In the United States, an associate degree is a 2-year degree given by colleges upon completion of an associate degree program. Associate degrees are generally 2-year degrees, like those awarded at community colleges. Associate degrees are also available online – allowing students to study on a schedule that suits their busy lives. An Associate Degree is a type of undergraduate degree that requires at least 60 semester credit hours. With full-time study, it will take 2 years to complete – or 4 semesters with 15 credit hours. An associate degree program involves a general education requirement, major requirements, and electives.
The two types of associate degrees offered are the A.A. or associate of arts degree, and the A.A.S., which is the associate of applied science degree. You can earn and A.A. degree at a community or junior college, at a technical school, or even online. This degree designation indicates that you have completed a course of study with an extensive foundation in general education, as well as concentration in a particular area. Your degree is often in an occupational area, or in liberal arts. This degree is designed to transfer to a four-year college or university.
Associate of Applied Science degree (A.A.S.) is intended for graduates that seek career entry or job advancement after 2 years of college study. AAS degrees will possibly transfer some or all credits to a four-year college. Associate of Applied Science degrees are the preference of employers seeking people to fill various middle level technology positions.
Once you get an associate degree, you typically need another 2 years or 60 credit hours to earn a bachelor degree. Earning an associates degree is a great away for a student to see what direction they want to take in their education. Either degree is a great option for those seeking to earn an associate degree.