How Long Will I Have to Go to School for My Bachelor Degree?

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When you are committed to getting an education, you know that you are investing time as well as effort and money. The amount of time you are willing to dedicate to establishing your education is absolutely something that should be considered before embarking upon any kind of degree program. If, like many people, you have decided to get your bachelor’s degree, you must think about how much time is going to go into it. Because every student is different, and because life circumstances are always changing, the amount of time you require might be more or less than what is common for others.

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Plan To Invest Four Years

For the most part, a bachelor’s degree is called a four year degree. Just like US high school systems, each year is designated in order as freshman, sophomore, junior and senior. Like high school, the correct designation has to do with the number of credits earned as well as the year of school you have gone through. For example, if someone has gone through 2 years of school, but their earned credits are short, they might be considered a freshman rather than a sophomore.

To attain your degree, you will need to complete a certain amount of coursework which is measured in credits or hours. These terms denote different things at different colleges and universities, but essentially, you will be informed of how many credits or hours that you need to graduate. Simply think of them as units of study.

Most bachelor’s degree programs assume that you will require four years, or eight semesters, to complete your degree. However, the actual amount of time that you take to finish the degree can vary according to a number of different situations.

For example, most universities put a limit on the number of credits that you can take per year, especially if you are a freshman. A university might state that the maximum number of hours of course work that you can take in a given semester is 18. Often the same school might make 15 be the standard numbers of hours that most students take, while 12 is the bare minimum of required hours. If you are willing to take 18 hours per semester, depending on the number of hours that are required for your program, you may be able to graduate as much as a semester or even a year early. This will mean that your bachelor’s program required three years instead of four, or even two years.

Reasons A Four Year Degree Could Take More Time

On the other hand, there are many reasons why you might need an extra year. Some people have difficulties with a heavy course load. To maintain their life and their physical and mental health, it is far better for them to take the minimum number of hours and to simply stretch their education to account for this.

On top of that, life simply happens! Students are as prone to life disruptions as everyone else, and because of this, a semester might need to be spent outside of the academic setting, or the student may have had to withdraw from class due to health or personal reasons. This can also stretch the length of a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, switching programs can also add some time to your bachelor’s program as you need to take other general education courses.

Transferring schools can make a bachelor’s degree take longer than the typical four years. If you end up making a move from one school to another, some of the credits that you had previously taken might not count. Similarly, you may find that the new school has different requirements than your old one did. You may spend some time reestablishing yourself at the new school before progressing with your education.

The question of how long you can take with your bachelor’s degree is a specific one that can only be handled by your college or university. If you have a lengthy break during your pursuit of a degree, you may return to find that your credits have expired. For example, many schools will not accept science credits that are between 5 and 7 years out of date. The only way to know for sure if your credits are still good is to ask and to make arrangements with an admissions counselor. When you are planning your bachelor’s degree, take a few moments to consider your investment in time as well as money!

Can I Get a Bachelor’s Degree Faster Than 4 Years?

There are many ways you can use the higher education system to your benefit, of course. For instance, many degree completion programs allow you to use work experience for college credit. That means you can get some college courses excused. Others will allow you to use certificate programs to earn more credits. Community college credits may transfer as well.

The number of years you spent in secondary school (secondary education means your high school diploma), your middle school GPA, elementary school – regardless of what they told you about your “permanent record,” none of that matters to your college education. The level of education you come in with may matter to enrollment, but once you’re in, full-time or part-time, bachelor of arts or bachelor of science, college students are working toward a credential that will matter in the real world. College graduates get paid more, have more success on the job market, and advance faster.


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