where there are notable declines in earning potential amongst graduating students, an accredited three-year degree has not been shown to impact earning potential among graduating students. 

      In fact, entering the workforce earlier with the same knowledge level as a traditional four-year college graduate may give you an edge in the labor market. After all, by the time most of your peers have graduated you will already have had a year to establish yourself within your industry and work your way up. 
       

    4. Program Costs
      The single most notable benefit posed by a three-year degree compared to a four-year college degree is the reduced overall cost of tuition. While the price of a college education has been increasing over the years, Jewell’s tuition remains affordable for students, holding true to our commitment to provide an exceptional education to everyone.

      This commitment to providing our students with the most affordable and empowering education possible is why William Jewell maintains an incredibly affordable tuition rate and offers our world-class three-year college degree programs. Fewer years of college naturally means less money spent over the life of your college experience. Additionally, faster graduation also lowers the overall cost of student loans and debt from loans, alleviating financial pressure following your graduation.

      But tuition doesn’t have to be a limiting factor in your education. William Jewell has committed to providing an accessible, equitable and inclusive education. Beyond our affordable tuition, 95% of our students receive scholarships. These scholarships range from $500 to full tuition, with room and board as well as need-based grants available to students.

      William Jewell is one of the most affordable private colleges in the region. Get a comprehensive breakdown of the cost of tuition.

    5. Degree Availability
      Participating programs eligible for a three-year degree include:
    • Accounting
    • Business Administration
    • Communication
    • Economics
    • English
    • Mathematics
    • Nursing
    • Physics
    • Political Science
    • Psychological Science
    • Spanish

    Advising for your three-year college experience will begin before the first day of classes. Our mission is to make sure you start this process equipped to succeed, and we will work with you to build a course plan that works for you and your needs. That way, you will know exactly what you need to do to prepare for and succeed in one of our three-year programs.

    Today, there’s an emphasis on digital communication. There’s a need for soft skills. Companies want employees who are self-starters, who have the ability to think creatively as well as critically.

    College provides a vital space to explore, push yourself and grow as a person, professional and citizen. You may pursue a specific subject of study, engage in a new community or work towards a career. No matter your interests, success in higher education is about following your passion. William Jewell College is committed to providing students with the opportunity to do just that. 

    However, it’s essential to recognize that while college is an exceptional vehicle for preparing our students for their futures as engaged global citizens, not everyone is looking for a four-year undergraduate experience. Some people are looking to complete their undergraduate degree in less than four years. For students interested in pursuing an accelerated degree from a three-year college, the three-year degree program at William Jewell College may be the perfect route for their success.
     

    Three-Year Colleges May Not Be Right For Every Student

    There is no wrong way to experience college. As long as you follow your passions, your college experience will be successful. William Jewell College’s mission is to advance critical thinking and prepare students to connect their thinking with greater purpose. Whatever your undergraduate journey, we are here to support you.

    While three-year colleges are a great way to jumpstart a student’s post-college life, they might not be suitable for everyone. Some students are interested in having a more traditional college experience, with greater room for academic exploration or the opportunity to take advantage of all four years of college traditions and opportunities. And students who aren’t 100% certain about what they are interested in pursuing academically may find that a three-year program detrimental to their growth and personal discovery while at college. 
     

    William Jewell College Offers Three-Year & Four-Year Degree Options

    At William Jewell College, we educate our community to ask reflective questions, apply critical thought and act with purpose. That commitment is why we provide our students with a world-class liberal arts education. Our goal is to prepare you to be both successful and reflective citizens of a global community.

    At every step of your undergraduate experience, William Jewell is here to facilitate your growth as a critical thinker. No matter your academic needs, be they a three-year degree or a four-year degree, William Jewell College has the educational resources to make your collegiate experience one of growth, mastery and success.

    Now that you’ve learned more about the differences between three-year degrees and four-year degrees, are you curious about which degree works best for you? Just reach out. We can help you to determine the best plan for your academic career. You can further explore our website or reach out to the Office of Admission to learn more.

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  • Why you should consider a three-year degree

    Why You Should Consider a Three-Year Degree in Kansas or Missouri

    College provides a vital space to explore, push yourself and grow as a person, professional and citizen. You may pursue a specific subject of study, engage in a new community or work towards a career. No matter your interests, success in higher education is about following your passion. William Jewell College is committed to providing students like you with the opportunity to do just that.

    However, it’s important to recognize that while college is an exceptional vehicle for preparing our students for their futures as engaged global citizens, not everyone is looking for a four-year undergraduate experience. Some people are looking to complete their undergraduate degree in less than four years. If you’re interested in pursuing an accelerated three-year degree in Kansas or Missouri, the three-year degree program at William Jewell College may be the perfect route for your success.

