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associate degree

Associate Degree

Associate of Arts Degree

An Associate of Arts (AA) degree is a two-year degree which indicates the completion of a student's lower division general education requirements.  It is also a specific transfer degree for entry, at the junior level, into the general range of baccalaureate degree programs offered by a four-year college or university. 
The receiving institution is not obligated to accept transfer credit which exceeds the minimum number of credits the sending institution has established for awarding the associate level degree.  This degree is not normally awarded in a program area. 

Associate of Science Degree 

An Associate of Science (AS) degree is a specialized degree which is intended for transfer into a preprofessional program.  It should result from careful planning and agreement between specific two- and four-year institutions.  These programs will be developed by consultation between sending and receiving institutions on a program by program basis.  This process may involve changes in general education requirements.  The following factors should be recognized: 

  • Junior standing is guaranteed to the transfer student only if curricular details have been agreed upon by the sending institution and the receiving institution, and junior standing can be guaranteed only if the student has received the appropriate AS degree. 
  • Students who receive a specialized AS degree do not automatically qualify for junior standing in any other program.  If such students enroll in any other degree program, they may have to take additional general education courses.  In evaluating the students' transcripts, the receiving institution will make every attempt to avoid duplication of effort and the imposition of unnecessary burdens upon the students.

Associate of Applied Science Degree

An Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree is the main occupationally oriented degree.  The primary purpose of this degree is to prepare a student for entry into a particular occupation upon the completion of the degree.  It is not intended as a transfer degree into a four-year program and contains courses which are not primarily designed for transfer.  Students should expect a receiving institution to evaluate course credits on the basis of applicability of each course to the requirements of the students' major field of baccalaureate study.  Each four-year institution is encouraged to develop admission policies which will facilitate the transfer, and consider all factors indicating the success of transfer students who have the AAS degree or a certificate.  It is anticipated that the AAS degree will be the main degree used by colleges to describe nontransfer vocational programs.


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