Competency-Based Programs

From Degree Forum Wiki


Thanks to user dfrecore for gathering the initial information and posting it to the forum.

General information[edit]

A competency-based program operates differently than a traditional college/university degree program. Instead of paying per credit hour for a fixed number of classes, you pay for a fixed amount of time and can take as many credits as you can within that time frame.

Some schools, such as WGU, do not follow the standard credit hour approach when it comes to listing degree requirements. This can make it a little difficult to determine what, if anything, may be transferred in from elsewhere so that you do not have to repeat courses. Other schools, such as Northern Arizona University, use the standard credit hour system and simply allow you to complete courses on an accelerated schedule and at your own pace.

Time requirements[edit]

Depending on the number of transfer credits you have and the amount of time you have available to work on a particular degree during the week, it's not unusual to complete a bachelor's at WGU in 6-12 months, though standard students who work at a slower pace are more likely to complete their degree in a more typical 3-4 years.

Other schools may require more or less time, again depending on your schedule and the number of transfer credits that you are bringing in.

List of Competency-based programs[edit]

For sorting ability, all terms have been converted into weeks. If a school measures their term in months, that figure is given in parentheses after the number of weeks.

School Program Degree Levels Cost Term Weekly Cost ACE and/or Transfer Credits Allowed
Anderson University Flexible Degree/Flex Online Bachelor's , Master's $2600 5 weeks $520 Accepts CLEP. Up to 75% transfer credits accepted
Capella University Flexpath Bachelor's, Master's $2500-$3200 12 weeks $208-$267 Allowed, unknown limit. Accepts CLEP, DSST, ACE. If you fail their readiness assessment exam, they won't allow you to enroll until you get 12 credits with GPA of 2.75 through their GuidedPath program. That will cost you $4,700+.
Kairos University Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorates $300-$600 4 weeks (1 month) $75-$150 Religious-based degrees. Some CLEP/ACE may be accepted for undergraduate degrees, but it is per the discretion of the registrar. Transfer credit (whether alternate or from another accredited school) must be applicable to the desired degree. Very few Gen Eds and no electives.
Northern Arizona University (NAU) Personalized Learning Bachelor's, Master's $3100-3850 24 weeks (6 months) $115 64
Purdue University Global ExcelTrack Bachelor's, Master's $2500 10 weeks $250 Up to 75% of credits may be transferred in. Accepts CLEP, DSSTs, UExcel, "and others". Both RA and NA prior associate's and bachelor's degrees may waive certain course requirements.
South Texas College Certificate, Associate's, Bachelor's $850 (in-district), $910 (out-of-district), $1500 (out-of-state) 7 weeks $121.43, $130, $214.29 Most ACE credits are NOT accepted directly. May be accepted if present on another school's transcript. There is NOT guarantee of transfer, even then. School may restrict students to 2 classes per CBE term, even if student is able to quickly and satisfactorily complete these classes in just a couple of weeks. If this happens, resulting tuition is approximately $188-$250 per credit hour. Students must pass final assessment with 80% or better, compared to 60% or better in their non-CBE classes.
Texas A&M University-Commerce Bachelor's $750 7 weeks $107 Allowed, unknown number of credits can be transferred in. Degree is for Texas residents or Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma counties or parishes that border Texas only - other non-residents pay at least twice as much. NA credits accepted in transfer on a course-by-course basis.
University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI) YourPace Bachelor's, Master's $1400-$2000 8 weeks $175-$250 90+ ACE credits allowed. Read wiki page for details. International students accepted!
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (UMBH) MyWay Bachelor's $3250 24 weeks (6 months) $125 As of March 1, 2022, ACE and NCCRS credits are no longer accepted. International students NOT accepted!
University of Massachusetts Global MyPath Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's $3200 24 weeks $133 Allowed, 90 maximum; possibly limited ACE list. You have to score at least 81.5% on ACE courses for transferability. Formerly Brandman University.
University of Wisconsin Flex Associate's, Bachelor's $2250 12 weeks $188 Some CLEP exams may be accepted. Most other alternate credits, including DSSTs, not accepted. RA credit acceptance depends upon chosen program. International students are NOT allowed!
Walden University Tempo Learning Bachelor's, Master's $2450 12 weeks (3 months) $188 Up to 135 a total of quarter credits (90 semester credits) from non-Walden sources may be transferred in, depending on program. Max of 90 quarter credits (60 semester credits) may come from ACE/NCCRS sources.
Western Governors University (WGU) Bachelor's, Master's $3300-$3845 24 weeks (6 months) $130-$148 90 max (currently unstated on site but has been long-standing policy) International students NOT accepted!
NationsU - NA degree, NOT RA Bachelor's, Master's $450 13 weeks (3 months/1 quarter) $35 NA/RA transfer credit allowed for GE requirements in bachelor degree - up to 30 in total; ACE/CLEP/NCCRS sources are not allowed.
Snow College - only Associate's degree Snow Online Associate's $1743 16 weeks (4 months/1 semester) $109 Allowed, no limit to number. May be limit to source. Not all CLEP exams accepted. Utah residents only - out-of-state students charged more, though scholarships may be available