Before you join any university in America, it’s important to know how many credits you’ll need to graduate. This is because the number of credits needed to graduate college depends on the degree you are planning to earn.
Each degree takes a specific number of years to complete, has a specific credit requirement, and presents a variety of opportunities for career development.
There are many things to consider before you decide on which degree to pursue. Among these include the time it takes to complete the degree, the cost, and your qualification.
Once you get admitted into a program, there are also specific course requirements that you must meet. One such requirement is the number of credits. Are you still asking how many credits do you need to graduate college? Let’s have a look at how many credits various degree qualifications require.
The Number of Credits Needed for an Associate’s Degree
An associate’s degree will provide you with the basic academic and technical knowledge you need for further studies or to seek employment. It is an undergraduate academic program that’s offered in the US and some parts of the Netherlands, Australia, Hong Kong, and Canada. In other countries, like in the U.K., it is referred to as a foundation degree.
In the U.S., associate’s degree is available in many types of colleges, such as university institutes, affiliated university colleges, technical colleges, junior colleges, and community colleges.
Typically, an associate’s degree is required for entry-level career positions. It can also be a stepping stone if you want to pursue a bachelor’s degree.
The degree is around 20 courses or 60 credits and can be completed in two years.
Many of the courses offered under this program focus on general education. After earning an associate’s degree, you can proceed to courses that teach specific knowledge.
For example, if you take an associate’s degree in Liberal Arts, you’ll have a broad academic base that can lead you to a bachelor’s degree in a particular Arts course.
On the other hand, if you have an associate’s degree in Accounting, you can either start working immediately in an accounting position or proceed to a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Whether you choose a general associate’s degree or a more specific one, the number of credits remains 60 for you to graduate.
The Number of Credits Needed for a Bachelor’s Degree
There are many routes to get started on your journey to earning a bachelor’s degree. If you manage to get the right grade from high school, you can start your bachelor’s degree program immediately. Otherwise, you can start with a diploma or an associate’s degree before you start on your bachelor’s degree program.
Many competitive fields like medicine or IT require a bachelor’s degree for you to break into these fields.
A bachelor’s degree will require you to take about 40 courses, which translates to 120 credits – twice the number of credits required for an associate’s degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 174 careers need a bachelor’s degree.
Generally, this degree should take you four years to complete. However, you can take a shorter duration or longer duration depending on your previous qualifications.
The time you take to complete this course may also depend on whether you are a full-time or a part-time student. For example, if you are already working, and you need to study for a bachelor’s degree, you may not be a full-time student. This means it will take you longer to earn your credits to graduate with a degree.
Can You Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Three years?
Some universities in America offer 3-year bachelor’s degree programs. If you prefer to take only three years at the university, you can enroll in these programs and save on time and tuition fees.
For example, Southern New Hampshire University offers some 3-year degree programs in which students use a combination of community events, team projects, workshops, and traditional classes to enable them to complete faster. Some of their 3-year degree programs include:
- Information Systems
- Sports Management
- Business Administration
Whether you go for a 4-year program or a 3-year program, the number of credits remain the same. Meaning you’ll need to work extra hard to earn a bachelor’s degree in three years. This degree is necessary if you want to pursue postgraduate studies.
The Number of Credits Needed for a Master’s Degree
If you want to move to higher rungs in your career, you’ll need to proceed to a master’s degree after completing your bachelor’s degree. This will help you to get a salary raise or a promotion. In some companies, employees get supported to take a master’s degree to improve their productivity.
A master’s degree can take one to two years to complete, especially if you are studying full-time. If not, it can take you more than two years. Just like the duration of completion varies, the number of credits required also varies from 30 to 60.
The number of credits required at this level also depends on the course you are taking. For example, technical curses like those dealing with mental health will require 60 credits, while others like psychology may require only 36 credits.
Are you wondering how many credits do you need to graduate college with a doctorate? Well, for a doctorate, you may need between 90 to 120 credits. This will require you to take between 30 to 40 courses. The duration also varies from course to course.
Earn Credits For a Bright Future
When you want to progress in your career, you’ll need to go for higher degrees. The more degrees you get, the more credits you have. Higher degrees mean you’ll earn more, and will be more efficient in your workplace. Today, there are many degrees offered online, and you can study them even when you are working.
The number depends on what you are majoring in and the school you are in. However, on average it is 64 credits which translate to 120 credits in four years.
Yes, you require 120 credits in order to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. Research has, however, shown that most students graduate with an average of 135 credits.
Yes. This can be hard but it can be achieved through proper planning which can mean taking extra classes.
Getting an F does not mean that you will not finish college. However, this is going to show in your records. Some schools have a program where you can retake the classes if you get an F.