How Long Does it Take to Get a Bachelor’s Degree?

Getting a bachelor’s degree is an educational goal for many people, as it is a great way to kickstart your career, or enter a new career. However, graduating from college can be costly and time-consuming. Earning a Bachelor’s degree requires being able to commit years of time and effort to complete the required classes in your degree program. 

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

So, how long does it take to get a bachelor’s degree? The answer is not as straightforward as it may seem. There are a lot of factors to consider when determining how long it can take to complete a degree, and the timing is different for everyone. Specific life circumstances can mean a shorter or longer path to degree completion. Although the typical answer is 4 years, this is not always the case. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the variables that come into play regarding the timing of getting a bachelor’s degree.

Type of degree program

The type of degree program you choose to pursue can have an impact on the timing of earning your degree. Traditional students typically take on-campus classes full-time for four years.

Today, however, more options are available for students to complete their degrees at their convenience. Many students, especially adults, choose to study online. Often, the flexibility of online college allows students to progress in their program according to their own schedule. In this circumstance, the time it takes to get a bachelor’s degree can vary. 

Previous college credit

Your previous college experience can also affect how long it takes to complete a bachelor’s degree. For example, if you attended college in the past and stopped out or transferred to another college, the credits you earned previously can transfer and count towards your degree progress, which can impact the timing of degree completion. 

It’s important to note, however, that not all course credits are guaranteed to transfer. This depends on the policy of the school that you are transferring to, as well the course of study you choose to pursue at that school. To make an informed decision, always ask your academic advisor how you can maximize your prior experience.

Course load

The amount of classes you choose to take per quarter or semester can also have an impact on how long it takes to get a bachelor’s degree. 

Full-time students take 12 credit hours (about 4 classes) per semester. However, a “full-time” enrollment status may depend on the school’s criteria. Generally, being a full-time student takes about four years to complete a bachelor’s degree. This can vary if you choose to take classes over the summer semester, for example.

Part-time enrollment status is usually anything under 12 credit hours per semester. This is a common choice for adult students, as it makes other responsibilities, such as a full-time job, more manageable. Of course, this means it will take more time to complete your degree. 

Additionally, not every class you need to complete for your degree will be offered on-time, meaning you may have to wait until a class is being offered to be able to take it.

Overall, there are many factors that come into play when estimating how long it takes to get a bachelor’s degree. It’s important to remember that there is no “right” way to earn your degree. 

If you’re looking to complete your degree, Operation Graduate provides one-on-one guidance for adult students from application to graduation, often saving you time and money in the process. Our academic network has over 90 programs to choose from, and we’ll help you choose one that is right for you. Get in touch with us today by filling out the form below.