Obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree and What It Entails

A bachelor’s degree is an undergraduate degree awarded to students by accredited academic institutions such as community colleges and universities. A bachelor’s degree is an academic degree level up from an associate’s degree and is granted to students who successfully complete four years of full-time study which generally consist of 120 to 150 credit hours of courses. Typically, more than half of the courses (approximately 60 to 80 credit hours) are in the general education or liberal arts field. Examples of these courses are English, anthropology, sociology, history, mathematics, and psychology. About 30 to 40 credits are courses within the student’s major area of study and the rest are elective courses.

There are numerous types of bachelor’s degrees however, the two most common bachelor’s degrees acquired are the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees. The B.A. degree generally consists of courses taken in the arts field such as English, sociology, psychology, and history whereas the B.S. degree generally consists of courses taken in the sciences such as biology, chemistry, physics, and physiology. Other examples of bachelor’s degrees include Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Music, or Bachelor of Nursing degrees.

During a bachelor’s degree program, students may choose from a number of subjects to specialize in (e.g., social work, psychology, history, anthropology, etc.). Students who have obtained a bachelor’s degree encompass a broad knowledge in this chosen field of study and its history, theories, philosophy, and practices. Students also gain a strong foundation for continued education in that area of concentration. There are also students who choose to earn a “double major” and are educated in two different areas of study. Students graduating with a bachelor’s degree may obtain entry-level positions in their chosen field of study or further advance to a master’s or doctoral degree in that specialization.

Although various colleges and universities may vary slightly, students can expect fairly standard admission requirements when applying to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Successful completion of high school or an academic equivalent (such as a GED) is required along with high school transcripts displaying grades obtained in completed courses. SAT or ACT test scores are almost always required as well. If a student fulfills all of these requirements, then an application form from the college or university the student wishes to attend must be completed and submitted along with an application fee, which of course varies depending on the institution. Volunteer and/or work experience in the student’s area of focus is always beneficial to the student and will aid in their acceptance during the application process. Tuition fees for a bachelor’s degree may vary from $15,918 to $32,617.

Obtaining a bachelor’s degree may seem time-consuming and expensive however, it is extremely beneficial. It is nearly impossible to obtain a master’s or Ph.D. degree in any specialization without acquiring a bachelor’s degree beforehand. Also, numerous occupations require their applicants to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Having a bachelor’s degree lets employers know that the applicant encompasses a broad knowledge in their chosen discipline of study and has gained essential skills (e.g., research skills, analytical skills, writing skills, etc.) which are extremely useful and essential in the workforce.

Below are a few links related to obtaining a bachelor’s degree in a specific career field.

http://www.educationchoices.com/

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-bachelors-degree.htm

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