What is an Undergraduate degree?

Undergraduate study is a post-secondary degree which is normally studied at a higher education institution, such as a university, or a community college. For more detail about undergraduate degree

Posted by Kritika Pathak on 1st May 2018

What is an Undergraduate Degree?

An undergraduate degree is a three-five year degree depending on the course and institution. The degrees are offered in diverse subjects and would help you make a career out the subjects you choose. The degree offers various general educations, major and elective courses. Some of the courses that are offered are B.A. in English, B.S. in Biotechnology, and many other subjects as such.

Importance of an Undergraduate Degree

An undergraduate degree would help gain the basic knowledge about different subjects and would help you make a career in the same. Since the degrees provide technical, vocational, practical and theoretical knowledge of the subject, it helps the students get good job opportunities after completion of the degree.

Completing the degree also helps in getting a better wage as the undergraduate students have the necessary skills needed. It’s better than the high school degree and provides diverse career options.

 Admission requirements and eligibility for enrolling in an undergraduate degree

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

  • There must be a minimum GPA required to enroll in a particular course.

  • Official transcripts of the school/college must be provided for enrollment.

  • Students should have passed in all the exams.

  • Have letters of recommendation (if required).

  • Should complete 120 semester hours of credits or 180 quarter hours of credits.

  • The student must complete all the major, general and elective courses. 

Types of Undergraduate Degrees

Associate’s Degree- Associate’s Degree is an undergraduate degree which can be completed in two years. It is an academic program and is the first step towards gaining technical skills and knowledge about the course and the program. The degree has a shorter duration as compared to the Bachelor’s Degree and you will attain 60 credits after completing the degree. These credits can be transferred to the Bachelor’s Degree if you wish to enroll in it. However, it depends on the course and the institution and the eligibility of the student. The degrees are offered both on-campus and online. The Associate’s Degree online platform offers accelerated courses with an up-to-date curriculum.

Some features of an Associate’s Degree are:

  • It provides foundational and technical skills in the particular field you’ve opted for.

  • The degree is fast paced and can be completed in less than two years.

  • The tuition cost of the degree is lesser than the bachelor’s degree the duration of the degree is just for two years.

  • The degree would prepare you to enter the workforce in the respective field you wish to enter in accordance to the subject you opted for in the degree program.

  • You would be provided with adequate skills and training in order to become a professional.

  • The time would be saved as the degree can be completed at a faster rate as compared to others.

  • Upon completion of the course, you may transfer your credits earned to a Bachelor’s Degree and directly enroll in the third year of the bachelor’s degree program.

  • The entry requirements for the program are less than that of a bachelor’s degree program.

Requirements and Eligibility for completing the Associate’s Degree are:

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

  • A complete application form must be submitted.

  • The student must have the minimum passing grades in all the subjects taken up in high school.

  • Minimum GPA requirements must be met.

  • The course must be completed with 60 credits.

  • An official GED certificate must be presented (if required).

  • Financial Aid must be opted for if required.

 Types of an Associate’s Degree

  • AA: The Associate of Arts Degree or AA Degree includes the subjects such as literature, psychology sociology, history and many general subjects as such. The duration of the degree is for two years. The degree would prove to be worthy of providing you with the required skills and knowledge in the different subjects. You can enroll in a Bachelor’s Degree with the specialty earned in an AA Degree. Some of the Associate of Arts Degree jobs you can get after completing the degree are at management positions, sales, teachers, and many others.

  • AS: An Associate of Science Degree (AS) is a two-year undergraduate degree which includes the subjects of liberal arts such as English, music, and sociology along with many science subjects such as mathematics, biology, healthcare and many others. It provides a diverse range of career options and offers different specializations. It could give you an entry-level work in the particular area of the subject. Some of the Associate of Science Degree jobs you can get after completing the course are Administrative Assistant, Registered Nurses, Realtors, IT system administrators and many others.

