how long does it take to get a bachelor's degree?


Personal preferences, goals, academic progress, transfer credit eligibility, cost, and time are all things that can affect how long does it take to get a bachelor's degree, but the standard amount of time to get the 120 credits you need is 4 years. 

Many people who have a bachelor's degree took four years to get the 120 credits they needed. But that's just one way to get an education. A bachelor's degree programme that you can do online can help you fit learning into a busy schedule while you work toward the important credential. 

How quickly you can reach your educational goals will depend on things like how you like to learn, how much time and money you can put into your classes, and especially how many credits you already have. 

What is a Bachelor's Degree?

how long does it take to get a bachelor's degree

A bachelor's degree, also known as a college degree, is an undergraduate degree in which you study a subject of your choice at an academic institution. A bachelor's degree can increase your job opportunities, expose you to new ideas, and increase your earning potential. 

Bachelor's degrees in a nutshell:

  • Bachelor's degrees typically take four to five years to complete.
  • with a minimum of 120 credits required.  
  • Majors can include subjects like psychology, computer science, business, nursing, or English. 
  • Traditionally obtained on a college campus, bachelor's degrees are now more easily obtained online as well. 
  • While many students pursue a bachelor's degree immediately following high school, it is not uncommon for students to pursue one later in life.

Let's go over the essentials of bachelor's degrees in the United States, such as how much they cost, what's required to apply, and whether an online or in-person experience is better for you. 

Types of bachelor's degrees that are common

how long does it take to get a bachelor's degree

There are usually three kinds of bachelor's degrees, and they all take about the same amount of time to finish. These are:

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA); The BA covers all liberal arts, humanities, and social service fields. BA degrees can be in English, history, psychology, or communications, among other things.
  • Bachelor of Science (BS); A BS degree includes math, technology, and science studies. Nursing, chemistry, biology, and information technology are all examples of BS degrees. 
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA); A BFA degree focuses on art disciplines and prepares students to work in an art-related field. Dance, the performing arts, fashion design, music, film production, or photography are all examples of BFA specialties. 

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

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

A bachelor's degree programme typically takes eight traditional semesters or four years to complete.
However, the actual time it takes to earn a bachelor's degree can vary depending on a number of factors, including programme structure, programme type, and individual student choices. A full-time student enrolled in a bachelor's programme that offers classes year round, during the fall, spring, and summer semesters, may be able to complete their degree in three years. Some undergraduate majors, however, may require internships, field education, or other types of training, which can add a semester or more to the time it takes to graduate, and students who attend school part-time while earning their bachelor's degree can take five or more years to complete.

What factors influence how long it takes to get a bachelor's degree?

how long does it take to get a bachelor's degree

Even if you go to school full-time and follow a traditional schedule, there are many things that can affect how long it takes you to get your bachelor's degree. Some of the most common influences are: 

  • Changing your major;To graduate, you need to take a certain number of courses in each major. Even though it's common for students to change their majors, doing so could make it take you longer than four years to finish college.
  • High school credits;Advanced high school classes like Advanced Placement (AP) may count for college credits in some cases, but it's up to each college or university to decide. If you already have credits when you start college, you might be able to finish faster. 
  • Community college credits; Some high school students can take classes at a community college and get both high school and college credits at the same time. If you enter a bachelor's programme with some of these credits, it might take you less time to finish.
  • Classes in the summer; During the summer, many colleges and universities offer classes. If you use this "extra semester," you might be able to finish school sooner.
  • Dropping classes; It's not unusual to take fewer classes. If you drop a class and can't take another one right away to replace it, it might take you longer to get the 120 credits you need to graduate. 

What are the advantages and benefits of a bachelor's degree?

how long does it take to get a bachelor's degree

Getting a bachelor's degree gives you a lot of benefits, such as the chance to make more money and get better job opportunities. You might even have a better chance of being happy with your job in the long run. 

People often say that getting a bachelor's degree is good for your finances because it gives you more financial security, and there is data to back this up. In 2021, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that bachelor's degree holders made $27,248 more than high school graduates on average each year. 

  1. Stability at work; People with a bachelor's degree also tend to have more stable jobs. The College Board found that people who are 25 or older and only have a high school diploma are twice as likely to be unemployed as those who have a bachelor's degree.
  2. Better job opportunities; College graduates may have a better chance of getting jobs that pay more on average and offer benefits. For example, a 2019 study by The College Board found that people with a bachelor's degree are more likely to have a retirement plan and health insurance paid for by their employers. 
  3. Better job satisfaction; According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center and the US Census Bureau, 53% of Millennials with a bachelor's degree say they are "very satisfied" with their job. On the other hand, only 37% of people who have never gone to college say they are very satisfied.

