What is a bachelor degree?

A bachelor degree, also commonly called a bachelor’s degree, and sometimes bachelors degree without the apostrophe is an undergraduate degree and is typically a 4-year degree for full-time students.

The bachelor’s degree definition from dictionary.com states it is “a degree awarded by a college or university to a person who has completed undergraduate studies”.

The term bachelor can be traced back to the 1300’s although at the time it did not reference a degree, but a “young man” or “youthful knight, novice in arms”. It wasn’t until the 14th century that the meaning “one who has taken the lowest degree in a university” became popular. The rest, as they say, is history.

What is a BS degree?
The short answer is a Bachelor of Science Degree.

While BS is the typical abbreviation for a Bachelor of Science, it can also be abbreviated as BSc, and less commonly SB or ScB. Usually, a BS degree is in a field which is most commonly considered related to a science, it does vary from school to school as to which subjects are offered as BS. Some universities may even offer some subjects as both a BS or BA.

What is a BA degree?
The short answer is a Bachelor of Arts Degree.

While BA is the usual abbreviation for a Bachelor of Arts degree, it can also be abbreviated as an AB on occasion. Most Bachelor of Arts degrees are associated with the liberal arts and sciences. Some areas of study have both a BA and BS version of the bachelor’s degree, depending on the school and the courses taken.

What is a BFA degree?
Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree would be the short answer for this.

This would be a degree associated with what is considered to be the fine arts. Traditionally the five main fine arts were music, poetry, painting, sculpting, and architecture while theatre and dance were considered performing arts. In modern times, more areas of study have been included into the fine arts such as photography, film and film-making, conceptual art, and printmaking to name a few.

What is a BAS degree?
Bachelor of Applied Science Degree is the short answer here and it can sometimes be abbreviated as BASc.

There are two main branches of Applied Science which are Engineering and Healthcare. These categories are broader than they may sound at first. Robotics, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Nursing, Dentistry, and Veterinary studies are just a few of the areas of study which can be considered as Applied Science.

What is a BBA degree?
Bachelor of Business Administration is the full name for a BBA degree.

This degree is designed to help build and hone the communication, managerial, and business decision-making skills of the students. Students can anticipate general studies to focus on humanities and social sciences as well as mathematics which are associated with business.

There is also a BSBA, which is a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. This is a variation of the degree which tends to have a stronger focus on the mathematics associated with the business industry.

There are many other bachelor degrees. More abbreviations and variations are listed in the “What kind of bachelor’s degrees are there?” section below.

What is a baccalaureate degree?

The term baccalaureate comes from Modern Latin baccalaureatus and it is the same as a bachelor’s degree. Origins of the word can be traced back to Middle Latin baccalaureus which possibly comes from bacca lauri meaning “laurel berry” in reference to laurels which were awarded to honor students for academic success.

What is the difference between graduate and undergraduate degrees?

Undergraduate degrees include associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees. An associate degree is often a 2-year degree, while the bachelor’s degree is typically a 4-year degree. The courses taken to earn both of these degrees are considered to be undergraduate courses.

Master’s degrees, PhDs, and Doctoral degrees are all considered to be graduate degrees. In order to be eligible to earn a master’s degree, one must have already obtained their bachelor’s degree. There are cases where students can simultaneously work toward both a bachelor’s and master’s degree, these are often called 4+1 programs. Doctorates and PhD programs are for students who have already earned their master’s degree.

Where can I learn how to get a bachelor’s degree?

Whether you are looking to earn an online bachelors degree or one earned on-campus, online websites like ours is a great place to start. While we specialize in online programs, most of the schools we feature also offer on-campus degree options as well. Also, there are many hybrid study options and some students prefer to only take one or two courses online and attend traditional courses for the rest.

Since every college and university is different, the next step would be to visit the school websites to find more information. If you really like what you see, you can always contact your school of choice for more information about their requirements for applying and courses you would need to take to earn your bachelor’s degree.

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

While it is typically a 4-year degree, it can be completed anywhere from 3 to 7 years depending on the course load of the student and whether or not they participate every available semester. Full-time students who attend all semesters, including Spring, Fall, Summer, and Winter semesters where available can often graduate after 3 years of rigorous study. Many students are unable to keep up such a full schedule for 3 years and find the average 4 years to be much more manageable.

How many credits for a bachelor’s degree

Each college and university may have different requirements for their programs, and the type of program chosen may affect the number of credits you will need to earn. The minimum requirement for a bachelor’s degree is 120 credits which are equivalent to around 40 courses. Some programs may require students to earn more than 200 credits, so it’s best to look at different programs that you are interested in to check the individual details of each one.

