Bachelors Degree

Find a bachelors degree program, and learn the basics of getting a bachelors degree at a campus or online school.

What Is a Bachelors Degree?

Students can earn a bachelors degree by completing approximately 120 to 130 college credits, usually through four or five years of full-time study. Bachelors degrees are awarded by a variety of colleges and universities, including private universities, public universities, liberal arts colleges, career colleges and online schools. These degrees can be completed through courses on a college campus or at an online school, or through a combination of classroom and online courses.

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Bachelors Degree Time Requirements

Most students obtain a bachelors degree by attending college or university full-time for four or five years. However, taking summer school classes, online classes or completing advanced placement classes in high school can shorten the time it takes to earn a bachelors degree.

A bachelors degree typically requires the completion of 120 to 130 academic credits. In some cases, up to 60 of these credits can be transferred by students who have completed associates degrees at community colleges or through online programs.

Is a bachelors degree right for you?

Getting a bachelors degree from a campus school or online school can teach you valuable skills and get you on the right track in your career. Here are some of the top reasons that students pursue bachelors degrees:

  • Landing that dream job.
    In some career fields, you are required to have a bachelors degree to be considered for many positions. Employers will include a bachelors degree in the requirements section of job listings, and you are expected to list your academic background on your resume.
  • Upping your earning potential.
    Investing in your future with a bachelors degree can make employers invest in you. Studies have shown that professionals with bachelors degrees tend to earn higher salaries than those without bachelors degrees.
  • Getting that next degree.
    Some careers require more advanced degrees than a bachelors degree, so if your long-term plans include attending graduate school to pursue your masters degree or doctorate degree, completing a bachelors degree is where you'll need to start.
  • To get a well-rounded education.
    If you aren't sure what career field is right for you, or if you have a good idea but want a broad curriculum, a four-year college is a good move. Although you choose a major, usually after your second year, you are generally required to take courses outside of your major to complete your bachelors degree.

What types of students pursue bachelors degrees?

People choose to complete a bachelors degree for a variety of reasons, so the types of students you'll find in a bachelors degree program will vary by age and academic background. Some students enroll directly after completing high school or after taking a gap year to work, travel or study abroad. Other students may transfer to a bachelors degree program after completing an associates degree at a community college or online college. And you will also encounter professional adults who are beginning or completing their degree for career advancement opportunities or personal enrichment.

Should you pursue a bachelors degree at an online school?

Choosing to enter an online degree program to complete your bachelors degree gives you more flexibility in planning your classes, as many online schools offer evening and weekend classes to accommodate students with work or family obligations. While you may have to pay to have access to a working computer with Internet access, you will save money on commuting costs and room and board if you take classes at home.

Also, if you're attending an online school, you may be able to complete your online bachelors degree in less time than you would at a campus school, since you have more control over your online program and how quickly you complete your required courses.

How do I narrow down my choice of schools that offer bachelors degrees?

The type of school experience you're looking for and the type of bachelors degree you want will help you determine the best choices for you. First, you'll want to determine whether you want to attend a private university, public university, liberal arts college, career college or online school.

You'll also want to determine if a campus school or online school best suits your needs and look at the school's accreditation and what courses and degree programs are offered. Since standardized tests are likely to be required, be sure to check if your scores are good enough to help you get admitted into the school. The cost of the school is likely to be another determining factor.