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Is a bachelor’s degree worth it?

how long does it take to get a bachelor's degree

A bachelor's degree has a number of advantages. These include increased income potential, increased job opportunities, and new and enriching life experiences. If you've already been working, a bachelor's degree can help you start a new career or advance in your current one. A bachelor's degree can be the first step toward a higher academic degree, such as a master's or a doctorate.

How to earn your bachelor's degree more quickly?

how long does it take to get a bachelor's degree

If you are a motivated student, though, you can get your degree faster. Taking extra classes each semester can help, but there are other ways to get your degree faster and start your career and life without putting too much stress on yourself. Here are some easy ways for students of today to speed up the process. 

1.Get high school credits

If you are still in high school, you can use dual enrollment to speed up the time it takes to finish your degree. Community colleges often have courses at the college level that can also be used for high school credit. If you plan your courses well, you could finish high school with the equivalent of one or two years of a bachelor's degree, usually in the form of your core subjects. 

If your local community college doesn't offer these programmes or they don't fit with your degree goals, look into larger colleges and universities that offer online education. This can let you start getting college credit at home while you're still in high school. 

If you want to get college credit while you are still in high school, talk to both your high school's academic counselor and a college admissions counselor at the college you want to attend. These experts will help you plan so that you get the most out of your money and time. 

2.Online learning can be very important

If you're trying to take more classes each semester so you can finish your degree faster, you might have trouble making time for them all. If you need to take two classes, but they are only offered at the same time, you can't do both in person. Online bachelor's degree programmes can make it easier for you to fit more classes into your schedule. 

Using online education in a smart way can cut the time it takes to finish a bachelor's degree by up to 30 percent. Because you won't have to drive to and from campus, the flexibility may give you the freedom to take more classes. You can also find programmes that let you choose when to start and stop. If you finish the class quickly, you can move on to the next one, even if the traditional semester is not over yet. When using online degree programmes, work with an academic counsellor to make sure you are taking the right classes for your degree

3.Use schedules that can be changed

Colleges and universities today know that a lot of students don't follow the typical schedule for college. So, they offer flexible class times, such as summer semesters, online programmes, and even classes in the evening or on the weekend, so that students can go to class whenever they need to. Take advantage of this so you can fit college around your work and other obligations. This will make it possible for you to keep studying even if your life has changed temporarily. 

4.Choose a programme to get your degree faster

Accelerated degree programmes combine the traditional courses for a bachelor's degree into a shorter amount of time. Because these programmes don't want to compromise on the quality of the education or the content, the coursework is pretty intense. Make sure you are ready for a lot of work in a short amount of time. Accelerated programmes take much less time and work well for students who are serious about school and want to learn.


5.Take Summer Classes 

Many college students aren't used to going to school in the summer because they didn't do it in high school. However, taking three to four months off of school can make it take a lot longer to finish. Instead, think of the summer as another semester and go to school during that time. This can help you get into classes that don't work with your regular schedule. It can also cut down on the time it takes to get your degree. As a bonus, some schools lower the cost of tuition for summer classes to get more people to sign up. This means that you could save a little money while getting your bachelor's degree faster

6.Don't change your main subject

One of the main reasons it takes students so long to get their bachelor's degree is that they change their majors in the middle of their studies. This happens because a lot of college freshmen don't know where they want to go with their careers. But if you change your major, you might have to take new core classes, and the classes you already took in your major field might not count toward your new degree

If you aren't sure what you want to do with your career, you could use the first two years of your bachelor's degree to take core subjects that apply to all majors, such as English, history, and basic math or science classes. Talk to an academic advisor about the best general education classes to take while you're still deciding on a major. As you get farther along in your degree, you can feel more sure about choosing a major that you will stick with until you graduate

7.Bachelor's Degree Programs After College 

Now that you know how long it takes to get a bachelor's degree, you can get started. Post University has many four-year bachelor's degree programmes in both the arts and the sciences that are made to fit your schedule. You can enroll full time to make the most of your time and graduate as quickly as possible, or you can choose a flexible part-time schedule to work while you study. People who think they will learn more in two years can also get an associate degree from Post University. Today, look at the available undergraduate programmes or talk to an admissions counselor to find out how to make the most of your time so you can finish your degree as quickly as possible.

