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How Many Years Does it Take to Complete a Bachelor’s Degree?

U.S. universities are responding to students’ needs for accelerated programs that let them finish an undergraduate degree quickly. Three-year degrees, popular in Europe, India, and other parts of the world, are rapidly becoming more accepted in the U.S. (EMAILWIRE.COM, October 29, 2009 ) Fort Lauderdale, FL October 29, 2009 How Many Years Does it Take to Complete a Bachelor’s Degree? Although the answer to this question frequently depends on the university you choose to attend, many colleges and universities throughout the United States have begun to offer three-year degree programs. Why? More students are anxious to save time, as well as money, and begin their careers. Fewer people have the extra financial resources to stay in college an extra year and “take it easy” academically. As a result of ever-increasing tuition expenses and the need to secure a good job and support one’s family, many students are opting for creative degree programs that allow them to finish their education and begin working as quickly as possible. Recognizing this trend, many universities and colleges have started to offer students accelerated degree programs or the option of taking extra classes in an effort to assist them in finishing school more quickly. Unfortunately, though, the United States isn’t at the forefront of this educational trend. Ten years ago, in June 1999, European countries joined together to sign the Bologna Accord, a document in which the majority of European countries agreed to standardize educational requirements throughout the continent. This agreement resulted in the widespread acceptance of a three-year Bachelor Degree program, into which students entered after completed an extra year of schooling at the secondary level. Other countries, such as India and Pakistan, have long offered three-year degree programs after twelve years of elementary and secondary education. Many foreign credential evaluation agencies recognize these programs as equivalent to only three years of secondary education. Likewise, the USCIS often does not recognize these programs as equivalent to a four-year degree for H1B and I-140 visa applicants unless accompanied by a detailed evaluation and even then there is no guarantee. Career Consulting International, however, a foreign credential evaluation service headed by Executive Director Sheila Danzig, has for several years assisted clients with three-year degrees to demonstrate that their degrees are in fact equal to a U.S. four-year degree program. Indeed, the U.S. Department of Education acknowledges that some three-year Bachelor Degree programs, such as that offered by University of Sydney, Australia, are equivalent to U.S. four-year degrees. (This university is accredited by the AACSB, an accrediting board recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.) Similarly, certain U.S. regional education accreditation bodies, such as the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, do not require that a U.S. Bachelor Degree program be four years in duration. A number of three-year Bachelor Degree programs are already offered by accredited U.S. colleges and universities, such as those at Drexel University,, University of Notre Dame, and Georgetown University and several others already offer their students the option of completing their undergraduate degree within three years. In addition many US universities recognize 3 year degrees from other countries as equivalent to a US bachelor’s degree for purposes of applying to masters degree programs. They generally require a foreign credential evaluation from a foreign credential evaluation agency showing this equivalency. As more colleges and universities continue to acknowledge the pressing concerns of finance and career stability recognized by students today, this trend will continue. This is likely to have significant positive implications on graduates from foreign degree programs. Until then, however, American students will have to “shop around” and look for a college degree program that will most effectively meet their educational and financial needs. Immigration visa applicants desiring more information about three-year degree programs at foreign colleges and universities may visit, or call Career Consulting International at 1-800-771-4723 with questions or]]>

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