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Structure of bachelor's degrees in America

The American university system is known for its flexibility and offers a wide variety of paths to the degree and career that you seek. But the degree teaching and learning process may be different to what you are used to in your home country. Here's a basic guide to undergraduate degrees in the USA:

The semester system

The University's academic year lasts 9 months and takes place over 2 semesters, each 16 weeks in duration.

The fall semester runs from mid August until mid December, with a 3 week winter break at the end. The spring semester runs from early January until early May, and is followed by a 3 month summer break, or an optional academic summer session.

See semester dates on the FAQ page.


Academic credit

During each semester you will take a variety of courses, each of which is awarded a number of 'credits'. A credit is a unit of study (equivalent to 1 hour a week in class, for a semester). Most courses carry 3 credits, although varying amount of credit can be awarded for laboratory time and internships.

Widener University requires students to complete 120 credits for an undergraduate degree. International students in the USA must have full-time status of at least 12 credits per semester to maintain visa status.