The four-year bachelor’s degree has been the model in the United States since the first universities began operating before the American Revolution. Four-year degrees were designed in large part to provide a broad-based education that teaches young people to analyze and think critically, considered vital preparation to participate in the civic life of American democracy.
The three-year degree is the common model at the University of Cambridge and Oxford University in England, and some U.S. schools have begun experimenting with the idea. To cram four years of study into three, some will require summer work, others will shave course lengths and some might cut the number of credit hours required.
So is it going to happen in more places or not? I don’t think cramming a four-year degree into three is the answer, nor is the plan that most who want to graduate early already employ (summer classes, community college credit, etc.) and so, I think this will take a bit of creativity.
I’m not sure that most places could afford to do it, though I can see industrious schools with a broad base using this as a way to tout their programs and show they’re in touch with the needs of the community (namely, less tuition or whatever) and yet, I think it might end up being adjudged by some to be lesser if it somehow manages to require less credits than a four-year degree and that’s the reason the idea seems DOA.