bachelor degree Definition and Topics - 75 Discussions

A bachelor's degree (from Middle Latin baccalaureus) or baccalaureate (from Modern Latin baccalaureatus) is an undergraduate academic degree awarded by colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study lasting three to six years (depending on institution and academic discipline). The two most common bachelor's degrees are the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and the Bachelor of Science (BS or BSc). In some institutions and educational systems, some bachelor's degrees can only be taken as graduate or postgraduate educations after a first degree has been completed, although more commonly the successful completion of a bachelor's degree is a prerequisite for further courses such as a master's or a doctorate.
In countries with qualifications frameworks, bachelor's degrees are normally one of the major levels in the framework (sometimes two levels where non-honours and honours bachelor's degrees are considered separately), although some qualifications titled bachelor's degrees may be at other levels (e.g., MBBS) and some qualifications with non-bachelor's titles may be classified as bachelor's degrees (e.g. the Scottish MA and Canadian MD).
The term bachelor in the 12th century referred to a knight bachelor, who was too young or poor to gather vassals under his own banner. By the end of the 13th century, it was also used by junior members of guilds or universities. By folk etymology or wordplay, the word baccalaureus came to be associated with bacca lauri ("laurel berry") in reference to laurels being awarded for academic success or honours.Under the British system, and those influenced by it, undergraduate academic degrees are differentiated between honours degrees (sometimes denoted by the addition of "(Hons)" after the degree abbreviation) and non-honours degrees (known variously as pass degrees, ordinary degrees or general degrees). An honours degree generally requires a higher academic standard than a pass degree, and in some systems an additional year of study beyond the non-honours bachelor's. Some countries, such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, have a postgraduate "bachelor with honours" degree. This may be taken as a consecutive academic degree, continuing on from the completion of a bachelor's degree program in the same field, or as part of an integrated honours program. Programs like these typically require completion of a full-year long research thesis project.

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  1. Ahmed Abdalla

    Job Skills I finally got my bachelor's degree in physics, now what?

    It's been 3 months so I'm sure this is still very early to "give up" on the job search, but I was wondering how other people did after their BS/BA in physics from college! The job search is for sure hard and I realized a little too late that I lacked some experience in CS. I wasn't planning on...
  2. Alexstrasza

    Programs Scared of starting Physics degree, advice?

    Hi guys... I am starting university in about two weeks. Last year my physics teacher was very good, and he caused me to be interested in physics. I started reading Feynman and he also made it sound really interesting. My parents are programmers so it was assumed I will study that. But I felt no...
  3. C

    Admissions PhD in UK and USA: is it useful to have a European MSc?

    I'm a Physics student currently ending the bachelor degree. Since I study in Europe (Italy) there are quite big differences in the degrees system between Europe, UK and USA. Start from the assumption that I would like in the future to do a PhD in the UK or in USA. My main question is: do a MSc...
  4. C

    Courses Course suggestion for student interested in Condensed Matter

    I'm a bachelor student in Physics and I would like to continue with a MSc in the field of Condensed Matter Physics. I have to choose between some courses at my university and, since I'm not already an expert in Condensed Matter I would like to have a suggestion. If you were in my situation and...
  5. T

    Civil Engineering BS and Physics Master

    Hi all. I am studying civil engineering BS.But I am so interested in astrophysics.Can i have physics graduate and PhD. If I can do this, what should i do to make my dreams come true. Please be a light for my path. ( Sorry about my English)
  6. Ian Baughman

    Physics vs. Engineering

    So I know that this kind of discussion comes up somewhat regularly but I'm hoping to gain a better insight before I have to make a decision. I currently am finishing up my pre-reqs at a community college and am getting ready to submit my application for the university. For the longest time I...
  7. pitbull

    Bachelor's thesis about Gravitational Waves -- Too advanced?

    Hey! I am about to start my Bachelor's thesis about General Relativity. My professor mentioned that my thesis might as well be related to Gravitational Waves. Do you think that it would be appropriate to work on Gravitational Waves for a Bachelor's thesis? Isn't it too advanced? Also, any idea...
  8. Mr Davis 97

    Programs Difference between BA and BS

    I know that this question has been answered before, but what is the difference between a BA and a BS in physics? Specifically in reference to UC Berkeley. Berkeley only has a BA in physics, but it is not like this is a second rate degree, considering that Berkeley is known for its physics...
  9. Samboy

    Elective units to study?

    Hey everyone, I'm new here but have been following a lot of the threads recently. I just wanted your opinions on what elective units I should study whilst doing a undergraduate degree in Physics. I've been told Computer Science units will be handy as well as more Maths but is there anything...
  10. Meron

    Engineering physics

    I am, currently, a senior in high school. I am interested in science and particularly in physics. So, I, naturally, want to major in physics when I go to University. But I'm not sure if I want to be a physicist when i grow up and I have also heard about how getting into academia is very hard and...
  11. A

    Programs Is a math degree worth it?

    I am an economics major with a minor in mathematics. I have three semesters left in college, but if I took an additional semester I could complete a double major in econ and math. If completed, I would be interested in pursuing a master's in applied mathematics. My hope is that this will be...
  12. F

    Can I switch from Comp Sci to Aerospace?

