Earning a college degree is a wonderful step towards gaining deeper knowledge and advancing your career. But figuring out which degree suits your educational needs, with the plethora of information available on the internet, may seem overwhelming and confusing. 

Well, we can help you figure out the essentials of one of the most popular college degrees – The Bachelor’s Degree. 

Here’s a lowdown of all you need to know about a bachelor’s degree and more.

According to Britannica, a bachelor’s degree or baccalaureate is an undergraduate academic degree awarded by colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study, depending on institution and academic discipline. It also states that the two most common bachelor’s degrees are the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and the Bachelor of Science (BS or BSc).

Let’s move on to look at the number of years required to complete your bachelor degree

If you’re considering pursuing a bachelor’s degree, it’s essential to know how long you’ll be hitting the books. So, here’s all the info you need:

In the United States, a typical bachelor’s degree program typically takes about four years to complete. This four-year duration is based on a standard academic year, which is further divided into two semesters: fall and spring. Each semester is around 15 weeks long, give or take.

Remember that the actual time it takes to earn your bachelor’s degree varies depending on a number of factors. Certain programs may have additional requirements or offer specialized tracks that could extend your college duration time. Also, your course load can influence how quickly you progress your course. Speaking of course load, you may be required to take around 12-15 credit hours per semester, which typically translates to four to five courses. While this is a full-time course, some students may prefer to go to school part-time while continuing to work. So it depends on the student to take up more or fewer credits depending on their personal circumstances.

During your research, you may come across a few terms related to degree duration. One of them is the “credit hour.” Credit hours, in simple terms, represent the amount of time you spend in class each week. Typically, a course that meets for one hour per week is worth one credit. So, a three-credit course will have three hours of class time per week.

Another term you might encounter is “Accelerated Programs.” These programs are designed for students who want to earn their bachelor’s degree in less than the traditional four years. Note that accelerated programs can be quite intense, as they may involve taking heavier course loads or attending classes during the summer.

It is also worth noting that bachelor’s programs are now available online, offering you the flexibility to balance your studies with other commitments. The duration of online programs can vary, but generally they follow a similar structure to on-campus programs.

Moving on, let’s understand how an associate degree differs from a bachelor’s Degree

Let us break it down for you in a jiffy.

FeatureAssociate Bachelor’s
DurationTypically a two-year program offered by community colleges, vocational schools, and some universities.Typically takes four years to complete and is offered by colleges and universities.
Depth of EducationPreferred by students who wish to gain foundational knowledge in a specific field or who are looking to enter the workforce sooner. More focused on practical skills and hands-on training, preparing you for entry-level jobs or specific technical roles.Preferred by students who are looking for a more comprehensive and in-depth program. Offers a broader range of subjects and often provides a more well-rounded education.
Credits RequiredTypically requires around 60 credits, which can vary depending on the program and institution.Typically requires around 120 credits, which includes a mix of major-specific courses, general education requirements, and elective courses. 
Career OpportunitiesPrograms focused on practical skills and preparing you for entry-level positionsOffers more opportunities in terms of career prospects and higher-paying jobs. Many professional fields, such as engineering, nursing, business, and education, often require a bachelor’s degree as a minimum qualification. 

To sum it up, an Associate’s degree is typically a two-year, while a bachelor’s degree is a more comprehensive four-year program that provides a broader education and opens up a wider range of career opportunities. Ultimately, the choice between an associate’s and a bachelor’s degree depends on your career goals, personal circumstances, and educational aspirations. 

This is an interesting section that will help you differentiate between a college degree and a trade school or a professional course. Let’s dive right in.

College Degree

A college degree, such as a bachelor’s degree, is typically earned by completing a four-year program at a college or university. While a college degree provides a comprehensive education that includes a broad range of subjects, it often includes general education requirements in addition to coursework in your chosen major. These degrees focus on theoretical knowledge, critical thinking skills, and assist in preparing you for a variety of careers or further education. College degrees are often seen as more versatile as they set a solid foundation for a wide range of professions.

