Although many college students believe a bachelor's degree takes four years, some students take much longer to complete their degrees; only about 40 percent graduate in four years. Finding your expected graduation date requires determining how many credits you need for graduation and dividing that by the number of credits you take each semester or quarter.

Do the Math

Check your program's requirements to find out how many credits you need to finish. For a bachelor's degree, programs generally require at least 120 semester credits. Colleges on the quarter system typically require at least 180 for the degree. Next, decide how many credits you can take each semester. Full-time students take at least 12 credits each term, but you will likely need to take 15 or 16 if you want to graduate within four years. Divide the total number of credits you need for your program by the number of credits you will take each term to determine how many terms you will be in class. For instance, if a program requires 120 semester credits and you plan to take 12 credits each term, you will need to be enrolled for 10 terms. If you attend fall and spring semesters, your plan will therefore take five years to complete, so your graduation date would be the end of the spring semester five years from your starting date.