What are college degree requirements?

When choosing a degree and deciding what you want to do with your life, it’s essential to know what the requirements are to earn it!

Each type of college degree has different credit requirements for graduation. These programs vary in length of time, and the credit requirements you have to satisfy each semester.

Here is a breakdown of the different degree programs and the credit requirements for graduation.

An Associate’s Degree

  • It generally takes 2 years (or 60 credits) to graduate.
  • Many of the credits/courses you complete can be put towards the completion of a bachelor’s degree.
  • Course requirements are generally a mix of general education classes such as; English, Mathematics, Humanities, and some program-specific courses.

A Bachelor’s Degree

  • It generally takes 4-5 years (or 120 credits) to graduate.
  • In addition to the classes you took for your Associate’ Degree, you will need an additional 60 credits of advanced level classes in program-specific courses and higher-level electives.
  • The average amount of program-specific credits needed to complete a Bachelor’s Degree is roughly 30, but this can vary based on the program and school.

A Master’s Degree

  • Full-time students can complete a Master’s Program in 1.5 – 2.5 years, whereas part-time students can take upwards of 5 years to complete.
  • The average range of credits needed to complete a Master’s Degree is 36-54 credits, but some programs require as many as 60-90 depending on the school and area of study.
  • You can find a Master’s Degree Program for almost any major out there, and many employers seek out candidates with these advanced degrees. This means there is a return on the time and money investment one makes in completing this program.

Ph.D. / Doctoral Program

  • Many doctoral programs require the completion of a bachelor’s and a master’s degree to apply.
  • A Ph. D typically takes 3-8 years to complete depending on the area of your study.
  • A dissertation is also a graduation requirement where you provide original evidence-based research on a particular subject matter your professor/school approves. The results of your dissertation determine whether or not you graduate.

Now you have a breakdown of the 4 major types of degrees. You’ll likely need to work with an academic advisor to build a plan specific to you. While this list above is general and applies to most programs, there are differences between schools and study areas.

Keep in mind, the more advanced degrees you possess, the more competitive and qualified you are in the job market. However, it’s important to focus on completing your education quickly so you can use federal financial aid.