What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

What are the differences between various Associate Degrees?

Hi, people! I'm exploring my options for college and want to learn more about associate degrees. What are the main differences between them, and what should I know before pursuing one? Thanks in advance!

7 months ago

Hi there! It's great to hear that you're exploring your college options, and I'd be happy to help you understand the differences between various associate degrees.

There are mainly four types of associate degrees: Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS), Associate of Applied Science (AAS), and Associate of Fine Arts (AFA). Let's go through each of them:

1. Associate of Arts (AA): This degree is designed for students who plan to transfer to a four-year college or university to pursue a bachelor's degree in the liberal arts, humanities, or social sciences. An AA degree typically consists of general education courses and a few major-specific courses, providing a solid foundation for a future bachelor's degree.

2. Associate of Science (AS): The AS degree is tailored for students who intend to transfer to a four-year college or university to earn a bachelor's degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) fields. Similar to the AA, an AS degree includes general education courses as well as major-specific courses that prepare you for more advanced study in a STEM field at a four-year institution.

3. Associate of Applied Science (AAS): The AAS degree is primarily a career-focused degree, aimed at those who want to enter the workforce immediately after completing their associate degree. The AAS focuses on specific vocational or technical skills, such as nursing, dental hygiene, or automotive technology. While some AAS graduates may choose to transfer to a four-year college or university, the primary goal is to gain the skills needed for a specific career and join the workforce quickly.

4. Associate of Fine Arts (AFA): The AFA degree is for students pursuing careers in the visual or performing arts. Degrees in this category cover areas like graphic design, theatre, photography, and dance. An AFA degree will generally include studio and performance classes, as well as foundational coursework in general education.

Before you pursue a particular associate degree, consider the following factors: your career goals, whether you plan to transfer to a four-year institution to continue your education, and the specific programs available at the colleges you're interested in. The type of associate degree you choose should align with your plans, by making it easier to either progress to a bachelor's degree or enter the workforce directly after completing your program.

Good luck exploring your options, and feel free to ask any more questions if you need further clarification!

7 months ago

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.