Bachelor's Degree (Education) Law and Legal Definition

Bachelor’s degree is an academic degree conferred by a college or university upon students who complete the undergraduate curriculum. A bachelor's degree is the first degree a student can receive in his/her academic career, with the exception of the associate’s degree.

Many universities and colleges in the U.S., award bachelor's degrees with Latin honors. Generally, cum laude ‘with honor/praise,’ magna cum laude ‘with great honor/praise,’ summa cum laude ‘with highest honor/praise,’ and maxima cum laude with ‘maximal honor/praise’ are the degrees allotted to a student. Requirements for such notations of honors include minimum grade point averages (GPA), with the highest average required for the maxima distinction.

Bachelor's degrees are typically designed to be completed in four years of full-time study. However, engineering or architecture usually takes five years. In some universities and colleges, ambitious students who with the help of summer school and high school Advanced Placement courses complete bachelor’s degree in three years.