Is it always 4 years to get a Bachelor's degree?

how long does it take to get a bachelor's degree

When you think about how long it will take to get your bachelor's degree, keep these things in mind: 

  1. It's about you. Think about your goals and responsibilities, as well as the programmes that the schools you are interested in offer. 
  2. Different places start. Whether or not you've taken college courses, you may be able to cut down on your time by using credits you already have or other credentials that are accepted.
  3. Plans are flexible. As you move forward in your degree, you may find that a different type of schedule works better for you. 

Make a plan by putting together your goals, your options, and where you are now. If you know about these three factors, you can make a plan that cuts a four-year degree path down to two years or lets you make a plan for six years or more. 

Think about this simple equation as you set your goals: you need 120 credits to get your degree. Taking 30 credits a year would take four years if the average course is worth three credits. If you can take almost 40 credits per year, it will take you three years, and so on. If you get more credits each year, it takes less time to finish your degree. The same is true if you get less credits each year. The length depends on how many classes you take. With transfer credits, you can cut down on the time it takes to finish

Don't forget to ask for help from the school's admissions and advising teams, and let your family and friends be a big part of your support team so you can keep going and get your bachelor's degree.

How long does it take to get a bachelor's degree in medicine?

how long does it take to get a bachelor's degree

Doctors have to go to college for four years, spend four years in medical school, and then spend anywhere from three to seven years in a residency programme to learn the specialty they want to go into. In other words, becoming a fully licensed doctor takes between 10 and 14 years. After you finish your medical schooling and residency, you have to take an exam for the state where you want to work. 

Even though it takes a lot of time and money to become a doctor, you can make a lot of money as one, especially if you open your own private practice. A doctor's average salary is $163,908 per year, but it can be higher if they live in a place where the cost of living is higher. 

How long does it take to get a bachelor's degree in engineering? 

how long does it take to get a bachelor's degree

Engineers usually need at least a bachelor's degree to work in this field. In most areas of engineering, a bachelor's degree will get you at least an entry-level job. With this level of education, you could work in professional engineering practice for the rest of your life if you wanted to. 

That doesn't mean that a higher degree isn't helpful, because it usually is. Some jobs, like being an engineering professor, an academic researcher, or a researcher in a department for advanced research and development, require a higher level of education.

But in many fields of engineering, most engineers say they only have a bachelor's degree. For example, 96 percent of automotive engineers, 91 percent of transportation engineers, 86 percent of civil engineers, 85 percent of nuclear engineers, 83 percent of mechanical engineers, and 82 percent of chemical engineers said that a bachelor's degree was their highest level of education

In order to get a bachelor's degree in engineering, you usually have to study full-time for at least four years. But students should know that a course in engineering is tough. To do well in the hard classes that engineering students have to take, you will need a lot of time for homework, projects, and studying. 

Even though it is possible to get a bachelor's degree in engineering in four years, research has shown that many STEM students do not graduate on time. The Higher Education Research Institute found that less than half of Asian-American students, one-third of white students, less than one-quarter of Latino students, and less than one-fifth of black students get a STEM degree in five years. What happens to the other students in STEM? Some work more slowly to get a STEM degree, while others switch to easier majors, move to a different school, or drop out of college altogether. 

Taking longer to get your bachelor's degree might not sound like the best thing, but it's not always a bad thing. Some engineering schools have programmes called "co-ops" that give students the chance to get professional work experience in their field before they graduate. This experience is often paid, and it gives you a lot of hands-on work experience and chances to meet people in the engineering field. 

Co-op experiences usually last longer than internships and can be harder than the average internship you might do on top of your classes. This means that doing a co-op experience could slow down your progress toward graduation. 

Most programmes that have a co-op part take four and a half to five years to finish instead of the usual four. When you think about the work experience you're getting and the money you're making, though, it's more like you're combining your first job in engineering with your engineering education than just falling behind and taking longer to finish your classes. Students who take part in co-ops may be better prepared for work in the engineering field after they graduate than students whose undergraduate education gave them less fieldwork experience. 

How long does it take to get a bachelor's degree in teaching? 

how long does it take to get a bachelor's degree

To be eligible for certification, teachers-to-be must earn at least a bachelor's degree. Traditional bachelor's degrees take four years to finish, so becoming a teacher takes at least four years of schooling. Those who want to teach children in elementary school should get a degree that gives them a lot of knowledge in a lot of different subjects. Those who want to teach high school should get a degree in the subject they want to specialize in (e.g. English Literature). 

