What Are the Most Common Associate Degree Programs?

The type of associate's degree program you choose may depend on whether you would like to immediately enter the workforce or continue on with your education. Read below for information regarding the most common associate's degree programs.

Two-Year Programs

Offered at many community colleges and technical schools, associate's degree programs allow students to pursue academic degrees in a relatively short amount of time. Associate's degree programs can usually be completed in less than two years and prepare graduates for entry into the workforce or further study. Below are some of the most common associate's degree programs.

Important Facts About Associate Degree Programs

Prerequisites High school diploma or equivalent
Online Availability Fully and partially online programs are offered
Possible Careers Vary by program; air traffic controller, nuclear technician, respiratory therapist, insurance appraiser, fashion designer, loan officer
Continuing Education For graduates of associate's programs that need to pursue certification or licensure, like respiratory therapists, regular continuing education coursework is required

Associate of Arts (A.A.)

Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree programs generally require students to complete about 60 hours of coursework. This includes several credit hours of general education coursework and several credit hours of major coursework. Most A.A. degree programs usually include a major in the social sciences or humanities. In general, approximately three quarters of the curriculum of an Associate of Arts program is based in the liberal arts. Most students that complete this degree intend to apply the credit towards a bachelor's degree program. Some choose to enter the workforce after completing the A.A. degree. Common academic majors within an Associate of Arts degree program include history, social sciences, and music.

Associate of Science (A.S.)

Much like an A.A. program, Associate of Science (A.S.) degree programs usually require students to complete 60 hours of coursework. Both general education and core coursework are included and students generally major in subjects, such as mathematics, natural sciences, or technology. Unlike A.A. degree programs, the focus of an A.S. curriculum is typically less on liberal arts courses, focusing instead on courses in the chosen academic major. While this degree program may prepare students to enter the workforce, most students build upon the knowledge gained by enrolling in a bachelor's degree program.

Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.)

Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree programs are professionally focused and prepare students for a particular job by focusing on certain skills. These degrees generally focus less on general education courses in the liberal arts and more on the particular skills that will allow students to successfully secure jobs upon graduation. Many healthcare-related programs, such as nursing and radiological technology, lead to Associate of Applied Science degrees. Other common A.A.S degree fields include computer science, HVAC, and web design.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Judson University

    Judson University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Judson University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Virginia College

    Virginia College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Virginia College:

    Online Programs Available

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • The Art Institutes

    The Art Institutes responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The Art Institutes:

    • Associate Programs

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Arlington
  • Centenary University

    Centenary University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Centenary University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • South University

    South University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at South University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Brightwood College

    Brightwood College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Brightwood College:

    • Associate Programs

    Campus-Based Programs Available:

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  • Herzing University

    Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Herzing University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Indiana Wesleyan University

    Indiana Wesleyan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Indiana Wesleyan University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

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