What is a Bachelor's Degree?

A bachelor's degree is the highest level of undergraduate degree and can typically be completed in four years, depending on the institution. Bachelor's degrees cover a particular discipline of your choosing and consist of a mixture of required general education courses, program-specific courses and electives.

Bachelor's degrees are typically categorized as either a Bachelor of Science (BS or BSc) or a Bachelor of Arts (BA). There are additional bachelor's degree classifications, such as a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), but these tend to be more highly specialized to a particular field.

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How is a Bachelor's Degree Different from Other Degrees?

A bachelor's degree differs from other degrees in a few ways. Bachelor’s and associate degrees are both undergraduate degrees that help you gain a deeper understanding of a particular subject. An associate degree, however, usually only requires two years of study and is more foundational. A bachelor's degree is the highest degree you can earn at the undergraduate level.

A bachelor's degree is also different from a master's degree or doctorate, as those are both graduate degrees. In order to earn a master's degree, you must already have a bachelor's degree.

Benefits of a Bachelor's Degree

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with a bachelor's degree may earn higher wages than those with only a high-school diploma or equivalent. Earning a bachelor's can also provide students with a sense of personal accomplishment.

There are also a number of jobs that you can only get with a bachelor's degree. Certain professions do not accept candidates who have not attended college, and a bachelor's degree may help you meet the minimum application requirements for certain jobs.

Bachelor's Degree FAQs


Is a bachelor's degree worth it?

We think so! The time and money spent earning your degree can be a wise investment in your future. Having a bachelor's degree on your resume might allow you to consider a wider range of job opportunities, since certain opportunities require at least this level of education.


Is it hard to get a bachelor's degree?

Different people might have different opinions on whether earning a bachelor's degree is challenging or not. The experience of earning a bachelor's degree depends on a variety of factors, but students who study regularly and put themselves in a position to succeed often find that earning a bachelor's degree to be very manageable.

Beyond your study habits, picking a major that genuinely interests you can help make a bachelor's degree program more enjoyable.


Are bachelor's degrees expensive?

The cost of a bachelor's degree can vary based on the program and school you choose. Ask if you may qualify for financial aid or scholarships that can help you manage your tuition costs. You may also be able to reduce the number of courses needed by applying any qualifying transfer credits you’ve earned at previous institutions. For more information on the cost of a bachelor's degree at DeVry, visit our Tuition Assistance and Financial Aid page.


Can you earn a bachelor's degree online?

You can absolutely earn a bachelor's degree online. At DeVry, we've offered online education options for more than 20 years and provide students with all the resources they need to complete their bachelor's degree programs. If you want to know more about what a bachelor's degree is and get a better sense of the benefits they provide, take some time to explore our online bachelor's degree programs to see which one might be right for you!