Where can I find out how to get a bachelor’s degree in 2 years?

One place you can check is the Top 35 Fastest Online College Programs ranking we have published. Generally, students who have earned their bachelor’s degree in 2 years have already completed an associate’s degree or have earned most of the credits toward one prior to applying to earn their bachelor’s. Students with previous college experience will need to check with their school of choice to be sure they are able to transfer credits they have already earned to go toward their degree.

Can I get a second bachelor’s degree?

It is not uncommon for people to change careers at least once in their lifetime, this can mean going back to school to earn a different degree. This is entirely possible, and often, it will not take as long to earn the second degree as it did the first one, especially if the time elapsed has not been too long.

Students can also choose to double major in separate subjects to earn two degrees simultaneously. While it is possible to earn both degrees within the average 4 years if the student plans ahead, usually it will take an additional semester or two, particularly if the second major is added later. This can cause the student to have to backtrack to take the prerequisites for the added major, but overall, it will still be less time consuming than completing two programs at separate times.

What kind of bachelor’s degrees are there?

There are many different kinds of bachelor’s degrees available. Most school websites have a list of degrees which they have available and not every degree is available through every school. Some of the most popular bachelor degrees are:

  • Bachelor of Architecture (BArch)
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
  • Bachelor of Accountancy (B.Acy. or B.Acc. or B. Accty)
  • Bachelor of Computer Science (BCompSc)
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSc IT)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN, BN, BNSc, BScN, BNurs, BHSc.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH)
  • Bachelor of Theology (B.Th., Th.B., or BTheol)
  • Bachelor of Liberal Arts (B.L.A., sometimes A.L.B.)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (BAPSY)
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology (BScPsych)
  • Bachelor of Science in Education (BSE, BS in Ed)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BSW or BASW)
  • Bachelor of Criminal Justice (BCJ)

I have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, now what?

Before you graduate, you may want to check in with your school’s career services office. They can help guide you to a career or discuss your career options with your new degree. Sometimes they may even be able to help you get your foot into the door with an internship or allow you access to job fairs.

There are a number of jobs that you can qualify for with a Bachelor of Criminal Justice (BCJ). If you are just starting out, you may want to check around at what your options are that don’t require previous experience. There are some wonderful resources on the web, such as indeed.com that can give you a general idea of what kind of jobs you may want to be seeking out. Some jobs include police officer, parole officer, private security, private detective, corrections officer, and many more.

What can I do with a bachelor’s degree in psychology?

Much of the same advice above for criminal justice applies to graduates with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Career services at your school can help you with your career direction prior to finishing your degree. Often they are able to help students early on find the right degree for their career path. Even if you are later checking in with your school’s career services office, they can still help get you into job fairs and see if there are any available internships you might qualify for.

Having a bachelor’s degree in psychology can help you in a number of different careers. indeed.com is able to give you a great idea of what job options might be available to you. Earning your bachelor degree in psychology can help you prepare for many different jobs including counseling roles, lab technician, marketing, entrepreneurship, and can be a good stepping stone to grad school.

OnlineCollegePlan’s rankings for bachelor’s degrees

Most Affordable Degrees

College is expensive, no matter how you go about it. We have researched and found the 50 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees for you to check out. Saving what you can where you can is a bigger help than you realize.

Criminal Justice Degrees

Criminal justice is becoming a more and more popular area of study for bachelor’s degrees. There is a wide variety of occupations you can pursue after graduation. You can check out our Top 10 Online Bachelors Degrees in Criminal Justice.

For a more in-depth ranking, we have the Top 20 Bachelors for Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs.

Business Degree Rankings

There are many kinds of degrees which are considered to be business degrees. Most usually thing of Business Administration when they hear the term “business degree”, however, finance, accounting, communications, and marketing all play a part in business. Below you can find our list of rankings for business degrees:

Top 10 Online Bachelors Degrees in Business Administration

10 Best Online Bachelors Degrees in Accounting

Top 25 Online Accounting Degree Programs for Earning Your Bachelors

Top 10 Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Finance

Top 10 Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Communications

Top 10 Online Bachelor’s in Marketing Degrees

The 20 Best Online Marketing Bachelors Programs

Computer Science and Information Technology (IT) Degrees

These two highly related fields have large growth and employment potential as our society delves deeper into the digital age. These rankings are designed to help you find the right degree that fits your needs and schedule:

Top 10 Online Bachelors Degrees in Computer Science

Top 20 Bachelors for Online Information Technology Degree Programs

Nursing and Health Informatics Degrees

Nurses are becoming more and more in demand and we are happy to be able to present the Top Ten Online Undergraduate Nursing Programs. Students who are already registered nurses may want to pursue a higher degree such as a BSN and this ranking has got you covered.

