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Degree Overview: Associate and Bachelor Degree

Majors Overview March 10, 2014

Bachelor’s degrees are an extension of associate’s degrees. Most of the time, both won’t be needed and associate’s degrees can be counted towards the first half of bachelor’s degree programs. Bachelor’s degrees take twice as long as associate’s degrees but will make plenty of more careers available to graduates. Read more on these two degrees below.

Overview of Associate’s Degree Programs

It usually takes two years to complete Associate’s degree programs that are usually aimed at specific careers. However, students can complete general studies at this level as a first step towards earning a bachelor’s degree. State universities and community colleges offer associate’s degree programs for interested students to enroll in; this would require them to take about 20 classes in keeping with a specific curriculum devised by the school.

Vocational degrees (devised to impart training in a specific skill), occupational degrees, and transfer degrees (suitable for students interested in enrolling into a four-year university or college) are among the types of associate’s degrees offered by schools. Coursework completed in either type of transfer degree program allow transfers to universities all over the United States; often, there is a direct linkage of junior colleges to local 4-year institutions, in order to ensure smooth transfers and encourage a continuing pursuit of advanced education.

There are similarities between associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree programs, including choices in fields such as healthcare technology, social work, electronics, construction, law enforcement, drafting, communication, business and art and design. Many employers expect candidates for jobs to hold at least an associate’s degree, particularly job givers in the medical assisting and healthcare technician fields.

Overview of Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Students typically need four years, or about 120 credits of coursework, to complete Bachelor’s degree programs. Job givers in many fields consider bachelor’s degrees as the minimum level of education needed to secure employment. The fields include engineering and teaching. The most popular baccalaureate degree programs are in humanities, education, health sciences, and business categories; (National Center for Career Statistics (NCES)).

Students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs are often required to spend about half their credits completing classes in general education subject areas that are compulsory for all enrolled students at the university or college.

Western Civilization, English, history, fine arts, science, math, theology, languages and philosophy are some examples of courses. Courses are divided into core (subject-oriented) and elective components. Students can use electives to explore themes of individual interest that also offer an interdisciplinary perspective to their coursework. A minor – a recognized specialty in a concentration area of study that serves to complement the major – may also be formed by tailoring a set of elective courses for the purpose. For instance, an accounting minor would serve to complement a business administration major.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch), Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.), Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Bachelor of Science (B.S.), and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) are some of the degrees conferred at the bachelor’s level. In 2007-08, the United States witnessed the awarding of about 1,563,000 bachelor’s degrees (NCES).

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5 Program(s) Found
  • Bachelor degree programs include English, Education, Mathematics, Theatre, Biophysical Sciences, Christian Ministry, and more.
  • Ranked among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Regent’s School of Education has yielded a 95% pass rate on the School Leadership Licensure Assessment.
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Online Courses
2 Program(s) Found
  • Kaplan University Online Degree Programs
  • Attend college on your terms. Kaplan University offers fully online degree programs that fit any schedule.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
3 Program(s) Found
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
  • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Liberty University's online programs ranked in the top 5 of more than 2,100 online colleges and universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level**
  • No standardized testing if you meet admission requirements
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned
  • *BestColleges.com Gold Medal of Distinction **excludes licensure, certification, and some doctoral programs
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid

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