What is Bachelor's degree: Definition and 49 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. Y

    Wanting to get an Online Bachelor's Degree in Physics

    Can I get an online bachelor in physics because I live in a country with law education rank in natural sciences
  2. F

    Courses Mathematics Bachelor's Degree: Choices ahead

    I am studying mathematics as bachelor in my second year. At the moment I am taking abstract algebra, analysis (measure and integration theory) and probability course. I don't know exactly what I want to do with maths but the applications in physics always have fascinated me. The next term I have...
  3. S

    Programs Can I go from a Physics Bachelor's degree to a Comp Sci Master's?

    Hi, I recently graduated with a Physics and (pure) Math double major but I'm having a bit of a crisis on where to go with my life. I'd like to pursue a Physics PhD, but I'm trying to think of a plan B in case that doesn't work out. I have a general interest in math and programming, so I was...
  4. H

    Other General Masters Advice after Bachelor's Degree in Physics

    I am in the second year of my Physics B.Sc and will soon have to make the decision how to continue from there. My grades are generally good, and I certainly want to continue my education, specifically a Masters. My goal is to be employed in industry, where I would strongly prefer actually...
  5. E

    Other Quantum Physics Career With Bachelor's Degree?

    Hello! I wanted to work first before I go to grad school for Ph.D in physics (especially in quantum). I wanted to work in a field close to quantum physics, but I was wondering if there were such jobs for those with bachelor's degree in physics?
  6. A

    Physics My goal of a Physics R&D Career with only a Bachelor's degree

    I graduated in 2016 with my Physics BS and Electronics Engineering BS. Ever since I started the physics major I knew I wanted to go into a research and development job like at a lab. Not really interested in being a teacher except maybe college since professors have opportunities for doing their...
  7. A

    Programs Second Bachelor's Degree in Physics

    I have a bachelor of civil engineering already. I have thought for 1 year and I decided to enroll for the second bachelor's degree in Physics. I have a lot of interest in Astrophysics but there are no Astronomy related programs in my city in my country (I am somewhere in Southeast Asia). My...
  8. 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...
  9. sebomba

    Other Influence of bachelor's thesis on further studies

    How does the topic of your bachelor's thesis influence your further progress in your master studies and chances to join a research group for a master's thesis? I basically try to achieve a career in experimental particle physics and I'd like to do a bachelor's thesis in said field, that is...
  10. A

    Other How did you find your reasearch area in theoretical physics?

    Hi guys, I find it hard to decide what to work on. To give some background, I am a bachelor student and I want to work in theoretical research. I talked with a professor (he is the chief of the theory department) at my uni about this and he expects me to find a topic or an area of research for...
  11. Amira bn

    Physics Is a job in physics possible? I have a bachelor's degree in geology

    Hello, I have a bachalor in geology, (3 years in university - USTHB ALGERIA - GEOLOGY -mineral resources) I want to get a job or an online job in physics/astrophysics/astronomy, how is that possible? will getting online certifications help? what are the things that i can do that will help me be...
  12. Dan Card

    Programs Go for a Master's or Bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering?

    Hey guys, right now I am attending University of Michigan pursuing Aerospace Engineering, my question is should I go straight to my master's or just get a bachelor's. My plan is that I could take some of my actual engineering courses next year, get an internship over the following summer then...
  13. S

    Programs Second Bachelor's Degree in Physics in Boston

    It would be greatly appreciated if anyone can provide me with any information on pursuing a second bachelor's degree in Physics in the Boston area. Background: I have a BA in Communications (3.3 GPA) and have been a writer for 10 years. I went back to school last year in the Midwest to pursue...
  14. D

    Engineering Physics bachelors to Engineering masters

    Can one do a physics bachelor's degree and carry on to pursue a master's in engineering? I was wondering if this would be a feasible and practical route.. I understand that I'd probably have to take a couple of extra engineering classes here and there but was thinking it probably wouldn't be...
  15. studentalways101

    Programs 2nd BS Degree Advice_Business to Environmental Engineering

    I have decided I really really really want to go back to school to expand my education into environmental engineering. I currently have a BS in Business Admin from UC Berkeley. I have researched several masters programs, and it is looking like it will be very difficult for me to even get into a...
  16. M

    Programs Astronomy master's degree with a bachelor's degree in law?

    Hello everybody, according to your experience please give me an advice, Can i go to an astrophysics& astronomy master's degree with a bachelor's degree in law ? I've studied Physics and Math 2 ( calculus, mechanices,algebra) in high school. i was getting high marks at them and I am so...
  17. A

    Programs Picking an engineering program with a Physics bachelor's degree

    Up until this past summer, I thought I was going to go to Physics grad school following my undergraduate study. I worked at an REU program at UC Davis this summer, and decided that physics was not the route for me. Now I am trying to decide to which engineering discipline I should apply. I have...
  18. H

    Programs A graduate degree in physics with a bachelor's degree in engineering

    So, next year I will attend college for B.S in aerospace engineering with a minor in Astrophysics. I would very much like to continue and do graduate studies in physics, not engineering, and I was wondering if this was possible? Thank you very much for your time.
  19. Q

    What can I do with my BS in physics?

