Associate's Degree

Associate’s Degrees are offered through community colleges, junior colleges and universities. Most students earn their Associate’s Degree at a community or junior college as tuition is less expensive than attending a university. Typically, an Associate’s Degree takes 2 years of full-time study encompassing 60 course hour credits completed.

Students, who are on a restricted education budget but wish to gain diversified employment opportunities and increased earning power, often undertake associate’s Degrees. An Associate’s Degree offers a general education, which includes compulsory courses, electives and major courses, if the student is pursuing a major within the Associate’s Degree. Typical compulsory courses focus on science, math, humanities, social science and communications (both verbal and written).

The most common Associate’s Degrees conferred are Associate of Arts, Associate of Applied Science and Associate of Science. An Associate of Arts emphasizes liberal arts, science and humanities. The Associate of Applied Science offers the same liberal arts courses as an Associate of Arts, but is weighted more heavily with a science and math curriculum. Finally, the Associate of Science focuses on students who wish to obtain employment immediately after receipt of their degree, rather than utilizing the Associate’s Degree as a stepping stone towards a bachelor’s program. Available employment choices include health care and law, amongst others.

In addition to the more general Associate’s Degrees, students can choose to undertake an Associate’s Degree in their field of interest, such as, for example, nursing, fine arts and industrial technology.

Credits from Associate’s Degrees are often transferrable to universities for students pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree, but it is highly recommended students ensure credits earned at a particular junior or college community are transferrable to the university of their choice. Similarly, students should also review associate’s degree curriculums to avoid having to take additional courses before acceptance into a bachelor’s program. Not all curriculums are identical and may not include necessary courses for admission to a bachelor’s program.