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 common baccalaureate degrees. BA degrees are most often awarded in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. BS degrees are more likely to be awarded in the sciences, math, and engineering, and in professional or technical fields of study. However, there are no absolute universal differences between these degrees and policies; their award varies from university to university.
Explore your major and career options on websites such as:
- collegeboard.org (college search and career quiz)
- 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 college counselor in the Counseling Office at (805) 289-6448 to the University Transfer Center at (805) 289-6411 to develop a transfer plan.
- Talk to a university representative either in the University 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. 1 through Nov. 30 only. The CSU system accepts fall applications from Oct. 1 through Nov. 30. Independent and out-of-state colleges have their own deadlines. Check with their admission offices or on their websites.
- Apply for financial aid online at:
October 1st and prior to March 2nd to meet the deadline for potential Cal Grant eligibility 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 thereafter). 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. The Student Intent to Register (SIR) deadline is typically May 1.
- Get Certified: Make an appointment in the Counseling Office to have your IGETC, IGETC for STEM, CSU GE-Breadth, or CSU GE-Breadth for STEM certified. If you are fully certified, also apply for your Certificate of Achievement in IGETC or CSU GE-Breadth.
- Don’t Forget to Send Final Official Transcripts to the university after you have completed all coursework. The importance of sending final transcripts cannot be stressed enough. You may have your admission revoked if you do not provide complete official transcripts by the university deadline.