If you're still in college, earning a second degree can be as easy as choosing a second major. If you've already graduated from college, this can be a bit more complicated. Obtaining a second degree can be an important step in restructuring your profession or deepening your knowledge about a specific topic. However, there are challenges such as time, money, and enrollment policies. Before starting a second program in the United States, do some research on the universities and courses of study that are right for you. If you enroll in a program, learn about the policies by contacting counselors so that you can complete your degree as efficiently as possible.
Method 1 of 3: Choose a Curriculum
Step 1. Assess whether getting a second bachelor's degree is the right plan for you
For many professions and goals, a single bachelor's degree is sufficient. Those interested in more advanced study in a specific field may consider starting a postgraduate study program rather than earning a bachelor's degree, as postgraduate degrees can provide more substantial career opportunities and qualifications if you want to work in a specific field..
- Obtaining a second degree makes more sense if you must acquire knowledge in a totally different field because of a career change or another factor.
- Potential employers or others reviewing your credentials might find that getting a second bachelor's degree shows a lack of commitment, so be prepared to explain why you want one, in case you decide it's the best. plan for you.
- Many graduate programs do not necessarily require a college degree in the same field as a prerequisite for admission. For example, you may be able to start a graduate degree program in sociology, even if you have graduated from anthropology, or an English program if you have a degree in computer science. With this in mind, evaluate whether a graduate or second degree program is the best option for you. You can contact the graduate coordinator of the program you are interested in for more information.
Step 2. Choose the correct field based on your career plans and the admission requirements of the institution
Many programs only accept second bachelor's degree students if their chosen field of study is quite different from their first bachelor's degree. For example, if you have a bachelor's degree in biology, some institutions will not accept you for a second bachelor's degree in microbiology. However, the same institution might accept you if you want to get a second degree in computer science.
Typically, the goal of universities and colleges is to award the first bachelor's degree to students
Step 3. Decide how you will finance a second degree program
While you may be able to access some financial aid as a sophomore, many loans, grants, and scholarships are only available to juniors. When choosing a college and program, or making the decision to pursue a second bachelor's degree, be sure to factor in the costs involved (tuition, fees, cost of living, etc.).
- You can find information about the costs of attending certain colleges or universities through the admissions website.
- There are private loans to finance a second degree program, but their interest rates are often high.
- Contact the financial aid office of the institution to find out the possible sources of financing that you can access as a second degree student.
Method 2 of 3: Apply for Admission
Step 1. Choose an institution or program where you can enroll
Some specific institutions or programs limit the number of sophomores they accept. In other cases, they don't accept them at all. This generally occurs more frequently in courses that are in high demand or on campuses where student enrollment is almost or fully complete. If this is your case, find a different institution to study the same subject or choose a different study program at the same institution.
You can search for universities and colleges in a specific area through online databases. Then, check the admissions website of the university where you want to study to see if they admit students who want to obtain a second degree
Step 2. Meet the admission requirements
Each college or university establishes specific criteria when determining the admission of applicants. Meeting these criteria does not guarantee admission, but it does increase your chances of being accepted. For applicants seeking a second bachelor's degree, here are some common admission requirements:
- Complete a four-year college course of study that leads to a bachelor's degree. Universities and colleges generally require that the first bachelor's degree be from an accredited institution in the region.
- Good record at the last university or college you attended.
- A good GPA. Many institutions require applicants for a second degree to maintain a GPA above a certain benchmark, especially if they want to develop in a high-demand field.
- If you are an international student, there may be additional admission requirements, such as a certificate of proficiency in the language or proof of accreditation of your previous bachelor's degree.
Step 3. Complete the application for admission
Depending on the college or university where you apply, there may be a special process for second degree students. At other universities and colleges, there may be a single application for all students. Visit the admissions website of the university or college where you want to apply for more information about the process.
- Educational institutions generally set an application fee, including those who want to obtain a second bachelor's degree.
- You may have to submit special documents as part of the application, such as transcripts or proof of your previous degree, a mission statement or admissions essay, etc.
- If you want to obtain a second degree at the same institution where you obtained the first, you may instead have to complete an application for readmission.
Method 3 of 3: Get Your Degree
Step 1. Schedule a meeting with a counselor
After gaining admission, schedule a meeting with the academic advisor for your study program. This person will help you determine the courses you must take to complete the program, how to declare your major, and understand any other requirements you may have to complete at your college or university.
Step 2. Complete your course of study
Once you are admitted and enrolled, take courses and complete other requirements necessary to earn your second bachelor's degree. Depending on the institution and the program, you may or may not be able to apply courses taken in your first degree to credit in the second.
- Even though you may have earned your first bachelor's degree from the same institution you attend for your second, you may not be able to earn credit for courses you have taken before, as institutional and program requirements may vary.
- Institutions that allow transferring credits from a previous program may require you to take at least a certain number of credit hours for your second degree program.
- As a sophomore, you will likely need to maintain a certain GPA.
Step 3. Graduate
Once you complete all the institutional and program requirements for the second degree, you will be able to apply for graduation and officially receive your degree.