Top 25 Online RN to BSN Programs is a ranking specifically for RNs looking to earn their BSN.

Health Informatics is a growing field which is important for modern healthcare. Students who are interested in both information technology and the medical field will find this area of study just for them: The Top 20 Online Bachelor’s in Health Informatics Degree Programs

We have also ranked the Top 20 Best Pre Med Colleges for students who are ultimately considering medical school.

More Popular Degrees

Teaching is a noble profession. Most people can remember their favorite teachers, even between 30 and 40 years or more after leaving their classroom. For those who are inspired by examples set by their own teachers and want to follow in their footsteps, we created the ranking for the Top 10 Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Education.

Psychology is one of the most popular areas of study and in The Top 30 Online Psychology Programs we have found some of the best available online.

While this ranking is not exclusively bachelor’s degrees, “Top 20 Online Child Development Degrees” offers several options at the bachelor’s level.

Top 10 Online Bachelor’s Degrees in English and Humanities explores the best online bachelor’s degrees in the field.

Students who love art may be interested in pursuing a career in the field. Top 10 Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Art ranking can guide you to finding the right program to suit your needs.

If your passion lies in the field of politics, this ranking is just for you: Top 10 Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Political Science.

There is a growing demand for social workers in America. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected the number of social workers to increase to more than 790,000 by 2026. In fact, most jobs in the field of social work show an increase of 16%, which is twice the average job increase. Students interested in becoming a social worker can check out our ranking, “10 Best Online Bachelor’s in Social Work“.

Our Top 20 Online Colleges for Chemical Engineering ranking is primarily graduate programs, but #20 features the Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of North Dakota.

Our ranking, Best Music Colleges with Online Programs, contains both undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including several options at the bachelor’s degree level.

Frequently Asked Questions with In-Depth Answers

Bachelor’s Degrees by Location
Where is the best place to get an online bachelor’s degree in Georgia?
Can I Get My Bachelor’s Degree Online at a School Near Chicago?

Affordable Degrees
Are affordable online bachelors degrees as good as more expensive programs?
How long do affordable online bachelors degrees take to complete?”
How can I find the most affordable bachelors degree programs online?
Do top colleges offer affordable online bachelors degree options?
Where can I find the cheapest online bachelors degrees?

English and Humanities
What Jobs Can I Get with a Degree in English and Humanities?
How Much Can I Make With An Online Degree in English and Humanities?
What Are the Benefits of Getting Your English and Humanities Degree Online?
Will My Online Degree in English and Humanities Get Me a Job?
How Long Does it Take to Get an Online Degree in English and Humanities?

Education
What are the best schools for an online bachelor’s degree in education?
What types of jobs can I get with an online bachelor’s degree in education?
What is the salary range for jobs if I have an online bachelor’s degree in education?
Can online bachelor’s degrees in education be completed 100% online?
Can I get an online bachelor’s degree in education while working full time?

Computer Science
Where is the best place to get a bachelor’s degree in computer science online?
What are the best online colleges for computer science degrees?
Are there online colleges with computer science degrees 100% online?
What kind of jobs can you get with a degree in computer science?
What are the highest paid jobs for people with a degree in computer science?

Finance
Is a finance degree worth it?
Can you get a degree in finance online?
What kind of jobs can I get with a degree in finance?
What kind of classes will I have to take to get a degree in finance?
What are the average salaries for jobs in finance?

Communications
What Type of Career Will I Have With an Online Bachelors Degree in Communications?
How Much Can I Earn With an Online Bachelors Degree in Communications?
Do Online Bachelors Degrees in Communications Prepare You For a Job?
How Much Do Online Bachelors Degrees in Communications Cost?
How Do I Choose a School For My Online Bachelors Degree in Communications?

Nursing
How much does an online RN to BSN program cost?
Which RN to BSN online program is the best?
What is the quickest online RN to BSN program?
Are online RN to BSN programs competitive?
What are the best online colleges for RN to BSN programs?

More FAQs
Which Schools Are Best For Online Bachelor Degree Programs?

More from OnlineCollegePlan

We’ve ranked the Top 100 Best Online Colleges which offer online degrees and programs. You also might want to check out our Ultimate Guide To Online Colleges, too!

You can find the answer to “What is an associate’s degree?” along with information on where to find the best online associate degrees by visiting our Associate Degree page.

We also answer “What is a graduate degree?” and more on our Master’s Degree page and Doctoral Degrees and PhD Programs page.

Best Online Bachelors Degree Programs