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

how long does it take to get a bachelor's degree

On average, it takes four years to get a bachelor's degree in biology. Some colleges and universities offer both a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in biology. A Bachelor of Arts (BA) in biology has more courses in the liberal arts and less lab work and math. A BS in biology focuses on research, which is great for people who want to go to medical school. 

For a bachelor's degree in biology, you take classes on the basics of the field and then do work in different areas of biology. Students can take classes in medical biology, marine biology, and environmental science. A bachelor's degree in biology gives you the knowledge and skills you need to work as a biology teacher, science writer, or environmental scientist. 

How long does it take to get a bachelor's degree in accounting?

how long does it take to get a bachelor's degree

How long it takes to become an accountant depends on the person, but in general, a bachelor's programme takes between two and four years to finish. In addition to getting a degree in accounting, you must also pass the CPA exam in the state you want to work in. As a general rule, you should take the CPA exam as soon as possible after you graduate.

How long does it take to get a bachelor's degree in nursing?

how long does it take to get a bachelor's degree

"Four years from now"

The traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) path is a good choice for students who haven't started college yet but want to become highly skilled RNs in the field of nursing. The traditional BSN program is usually an entry-level programme, which means that it is your first degree

Getting a BSN will take different amounts of time at different schools. But most BSN programmes for new nurses take four years to finish. In order to get a BSN from the University of Bridgeport, students must earn 120 credits over the course of 8 semesters. About 55 of the 120 credits needed are for general education, and the other 65 are for the nursing major. Students will not only learn from lectures, but they will also gain skills by doing clinical hours in hospitals, schools, medical offices, and other places in their communities. There will also be lab and simulation work during these clinical hours. This four-year degree prepares students to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), which is needed to become a certified Registered Nurse. 

How long does it take to get a bachelor's degree in criminal justice?

how long does it take to get a bachelor's degree

Most bachelor's degree programmes in criminal justice require between 120 and 128 credit hours of coursework. Most on-campus programmes take four years to finish, and online degrees take about the same amount of time. If students choose to take their classes part-time, it may take them longer to finish their degrees. Students who have already been to college can often transfer credits to online programmes. This can help students finish their degrees faster. 

An online bachelor’s degree vs. on-campus bachelor’s degree programs

how long does it take to get a bachelor's degree

Most classes in on-campus programmes follow a set schedule, and class time is used to listen to lectures, ask questions, and take part in discussions. Online programmes often have flexible class times and ways for students and teachers to talk to each other. Many also offer ways to learn faster. 

The flexibility of online programmes can make it easier for students to fit their education around work and other obligations. It can also let them finish the programme at their own speed. 

What kinds of degrees can you earn online?

Now that you know how to make your schedule fit your life, you might want to find out what online degrees are available. Well, no matter what kind of job you want, there's a bachelor's degree you can get online that will help you get there. 

Bachelor's degrees come in two main types: Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science. You might be curious about the difference. 

An online Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree, which is often called a liberal arts degree, is meant to give you general knowledge about a subject and help you improve your critical thinking and communication skills. 

BA majors have the following options for online bachelor's degrees;

  • Communication Bachelor of Arts.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Writing.
  • Graphic Design Bachelor of Arts.
  • Human Services Bachelor of Arts.
  • BA in Psychology.
  • A Bachelor of Science (BS) degree online, teaches you the technical skills you need to do well in a wide range of jobs.

BS majors have the following options for online bachelor's degrees;

  • Bachelor's Degree in Accounting.
  • Business Administration Bachelor of Science. 
  • Criminal Justice Bachelor of Science.
  • Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management.
  • Information Technology Bachelor of Science.

Ready to get a bachelor's degree that will help you get where you want to go with your career? The first step is to decide on the right programme for you. 

Should you get your Bachelor's degree online? 

An online bachelor's degree can help you stand out in a competitive job market, whether you're switching careers or moving up in your current job. 

No matter what you want to do for a living, having a bachelor's degree can help you get a job or move up in your current job. If you've been working in your field without a degree, getting a four-year degree can help you turn your professional experience into a marketable credential and boost your long-term career and earning potential. 

Are a bachelor’s degree earned online cheaper? 

The cost will also be an important part of your plan, and it may be the main reason you haven't gone back to school yet. How much a bachelor's degree costs can vary a lot. Getting a bachelor's degree online can often save you money compared to getting one on campus. This is because you won't have to pay for student housing, meal plans, and other fees for services on campus. 

