What You’ll Learn About Bachelor’s Degrees
What is a bachelor’s degree?
A bachelor’s degree, also called a baccalaureate degree, is an undergraduate degree offered by four-year colleges and universities. It requires the completion of 120 credits or about 40 courses. Bachelor’s degrees are by far the most popular undergraduate degree offered in the United States. A bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite for entry into most master’s degree programs and is the degree level that many employers are looking for in new hires.
How long does it take to get a bachelor’s degree?
In the U.S., a bachelor’s degree takes four years of full-time study. That time can be shortened or lengthened depending on how many courses are taken in a semester, the availability of funds to pay for tuition and housing, and other work and family time constraints.
Requirements For Earning a Bachelor’s Degree
Most bachelor’s degree programs have a general education component, composed of courses in English, science, math, communications, humanities, and social sciences. In addition to general education courses, bachelor’s degrees require students to select a major, or a particular area of academic focus (e.g., biology, math, arts, English, foreign language, etc.).
BA vs. BS
- Bachelor of Arts (abbreviated BA or AB) The BA Degree is a four year college degree that usually focuses on the arts. Coursework may include social sciences, humanities, music or fine arts.
- Bachelor of Science (abbreviated BS or BSc) The BS Degree is a four year college degree that usually focuses on the sciences. Coursework may include life sciences, mathematics, and physical sciences.
Learn more about other types of bachelor’s degrees and their abbreviations.
What is a BPS degree?
A Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) is a newer and more general four-year undergraduate degree. BPS degrees help students for workplace success and prepares students for potential advanced study. Students can choose which professional competencies or skills they want to focus on within their PBS degree program and find the courses that teach those skills.
Some universities offer various types of BPS degrees. For instance, at Syracuse University, they offer a Creative Leadership BPS degree that focuses on the leadership skills students need to thrive in the modern workplace. They also offer a Knowledge Management BPS degree that teaches effective data management that leads to an organization’s success.
How much can you earn with a bachelor’s degree?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those with a bachelor’s degree earn 68% more than someone with only a high school diploma or GED and 42% more than someone with an associate degree. That’s an annual salary of approximately $59,124 with a bachelor’s degree vs. $41,496 with an associate’s or $35,256 with a high school diploma.
Need more convincing of the monetary benefits of a bachelor’s degree? The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce found similar data on the monetary value of a bachelor’s degree. They found that those with a bachelor’s degree earn about $2.3 million in their lifetime, on average, which is 35% more than those with an associate degree ($1.7 million) and 77% more than those with a high school diploma ($1.3 million).
Transferring Credits Into a Bachelor’s Program
For students entering a bachelor’s degree program with an associate’s degree under their belt, they may have already met some, if not all, of the general education requirements. Most universities allow the transfer of up to 60 credits, from a nationally or regionally accredited associate degree program or community college program.
- BLS.gov Occupation Finder
- NCES.ed.gov Digest of Education Statistics for Bachelor’s Degrees
- BLS.gov Occupational Outlook Handbook, Jobs for Bachelor’s Degree Education Level
Featured Schools that Offer Bachelor Degrees
|Southern New Hampshire University You have goals. Southern New Hampshire University can help you get there. Whether you need a bachelor's degree to get into a career or want a master's degree to move up in your current career, SNHU has an online program for you. Find your degree from over 200 online programs. Learn More >|
|Grand Canyon University (GCU) With a spotlight on intellectual creativity and innovation for the 21stcentury, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GCU provides a job focused education. It blends the study of traditional humanities in a modern context. Through academic inquiry and beyond the box thinking, the college advances our society and its accomplishments. Learn More >|
|Kaplan University Kaplan University's campus locations provide the facilities, faculty, staff and career programs to help you achieve your personal goals. You can learn from professionals specializing in identifying career opportunities and preparing students for a brighter future. Learn More >|
|Everest University Online Everest University Online, a division of Everest University, makes career education convenient and accessible. With courses tailored for working students and others who need a more flexible class schedule, Everest University Online allows students to learn from home and offers the same well-respected curriculum available at our traditional campuses. Learn More >|
|Colorado Technical University (CTU) A degree from Colorado Technical University can connect you to what matters most - a powerful professional network, real-world faculty and accessible, innovative technology. So once you earn your degree, you can hit the ground sprinting. Learn More >|