First, you’re going to have to take a set number of credits at minimum each quarter or semester. If you have chosen a major in Art & Design without any concentrations, you’ll likely be able to complete your courses and earn your degree sooner.
Even better, one university will allow you to earn academic credit for several forms of applied education and real-world experience including job-related courses and military training.
This university requires its Art & Design majors to earn at least 120 semester hours for a B.A. in Art & Design. Ninety of those credits are required to come from the arts and sciences field; 30 can be earned in applied professional classes, extra arts and sciences classes, or some combination of both.
For those students who want to earn a B.S. in Art & Design, they, too, must earn at least 120 semester hours to graduate. Sixty of those hours are required to come from the arts and sciences. Of those 60 hours, at least 21 hours are required to be earned in upper-level classes. At least nine of the remaining 60 credits are required to be earned at the upper or advanced level. These may be earned either in additional arts and sciences courses, applied professional courses, or a combination of each.
If you take at least 12 credit hours per semester, you’ll earn your degree in five years; if you take 15 credit hours per semester, you’ll graduate in closer to four years.
As you begin exploring colleges and universities, you may already know what you want to major in. If you have a liberal arts major in mind, look through the undergraduate catalog, either online or a copy of the book and browse the majors offered by that college. If you find this major, this will be one school you’ll want to consider attending; if not, then cross the school from your list and move on to the next.
If you’re uncertain what degree you’re interested in, try to find a school with a robust variety of courses, that will let you experience a few varied lower level classes and allow you to figure out what you enjoy while you work through your general education.
Currently, students enrolled in four-year universities have less than a 50% chance of graduating within four years. Statistics vary from university to university, but many students are graduating closer to the 6-year range.
If you want to be one of the lucky 40% who do graduate in your fourth year, you’ll need to make a few sacrifices. First, you’ll have to take more than the minimum 12 credit hours per semester. Take 15 credits per semester, because you’ll finish earning the required credits in around four years.
Go to school each summer session. Take at least one class per summer semester. Not only will you be sure to graduate on time, but you may also benefit with lower per-credit tuition charges, as well.
Declare a major as soon as you can. You won’t be moving from major to major this way. If you have to work for gas or rent, work for the fewest number of hours per week that you can. Your studies are vital.
Universities should hold institutional accreditation. This comes from the Higher Learning Commission, or from a regional accrediting commission, which oversees universities and colleges in a particular region of the country.
Liberal arts college and programs are accredited by the American Academy for Liberal Education. AALE is highly regarded in the accreditation field. With its strong commitment to education in the liberal arts, AALE ensures that colleges and universities offering liberal arts programs are staffed with the highest quality faculty.
Beyond your major and learning who your roommate may be, you need to think about the accreditation of your chosen university and of the program housing your intended major. This is vital for every field and major; so important that, if you cannot prove that your university was accredited, you may not receive the expected job offers.
Accreditation speaks to the high quality of an institution, its programs, and its faculty. Look for institutional accreditation of the entire university and program accreditation of the program of study you plan to enter. Accreditation is a voluntary process. Once a school begins going through accreditation, it must provide proof of the quality of its academics and faculty.