Get matched with vetted scholarships and enter our
I’m a high school student I’m a college or graduate student
100% Free. No Spam.
    Start typing in the text field above
    Advertiser disclosure

    Student-centric advice and objective recommendations

    Higher education has never been more confusing or expensive. Our goal is to help you navigate the very big decisions related to higher ed with objective information and expert advice. Each piece of content on the site is original, based on extensive research, and reviewed by multiple editors, including a subject matter expert. This ensures that all of our content is up-to-date, useful, accurate, and thorough.

    Our reviews and recommendations are based on extensive research, testing, and feedback. We may receive commission from links on our website, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted. You can find a complete list of our partners here.

    How Many Credits Do You Need to Earn a Bachelor’s Degree?

    By Savannah Dawson

    Prior to coming to Scholarships360 for her first internship in 2022, Savannah utilized her campus publications by joining various fashion publications that are offered at Ohio University. One of those publications is Thread Magazine, where Savannah has had the opportunity to work on articles related to world-wide related fashion news and events, as well as articles closer to home, such as a fashion piece on Athens hometown-hero Joe Burrow. This year, Savannah also had the opportunity to be a content writing intern for Aiken House, as well as a section editor for Southeast Ohio Magazine. In 2023, Savannah served as the Chapter President of her sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta. These collective experiences, as well as her experience currently working for Ohio University’s Undergraduate Admissions, has led her to Scholarships360 and aided in her passion for helping students better understand the college admissions process and financial aid. In her free time, Savannah enjoys horseback riding, watching Formula One races, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family. Savannah will graduate from Ohio University in May 2024 with a degree in Journalism News and Information and a certificate in Italian Studies.

    Full Bio

    Learn about our editorial policies

    Reviewed by Bill Jack

    Bill Jack has over a decade of experience in college admissions and financial aid. Since 2008, he has worked at Colby College, Wesleyan University, University of Maine at Farmington, and Bates College.

    Full Bio

    Learn about our editorial policies

    Edited by Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

    Full Bio

    Learn about our editorial policies

    Updated: February 27th, 2024
    How Many Credits Do You Need to Earn a Bachelor’s Degree?

    How many credits a student needs for a bachelor’s degree depends on multiple factors. What college or university you choose to attend, as well as what your field of study is, usually determines how many credits are needed for a bachelor’s degree. Let’s look into what you need to know about bachelor’s degrees and credits needed to earn one!

    What is a bachelor’s degree?

    A bachelor’s degree is an undergraduate degree that typically takes four years to complete. Some people are able to complete it in a shorter amount of time, and others take a bit more than four years. 

    Bachelor’s degrees prepare students for the type of knowledge needed for the real world once they graduate and move onto their chosen careers. This is why students must choose a major during their time completing their undergraduate degree. 

    There are also several types of bachelor’s degrees that a student can attain, depending on what career path they choose to take. Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science are two of the most popular bachelor degrees. Usually, a bachelor’s degree requires students to earn 120 college credits. 

    What are college credits?

    College credits are the system used by colleges and universities to track how much time you have spent learning certain subjects– from your general education requirements to your specialty (or your major). 

    Some colleges will say that one credit hour is equal to one hour in class a week, and two hours of homework, which can be true for many people. Some classes meet for longer than an hour a week, so this formula varies. Most college courses meet for a total of 9 hours a week for an entire semester. This is normally three credit hours. 

    Also see: Why should I earn college credit in high school?

    How many credits do you need to complete your bachelor’s degree?

    In general, bachelor’s degree programs require that students complete 120 credits to graduate. Most students will actually take more than 120 credit hours because they may choose to pick up a second major or start a minor or certificate. This evens out to about 40 classes over the course of four years as a fulltime student. This may seem a lot now, but if you are averaging at five classes a semester, this is normal, and it doesn’t feel like much when you are experiencing it hands on. 

    Some colleges and universities may also require students to complete an internship program prior to graduation. These programs usually  count for college credit as well, depending on the school.  

    Final thoughts for students

    Although this may seem like it is very cut and dry, there are so many variations of these rules when it comes to each college. For example, you may already have some college credits coming into college from high school. If you took Advanced Placement (AP) classes or International Baccalaureate (IB), they usually carry over to some sort of college credit. This can be beneficial so that you can give yourself the opportunity to finish your degree early. Remember, there are also state specific programs that allow you to earn college credit in high school. For example, Ohio has the College Credit Plus Program, which offers free college classes for eligible high school students. 

    Additional resources

    At Scholarships360, we understand that the college admissions process can be challenging, so let us take some weight off of your shoulders! We have so many resources right at your fingertips, from our scholarship database to tips on writing your college admissions essays. Good luck!

    Start your scholarship search
    • Vetted scholarships custom-matched to your profile
    • Access exclusive scholarships only available to Scholarships360 members
    Get Started

    Frequently asked questions about how many credits you need for a bachelor’s degree

    What is a bachelor’s degree?

    A bachelor’s degree is the diploma you receive when you complete your undergraduate college studies. The number of credits you need to complete for that degree typically is determined by what kind of degree it is, where you go to school, and if you are completing more than one degree at a time.

    Do I have to stop at 120 credits in my Undergraduate studies?

    Absolutely not–you do not have to stop at 120 credits, and most people do not. It is very common to go over 120 credits. Many students reach the 120 credit point by their third year of college, whether that is because their major is more rigorous than others, or the fact that they were taking more classes per semester. If you don’t reach 120 credit hours early, do not feel like you are behind by any means. Everyone studies and goes through college at their own pace.

    Do college classes I took in high school count toward my 120 credit hours in my undergraduate studies?

    Yes, usually they will. Whether they transfer as the actual class that you took depends on whether or not your college offers the same class.

    If I am a transfer student from another college, will my credit hours count towards my degree at my new school?

    Yes, just like with the pre-college courses, those college credits will transfer over as some sort of credit hour, although they might not carry over as the same class. It is best to discuss with your academic advisor to see if those classes that you already took count towards your requirements.

    3 reasons to join scholarships360

    • Automatic entry to our $10,000 No-Essay Scholarship
    • Personalized matching to thousands of vetted scholarships
    • Quick apply for scholarships exclusive to our platform

    By the way...Scholarships360 is 100% free!

    Join For Free