    I got a BS in physics from MIT (high energy particle physics), and now I'm in a graduate program in physics at a mid-tier school, like top 20-ish. I always assumed I would get a PhD in physics, and eventually become a research professor, but I'm starting to reconsider. So the tldr of this post...
  20. M

    Programs Is a Bachelor's Degree in Physics Available Through Distance Education?

    Hi I'm interested in astrophysics, and I like to do a bachelor's degree in physics through distance education.
  21. C

    Programs Master's without related bachelor's degree?

    I graduated in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in Economics and no clue of what kind of career I wanted. I fell into insurance and don't care much for it. Since graduating, I have become better acquainted with myself and discovered an interest in astrophysics and computer programming. I...
  22. 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 life...study the universe, help discover new...
  23. W

    Average Grade of Bachelor's Degree in Physics: Seeking Answers

    Hi Physics Forum. I have just finished one of my exams, in my undergraduate physics program. I haven't yet received the result, but my gut feeling tells me that it hasn't gone as usual. This makes me wonder, what the mean grade for the bachelor degree in Physics is (ore what a good average...
  24. 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...
  25. jtbell

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

    You can become president of Princeton University! http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S36/65/54C75/index.xml?section=featured (OK, this guy also went to law school, clerked at the US Supreme Court, taught at NYU law school, etc...)
  26. 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...
  27. 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...
  28. I

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

    What kind of jobs can a degree in physics get you? What is the average starting salary for a physics degree?
  29. M

    Engineering Close to finishing my Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and am lost

    Dear friends, I am here to give you a snapshot of my status, and ask for some guidance. I am about to finish my bachelors in EE from University of Toronto. I have a really bad university track record. I failed first year, then went on vacation for another year out of frustration, came back...
  30. S

    Programs Which Online Bachelor's Degree is Best for a Talented Student in a Nursing Home?

    Posting this for my niece: She's confined to a nursing home but very talented in statistics and math. She'd like to get an online bachelor's degree from a good university. Do you have any suggestions for her?
  31. L

    Programs Has anyone ever taken ME+Philosophy double major for Bachelor's degree?

    Philosophy+Mathematics or Physics will definately bring a synergistic effect, however, how about mechanical engineering and philosophy? has anyone taken this combination?
  32. H

    Programs Masters in astronomy or astrophysics with a mechanical bachelor's degree?

    it is possible to do a masters degree in us in astronomy or astrophysics with a mechanical undergrad? Profile mechanical engineer with 60% aggregate and 10 backlogs// gre general test(440+790+3.5)// toefl 85+(exp) right from my childhood i was interested in space sciences and space programs...
  33. M

    Unsure of career-2nd Bachelor's degree

    Hi all, So I graduated from a small liberal arts school in Minnesota with my B.A. in Biology last year (2009). I'm not really sure why, but I decided on Plant Pathology for graduate school, which landed me in a PhD program at NDSU in Fargo, ND. Now, what I really wanted to do was live in...
  34. C

    Programs Earning an Associate's While Pursuing a Bachelor's Degree with Minor

    I received an email this afternoon from my advisor explaining I have the potential to earn an associate’s degree while pursuing my bachelor’s degree. Currently, I’m majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematical Sciences; however, the possibility of earning an associate’s with no...
  35. T

    Programs Basic general ed classes before classes for 4 yr Bachelor's degree?

    I'm in the U.S. and i was wondering if you have to take the general ed classes before the classes that relate to you degree. like the general ed classes could be English 1A, some history classes, etc.. just those. I thought that after you graduate high school you can immediately start working on...
  36. L

    Engineering Can one get a job in engineering with a bachelor's degree (Say B.S. Electrical eng)

    Would you suspect that one might actually get a job in the field of some type of engineering with just a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering? Or would one need a higher degree, such as a master's or a P.H.D. ? What might some possible career options be with a B.S. in Electrical engineering?
  37. J

    Programs Earn Bachelor's Degree in Physics: Best Option?

    Let's say a person is working full-time on a job. Then, if he/she wanted to get a bachelor's degree in physics for example, then what's his/her best choice? To take a university's evening courses, or online courses, or what?
  38. H

    Programs Where could i go after bachelor's degree

    After obtaining bachelor's degree, i would like to continue my studies abroad (and I'm from Poland). I'm really interested in math/physics and highly motivated to get PhD in future - this is my aim. I'm looking for as prestige (and by prestige i mean best conditions for studying and stuff...
  39. G

    Programs How important is to do Optics in a Bachelor's degree physics course?

    The title of this thread speaks for itself, but to contextualize it, I should say that I am currently in the third (final ) year of my physics course and I have to choose some classes. Accordingly to the choices I have decided so far I would not do an Optics class in my course. Is that...
  40. P

    My Journey to a Bachelor's Degree in Astrophysics at Berkeley

    So this story involves me and my bachelors degree in astrophysics at Berkeley. I started studying there in 2004 (when I graduated from high school), and was supposed to graduate in 2008, but I took some time off to do research and I had quite a few problems and bumpy roads along the way in terms...
  41. N

    Programs Online Bachelor's Degree in Physics

    Does anyone know of any colleges or universities that offer an online bachelor's degree in physics?
  42. 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...
  43. 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...
  44. 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...
  45. 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...
  46. 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...
  47. 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...
  48. 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...
  49. 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...