What is a Bachelor’s Degree?
A Bachelor’s degree, sometimes called a baccalaureate degree, generally requires 4-5 years of study at a university. A Bachelor’s degree requires completion of both lower and upper division courses.
Community colleges typically offer lower division courses, providing students the opportunity to complete general education and lower division major or pre-major coursework prior to transferring to a university. Once students transfer, they will complete mainly upper division coursework in their major at the university.
In an effort to make it easier and more affordable for community college students to get earn their baccalaureate degree and be eligible for a broader array of employment opportunities, Assembly Bill 927 (Medina) was signed into law on October 6, 2021 by California Governor Gavin Newsom. This resulted in California Education Code Section 78040 et seq. being amended to authorize the expansion of baccalaureate degree programs being offered at California Community Colleges. For a list of baccalaureate degrees offered or soon to be offered at California Community Colleges, see the Chancellor’s office Baccalaureate Degree Program webpage.
The Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) are the most common baccalaureate degrees. BA degrees are most often awarded in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. The BS is more likely to be awarded in the sciences, math, engineering and for professional or technical fields of study. However, there are no absolute universal differences between these degrees and policies can vary from college to college.
- Explore your major options at websites such as:
- Explore Transfer Opportunities:
- California State University (CSU):
- University of California (UC):
- Independent/Private Colleges and Universities
- Out-of-State Colleges and Universities
- Schedule an appointment with a counselor in the Counseling Office (805-378-1428) to develop a Transfer plan.
- Talk to a university representative either in the Career and Transfer Center, at the university campus, or by phone or email to refine your educational plan and/or get up-to-date information regarding your major, housing, and campus support services.
- Schedule a visit and campus tour by calling the university’s admission or outreach/recruitment office.
- Stay on track: Continue to follow your transfer plan, meeting with your counselor each semester to make adjustments as necessary. Updated major requirements can be found at assist.org for the UC and CSU.
- Apply to the institutions you selected by their posted deadlines. The UC system accepts fall applications from Nov. 1st –Nov. 30th only. The CSU system accepts fall applications from Oct. 1st through Nov. 30th. Independent and out-of-state colleges have their own deadlines. Check with their admission offices and on their websites.
- Apply for financial aid online at
- studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa or
- https://www.csac.ca.gov/post/resources-california-dream-act-application October 1st and prior to March 2nd to be eligible for the Cal Grant and begin searching for outside scholarship opportunities online (examples: hsf.net, vccf.org, fastweb.com, collegeboard.org's Scholarship Directory) and through community organizations
- Receive your acceptance letters (and from some colleges you will also receive your financial aid award offers shortly after). Choose the campus that best suits your needs and commit to that campus by signing a letter of intent and paying any necessary deposits. Notify the other campuses that you will not be attending so that they may make room for other students. Student Intent to Register - SIR - deadline is typically May 1st.
- Get Certified: Make an appointment in the Counseling Office to have your IGETC, IGETC for STEM, CSU GE-Breadth, and apply for your Certificate of Achievement in IGETC or CSU GE-Breadth.
- Don’t Forget to Send the Final Official Transcripts to the university after you have completed all coursework. The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. You may have your admission revoked if you do not provide complete official transcripts by the university deadline.