    William Jewell College Supports Your Academic Goals

    In everything we do, Jewell prioritizes you, our students. We provide you with small classes (average size of 16) to make it easier to engage and learn; accessible faculty to provide a unique, needs-based academic experience; and specialized learning opportunities that will challenge you while encouraging you to grow as thinkers and individuals. Jewell is the perfect place to help meet the challenges and opportunities that a three-year program presents.

    Participating programs eligible for a three-year degree include:

    • Accounting
    • Business Administration
    • Communication
    • Economics
    • English
    • Mathematics
    • Nursing
    • Physics
    • Political Science
    • Psychological Science
    • Spanish

    Advising for your three-year degree experience will begin before the first day of classes. Our mission is to make sure you start this process equipped to succeed, and we will work with you to build a course plan that works for you and your needs. That way, you will know exactly what you need to do to prepare for and succeed in one of our three-year programs. 

    The Benefits of Three-Year Degrees

    While the accelerated nature of three-year undergraduate programs is not ideal for every student, it poses some distinct benefits that some learners may find better suit their goals and interests. 

    Faster Entry Into the Workforce

    Earlier graduation allows you to enter the workforce faster than you otherwise would within the structure of a four-year program. This may mean pursuing your passions outside of college or gearing your three-year degree towards a particular field to best fast-track your professional goals and aspirations. This allows you to acquire business experience faster and gives you a head start on establishing yourself as a young professional within your chosen field.

    Faster Entry Into Graduate Programs

    Many students pursue an undergraduate degree looking to progress to graduate degrees and postgraduate educational opportunities. Jewell’s three-year degree program will help you enter your graduate degree faster than your peers. Local programs, like the kind offered at Jewell and other three-year degree programs, allow you to work toward that goal at a faster rate. By minimizing unused downtime to continue coursework and take advantage of summer programming, you can pick up the information needed for your chosen graduate program faster. This allows you to begin applying and pursuing graduate education sooner. 

    Reduced Cost of Tuition

    One of the most significant benefits posed by a three-year degree in Kansas, Missouri and elsewhere is the reduced overall cost of tuition. It’s no secret that the cost of a college education has increased over the years; this is not the case at William Jewell. We are committed to providing students like you with the most affordable and empowering education possible. That’s why our tuition remains affordable and reasonable. But beyond our lower tuition rates, we’re still committed to providing students with as many affordable education options as possible. Fewer years of college naturally means less money spent over the life of your college experience. Additionally, faster graduation also lowers the overall cost of student loans and debt from loans, alleviating financial pressure following your graduation.

    Clearer Program Structure

    One additional benefit is that programming for three-year degrees in Kansas, Missouri or Kansas City is often more straightforward than traditional four-year programming. As you plan your course load with your academic advisor, you will have to plan ahead. This means developing a long-term graduation plan, frequently requiring laying out the courses you need to graduate well in advance. While this may somewhat limit your capacity to explore distinct courses, it leads to a far more focused educational experience. There is less uncertainty in what classes you will need to take and less ambiguity in the requirements you must fulfill along your undergraduate journey.

    Three-Year Degrees May Not Be Right For Every Student

    There is no wrong way to experience college. As long as you follow your passions and strive to learn and grow, your college experience will be successful. It’s the mission of William Jewell College to advance critical thinking and prepare students to connect their thinking with greater purpose. Whatever your undergraduate journey, we are here to support you.

    While three-year degree programs are a great way to jumpstart a student’s post-college life, they might not be right for everyone. Some students are interested in having a more traditional college experience, with greater room for academic exploration or the opportunity to take advantage of all four years of college traditions and opportunities. So, suppose you aren’t 100% certain about what you are interested in pursuing academically. In that case, you (and nearly half of all incoming students) may find that a three-year program proves to be detrimental to your growth and personal discovery while at college.

    Likewise, if you start a three-year program at Jewell and choose to slow down and extend your college career to four years, you will be able to do that, too. We will work with you to build the undergraduate experience you need to succeed in your passions, no matter your situation.

    Interested in an Accelerated Undergraduate Experience? Apply Now!

    It’s simple! Just check the three-year option box in your application for admission into William Jewell College. Your admission counselor will call you to go over the program in more detail, explaining what you can expect and the requirements, and encourage you to come for a campus visit to speak with a faculty advisor.

    At every step of your undergraduate experience, William Jewell is here to facilitate your growth as a critical thinker and a global citizen. For more information, you can contact the Office of Admission!

     

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