How Do You Get a Bachelor’s Degree?

By Joy Cromwelle
Edited by Briana Sukert
Updated on May 16, 2024
Edited by Briana Sukert
Ready to start your journey?

How do you get a bachelor’s degree? Perhaps you are interested in a college education, but this key question is on your mind.

How Do You Get a Bachelor's Degree

Let’s break down the process step by step and explore the bachelor’s degrees that you could earn. You can also learn the benefits of going to school online, which is often the quickest way to get a bachelor’s degree.

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The more you learn about bachelor’s degree programs, the more ready you may be to get started on your educational journey!

How Do You Get a Bachelor’s Degree?

To earn a bachelor’s degree, it’s necessary to complete 120 college credits. That’s approximately 40 classes. Which courses you’re required to take will depend on your field of study, also known as your major. Through your coursework, you can gain a well-rounded education and prepare for the workforce.

Select the program that most interests you to jump to that section of the guide:

The program that’s best for you will depend on your personal interests and professional goals.

Bachelor’s in Accounting

accounting specialist reviewing documents

To get an accounting degree, you will take about 60 credit hours of general education courses and 60 credits focused on business and accounting.

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The classes for your major will help you learn about both financial accounting and cost accounting. You might study federal taxes and auditing practices too. After graduation, you might seek work as an accounting specialist, a tax preparer, an auditor, or a financial analyst.

Bachelor’s in Business Administration

business managers meeting in a conference room

Students in business programs begin with 60 hours of general education and then complete a business core. The topics covered usually include leadership, business law, accounting, finance, human resources, project management, office technology, and marketing.

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Business graduates can work in departments like sales, finance, and employee development. In any department, you might start as an entry-level specialist and become a manager over time.

Bachelor’s in Communications

Journalist preparing for live reporting

You can take about 60 credit hours’ worth of general education courses and an assortment of classes related to communication to earn a degree in this field.

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For your communications studies, you’ll address topics like communication theories, persuasive techniques, public speaking, and effective writing. You may assemble a portfolio with examples of your writing or graphic design projects. Communication graduates often go into public relations, advertising, or journalism.

Bachelor’s in Computer Science

Computer programmer working on a new app

After completing 60 hours of general education classes, you can take around 60 hours of computer-related courses to earn a degree in computer science.

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The curriculum might include classes in computer programming, hardware, software, and algorithms. You’ll probably study operating systems, machine learning, and networks too. A computer science degree can be helpful for jobs in computer user support, network administration, software development, and computer engineering.

Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice

Police officers doing patrol

If you’re interested in law and order, then you might choose to complement your 60 hours of general education classes with 60 hours of courses in criminal justice.

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The curriculum will cover corrections, courts, and policing. You may explore topics related to juvenile justice, victimology, and crime prevention. Criminal justice graduates sometimes become police officers or correctional officers. Other possible jobs include being a bailiff or a private investigator.

Bachelor’s in Education & Teaching

Classroom teacher discussing to his students

You could complete an education major with 60 credit hours of general education classes and around 60 hours of teaching-focused studies.

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You can learn about child development, learning theories, and education law. Your degree might prepare you for a certain type of teaching, such as elementary education. Before graduation, you’ll probably work as a student teacher. After graduation, you may become licensed to work as a classroom teacher.

Bachelor’s in Engineering

Electronics engineer doing circuit works

You can earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering by taking 60 credit hours’ worth of general ed classes and then core credits from the engineering department.

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You’ll study calculus and physics. The curriculum will also cover thermodynamics, materials, and design. You may focus on a specific branch, such as mechanical or electrical engineering. A four-year engineering degree typically qualifies you to work as an engineer. Examples include civil engineers and electronics engineers.

Bachelor’s in English

PR manager reviewing articles for a press release

After beginning your college career with approximately 60 general education credits, you can take core credits from the English department to earn an English degree.

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There will be many opportunities to practice your writing. This major also involves reading many pieces of literature and thinking critically about them. English majors do many different jobs, such as writing, editing, and teaching. You might consider a career in journalism or public relations.

Bachelor’s in Finance

Bank teller with a Bachelor's in Finance degree

Most colleges’ finance majors earn 60 credits in general education and 60 credits in business and finance. You’ll study markets, banking, investments, financial statements, and data modeling for this degree.

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In addition, you may gain an overview of business concepts related to marketing, accounting, and management. As a graduate of a finance program, you could potentially work for a bank, an insurer, or a corporate finance department.

Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration

Healthcare services manager greeting two doctors

After completing your 60 credit hours across a range of general education subjects, you can earn a healthcare administration degree by completing major core classes related to the business of healthcare.

