Education Career Articles

Connect Facebook Connect Twitter Connect Google+ Connect Pinterest Connect Stumbleupon

Typical Completion Time of a Bachelor’s Degree Program

Higher Education Articles March 30, 2015

Bachelor’s degree programs usually take four years to complete, although some bachelor’s degree programs in accounting and architecture may add a fifth year. Other programs may be shorter.

Bachelor’s Degree Program Length

Although the scheduled time of a bachelor’s degree program is ordinarily four years, the majority of students take more time to finish their undergraduate degree. Data released by the U.S. Department of Education show that only 36% of students who embarked on a bachelor’s degree program in 2001 completed the program within its scheduled duration.

About 57% of said students took six years to complete their degree program. The bachelor’s degree programs begun by the remaining students may not have yet reached completion; alternatively, these students may have taken time off and could be planning to return to school in later years.

Bachelor’s Programs

It takes a minimum of 120 semester credit hours of courses to complete a bachelor’s degree programs, with students needing four hours of preparation, including an hour of classroom instruction, to complete a credit hour.

Schedules devised by schools for the completion of all general education and major requirements related to bachelor’s degree programs usually involve full-time coursework (four years) and sometimes part-time study (six years).

Most schools require students to complete 12 credit hours of study per semester to meet their full-time enrollment standard (U.S. Department of Education). Thus, completion of a bachelor’s degree in four years could involve more than a minimum full-time schedule.

Degree Completion Programs

Degree completion programs offered by some schools are usually set up for completion within two years. Students are allowed to apply the college credits they’ve earned previously to a new bachelor’s degree program, either through an incomplete bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree.

Schools perform the assessment as to which earlier credits may be applied to the new degree program, and students could take College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams to showcase their knowledge and skills and waive some degree requirements.

Accelerated Programs

Some schools devise bachelor’s degree programs to allow completion of the full program, including general education requirements, within four years. Within these programs, higher course loads than the four-year plans are typically required each semester, and classes are attended year-round by students, whereby the summer features a third semester. Thus, completion time is reduced to three calendar years or less, but students are often counseled by schools to avoid holding jobs during their involvement in these intensive programs.

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
3 Program(s) Found
  • Theology Degrees Rooted in the Word of God
  • Since 1949, GCU has been a premier private Christian university in Arizona, helping students find their purpose and achieve their potential.
  • Across the College of Theology, our theology degrees are designed to help you apply Scripture to the context in which you serve.
  • GCU offers a variety of transformative degrees with real-world relevance, such as Christian studies, pastoral ministry and the online Master of Divinity. 
  • Courses are available online, evenings and on campus in Phoenix, Arizona. Talk to us to learn about financial aid, start dates and more!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • eLearners.com Helps You Find the Right College within Minutes.
  • Get Matched to the Perfect Psychology Degree Programs From Top Colleges Here.
  • Learn at Your Own Pace and Get Qualified to Pursue a Career You Will Love.
  • Answer a Few Questions and You Are One Step Closer to Enroll in a Top College!
  • Online Courses

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
3 Program(s) Found
  • Prepare for your mission - earn your bachelor's or master's degree in theology online with Grand Canyon University.
  • The College of Theology offers a variety of transformative degrees with real-world relevance.
  • Choose from several degree options, such as Christian studies, pastoral ministry, Master of Divinity and more.
  • Pursue a next-generation education with an online program or join Grand Canyon University's vibrant and growing campus community in beautiful Phoenix, Arizona.
  • GCU's College of Theology exists to educate students to communicate the gospel effectively, serve the church faithfully and minister with integrity.
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • eLearners.com Helps You Find the Right College within Minutes.
  • Get Matched to the Perfect Psychology Degree Programs From Top Colleges Here.
  • Learn at Your Own Pace and Get Qualified to Pursue a Career You Will Love.
  • Answer a Few Questions and You Are One Step Closer to Enroll in a Top College!
  • Online Courses

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!