What Is a Bachelor Degree?

A bachelor's degree is an educational credential that is awarded to graduates of 4-year undergraduate programs. Common bachelor's degrees include the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science. This article describes some attributes and features of bachelor's-degree programs.

About Bachelor's Degrees

Students who successfully complete all educational requirements of a standard undergraduate college program receive a bachelor's degree. They must complete 120 to 126 semester hours, which takes most full-time students four years to accomplish. Bachelor's degrees are typically the only undergraduate degrees to be awarded by state colleges and universities.

Important Facts about Bachelor's Degrees

Entry-Level EducationHigh School Diploma or GED
Common CoursesWriting, Humanities, Social Science, Physical Science, Fine Arts
Degree FieldsEducation, Business, Communications, Engineering, English and more
Online AvailabilityFull programs available online

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Types of Bachelor's Degrees

The two most common types of bachelor's degrees are the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.). There are a few areas in which specialized bachelor's degrees are awarded. An example of this is the Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch), which is granted to those who complete a professional undergraduate program in architecture.

Bachelor's Degree Requirements

A bachelor's degree is an educational credential that is awarded to graduates of 4-year undergraduate programs. Common bachelor's degrees include the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science. This article describes some attributes and features of bachelor's-degree programs.

Most bachelor's-degree curricula consist of courses that span several subjects, including general education courses and core topics that focus on students' primary field of study. Each individual college specifies the number of classes students need to take in the areas of general education, foreign language and their majors. Bachelor of Arts programs usually require more general education classes and fewer major courses than do Bachelor of Science programs. Students can place out of some introductory classes at most colleges by passing content tests. Often, a minimum grade point average in one's major must be met to fulfill graduation requirements. Some colleges may also require that a certain percentage of courses applied toward the degree be completed at their institution.

Common Areas of Study for Bachelor's Degree Programs

According to the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES), www.nces.ed.gov, the most bachelor's degrees are awarded in majors related to business, social sciences and history, the health professions, psychology and education.

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