bachelor's degree

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a degree awarded by a college or university to a person who has completed undergraduate studies.


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Also called baccalaureate, Informal, bachelor's .
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is a bachelor’s degree?

A bachelor’s degree is a degree given by a college upon completion of an undergraduate studies program.

In most major American colleges and universities, a bachelor’s degree requires four or five years of college attendance to earn. The bachelor’s degree is the most popular kind of college degree and is required by almost all entry-level jobs.

There are two main types of bachelor’s degrees. The Bachelor of Arts (BA) is awarded for completing a program focused on the humanities or social sciences, such as English or history. The Bachelor of Science (BS) is awarded for completing a program related to technical disciplines or scientific fields, such as biology or engineering. Some fields, like economics or finance, can fit into either category, depending on the college.

Typically, a student pursuing a bachelor’s degree will study a wide range of general subjects, such as math, history, English, and basic sciences, in addition to taking courses related to the field they want to specialize in.

Why is bachelor’s degree important?

The first records of the term bachelor’s degree come from around 1677. It’s uncertain where the word bachelor ultimately comes from, but it is thought to come from the Vulgar Latin baccalār(is), meaning “tenant farmer, farm hand.” A bachelor’s degree is also called a baccalaureate, which also comes from baccalār(is).

The concept of educational degrees themselves date back to the 1200s, when European universities used them to indicate a student’s mastery of their craft.

In the United States, there are four commonly recognized types of degrees. These degrees are usually separated by the amount of time needed to earn them and are earned in the order that follows. The associate’s degree is generally earned in two years, the bachelor’s degree in four years, the master’s degree in two to three years, and the doctorate in four to six years.

Did you know … ?

Most people are aware that college can be pretty expensive. In 2020, the average cost of a bachelor’s degree in the United States was estimated to be around $101,584. This number varies widely depending on the school a student attends and how many college loans they take out.

What are real-life examples of bachelor’s degree?

This chart from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the breakdown of which industries recipients of bachelor’s degrees work in.

Source: https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2013/ted_20130405.htm

The bachelor’s degree is the most common degree earned by college students.


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Colleges and universities set up programs for bachelor’s degrees to be completed in four years.

How to use bachelor's degree in a sentence