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What Is a Bachelor’s Degree?
Among the types of college degrees, a bachelor’s degree is one of the most common. It is a 4-year program of study in one particular subject that prepares students to pursue careers or further study in that subject. For example, a bachelor’s degree in biology prepares students to pursue a career in the field of biology or enter an advanced biology program. Bachelor’s degrees have several common names, such as undergraduate, baccalaureate, college, and 4-year degree. Students spend a significant amount of time taking general education courses to gain strong foundational knowledge that will prepare them for later study. The rest of the time is spent taking subject-specific courses that teach them the skills and knowledge they need to enter a career or graduate program.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Bachelor’s Degree?
Although bachelor’s programs are known as 4-year degrees, it doesn’t always take that many years to earn a bachelor’s. Many students finish sooner or even later than 4 years. That’s just the average time it takes if you’re studying full-time without any major changes or breaks. What is perhaps more important is the number of credits required. Bachelor’s programs require a total number of credits, usually around 120, in order to graduate. Each academic year is divided into semesters or quarters, where students take a certain number of courses that add up to a specific number of credits. Students usually either study full-time or part-time. Either option is fine as long as they earn the required amount of credits.
What is an Accelerated Bachelor’s Degree?
An accelerated bachelor’s degree is a path of study designed for students to earn one or more degrees in a shorter amount of time than average. Accelerated degrees can mean different things depending on the schools they’re offered at. Some schools have 4+1 accelerated degrees, meaning a student earns a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in just 5 years. Other schools have accelerated bachelor’s degrees where it takes just 3 years to earn the degree, or they build upon previous experience or college credits to earn the degree at a faster pace. The last option is more common with online schools.
The type of accelerated program and what it entails varies by school and degree type. For example, an accelerated nursing BSN program is when a student with a bachelor’s degree in an area not related to nursing can earn a nursing degree in less than 2 years. The coursework in accelerated programs may be the same as in traditional programs, but it is more intensive so that it can be completed at a faster pace. An accelerated program may be a good fit for those who have the time to solely focus on a degree and want to earn it as fast as possible.
Different Types of Degrees