But it's important to remember that even if you go to school online, you'll probably have to pay for more than just tuition. You may need textbooks, online learning resources, software, and other tools to finish your courses and earn your degree

If you want to start a bachelor's degree programme, make sure to ask about scholarships and financial aid: 

  1. Students with a bachelor's degree can get a student loan or take part in the Federal Work-Study programme.
  2. You might also be able to get private loans or scholarships from your school or a third party. 
  3. You might even be able to get help paying for school from your current employer, especially if getting a degree will help you move up in your career. 
  4. Talk to a member of the student financial services team about how you can pay for college, and you might be surprised to find out that college is actually within your budget.

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

how long does it take to get a bachelor's degree

For full-time students, earning a bachelor's degree online takes three to four years. If a student enrols part-time, it takes five to six years to complete a bachelor's degree online. Some online schools also offer accelerated bachelor's degrees that can be completed in just over a year.

There are online bachelor's degree programmes with flexible enrollment options. You can pursue a full-time status of 12 semester units per term or earn as few as 1 to 5 credit hours per semester. In the latter case, you can expect to finish your degree in more than 5 years. Most online schools require at least 9 credit hours per semester, but there are some exceptions, such as for graduating students.

If you choose the accelerated learning option, make sure you can meet your other obligations. Successfully accelerated online bachelor's degree students typically graduate in less than two years.

what is the average cost of a bachelor's degree?

how long does it take to get a bachelor's degree

While school costs vary greatly depending on the institution, the average tuition for the 2017-2018 school year at four-year institutions was $27,357, implying that a four-year degree could cost around $109,428 to complete. However, there are ways to reduce the cost of obtaining a bachelor's degree, such as: 

Community college

Attending classes at a community college for one or more semesters can help you save money on your bachelor's degree. Community college classes are frequently less expensive than four-year university classes, allowing you to complete your elective and early classes at a low cost before continuing on to complete your degree. 

State schools

Attending a state school is another way to reduce your college costs. This is beneficial because most state schools offer lower rates to in-state students, and there are frequently special financial awards available only to in-state students.

Financial aid

In order to make college more affordable for those with lower incomes, many financial aid programmes are in place to provide full or partial coverage to individuals who would not otherwise be able to attend school.


Applying for a grant is a great way to reduce your overall degree costs by obtaining a financial allotment to partially or fully cover your costs. Grants of various types are available, including needs-based, academic, achievement-based, and demographic-focused grants.  


Scholarships, like grants, cover some or all of your tuition, room, and board expenses. Many scholarships are academic or athletic in nature, but many charities and organisations also offer scholarships for which you can apply if you meet their requirements.

How long does it take to get an Associate's Degree?

how long does it take to get a bachelor's degree

People often call an associate degree a "two-year degree" because it usually takes about two years to get. There are many places after high school where you can get an associate degree, such as vocational colleges, community colleges, and traditional colleges and universities. 

You can get a job after getting your associate degree, or you can put it toward your bachelor's degree. If you can transfer your college credits, an associate degree can usually take the place of the first two years of a bachelor's degree that takes four years to finish. 

To decide if an associate degree is right for you, find out how much time and money you might have to spend on it.


Is 5 years for a bachelor degree?

Bachelor's degrees, which are awarded by colleges and universities, can take an average of five years (ranging from four to five years) to complete depending on the course load and programme. Medicine is between the ages of 6 and 7 years

Can I do a bachelor's degree in 2 years?

Two-year or accelerated degrees are exactly what they sound like: degree programmes that can be completed in two years as opposed to the standard three or four. In an accelerated course, you would study the same material and earn the same certification as in a three-year course.

Is bachelor's degree worth the money?

Greater earning potential In terms of higher pay, according to BLS data, graduates with a bachelor's degree earn a median annual US salary of $67,860. This is significantly higher than the earnings of associate degree holders ($48,776) and high school diploma holders ($40,612).

Can I get bachelor degree online?

Bachelor's Degrees and Programs Online Pursuing an accredited online bachelor's degree can help you advance in your career without leaving the comfort of your own home. You'll attend online lectures, study from home, manage a hectic schedule, and interact virtually with professors and classmates as part of your programme.

Can I go straight for my bachelor's degree?

An associate degree is not required to obtain a bachelor's degree; you can skip the associate degree and proceed directly to the bachelor's degree. However, before transferring to a four-year university, you should consider earning your associate degree at a community college.

How many years are in a bachelor's degree

A bachelor's degree usually takes four years to finish, but this time can vary, especially if you're getting your degree online

How long does it take to get a Bachelor's degree online?