  • AAS: An Associate of Applied Science (AAS) focuses mainly on the major courses with the few exceptions of liberal arts subject. You cannot transfer the credits of this course to a Bachelor’s Degree or even enroll in the third year. It is a vocational degree and the duration of the degree is for two years. It would, however, provide great career opportunities for you. Some of the AAS Degree jobs which you may take up after completing the degree are Registered Nurses, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, Dental Hygienist, Radiologic Technologist and many others.

  • AFA: An Associate of Fine Arts (AFA) provides the degree in fine art subjects. The subjects included in the degree are Art Appreciation, Mathematics, American Literature, Communication, Visual Arts, Information Literacy and many others. You can transfer into the Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts after completing this course. The credits can be transferred as well. Some of the associate's of fine arts jobs you would get after completing the degree are Arts Administrator, Arts Therapist, Business Development Associate, Art Teacher and many others. The degree can be completed in two years or less.

  • AGS: An Associate of General Science (AGS) offers a customized degree for those who are not sure about what to pursue as their major or what career should they opt for. Hence the degree takes the subjects both from the AS and AA degrees. The degrees would be practical and can be completed in two years or less. It offers a wide range of elective courses; however, you may/may not be able to transfer the credits to a Bachelor’s Degree. Some of the subjects offered in the course are Anthropology, Applied Engineering, Computer Networking, English, Geography and many others.

 Some examples of Associate’s Degree Programs

  • Associate’s Degree in Business: The degree focuses on streams like economics, finance, marketing, sales and many other concepts. It provides the foundation for the concepts of Business Administration and other inter-related subjects.

  • Associate’s Degree in Nursing: The course provides training to the students to become efficient nurses. It is a minimum degree required to become a registered nurse. The degree can provide the job opportunities in Oncology, Physician’s Office, Telemetry, Labor and Delivery, Medical Surgery and many others.

  • Associate’s Degree in Computer Science- The program would teach you computer applications, programming languages, multimedia tools and many other concepts as such. It would prepare you to enter the profession as a web developer or a computer technician.

  • Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice- It would give you a foundation in law, legal institutions and criminal procedures to name a few. The coursework would be diverse and prepare you to engage in legal institutions.

  • Associate’s Degree in Psychology- The coursework includes topics such as substance abuse, sociology, abnormal psychology and research methods in psychology. It is the minimum degree required to enter the profession based on psychology.

 Universities which offer Associate’s Degree 

Grantham University

Capella University

Southern New Hampshire University

Walden University

Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne 

Ashford University

Liberty University

University of Arizona

The Colorado Christian University

University of Delaware

 Careers after completing an Associate’s Degree

  • Air Traffic Controller

  • Allergy Technician

  • Architectural Technician

  • Biomedical Technician

  • CAD Technician

  • Chemical Technician

  • Desktop Publisher

  • Electrical Engineering Technician

Bachelor’s Degree

A Bachelor’s Degree is a three-five year course. It is an undergraduate degree which comprises of 120 credits in a semester pattern or 180 quarter credits in a quarter system. It is post-secondary degree and provides a foundation in the respective subjects. It is also called as a Baccalaureate Degree. It is a standard degree for pursuing a career in a respective field.

The degree can be pursued both online and on-campus. Hence the bachelor’s degree has been made more accessible. Some of the major courses available in the degree are Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, Bachelor’s Degree in Botany, Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Science, Bachelor’s Degree in Media Studies and many others.

Some features of this course are:

  • Provides important knowledge on the subjects you opt for.

  • The degree can be completed in mostly four years. It is available in an accelerated form online.

  • The degrees are affordable and are the minimum degree required to build a profession in many sectors. 

  • The specializations and electives offered in the degree courses are diverse and gives technical and vocational training required to succeed. 

Why is a Bachelor’s Degree important?

  • Provides employment opportunities: Bachelor’s Degree is a minimum requirement in many sectors. The degree would provide you with the potential and knowledge to develop a career.

  • Improves wages: A Bachelor’s Degree improves the employment opportunities and hence improves the wage rate. Bachelor’s Degree holders can earn better as compared to high school graduates.

