How Many Years Study To Complete Bachelor's Degree? Five Tips for Completing Your Bachelor’s Degree

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

Typically, a bachelor’s degree takes three to four years but this can vary. In the United States, studying for a bachelor’s degree usually takes four years, however, in the United Kingdom, students usually gain theirs within three years.

A bachelor's degree is a four-year degree meaning it typically takes four years of full-time study to complete your bachelor's degree. In these four years, you will complete 120 semester credits or around 40 college courses.

Having a bachelor’s degree has become increasingly important. Even if you’re already working in your chosen field, not having a college education can stand between you and advancement opportunities. 

The US system

In the US, a bachelor’s is a four-year degree, meaning you will graduate after four years if you complete your studies full-time.

In the US you can study the first two years of a bachelor’s degree and then leave with an associate’s degree or continue for the additional two years to gain your bachelor’s.

There are many types of bachelor’s degree depending on your area of study, most commonly Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS), which cover a vast range of majors.

Bachelor's Degree
Five Tips for Completing Your Bachelor’s Degree


What are bachelor's degree programmes?

A bachelors degree is an undergraduate university degree. Studying for a degree allows you to explore your chosen subject in depth – much more so than in diploma, certificate or short course.

We offer a wide range of undergraduate degree courses across different subject areas in various faculties. They include Business Management, Classical Studies, Engineering, English Literature, History, Law, Mathematics, Psychology, Sport and Youth Work, to name but a few.

While all our degrees are honours degrees, we offer two different types of degree:

  • A degree in a ‘named’ subject: for this type of degree - for example in business management or humanities - you’ll study mainly in your chosen subject, although you can usually include some modules from other subjects too.
  • An Open degree: This popular degree allows you to tailor a qualification to your individual requirements and interests, and offers a wider range of module choice than more specific, named degrees. You can combine modules from similar or different subjects to suit your particular career or personal interests. For further information, see Open Degrees.

While studying for an undergraduate degree you’ll learn about your chosen subject(s) in depth, and develop a variety of skills, including verbal and written analytical and reasoning abilities. A degree-level qualification will be a lifelong asset to you, not least in the workplace.

A bachelor’s degree is your ticket to better job opportunities and higher pay over your career. Today, 90 percent of jobs with the fastest rates of growth—such as those in science, technology, engineering, and math—require some form of post-high school education, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. By 2020, 65 percent of all jobs will require training beyond high school.

With a bachelor’s degree, you’re far less likely to be unemployed than people with only a high school diploma. And you’re more likely to have a job that provides health and retirement benefits, giving you a better quality of life.

So it’s no surprise that more people than ever are returning to complete their degrees. And their lives, like yours, look a whole lot different from those of traditional 18- to 21-year-old college students who have parents paying the bills. Today, 75 percent of college students in the United States are working-age Americans between 25 and 64 years old, single parents, military veterans, and others.

Five Tips for Completing Your Bachelor’s Degree

You recognize the importance to your future of getting a bachelor’s degree, and now you’re ready to take the next steps. Whether you’ve been out of school two years or 20, you’re wondering how to make a degree-completion program work. We’ve talked with students who’ve successfully completed their bachelor’s degree at Lesley, and they came back with these five tips for ensuring that you’ll achieve your dream of finishing your bachelor’s degree.

1. Be clear about why you’re getting a degree. 

Whether you’re taking your existing career to the next level or going in a new direction, you want to be able to answer the question: “Will this degree get me where I want to go?”

2. Maximize your credits. 

Look for a school that will help you identify credits for work experience, professional training, or college courses you’ve already completed. (For example, you could receive up to 90 credits toward your bachelor’s degree from Lesley in our campus-based and online programs.) The more credits you identify, the fewer credits you’ll need to earn, which helps reduce costs.

3. Play detective.

Investigate financial aid availability at colleges you are interested in; look into student and private loans, and scholarships. Bachelor’s degree completion programs are often less expensive overall than traditional on-campus undergraduate programs.

4. Pace yourself. 

Take small steps to get back into practice as a student; take one or two classes at the beginning to build your confidence.

5. Build a support network. 

There’s no stigma in asking for help from professors, staff, or your advisor, or in taking advantage of tutoring and mentoring that the college provides. And getting support outside of school from family members or friends can help you stay on track by holding you accountable.



What can slow you down?

Your graduation date will be delayed by a year if you undertake a placement year where you spend an academic year working in industry instead of studying, usually your penultimate year.

Universities often have longstanding relationships with certain employers and will help you secure these placements.

For some students, studying full-time is just not doable. Whether it be commitments due to parenting, work, or other time constraints, not all people can commit to spending the entirety of the three or more years working towards their bachelor’s.

Instead, students can opt for part-time study which typically takes double the time, so six to eight years depending on where you are studying and what intensity you have agreed to undertake your program at.

Some students may need to take some time out for various reasons during the course of their degree, resulting in a delayed graduation time.

Poor academic progress can also slow students down, causing them to have to retake certain modules and potentially miss graduation.