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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...

Online

American National University

American National University provides opportunities for individuals who are seeking to achieve their career goals by offering credential and degree programs through distance education and blended learning. American National University is dedicated to...

Online

Arizona College

At Arizona College of Nursing you will gain real-world experience in our labs and in the field, learn from caring and qualified faculty members, and receive the support you need every step of the way.

Online

Bellevue University

The University is a recognized national leader in preparing students for lifelong career success while making college affordable. Our Real Mastery® approach helps students not only learn, but master, the knowledge and skills employers expect.

Online

Berkeley College

Since 1931, Berkeley College has specialized in preparing students for professional and personal success. Proven, career-focused programs are offered in a diverse range of areas, and the College is widely recognized for providing students with a comp...

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