Is It Associate Or Associates Degree?

Q: I have a really stupid question. Is the correct way to say it "Associate Degree" or "Associates Degree"? I always assumed it was plural, "He has an associates degree". This may be a stupid question, but I bet other people are wondering the same thing!

A:It's Associates (Like Bachelors, Masters). However, it's not a college degree anyway. A graduation ceremony doesn't make it one either. AA and AS are also considerably different. On my resume I have always written "Bachelor's and Master's degree from ..." Have I just learned something new, or have I caught an erudite mistake? And it would indeed be interesting if Harvard University Extension's "Associate in Arts" which later became "Adjunct in Arts" is not a college degree. The story is that Harvard changed the nomenclature when other, lesser schools awarded the Associate's. Either with or without the possessive punctuation mark is in common use. According to a Google search, the apostrophe is four times more common for Bachelors but only slightly more common for Masters degrees. More important is the distinction between *both* the AA & AS, on the one hand, and the AAS (Associate of Applied Science) on the other. AA/AS are intended for transfer into university curricula; the AAS is a terminal vocational (the current popular term actually is "workforce") credential with no or very little transferability/applicability in a university setting.

Discuss It!