• Rachel Hartley

What is a Bachelor's Degree?

Bachelor’s of Arts. Bachelor’s of Science. Degree. Major. Minor. Undergraduate. Graduate. What do they all mean?

Let’s break it down.

In the United States, a bachelor’s degree is typically a four-year degree you earn after you complete high school. You don’t have to go to university immediately after graduating, but you do need a high school certificate to apply.

GCSE? IB? ESO? These are just a few of the secondary school curriculums that exist around the world, and as an international student, your high school credentials probably look different than the standard American high school structure. But don’t worry, university admissions are well prepared to evaluate credentials from all over the world. It just might take some extra steps on your part, but that’s why Agave Education is here to guide you through the process.

The primary subject you choose to study at university will be your major and you will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in that major. For example, a student studying mechanical engineering would say they are earning a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. You can also choose a minor, which is a second subject you study, though it requires fewer credits than a major. Some students even choose to have a double major, which typically requires extra time in order to graduate, but may be the right choice depending on your future aspirations.

Planning ahead? If you already know you want to be a doctor, lawyer, veterinarian or accountant (just a few examples), a bachelor’s degree is required before you can apply to these professional graduate degrees. Just remember that Bachelor’s degree = undergraduate degree.

Depending on the major and also on the university you choose, you will usually finish with either a Bachelor’s of Science (BS) or Bachelor’s of Arts (BA). In general, a BS requires more focused coursework in the subject, while a BA allows you to choose from a broader selection of courses. Still confused? Don’t worry, it’s a lot to understand and every university is different. That’s why we’re here to help.

In the real world.

One of our students, Ali, loved finance in high school. He chose to major in finance at a university where the business school offers bachelor of science degrees in a number of different majors, including finance. So, he will graduate with a bachelor’s degree of science (BS) in finance. Ali also loves languages and chose to minor in Mandarin, so that he can supplement his business background with new language skills which will help him when he enters the job market.

One of the amazing aspects of university in the U.S. is that you will take courses in your specialty, but also other interest areas. Bachelor’s degrees usually require 120 credits (40 courses), providing a truly well-rounded education that will elevate your career after you graduate.

If you’re finishing high school with hopes of going to university, you’re probably ready to start researching majors and degree programs. Already completed your Bachelor’s degree? You’re already well on your way to getting a graduate degree! Either way, we’re here to support you. Contact us now to set up your first virtual advising appointment.

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