  • Necessary for Graduate Studies: In order to enroll in a graduate program, you need to complete a bachelor’s degree. It is the necessary requirement.

 Eligibility and Requirements for Enrollment in a Bachelor’s Degree

  • You must be a high school graduate or have a GED certificate.

  • The application form must be complete.

  • The ACT or SAT scores are required.

  • Minimum GPA requirements should be met.

  • Have an Associate’s Degree (if you want to get enrolled in the third year directly or transfer the credits)

  • Official high school scripts must be presented.

  • General, major and elective courses must be completed.

 Types of Bachelor's Degree

  • B.A. or Bachelor of Arts degree can be completed in four years. Its focus is mostly on liberal arts majors along with various specializations. The course comprises of 120 credits and has fewer specializations as compared to the other courses. Some of the programs offered in this degree are Bachelor’s of Arts in Public Administration, Bachelor’s of Art in Music, Bachelor’s of Arts in Human Services and many others. The course would comprise of the general education courses, elective courses, and major courses. The focus of the degree is mostly on social sciences, humanities, and liberal arts.

  • B.S. or Bachelor of Science Degree would provide highly specialized courses in many fields such as Botany, Mathematics, Physics and many other subjects as such. The course is mostly focused towards the core papers instead of the electives, however, many options are available for elective papers. The degree is mostly scientific and technical base. The degree would provide the relevant skills needed to enter the profession. The degree can be completed in four years and comprises of 120-semester credits or 180 quarter credits.

  • BFA or Bachelor of Fine Arts is a vocational/professional degree. The focus of the degree is mainly on creative or fine arts and some of the areas which are covered in the course are visual arts, sculpture making, painting and many others. The course requires 120-semester credits or 180 quarter credits.

  • BSA or Bachelor of Applied Science puts little focus on general education courses and is mostly offered to those who already have an Associate’s Degree. It usually provides skills-based training and practical knowledge to the student. It can be completed in four years.

 Examples of Bachelor Degree programs:

  • Bachelor’s in Computer Science- The degree provides knowledge in concepts such as computer applications, web development, database analysis and many others.

  • Bachelors in Business Management- The subjects explored in this degree are that of marketing, finance, human relationship management, business analytics and many others.

  • Bachelor’s in Biology- The subjects explored in this subject are human and animal anatomy, physiology, earth sciences, microbiology to name a few.

  • Bachelors in Psychology- Few subjects explored in the degree are behavioral psychology, child psychology, human psychology and many others.

  • Bachelors in Media Studies- The program includes the subjects such as communication; editing and writing, game designing and many others.

Universities/Colleges that offer Bachelor’s Degree

Arizona State University

Indiana University Purdue University

Ohio University

Capella University

Kaplan University

Washington State University

Baker University

Saint Joseph’s University

Liberty University

Ashford University

Careers after a Bachelor’s Degree

  • Nurse practitioner

  • Investment Analyst

  • Information System Managers

  • Architectural and Engineering Managers

  • Petroleum Engineers

  • Human Relations Managers

  • Medical and Health Services Managers

Colleges/Universities offering Undergraduate Degrees

Colorado State University

Ottawa University

Capella University

Southern Technical College

Liberty University

Utah State University

Arizona State University

Waldorf University

Bay State College

Arkansas Tech University


People would prefer to find employment and enter the force once earning their undergraduate degree in order to spend a while sorting out whether or not they really need to pursue an advanced degree. Some graduate programs also cater to working professionals, providing the possibility to pursue an advanced degree whereas still working full-time.


  What is the duration for completing the undergraduate degree?

The duration of an Associate's undergraduate degree is 2 years whereas for a Bachelor's Degree is 4 years. 

  What are the different types of undergraduate degrees? 

Associate's Degree and Bachelor's Degree which can be further divided as AA, AS, and AAS for Associate's Degree and B.A, B.S, BSA, BFA for Bachelor's Degree. 


  What are the requirements for enrolling in an undergraduate degree?

The student must be a high school graduate or have a GED certificate.

Must have the minimum GPA.

Have minimum SAT or ACT scores if required.