Obtaining a bachelor's degree may allow graduates to get better-paying jobs, making on average about 65 percent more over their lifetimes than those with just a high school education, according to a 2013 CollegeBoard report. The number of credit hours needed to complete a bachelor's program depends on the school and major, but in general, students need to take at least 120 semester credit hours.

Typical Requirements

Both four-year Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees generally require an average of 123 to 142 credits, depending on discipline, for completion, according to a 1995 national survey conducted by the Board of Regents of the State University System of Florida. Bachelor's degrees in the health professions, engineering, education and architecture tend to require more credits than degrees in other programs. Five-year bachelor's programs require significantly more credit hours, on average 156 to 165. The curriculum for each major generally covers communications, math, science, social sciences, foreign language and a specified minimum number of courses in the student's major.