Q: The associate's degree is primarily a US invented degree... it was
intended to recognize those who went to University for two (instead of
the usual four) years of University... hence, it is NOT equal to a
Bachelorate degree... it is like half of a Bachelor's degree then...
The US associate degree is equivalent to the first two years of a
traditional four-year bachelor's degree program. That is to say, to
complete an associate degree, you need around 60 semester-hours
credit. A bachelor's degree requires around 120 semester-hours
Credit gained while studying for an associate degree can frequently be
applied (as transfer credit) to a bachelor's degree program, meaning
that you will then need to gain a further 60 or so semester-hour
credit to obtain a bachelor's degree.
Undergraduate-degree credit is classified as upper and lower division
(or upper and lower level) credit. Upper-division credit is usually
gained in the third and fourth years of the program although there is
no reason (particularly in the case of distance-learning programs) why
you shouldn't gain such credit early on in the program.
You can gain an associate degree with only lower-division credit but a
bachelor's degree normally requires a minimum of 30 upper-division
To proceed to most graduate programs, a bachelor's degree is normally
required. The major exceptions are some MBA programs which accept
students without an undergraduate degree but with appropriate
professional qualifications and/or work experience.
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