How Many Years in a Bachelors Degree?

If you have a bachelor's degree in mind. Find out how to support your plans, the time you invest, the major you want in that degree for your future.

Updated by Nchum Felic.Yan on 3rd March 2020

It is a four-year program in a bachelor's degree. A Bachelors degree is a base for the one who's looking for a job. 

In this article, we'll learn more about a bachelor's degree, how long is it, cost, value, and more.

Table of contents


Bachelor’s degree

The term “college degree” means a bachelor’s degree or a traditional four-year degree in an education program. In other words, a bachelor’s degree is a four-year undergraduate degree program taking four years of full-time study to complete, consisting of 120 semesters credits and or 40 college courses.


Why Take Bachelors’s Degree?

There is never a harm in taking education. Instead, it enhances more of your abilities to a good future. In the year 2020, high education means higher earnings. Most job centers prefer applicants at least with a bachelor’s degree to enter the field.

Many schools provide degrees in person or online, part-time or full-time, and other programs for people with educational/work experience to accelerate their degree.


Types of Bachelors’s degree

There are three types of bachelor’s degrees:

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Focuses on liberal arts, less on the major. The common majors consist of English, Music and Art, Theatre, Languages, and Communications, Political sciences.

Bachelor of Science(BS)

Targets more on the student’s interest in the subject and is chosen by students who wish to work after graduation. Students choose to prefer majors like nursing, computer science, chemical engineering, business, economics.

Bachelor of Fine Arts(BFA)

It is also a professional or vocational degree that aims more on the concentration and volume of general studies. Pursuing a BFA degree often shapes you as creative individuals such as singers, artists, dancers, sculptors, actors, painters, writers, etc from the rest.

There are also bachelor’s degree programs for different majors, including STEM subjects, arts, sciences, social sciences, and various types of specific subjects.


How much time does it take?

It is four years of full-time study or about 120-semester credits. The past students or part-time students may consume a shorter or longer time to complete their degrees.

In the past system, there are 2 semesters per year of the academic sessions, which means that a semester in the fall and in the spring. Therefore, it includes 8 semesters in 4 years of college.

Also, some schools might offer summer/winter terms, and other schools may work off a quarter system. There are about 3 quarters in 2 semesters during that session.


What is the Cost?

On an average, the annual tuition and fees for a bachelor’s degree in the United States cost $8,893 for the in-state participants of public colleges, and $22,203 for the out-of-state participants of public colleges, lastly $30,094 for private non-profit colleges.

According to U.S. News in a survey listed among national universities in the 2019-20 session, the average cost of tuition and fees was $41,426 at private colleges, $11,260 for state residents at public colleges, $27,120 for out-of-state students at state schools.

It can range about $60,000 per year, personal expenses can vary.


Is it Valuable?

The bachelor’s degree can make you hit lifetime earnings in close to million dollars, though it may not apply with all the different career paths with a bachelor’s degree. Comparatively, an average college student with a bachelor’s degree would earn $78,000 while a high school diploma would earn $45,000. In other words, a typical college graduate would earn $30,000 or nearly 80% of the income.  

The majority of good jobs pay you at least 35,000 a year normally for aged 24-40 people.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics listed income for people with a bachelor’s degree. The median income for those people with a bachelors degree only include

  • Actuaries (Mathematics)- $102,880

  • Civil Engineers- $86,640

  • Computer Hardware Engineers- $114,600

  • Dental Hygiene-$65,800

  • Finance-$68,350.

  • Management-$104,240

  • Nursing-$73,730.

You can also see and try for the highest paying careers that require a bachelor’s degree only, using Payscale.com that lists these careers.


How to opt for the right bachelor’s degree program

Plan your goals, budget for it, the time and schools you want to apply for. There are several programs to help your plans. Do the research and find the best schools suited for you.

Top bachelors degrees opt for full-time careers

No matter whatever major you take, it depends on the degree that is marketable in the job market. 

According to the U.S. News and World Report, listed below are some of the top ten bachelor’s degrees chosen for full-time careers.

  • Accounting

  • Business Administration/Management

  • Computer Science

  • Economics

  • Electrical engineering

  • Finance

  • Information Sciences and Systems

  • Mechanical engineering

  • Management Information Systems

  • Logistics/Supply Chain.

These four years of bachelor’s degree helps you to join the job immediately after your graduation. Most of the students are presently choosing a bachelor’s degree over a doctoral degree because of earnings possibilities.


What’s the catch?

No matter the time you spend on a bachelor’s degree, the value of it is unshakable. The least favored qualification for work placements currently is a bachelor's degree. It determines and depends on your major, the major that is marketable in the job world, and thus, could earn you a good amount of income.