A student must earn at least 120 semester credit hours to qualify for a Bachelor's Degree. One credit hour represents an hour of classroom lecture and three hours of preparation outside the class.
Depending on the exact university and undergraduate program, the degree may take either three or four years to complete. On average, universities lay out 4-year study plans that allocate at least 12 credit hours per semester.
Despite the traditional undergraduate study duration of four years, more than half of American students do not complete their undergraduate studies in time. The Department of Education states that the average student may take up to six years to get a Bachelor's Degree. Likewise, many students either drop out of the program or take time off and return to school later.