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You’ll study healthcare informatics and quality management. You might also learn about managing staff members, working with insurance companies, and protecting patients’ privacy. Medical services managers often work for physicians’ practices and hospitals.

Bachelor’s in Nursing (RN to BSN)

Nurse doing assessment on elderly patient

For a nursing bachelor’s degree, 120 credit hours are usually required, but your RN training may give you a head start.

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You can transfer in previous nursing coursework and take additional classes to earn around 60 credits of nursing education. You’ll take about 60 credits of general education too. With a BSN, you can continue working as a licensed nurse and may be eligible for promotions.

Bachelor’s in Psychology

Drug Counselor in a group therapy session

If you want to major in psychology, then you’ll take 60 credit hours of general education followed by psychology major core requirements.

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The psychology classes may cover human development, personality theory, cognition, and behavioral science. You’ll also learn about abnormal psychology. Psychology degrees have many applications, such as working in human resources, drug counseling, social services, public relations, and employee development.

Types of Online Bachelor’s Degrees

Woman taking online bachelor degree

Most online bachelor degree programs fall into one of three types. Which one is best for you may depend on your field of study and your interests.

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.). These degree programs typically emphasize the humanities, such as history, art, and languages. BA programs often include plenty of opportunities for students to pursue the electives of their choice.
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.). The emphasis in a BS program is often on math, science, and data. The prescribed curriculum may be more rigid than in a BA program, and you may have a larger number of major-specific courses.
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.). Designed for students pursuing a career in the arts, a BFA is often light on general education classes and heavy on art-focused classes. There are usually many performance or studio courses required.

You’ll often hear degrees referred to by these names. For example, you may be earning a B.A. in Social Work or a B.S. in Psychology.

How to Get a Bachelor’s Degree

student preparing for bachelors degree admissions requirements

Here are the steps to earn a bachelor’s degree::

  • Pick a major. This is the specific field that you want to study to prepare for jobs in a certain area. You’ll take more courses from that discipline than any other.
  • Research schools. Look for accredited colleges that offer your major. Also, think about whether you want to attend classes on campus or online.
  • Prepare for admissions requirements. Most colleges require a high school diploma or a GED. You may also be required to take the ACT or the SAT.
  • Apply to colleges. You can submit applications to several colleges. Once you receive admissions letters and financial aid offers, you can make a final decision.
  • Fill out the FAFSA. This form can help you access financial aid.
  • Get ready for school. Before school starts, you’ll complete the registration process, pick out your first courses, and go through an orientation.
  • Take the required classes. Most degrees require 120 credit hours—60 from general education and 60 from your major area.
  • Fulfill any additional requirements. You may be required to build a portfolio or complete an internship.
  • Submit a graduation application. When your time in school is nearing its end, you’ll file paperwork showing your intent to graduate.

Can you get a bachelor’s degree online? Yes! You can earn a bachelor’s degree online by enrolling in accredited online programs offered by various universities and colleges. Soon, you can become a college graduate!

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

student pursuing Bachelor's Degree Online

The traditional college academic calendar involves 16 week semesters. If that’s how your schooling is arranged, and you attend full-time, you may finish your degree in about 4 years.

The fastest way to get a bachelor’s degree is often to choose an online program that uses 8 week terms. Program lengths vary, but if you take classes year-round, you might get done with your online degree program in 3 to 3.5 years. It’s necessary to be a full-time student to accomplish that.

How Much Does a Bachelor’s Degree Cost?

Students getting a bachelor degree

You might be wondering, “How much does it cost to get a bachelors degree?” Undergraduate college credits vary in price from school to school, but they often cost between $400 and $1,000 per credit. It’s common for a course to be worth 3 credits, so you would pay three times that per-credit price for a class.

Most bachelor’s degrees require 120 credit hours total. There are fees and material costs as well. If you don’t live at home, you might also consider the cost for housing. You may be able to save money by attending an in-state public university.

Getting a Bachelor’s Degree Online

student getting his Bachelor's degree online

Now that you know the bachelor’s degree requirements and the necessary steps to take, you may be ready to get the process started.

You might take a good look at your options for online degrees. Such classes offer the benefit of being accessible, flexible, and affordable. Plus, colleges with online programs can still hold regional accreditation, so you can earn a respected bachelor’s degree online. You could be on your way to growing your skill sets and advancing your career.

Why not start checking out quick degrees online from accredited colleges today? Soon, you may be ready to submit applications and start getting a bachelor’s degree online.

Ready to start your journey?