One of the most frequently pursued academic degrees in the U.S.; a bachelor's degree is considered the standard for entry into many professional careers. Traditionally, bachelor's degrees could only be earned at four-year brick-and-mortar colleges and universities, however, online colleges and distance learning programs have begun offering a new way for students to earn a bachelor's degree. Sometimes referred to as a baccalaureate degree, completion is typically awarded after approximately 40 online courses, or 120 credit hours have been fulfilled. A good online bachelor's degree program will consist of a number of general education or liberal arts courses in areas such as English & Writing, Math & Science, Sociology, and Humanities, as well as more specialized courses in a specified field of study, known as a major. Common majors include those in areas like:
Just like traditional degree programs, online bachelor's degrees are commonly awarded in one of three categories, depending on the area of study selected. A Bachelor of Arts (BA) is granted to distance learners who complete programs in subjects like English, history, literature, and foreign languages. A Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) is for individuals looking to earn an online degree in visual or performance arts. Students participating in online BFA programs may be required to complete practical studio components, instead of strictly online classes. Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees are offered for students interested in technical, science-related disciplines like engineering, computer science, mathematics, and the natural sciences.
Specialized bachelor's degrees are also available online in areas like a Bachelor of Nursing (BN or BSN), Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), The Bachelor of Science in Education (BSE or BS in Ed), and the Bachelor of Information Technology (BIT).
Like traditional four-year colleges and universities, admission to an online bachelor's degree program is not open to all that apply. The admission process varies depending on what type of applicant you are and some programs are highly competitive. Students considering getting a bachelor's degree online have the option of applying as a freshman, or as a transfer student. Transfer students are those that have completed college level classes at another institution and are looking to apply credits from such coursework to another program to complete their online degree.
Preparing for a bachelor's degree program is important to receiving admission to a competitive program. Prospective students are encouraged to take college preparatory classes in subjects like math & science, English, history, and social studies. Online bachelor's degree programs may require an application fee, an essay on a specified topic, and scores from the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or other college entrance exams. Be sure to check with each college you are applying to for specific requirements. Extracurricular and volunteer activities may enhance your application and give you a competitive edge over applicants with similar academic qualifications.
When deciding whether or not an online bachelor's degree is the right choice for you, there are many things to consider. Individuals should determine how much time they will have to dedicate to completing their coursework. Many students of online courses take classes part-time while continuing to work. This may determine how long it will take to complete your bachelor's degree. Whether you want pursue a degree online or on campus, a Bachelor's degree is an investment in your future. Bachelor's degree holders often enjoy higher earning potential, as well as increased job mobility, compared to those without such a degree. Earning a bachelor's degree online can help you gain valuable skills and knowledge to help you advance your current career or get started on a new rewarding career path.
Select an option from the list below to search available online bachelor's degree programs and request more information for details on admission policies, program and course offerings, financial aid, and more.