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Time Requirements for 4-Year Colleges and Universities

Despite the name, you're not required to complete your undergraduate degree in four years. In many cases students will extend their bachelors degree to a five-year program or take online classes or summer school classes to complete their degree in less than four years.

Students at 4-year colleges and universities are eligible to earn a bachelors degree after the completion of 120 to 130 academic credits. Students with an associates degree can usually transfer a portion of these credits toward their bachelors degree.

Is a 4-year college or university for you?

If you're looking for the traditional college experience you see in movies, a 4-year school is the place for you. Here are some of the reasons that students choose 4-year colleges and universities:

  • To receive a well-rounded education.
    At the undergraduate level, colleges and universities require that students take courses in a number of areas to help them figure out what areas of study are best for them, as well as to provide a broad base of academic knowledge.
  • To be eligible your dream job.
    Look at job listings for entry-level positions, and you'll find that many require a bachelors degree. Completing a degree at a 4-year college or university will give you the academic skills you need to be ready for the demands of your job.
  • To make more money.
    Studies have shown that employees who have graduated from 4-year colleges and universities tend to earn more money than students with associates degrees or high school diplomas.
  • To prepare for graduate school.
    If you're planning to continue your education with a masters degree, attending a 4-year college or university will help prepare you academically for that degree. Also, attending a school that also offers graduate programs allows you to learn more about those programs before you enroll.

4-year colleges and universities

American Intercontinental University

American Intercontinental University (AIU) was founded in Europe in 1970 on the premise that universities should transcend the bounds of the traditional, theory-based approach to education by providing students with a curriculum that can help prepare...

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Argosy University

Built on a diverse and rich academic foundation, Argosy University was formed in 2001 with the merging of three separate academic institutions—the American Schools of Professional Psychology, the University of Sarasota, and the Medical Institute of Min...

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Arizona State University

Arizona State University was founded in 1885 and is the largest public university in the United States, featuring over 80,000 students. ASU offers more than 800 programs from undergraduate through post-doctoral degrees. More than 100 of these degrees...

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Ashland University

Ashland University values the individual student and offers an education that combines challenging academic programs with a faculty and staff who care about building nurturing relationships with their students. This approach to educating the whole...

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Baker College

Since 1911, Baker College has been preparing people for successful careers. Today, we are the largest, independent, not-for-profit college in the State of Michigan—and one of the ten largest private colleges in the United States. Yet, each Baker...

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