College can be completed at the student’s own pace. This differs from high school, where a student is required to take certain classes and attend a full day, every day, for four years. Under this system, it is easy to tell what year a student is in. College students can complete a bachelor’s degree in four years if they follow the example set by their high school, but they don’t have to. This makes it difficult to determine what year or semester a student has completed.

Step 1

Get your transcript and total up all the hours earned from all of the classes you have successfully completed. In order to know what semester or year you are in, you must first know how many credit hours you have completed. This is especially true if you have taken several incomplete courses or have a mixture of one-, three- and five-credit courses on your transcript.

Step 2

Take your credit hour total and compare it to this scale: Under 30 credit hours is equal to being a freshman, 30 to 60 credit hours is equal to being a sophomore, 60 to 90 credit hours is equal to being a junior and 90 to 120 credit hours is equal to being a senior. The exact numbers may fluctuate by about three credit hours, depending on what college you are attending, or more if the degree you are seeking requires more hours than normal for graduation.

Step 3

Calculate how many credits you will need each semester to graduate in four years. A bachelor’s degree generally takes four years, or 120 credit hours, to complete. According to this formula, one year is the equivalent of 30 credit hours. Since a year is comprised of two semesters, 15 credit hours are equal to one semester. However, some degree programs require up to 140 credit hours, which means a student would need to take up to 17 credit hours per semester to graduate in four years.