If your college uses a quarter system rather than a semester system, you’ll need to complete a minimum of 180 quarter credits to earn an accredited bachelor’s degree.
In most cases, more than half of a bachelor’s degree consists of general education or liberal arts courses in areas such as English, critical thinking, psychology, history and mathematics.
Typically only 30 to 36 credits—10 to 12 courses—will be in your major area of study. Regionally accredited liberal arts colleges award most of the bachelor’s degrees in the United States.
Historically, the term “college degree” meant a bachelor’s or traditional four-year degree. The bachelor’s degree remains the standard for entry into many professional careers.
In most cases, you cannot attend a professional graduate school in law, medicine, or teacher education unless you hold a bachelor’s degree.
When to Seek a Bachelor’s Degree
When You …
• Know that a bachelor’s degree is required for your career
• Have already earned more than 60 semester college credits or hold at least one associate degree.
• Know that a graduate or professional degree will be required for your career.
TIP: Some careers may require a very specific type of bachelor’s degree. For example, if your goal is to become a public school teacher your state Board of Education will require, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree in education —and that degree will need to include some very specific courses. Check with your state licensing board before enrolling in any bachelor’s degree program in accounting, education, nursing, counseling and engineering, in particular.
TIP: Should you earn a second bachelor’s degree? In most cases, the answer is NO. If you have a bachelor’s in one area—say art history—and are trying to re-tool to work in another area, such as human resources, consider adding a certificate to your resume rather than trying to earn a second bachelor’s degree. By earning a certificate you’ll essentially be adding a new “major” area of study to the general education studies of your original bachelor’s degree.
Show Me an Online Bachelor’s Degree
Basically, a bachelor’s degree looks like an associate degree doubled.
Below is a sample bachelor's degree so you can see the type of curriculum commonly required. Colleges will vary in their exact degree requirements. Compare colleges carefully on the courses they will require you to take to earn your bachelor's degree in any one major area.
Liberty University Online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Marketing
Total credits required: 120 (using a semester credit hour system)
50% of major classes and at least 30 hrs must be earned at Liberty University Online
This degree plan is effective for those starting in fall 2015 through summer 2016
Core Competency Requirements (27 hrs)
Communications Elective (3 hrs)
Christian Life and Thought (9 hrs)
Contemporary Worldviews (3 hrs)
Skills and Knowledge (6 hrs)
Intermediate Business Computer Apps. (3 hrs)
Major (54 hrs)
Principles of Accounting I (3 hrs)
Student selects desired courses
For more information about other schools with online bachelor's degree programs, search GetEducated.com's complete database of online bachelor's degree programs.