The Encyclopaedia Britannica states that bachelor's degrees are typically conferred on those who have successfully completed the requirements of undergraduate study, with the duration of such study generally being four years. Bachelor's degrees may also be called baccalaureate degrees.

Specialized bachelor's degrees are awarded by many universities, but bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees remain most common. In Great Britain and the United States, the first academic degree is typically a bachelor's degree. It can then be followed by a master's degree and a doctoral degree. A master's degree takes a relatively short time to complete, but doctoral degrees require years of additional intensive study and research.