A Three-year Bachelor’s Degree

Writing for AEI, Michael Poliakoff makes a case for a three-year Bachelor’s degree. Excerpts from the piece appear below:

College students, regardless of their majors or professional programs, need a rigorous liberal arts core curriculum. That curriculum must efficiently develop college-level skills and knowledge in the arts and sciences disciplines that are necessary for success in a dynamic and demanding workplace and for a lifetime of informed citizenship. Individual and national success will hinge on mathematical, scientific, economic, and historical literacy; excellent writing skills; and the ability to navigate foreign languages. 

Students also need a faster track for their undergraduate education that gets them into the workforce quickly and saddles them with less debt. That is why everyone should support reestablishing a solid core curriculum, taking an ax to the vast menu of distribution requirements and electives, and shortening the undergraduate degree from 120 credit hours to 90 credit hours—allowing determined students to graduate in three, rather than four, years.

A three-year undergraduate degree has a strong precedent. Much of Europe offers three-year bachelor’s degrees. And for the record, there is no federal statute requiring that a bachelor’s degree take 120 credit hours. 

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