Going to college is a huge step for anyone, whether you have just graduated high school or if you are planning to take time off from work to study. Trying to decide what subject you want to major in, what classes you want to take, and even what clubs you want to join can be overwhelming.
Getting your bachelor’s degree takes time and dedication as you explore your future career. Below we will talk about how long it takes to get a bachelor’s degree and some popular majors so you will feel prepared before heading off to college.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Bachelor’s Degree?
In a traditional program, it takes four years to earn your bachelor’s degree, which amounts to 120 credit hours. Some colleges and universities offer an accelerated program in which you can earn your degree in fewer than four years. Most employers now require a bachelor’s degree, so getting one is a good start to your career.
What Is an Accelerated Program?
An accelerated program allows you to earn your degree in a shorter period of time. Let’s say you took a course at a local college while you were in high school, or attended advanced placement (AP) classes. Both of those count toward college credits, meaning you will not have to repeat those classes in higher education, allowing you to save time while working toward your degree.
Another way to get your degree quicker is by taking more classes at a time to complete your course load faster. This type of accelerated program makes it possible to get your degree in three years.
If you are currently attending a community college or university but want to switch to a new school, then you can transfer your credits over to that school to be put toward your degree. Some students choose to attend a community college after high school to complete their prerequisite classes before attending a four-year college or university.
To complete a bachelor’s degree, it usually takes two years to fulfill the prerequisite courses at a community college, then another two years of studying within your major at the university you transfer to. So in total, it will still take you four years to complete your bachelor’s degree.
Online Degree Programs
Online bachelor’s degree programs are a little different than the traditional route, but you will still have all the resources that traditional college students have. You will be able to reach out to your professors for help, get career resources, and communicate with your peers.
In online classes, you will watch pre-recorded lectures and complete all of your coursework online. The advantage of taking classes online is that you will be able to complete the courses at your own pace. You can take a part-time course load if you have a busy life and are only free to take a few classes at a time. Doing your degree part-time means that it may take longer than four years to complete.
But, if you decide to attend an online program full-time, you will be able to graduate in the same number of years as a traditional student.
Some majors are very popular among undergraduate students, including:
- Criminal Justice
What Your College Career Looks Like
During your years as an undergraduate student, you will be given many opportunities to spend your own time diving deeper into the field you are studying. While you are completing in-class learning, it is also a good idea to apply for internships so that you can gain experience in your chosen field.
Internships are a great way to take what you have learned in the classroom and apply it to the real world. Some colleges may even require you to complete an internship before you graduate.
If you are going the traditional route in a four-year program, you can expect to take five classes, or 15 credit hours, during each semester of school. In your first year, you will generally be taking general studies courses such as, math, english, history, sociology, psychology, and introductory classes related to your major.
Depending on your major, these classes are usually an essential prerequisite before you can move on to upper-level classes within your specific field of study. By the time you are a senior in college, you are likely to have completed an internship and networked with individuals in your future career field, and will have learned all the necessary skills to help you excel in your career.
Also during your senior year, you will be gearing up for graduation. You will be taking your last classes and final exams, and will be making memories that you will cherish. Take time to enjoy your last moments of college before you finish.
If you are taking a traditional four-year route, walking during graduation is likely to be one of your fondest memories. You will look back and think about all the hard work and dedication you put in over the years.
Are You Ready to Get Your Bachelor’s Degree?
Now that you know how long it takes to get a bachelor’s degree, you are ready to start your college career. In the four years that it takes to get your degree, you will gain a well-rounded education through your general required classes as well as courses within your major.
Hopefully, during this time you will have also gained experience through an internship and will have networked to meet people who can help you as you move on to work in your industry.
If you decide to immediately continue your education, there are other degree levels after a bachelor’s. Depending on your career plans, it may be necessary for you to obtain a master’s or even a doctorate degree.
Getting your bachelor’s degree is an accomplishment in itself. You have put hard work and dedication toward learning all the skills that are essential to starting your career. So when you finish, go out there and show the world what you’re made of.
How Long it Takes to Get a Bachelor’s Degree FAQ
How long does it take to get a bachelor’s degree?
It takes four years to get a bachelor’s degree.
What are some popular majors?
Business, marketing, criminal justice, education, nursing, engineering, and psychology.
What is an accelerated program?
An accelerated program is taking more credit hours to finish your degree in a shorter time.
How many classes do I take each semester?
Generally, you will take five classes per semester, which is 15 credit hours.