Why This Matters

  • THOSE WITH A BACHELOR’S EARN NEARLY 2X AS MUCH AS THOSE WITHOUT

    Full-time employees with a bachelor’s degree earn a median weekly salary of $1,416, compared to $789 for those with a high school degree.

  • BY 2024, 30% OF JOBS WILL REQUIRE A BACHELOR’S DEGREE

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, entry-level occupations that require a bachelor’s degree are expected to increase by 8.2% by 2024.

  • SEVERAL FAST-GROWING OCCUPATIONS REQUIRE A BACHELOR’S DEGREE

    A bachelor’s degree opens the doors to some of the fastest-growing occupations in the U.S., including nurse practitioner, statistician, and information security analyst.

Our Research

There are thousands of colleges and universities in the U.S. that grant bachelor’s degrees in a variety of different fields of study. In creating our list of the best bachelor’s degree programs, we looked at a number of factors about specific programs and the schools themselves.

All of the listed programs on our list are offered by regionally accredited institutions, which is a guarantee of quality. Accreditation also affects federal financial aid distribution and transferability of credits. Many of the degrees on our list are offered on-campus, as well as fully online or hybrid formats.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. Our top picks for the best Bachelor’s Degree program are affordable, respected, and flexible. (For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 80 hours to write this article
  • 19,205 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 24,236 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Bachelor’s Degrees and Programs

The Best Bachelor's Degrees and Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

A bachelor’s degree is a post-secondary degree that typically takes four years to complete. There are several different types of bachelor’s degrees. Some are more broad, such as a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science, while others are more focused on a specific area of study, like a Bachelor of Nursing or Bachelor of Music.

The type of bachelor’s program you pursue will depend on your area of interest and career goals. If you are unsure of the exact subject in which you want to earn your degree, many colleges will let you enroll and take general education classes that can eventually be applied to your selected degree program.

While a bachelor’s degree is the minimum level of education needed for many different careers, it is important to note that not all career paths require individuals to have a bachelor’s degree. Depending on what your professional goals are, you may be able to enter the field with an associate degree, which takes two years to complete, or by enrolling in a certificate or diploma program. Conversely, there are other careers that require additional education after a bachelor’s degree, such as a master’s or even a doctorate degree.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching bachelor’s degree programs:

  • What are the admissions requirements? Most bachelor’s degree programs have simple admissions requirements, including an application, essay, letters of recommendation, high school transcripts, and SAT or ACT scores, although an increasing number of schools are making standardized test scores optional. However, it is important to carefully review all admission requirements and deadlines, as missing or late pieces of an application can affect your decision.
  • What do you like about the school besides its bachelor’s programs? For many students, especially those attending college in person, choosing the institution where you will earn your bachelor’s degree is about more than just academics. It’s also important to consider the size and location of the university, what types of extracurricular activities and opportunities it offers, and whether you will live on campus or commute.

Most of your research about different bachelor’s programs will be conducted online, but if you have questions about a certain program, you should contact the school directly to speak to an admissions representative or program director.

Financing your graduate education is another important consideration. Be sure to submit financial aid applications on time, and research other sources of funding including scholarships, assistantships, and tuition benefits from your employer.