What is Bachelor's Degree: A Complete Guide

A bachelor's degree is a four-year undergraduate study that usually requires completion of 120-semester credits. It is considered as a base for many job requirements and provides foundational knowledge of vaiours subjects.

Updated by Kritika Pathak on 14th February 2020

What is a Bachelor's Degree?

A bachelor’s degree is a four-year post-secondary degree; which is categorized under the undergraduate degree. You must be wondering, what is an undergraduate degree? The answer to this question is simple. It is a degree which is pursued after completing high school graduation which may be 3-5 years long.

Various majors can be chosen along with general, major and elective courses. Bachelor’s Degree provides the foundation in the desired subjects opted and is a standard degree to enter into the work field. The term bachelor degree is interchangeably called as a Baccalaureate Degree. It is one of the most traditional degrees and one of the college degree levels you must pass to get a good career out of your subject.

Some examples of the bachelor degree are B.A. in Economics, a BS in Mathematics and many others.


How long does it take to get a bachelor’s degree?

The degree takes four years to complete however it may also be complete in three years. The degrees are offered both on-campus and online. The online colleges offer online bachelor’s degree, which can be in an accelerated form and can be completed in less than four years as the student can complete the curriculum at his/her pace.

How many credits to graduate college?

The credits required to complete this course are 120-semester credits or 180 quarter credits.

 Bachelor’s Degree Eligibility and Requirement

  • You should be a high school graduate or have an equivalent degree.

  • Official transcripts of high school/college must be presented.

  • The student must hold a GED certificate (if required)

  • You should have the minimum ACT or SAT scores.

  • GPA requirements must be met.

  • You should hold an Associate’s Degree if you wish to enroll in the third year of college.

  • General, elective and major courses must be completed.

 How to get a Bachelor’s Degree

  • You can select the course you want to pursue. Check the eligibility criteria and requirements. You should look for the best colleges that offer bachelors degree for the course you desire.

  • After checking out the eligibility for the course, you can look out for the documents required.

  • Fill the complete application form and don’t forget to pay the application fee.

  • You can check for financial aids if it is required. Various colleges have FAFSA code or federal school code. The form can be filled and you will get to know about the grants or the loans. Various scholarship opportunities are available as well and you can look out for the ones which suit you.

  • Make sure that the documents are ready and your GPA requirements are met. Check the curriculum structure and see if it meets your interests.

  • The college might ask for essays, letters of recommendation or an entrance exam. After completing this process, the college would notify you about the application status.

  • Once selected, you can enroll in the course and join the university/college.

  • The institute would require you to acquire all the credits required for completion of the course. General, Major, and Elective courses must be completed as well.

  • The standards laid out by the college must be met.

Why get a Bachelor’s Degree?

There are many factors which helps one decide to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree. Some of the factors are:

  • Improved job opportunities- Since it is the minimum requirement for entering into many sectors, it automatically provides employment opportunities to the undergraduates. The job opportunities are better for undergraduates than high school graduates.

  • Income/wage increases- It is seen that the employment opportunities increase, and hence the income increases as well. Bachelor’s degree holders earn better as compared to the high school graduates.

  • The basis for the graduate studies- If you want to pursue a Master’s Degree or a Doctoral Degree, holding a Bachelor’s Degree is mandatory. It forms the foundation for the higher education. The subjects studied in the bachelor’s degree can be taken up for further studies.

  • Learning- A student can learn a lot while pursuing a bachelor’s degree from practical to analytical and logical learning.

Types of Bachelor’s Degrees

Bachelors of Arts (BA) Degree is a degree awarded after completing a major course in the college. The degree is offered mainly for the programs focused on liberal arts, humanities, and social sciences. The course can be completed in three-four years. It offers many specializations

Some examples of the course are B.A. in English, B.A. in Public Policy and many others. The semester credits offered in Bachelors of Arts is 120. The course has general, elective and major courses which should be completed in order to gain the degree.

Examples of Bachelors of Arts Degree are:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration provides the foundation of the concepts of administration, governance, management, budgeting and many such concepts.

  • Bachelor of Arts in Education is a degree which trains the students to be effective teachers in the future. The course prepares an individual with learning, reading and communication methodologies.

  • Bachelor of Arts in Geography introduces concepts such as environmental geography, urban geography, earth structures and many others. It would help you to become a geologist.

  • Bachelor of Arts in History prepares an individual to read research and analyze the historical events and societies. It studies ancient, medieval and modern societies and civilizations.

  • Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy builds the skills of presenting the ideas clearly and equips the students with great presentation skills. It studies life and its various theories.

 Bachelors of Science (BS) Degree is a four-year postsecondary undergraduate degree. The focus is mainly on the major courses. It offers highly specialized programs and courses are science-based.  The core course is of the main concern for a Bachelor of Science degree, instead of the elective courses. It provides a scientific, practical and technical knowledge in the various fields. Since the specializations are high, electives are fewer. The total credits are 120 in semester-based programs. Some examples of the degree are B.S. in Environmental Science, B.S. in Chemistry, B.S. in Computer Science and many others.

Some examples of Bachelor’s of Science Degree

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing provides training to the students in the healthcare sector. It focuses on preparing an individual to become registered nurses.

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science provides knowledge of computer systems, applications, coding, and networking to name a few.

  • Bachelor of Science in Biology gives knowledge on human and animal anatomy, physiology and other living organisms. It studies the health sciences and biochemical processes.

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration helps in developing business principles and foundation. It teaches how to manage the business and administer organizations.

  • Bachelor of Science in Physics provides knowledge of the applications and concepts of physics such as fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, electromagnetism and many others.

 Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) Degree provides training in art-based programs and is a vocational or a professional degree. The focus is mainly on fine arts, visual arts and performing arts. It requires 120-semester credits or 180 quarter credits. Some of the areas covered in this program are visual arts, creative writing, painting, sculpture making and others.

The course can be completed in four years. The majors taken up in the course depends on your interest such as Music, Theatre, Photography and many others. 

Some examples of Bachelors of Fine Arts degree programs are:

  • BFA in Photography teaches the students about professional photography and its various concepts such as documentary shooting, understanding of editing tools such as Photoshop, lighting tools, and many others.

  • BFA in Theatre provides the students with the skills of acting, writing scripts, directing and many such concepts used in theatre and moving to make.

  • BFA in Graphic Design gives the knowledge of various designing tools and methods such as Photoshop, Colour Theory, Computer Graphics and many others.

  • BFA in Painting equips the students with the knowledge of drawing and using colors for creating artworks. They are used to express artistic or emotional expressions.

 Common Subjects in Bachelors Degree

  • Biology - It deals with the study of living organisms, their physiology, anatomy, biochemical structure and others.

  • Chemistry - It is the study of chemicals and the compounds in nature or man-made chemicals.

  • Law - It is related to the study of rules and regulations, legal institutions, justice and many such concepts.

  • Political Science - It is the study of the political structure and political studies.

  • Engineering - It is the field of study related to technology or engineering in any field.

  • Nursing - Nursing is all about studying how to become a nurse and take care of patients.

  • Psychology - It is the study of the human mind in various social and scientific contexts.

  • Accounting-This refers to the study of accounts, storing, managing of finance and financial issues.

Bachelors Degree Jobs and careers

  • Marketing Managers - This is a profession of marketing operations for various types of organizations.

  • Aerospace Engineers - Aerospace engineers design aerospace, spacecraft, satellite, and missiles.

  • Medical and Health Service Managers - Medical and health managers are responsible to manage health care centers.

  • Marine Engineers and Naval Architectures - Marine and Naval engineers build and design the architecture of ship and submarines.

  • Database Administrators - These administrators are responsible to manage and perform operations on huge databases.

Top universities offering Bachelor Degree Programs

Liberty University

Capella University

Arizona State University

Grantham University

Ohio University

Colorado State University

Ashford Universities

Ottawa University

Waldorf University

Syracuse University


Bachelor Degree is an important degree which can build the foundation in the subjects you choose and help you make a career in it. It is typically the basic requirement for the entry-level jobs in many professions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1.How to apply for the bachelor's degree program?

    Check the application deadline and fill in the form before that. You need to be a high school graduate and meet the minimum GPA, SAT or ACT score requirements. 

  • 2.What is the duration of the degree?

    The duration depends on the course, however, the course can be completed typically in four years. It can be completed in less than four years if you enroll in an accelerated online course. 

  • 3.How many credits are required to complete the course?

    You would need to acquire 120-semester credits or 180 quarter credits for a bachelor's degree course. 

  • 4.Are there any financial assistance facilities available?

    Yes. There are many federal, state and local scholarships available along with grants and loans. Work-study is also available.

  • 5.Are the online bachelor degrees accredited?

    Yes. Online colleges provide accredited degrees, (except few exceptions). You should always check about the accreditation status of the university/college before enrolling in any course.