Special College Programs

Find the right college for you.

Colleges offer flexible programs that allow you to tailor your education to fit your needs. Here's a sample of these programs.

Accelerated Program 

Earn your bachelor's degree quickly to get a head start on your career. Usually, this involves attending summer classes or carrying extra courses during the regular academic year.

Cooperative Education 

Alternate between semesters of full-time study and related paid full-time work. Earning a bachelor's degree under this plan might take longer, but you’ll gain practical work experience.

Distance Learning

Take courses for credit without being physically in the classroom. Today, this usually means taking classes online.

Double Major

Complete the requirements of two majors at the same time. Search for colleges and filter by those that offer the chance for students to double major.

adult professional with student

Dual Enrollment

Take college courses for credit while still in high school. Another way to earn college credit in high school is through the Advanced Placement (AP) Program.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Program

These programs offer international students the chance to learn English or hone their English language skills.

External Degree

Earn credits toward a college degree through independent study, college courses, proficiency exams, and qualifying life experience. This program usually requires very little classroom attendance─sometimes none at all.

Honors Program

Enter the honors program for special learning opportunities, such as educational enrichment, independent study, acceleration, or a combination.

Independent Study

Complete part of your college program by studying on your own instead of attending scheduled classes and completing group assignments.


Participate in a short-term, supervised work experience, usually related to your major, that earns you academic credit. Internships may be paid or unpaid and may take place on or off campus.

Semester at Sea

Live for part of a semester on a ship, often a research vessel, while taking academic courses. This program is typically for students majoring in oceanography or other marine-related fields.

Student-Designed Major

Create a major in a field of study that your college doesn’t formally offer as a major. Often nontraditional and interdisciplinary in nature, the major is developed with the approval of a college officer or committee.

Study Abroad

Complete part of your college program while studying in another country. Your college may operate a campus abroad or have a cooperative agreement with some other U.S. college or an institution in another country.

United Nations Semester

Take courses at a college in the New York City metropolitan area while participating in an internship program at the United Nations.

Urban Semester

Spend a semester in a major city like Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, Denver, or San Francisco. You can experience the complexities of an urban center through coursework, seminars, and internships related to your major.

Visiting/Exchange Student

Study for a semester or more at another college without extending the amount of time required for a degree.

Washington Semester

Participate in an internship program with a government agency or department in Washington, D.C.

Weekend College

Take a complete course of study by attending classes only on weekends. These programs can be restricted to a few college study areas and take more than the traditional number of years to complete.

Find Colleges

If any of these special programs interest you, use College Search to make sure the colleges you are applying to offer them.