Which types of degrees can I pursue at a university?
There are three main types of degrees you can pursue:
- Associate's (~2 years or 60 credits)
- Bachelor’s (~4 years or 120-130 credits)
- Master’s (~2 years and 35-55 credits)
As a freshman, you can enroll in an Associate's degree or a Bachelor’s. For a Master’s degree, though, you are required to have already graduated with a Bachelor’s degree.
The Associate's degree includes around 60 credits and covers General Education classes such as English, Math, or Science.
The Bachelor’s degree includes around 60 credits in General Education, and 60-70 credits divided between core requirements (such as business classes for a Business degree) and electives/specialized credits.
Typically, the order you would obtain these degrees is Associate's, Bachelor's, and then a Master's. Because a Bachelor's degree already includes the same 60 general credits as an Associate's, it is common to go straight into a Bachelor's program. To learn more about the differences between an Associate's vs. a Bachelor's degree, click here!
What is the difference between a BA and a BS?
BA stands for "Bachelor of Arts" and is generally a more broad degree that covers a wider subject. BS stands for "Bachelor of Science" and is generally more specific and focuses more closely on one topic. For example, a BA in English might cover a wider range of reading and writing subjects, whereas a BS in Biology would focus more closely on Biology specifically.
Can I pick the classes that I want?
Every degree has different requirements for the classes that you need to take in order to graduate, and your university can provide you with a list of these classes.
You typically don't have to take your classes in a particular order. However, some classes have prerequisites, which means that you will have to take your lower-level courses before you'll be allowed to register for higher-level classes. This ensures that you have the knowledge necessary to understand and pass higher level-classes.
The information on class levels and whether a particular class requires prerequisites can be found in the class catalog of the university. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your coach if you need assistance with this.
How long does a class take?
The length of a class depends on the length of the term at each university. For Guild’s partner universities, terms usually span between 8-12 weeks.
Most classes will require a workload of 10-15 hours per week per class. Most classes will also require you to complete assignments with predetermined deadlines (usually weekly or biweekly assignments). The deadlines for the assignments of a specific class will be included in the syllabus of that class.
What is the add/drop period?
The add/drop period is a period of time at the beginning of the class (usually about a week) when you can choose to drop your class without penalty. This typically happens if you register for too many classes at once and realize once you start that the workload will be too much for you.
After the add/drop period has passed, you will not be able to withdraw from a class. If you don’t complete your assignments on time, then you will most likely fail the class.
What is a College GPA?
GPA stands for "Grade Point Average." It is the average of your grades for all the classes you have taken. The GPA is on a scale from 0 to 4.0 (4.0 being A+). It is calculated by adding together your final grades for each of your classes and dividing them by the number of classes you've taken total. Note that the college GPA is different than the GPA you got in high school; it includes only college classes.
What are the resources available to me?
There are a number of resources available to help you navigate a university program.
- Academic Advisor: An academic advisor is a counselor at the university that helps students choose their course of study and ensures that they take all of the classes necessary to graduate.
- Financial Aid Office: This office helps you navigate your financial aid and answers questions about the FAFSA, grants, scholarships, and loans.
- Instructor: An instructor is a professor who organizes and teaches the class. If you have questions about the content of a class, contact your instructor. Instructors often have assistant instructors to help them communicate with all of the students.
- Accommodations Office: If you have a physical or learning disability, contact this office to inquire about the accommodations that are available to support you.
Article written by Amelie Hubert, Student Success Coach