This type of degree is best suited for transfer to a four-year college for many majors. In addition, the AA degree provides the most flexibility for students that are undecided about a transfer college or major. Depending on the area of concentration, the AA degree typically requires 32 to 33 credits of core (general education) coursework.
The Associate of Science (AS) degree is designed for students who plan to transfer to science programs at universities after completing the first two years of study at the community college. The degree enables students to fulfill the undergraduate general education requirements of most four-year science degree programs. Students who wish to focus on baccalaureate degrees in biological and environmental sciences, geology, earth science, natural science, chemistry or physics or engineering may consider this area of study.
This type of degree is designed for students who intend to enter the workforce immediately following graduation from their programme. Consequently, most AAS degrees require students to choose an area of emphasis or specialty early, so they are adequately prepared for entry-level career positions within a specific field following their graduation. Many of the requirements for earning an AAS degree are the same as those required for an AA or AS degree. However, since an AAS is intended to prepare students for a career, the degree typically requires the completion of a slightly larger number of credits than for an AA or AS degree. Additionally, much greater emphasis is placed on technical and career training throughout the programme.
A Certificate of Achievement is designed for students who plan to seek employment based upon the competencies and skills attained through these programmes of study. Credit hours may or may not be attached to these courses that are fewer than those required for an AA and AS degree.