    Hello. Currently i am interested on aerospace and nuclear engineering in the usa. However i was just curious about something. Is it possible for a person who has completed BS in computer science and electronics engineering from another country to switch to Aerospace or nuclear engineering for MS...
  13. Domenico94

    Diode exercises

    HI everyone. I'm an engineering strudent, looking for online material with exercises on diodes...anyone can send me a link here with explanations of the various exercises? Thank you very much :)
  14. A

    B.S. in physics, Masters in Aerospace Engineering?

    Hi, I'm a high school senior and I want to study Aerospace Engineering but my local university doesn't have it and going to another university is not an option, so what should my B.S. be? Physics? or an engineering that is somehow related to aerospace? Plus, does Masters in Aerospace Engineering...
  15. juliact15

    Which courses should I take for a concentration in Astronomy?

    I am an undergraduate Physics major in my third year, and I'd like to concentrate in Astronomy or Astrophysics when I obtain my Masters and PhD. What kinds of physics classes should I take in preparation for this? I've already taken all explicitly-astronomy courses at my school. I was thinking...
  16. D

    Thinking about a second bachelor's or master's, which route should I take?

    Hi all, I'm new around here but I've checked out the site several times, thought it might be a good place to get some feedback. I graduated from the University of Georgia with a BS Chem in 2013, and have spent the last year working in sales. I'm now situated in Lubbock, TX (where Texas Tech is...
  17. T

    Programs Any good online physics degrees? Bachelors or Masters

    I am currently a law student and intend to eventually practice ‘patent’ law, however law students are not permitted to sit for the patent law bar exam unless they have an academic background in one of the core sciences. There are specific degrees (or classes) which fulfill this prerequisite. A...
  18. I

    Schools Bachelor's Degree and Grad School Question.

    Hello, I have currently switched my major from physics over to software engineering. From what I can find out, I will need to pursue the computer science degree at the University of Arizona. When I was initially going to college, I had actually began with a different degree. After a semester...
  19. X

    Engineering Help with choosing path after bachelor's degree in engineering

    I have been wondering a great deal about what to do education wise after I finish up my degree at the end of next year. I took our required seminar last semester, and I learned a lot about the options after completing a BS. But have heard / seen consistent splits about the benefits of pursuing a...
  20. fluidistic

    Programs How many years lasts a Bachelor of Sciences degree in the US

    After having read a big part of "Who wants to be a Physicist" I was quite surprised that it is possible to apply for a Ph.D. with "only" a Bs.Sc. It is the same here in Argentina so now I'm guessing that Argentina took US example. I'm currently finishing the first year of University and...
  21. fluidistic

    Programs Bachelor's degree background/Argentina

    Hi all, I've moved to Argentina (I was living in France then) about 2 years ago and started university in the beginning of 2007. I'm applying for a Bachelor's degree in physics and it lasts 5 years, that is 2 years more than in most countries. I can say that I had a lot of difficulties...
  22. B

    Programs What can you do with a bachelor's degree in physics?

    here's my dilemma: I really want to pursue a physics undergrad, but I absolutely do not want a career in academia -- maybe later in life, but not for another forty years... so... what graduate degrees can you pursue? do graduate mechanical engineering programs accept physics undergrads...
  23. S

    Programs Honours Degree vs. Bachelor of Science

    what on earth is honours degree. Like bachelor of science vs. bachelor of science honours. Thankyou b/c nobody is telling me the difference although it sounds like a big deal
  24. E

    Programs Third bachelors degree so I can get a job! :o

    Okay, thus far I have two bachelors, one in philosophy and one in religious studies from a prestigious liberal arts college. As you can imagine, I don't have a job - I wonder why? : ) Anyway, now that bills are coming in and credit card inquires are being declined, I need to get serious and...
  25. M

    Programs Starting my bachelor's degree in physics

    I'm starting my bachelor's degree in physics and i was wondering wether or not it is worth doing an honors program? (by the way i'm attending U of Toronto) I would like to get my Master's and my eventual Phd later at a top US University but would they even concider a 3 year BSc in physics...
  26. K

    Programs Deciding on a bachelors degree

    After taking some courses in math and physics through my work I have become very interested in getting a degree in physics. Problem is I can’t commit to traditional classes at a university because of my work schedule. I am looking at distance learning as a possibility and need to know which one...
  27. C

    Programs After You Complete a Bachelor's Degree

    I have a question regarding what to do after you complete your undergraduate study period of 3 or 4 years. Once you graduate, what is best for students interested in economics or management degrees? Is it best to work for a few years and then apply for a Master's degree, or go on directly to...
  28. ZapperZ

    Programs Can I get a Ph.D. in physics if my bachelor's degree isn't in physics

    OK, I've seen this question, or various incarnation of it, being asked several times on here. People with various background and trainings, ranging from engineering to computer science to business (luckily, no philosophy) want to know if they can use their degree to go on to physics graduate...
  29. B

    Programs Question about Bachelor's Degree

    Hello all, Over the past few years, I have developed a love affair with physics. I want to pursue further education in the field, but my problem is that I (regretfully) majored in computer science as an undergraduate. Though I have studied a lot of math and physics on my own, the most that...
  30. S

    Programs Do internships exist for people with Bachelor's degrees?

    I'm trying to improve my standing for grad school. I graduated with a terrible gpa (2.6) and I'm hoping that maybe work experience combined with good GRE scores and letters of recommendation could make up for it. And if that doesn't work at least I'd have something to put on my resume.