Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Bachelor's degree
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Bachelor's degree

A bachelor's degree is usually an undergraduate academic degree awarded for a course that generally lasts three years in most of the United Kingdom (except Scotland, where four is customary) or four years in North America. Note that some postgraduate degrees are entitled Bachelor of ..., e.g. the University of Oxford Bachelor of Civil Law. In some countries the degree is awarded either as a pass degree or as an honours degree which requires a high academic standard and, in Australia and New Zealand, an extra year of study.

There are two main types of bachelor's degree, the BA or AB (Bachelor of Arts) and the BSc (UK- and Canada-usage) or BS (US-usage) (Bachelor of Science), awarded in subjects that fall into the general categories of arts and science respectively. There are no hard and fast rules about this; for example, the University of Cambridge has no BSc's, making even a physics graduate a Bachelor of Arts.

In India, the bachelor's degree lasts for three or four years. BA, BSc, BCom (commerce) are the popular three year courses. BE (Engineering) and BTech (Technology) last for 4 years.

In the UK, medical students are traditionally awarded a double bachelor's degree after five years of study: MB BS or MBChB. These are the bachelor of medicine and the bachelor of surgery degrees. Unlike other UK undergraduate degrees, these are not divided into honours classifications.

In the last hundred years, the range of bachelor's degrees has expanded beyond the traditional BA and BSc.
Some of these new degrees and their abbreviations include:

A full list of British degree abbreviations is available

See also