Different types of college degrees

By: Salman Said

College degrees, or undergraduate/graduate degrees, come in many different forms. You can obtain many different degrees from different institutions locally, and out of state. Each degree provides a special value and depending on what field you choose, a degree may be very important. 

When people hear the words “college degree” they think of an undergraduate degree, specifically a Bachelor’s Degree. A Bachelor’s Degree is a 4-year undergraduate degree that introduces you to your major and career. This is usually the entry-point degree for most fields, and many jobs require one.

A Bachelor’s Degree requires, roughly, 120 credits and consists of 40 classes. Most of these classes are general classes or liberal arts classes. These classes are prerequisites for the degree and designed to cultivate an “all-around” student. There are many different types of Bachelor’s Degrees, some of the most popular are: Bachelor of Art (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS), and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). These degrees are broad and include a wide variety of jobs and fields. 

Master’s Degrees are a little different. These degrees are much harder to obtain than a Bachelor’s and you generally need a Bachelor’s degree in order to obtain a Master’s. Master’s Degrees are more field-specific and have unique requirements in obtaining a Master’s. Master’s programs blend fieldwork, project, research, etc. Many go back to school for their Master’s in order to make more money, get better jobs, or are required to have one in their specific field. Master’s programs typically last 2 years but can be completed in 12 months. Popular Master’s Degrees are: Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Education (M.Ed.), Master of Fine Arts (MFA), Master of Law (LL.M.), Master of Public Administration (MPA), and Master of Science (MS). 

Doctoral Degrees are the highest level of formal education available, and require the most extensive coursework, comprehensive exams, and in-depth research requirements. This degree is the postliminary to the Master’s and generally takes 2 to 10 years to complete. Some take longer than others due to the nature of the research and completion of the dissertation. Many institutions require a Ph.D. to teach at higher education institutions and Ph.D.’s generally make the most money out of all the degrees. Popular Doctorate Degrees are: Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), Doctor of Medicine (MD), and Juris Doctor (JD) (doctor of law). 

There are many more degrees like an Associates Degree, Professional Degree, etc. These degrees vary prerequisites and time and each degree has specific values. Depending on the field you’re pursuing, learning and getting familiar with each degree and field requirement is important.

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