Bachelor degree Definition and 76 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.

View More On
  1. yezia

    Perspectives with an almost-completed BSc. Physics

    Hello everyone! As I was saying in my presentation post, I dropped out of my physics degree very close to graduation - a year ago. I will firstly explain the whole context of my studies/abandon and then provide some of the perspectives I thought about. As an international student in Canada...
  2. 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...
  3. 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...
  4. 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...
  5. 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...
  6. 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)
  7. 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...
  8. 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...
  9. 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...
  10. 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...
  11. 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...
  12. 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...
  13. 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...
  14. 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 :)
  15. 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...
  16. 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...
  17. 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...
  18. 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...
  19. 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...
  20. 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...
  21. 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...
  22. 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...
  23. 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...
  24. 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
  25. 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...
  26. 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 consider a 3 year BSc in physics...
  27. 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...
  28. 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...
  29. 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...
  30. 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...
  31. 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.
  32. M

    Programs What should I obtain my Bachelor's degree in?

    I am currently a freshman at Penn State University. I have always been greatly interested in astronomy, space, and the universe. Especially cosmology and the "larger pictures" of our existence. I have decided that this is what I want to do with my the universe, help discover new...
  33. H

    Programs Second Bachelors Degree in Aerospace engineering at age 27?

    Hi guys, I hope I can explain my situation well enough and get some good feedback on what to do. I graduated with a Bachelors in Economics, at the age of 24, started college late due to some financial hardship. I've been working for two years now, and I'm at a crossroads on what to do next...
  34. M

    Programs Questions about Pursuing Second Bachelor's Degree

    Hello, I am a BS degree holder in Applied Mathematics (w/ a focus in Computer Science) and am becoming a bored and intellectually curious Systems Software Engineer. I am financially forecasting and otherwise preparing to earn a Second BS in Physics. Although I haven't taken junior or...
  35. R

    Programs Bachelors degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering?

    I want to be an aerospace engineer, but the university i want to go to doesn't offer it as a major (or master for that matter). So i was wondering if it would be best to first get a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering then get a master's degree in aerospace engineering (in another...
  36. A

    Engineering Thinking about second Bachelors degree in Computer Engineering

    Hello, I would like some advice on getting a second Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering. I currently have a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering. I should've gone for a C.E. degree since it was only 16 more credits but I didn't think it would matter much, so I didn't. Now I'm...
  37. E

    Programs Jobs for a bachelors degree in physics?

    I plan on getting a bachelors in physics at my university. My question is what kind of jobs will I be able to get? I want to know any possible jobs, including ones that aren't related in physics. Also, say if I were to also double major or minor in economics or applied math. What sorts of...
  38. jtbell

    Here's something neat you can do with a bachelor's degree in physics

    You can become president of Princeton University! (OK, this guy also went to law school, clerked at the US Supreme Court, taught at NYU law school, etc...)
  39. T

    Programs Getting bachelors degree late

    Hey I am currently 22 years old at a community college. Through age 18-20 I did not know what I wanted to study. I was lost for so long but I always knew that I wanted to study something related to math and some science. I eventually found an interest in electrical engineering. I realized that I...
  40. V

    Physics Is physics bachelors degree required to carry out masters in quantum physics?

    Hi I'm currently pursuing electronics and communication degree in India. I'm confused whether to get another bachelors degree in physics or i can directly do my masters. Most of my friends suggested to directly carry masters in any US colleges so that professors would be knowing what i lack and...
  41. U

    Programs How could I get Bachelor degree in physics?

    Hi, I'm a computer science student (2nd year). and I LOVE physics and hope to get a bachelor degree in it. because It's very hard to be a physics and computer science student at the same time, I decided to study physics when I'm not busy in studying computer science. So, is there any institute...
  42. S

    Programs Physics vs Technical Physics (Bachelor's degree)

    Simply put - which one would you choose and why? I have a physics spot in the University of Tartu, i'll probably acquire a spot for technical physics in the near future in the Tallinn's University of Technology. The way i see it, technical physics is all about application, but I'm worried...
  43. D

    Programs Earning a second bachelors degree after already having a bachelors degree

    If someone were to already have a bachelors degree, and then wanted to pursue a second bachelors degree, how much credit of the first bachelors degree would count towards a second? The reason I ask is because a bachelors degree includes a lot of general eds and common prerequisites that...
  44. H

    Programs Graduate degrees in engineering for non-engineering bachelors

    In another thread I found someone mention this program at Boston U ( for students with bachelors in non-engineering fields, like liberal arts + humanities, that can do the makeup coursework and then attain a masters in engineering. I'm...
  45. G

    Programs Math/Physics Bachelors Degree?

    Okay, so right now I'm scheduled to go to University for Aerospace Engineering but I'm having second thoughts. I got into it b/c I love math and physics and I thought that since I also love everything space related this would be the perfect program for me. Now I'm thinking that I should go...
  46. R

    Programs Doing a Bachelors Degree in Maths from India

    I'm a final year student at a school in India. I'll be taking up Mathematics as my Undergraduate subject(I'm interested in Pure Mathematics, especially number theory and geometry mainly thanks to Hardy's "An Introduction to the theory of numbers" and Courant's "What is Mathematics?")...
  47. C

    Programs Second Bachelor's Degree-Help

    This spring I'll be graduating with a BA in English and German. I'll potentially be traveling to Germany next year to teach on a Fulbright grant, and I might possibly do the Teach for America program for two years. However, either immediately after I graduate, or after one of those programs...
  48. M

    Finishing my bachelor's degree; thinking of a job

    Hello everyone. I would assume such a thread would be very common in this section but I believe my circumstances are specific so I will make a new one. I'm a student in Slovenia, Central Europe. I'm finishing a bachelor's degree in physics. My particular area of study were astronomy and...
  49. P

    Programs Masters degree in Comp. Sci with a physics bachelor's?

    Hey Guys! After suffering something of a quarter life crisis in my senior year in undergrad physics, I decided not to apply for my Ph.d. Instead, I decided I'd like to work professionally as a software engineer. Problem is, I have little formal education in computer science (I took a class in...
  50. L

    Engineering Is it possible to enrol a master's degree in engineering after bachelor's in math?

    Hi So I am currently in Grade 12 and I will be starting to apply for unversities soon. I am planning to apply for BSc in math but I just wanted to open graduate school option in engineering (especially in mechanical engineering). Is it possible to go master's program in mechanical engineering...