College Planning

What Is a Bachelor's Degree?

A bachelor’s degree is a postsecondary educational opportunity that some students decide to pursue after high school. In this post, you’ll learn the answers to common questions around bachelor’s degrees. 


Are bachelor’s and baccalaureate degrees the same thing?

Yes, technically the name of the degree is “baccalaureate,” but most people use the word “bachelor.” 


How long does a bachelor’s degree take?

A bachelor’s degree is typically designed to be completed in eight academic semesters or four years. Sometimes people call a bachelor’s degree a “four-year degree.”  


How many credits do you need for a bachelor’s degree?

This number is different from college to college, but most schools require students to complete at least 120 credits to graduate while maintaining a minimum GPA, which varies by school. 

Visit your school’s requirements page and talk to an academic advisor to get the exact number of credits and minimum GPA required to graduate with a bachelor’s degree from your school. 


What is the difference between a bachelor’s and an associate degree?

Associate degrees typically take two years instead of four years to complete. The amount of credits needed to earn an associate degree is about half as many credits as needed for a bachelor’s degree. 

To learn more about the differences between these two types of degrees, visit this article on Your College Degree Options


If I have associate degree credits, can I apply them to earn a bachelor degree?

In many cases, students are able to use credits they earned from working toward an associate degree in order to obtain a bachelor’s degree. It is recommended that you visit the site of the college you are thinking of transferring to, to learn more about their credit transfer policy. 

To learn more about transferring credits, visit Tips on Transferring from a 2-Year to a 4-Year College.  


Are there different types of bachelor’s degrees? 

Yes, there are different types of bachelor’s degrees. The two most common ones are bachelor of science (BS) and bachelor of arts (BA). There are also other types of bachelor’s degrees including the bachelor of fine arts (BFA) and bachelor of architecture (BArch). 

Students who pursue a BS degree when they study for a major that is in the natural science, math, or technology fields. Students who pursue a BA are studying a major that is in the humanities, social sciences, or communications fields. 


What kind of jobs can I get with a bachelor’s degree?

The type of job you can get with a bachelor’s degree is usually based on the major and other coursework a student took while in school. To learn more about a specific career and its education requirements, visit BigFuture Career Search