University studies and degrees take at least 2 years to complete, but can usually be much lengthier, sometimes spanning over ten or more years. The length of your degree depends on a number of things: which country you’re studying in, which degree you’re going after and how fast you want to complete your studies. Study credits per a given program can vary depending on the country as well.
Find out more about different university degrees below:
An Associates Degree requires a minimum of 2 years of full-time studies. This degree usually prepares a student for entry-level jobs in different technical fields like Business and Commerce, Data processing, Health services, Mechanical/engineering, Natural sciences and Public services.
An Associates degree covers the general educational requirements of its given field and can be transferable to a 4 year college program (Bachelor’s degree). Community colleges, junior colleges, technical colleges and Bachelor’s degree–granting colleges can all provide a student with an associate degree.
Some examples of Associate Degrees:
- Associate of Arts (A.A.)
- Associate of Science (A.S.)
- Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
A Bachelor’s Degree usually takes about 4 years to complete. Some Bachelor’s degree programs, for example, in England and in Ireland are only 3 years in length. However, since these 3 year programs do not include as many general requirements (which are already completed during the A-levels in high school/upper secondary school/sixth form in these countries) you should look into what special requirements you need to take part in these programs.
Bachelor’s students have to pick a major at some point in their studies. The major, such as Psychology, History, Biology or Law will enable them to apply to Graduate Schools in the future, which in some cases, is necessary in order to be able to act in certain professions such as Law and Medicine.
Students with Bachelor’s degrees can be employed in both entry-level and management positions depending on the field of the job.
Some examples of Bachelor’s Degrees:
- Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
- Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
- Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
It is important to know in advance that entering any graduate level program in the world requires a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from the applicant.
A Master’s Degree takes at least one, but no more than two years of full-time studies beyond the Bachelor’s degree level in order to complete. Students applying to Master’s programs need, in addition to a relevant Bachelor’s degree, to be able to demonstrate research interests in specific subfields of their major, and are usually required to have a beyond average Grade Point Average (GPA) from their Bachelor’s degree program.
Students with Master’s degrees are usually working in job fields which require more expertise, as well as in more advanced management positions. Executive-level positions are also available to masters degree graduates.
Some examples of Master’s degrees:
- Master of Arts (M.A.)
- Master of Science (M.S.)
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
- Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Note: A Master of Arts degree in Scotland, awarded by the elite colleges in Scotland, is not a Master’s degree but a four-year Honours degree in the in the field of Arts, Humanities or Social sciences and is the equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree.
A Doctorate Degree is the highest possible degree students can graduate from. Completing this degree takes several years and usually requires the student to publish their research results and academic journals expressing unique content to the field of their studies.
Even though many people with doctorate degrees remain in academia for the rest of their careers, for example as teachers at universities, many other working professionals also complete the degree. The degree legitimises the graduate as an expert in a given field and can, for example, lead the graduate to consulting and advisor jobs.
Some examples of Doctorate degrees:
- Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
- Juris Doctor (J.D.)
- Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)
- Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)
Our tip to you from Study Advisory is to try to know in advance which level you would like to graduate from your field of studies. We, of course, encourage you to go as far as you can go in your studies, and suggest that once you know at exactly which level you would like to graduate in your field, that you follow your studies on the way up accordingly.
Of course, even if you are not sure right away that you would like to be a Masters or even a Doctorate graduate in your field of studies, make sure to keep your grades up so that you have the option to continue if that is what you wish!