Trade School

Trade schools, also known as vocational schools or technical colleges, specialize in providing specific hands-on training and skills for particular trades or occupations. Programs offered by trade schools typically offer shorter-term training (ranging from a few months to two years) and focus on practical, job-specific skills. These schools are a great option for those interested in pursuing careers in specific fields like culinary arts, automotive technology, cosmetology, welding, carpentry, plumbing, etc. The emphasis in programs offered by a trade school is on acquiring the practical skills needed to enter the workforce and succeed in a specific trade or industry.

Professional Courses

Professional courses are typically shorter-term educational programs designed to enhance skills or provide specialized knowledge in a specific field or profession. These courses are often offered by industry associations, training institutions or other kinds of professional organizations. Professional courses can be taken by individuals at any stage of their career and are pursued to gain expertise or certification in a specific area. These could include project management certification, digital marketing courses, technical boot camps, or real estate licensing courses. Professional courses are focused on practical skills and targeted knowledge needed for specific job roles or industries.

Ultimately, the choice between a college degree, trade school, or professional courses depends completely on your career goals, interests, and the specific skills or knowledge you’re looking to acquire.

It’s time to look at various aspects of earning a university degree on-campus vs earning a university degree online 

Let’s compare the two and see how they stack up:

In-Person College DegreesOnline College Degrees
Classroom Experience: Offer face-to-face interaction with professors and classmates. You can engage in discussions, ask questions, and participate in hands-on activities or labs.Flexibility and Convenience: Offer the flexibility to study at your own pace and from anywhere with an internet connection. You can often access course materials, lectures, and assignments at your convenience, which is beneficial if you have other commitments like work or family.
Networking Opportunities: Being physically present on campus allows you to build connections with fellow students, faculty, and professionals through clubs, organizations, events, and networking opportunities. This can be valuable for future career prospects.Personalized Learning: Often provide the opportunity to tailor your learning experience. You can revisit lectures, engage with course materials, and study at your own speed, accommodating different learning styles.
Campus Life: Offer a vibrant campus atmosphere with extracurricular activities, sports, cultural events, and a chance to experience a sense of community.Accessibility: Eliminate geographical barriers, allowing you to choose from a broader range of programs and institutions that may not be available locally. This opens up opportunities for you to network and explore diverse educational options.
Structure and Accountability: Typically, have a set schedule, and attending classes on campus provides a structured learning environment with designated times and locations for lectures and assignments.Self-Discipline: Require self-motivation and strong time-management skills since you’ll need to stay organized and meet deadlines without the structure of a physical classroom.

Remember that the quality and credibility of online degrees may vary, so make sure to pick accredited and reputable institutions and programs to ensure the value of your degree.

The choice between in-person and online college degrees entirely depends on your personal circumstances, learning preferences, and lifestyle. While some of you may thrive in the physical classroom environment, others may prefer the flexibility and convenience of online learning. Online learning is becoming more popular and available, so don’t count it out as a way to gain your college degree. Consider your own needs, goals, and the requirements of your chosen field when deciding which format suits you best.

In a Nutshell

So, there you have it—the scoop on a bachelor’s degree and a lot more. Keep in mind that it is always wise to check with specific universities or colleges for their program requirements and timelines. 

Now, go ahead and conquer that bachelor’s degree like the academic superstar you are!

If you’re looking for more information on higher education courses, feel free to explore our resource library. 

What is the duration of a bachelor's degree?

In the United States, a bachelor’s degree is typically a four year course, with each year divided into two semesters or four quarters. Note that some programs may offer accelerated options or allow students to take additional courses during the summer, which can shorten the overall duration of the degree.

Is bachelors a graduate degree course?

No, a bachelor’s degree is not considered a graduate degree. It is an undergraduate degree that is typically the first level of higher education obtained after completing secondary education (high school or its equivalent).