Talk:Associate degree

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Please note the the content from which the entry is copied from for the most part is in the public domain, see:

Links at bottem of the page way too out of date?

College graduate (or not)?[edit]

I have an Associate degree of Science and recall that I was generally not considered a "college graduate" until I had earned my Bachelor of Arts degree a couple of years later. I now refer to people with an Associate degree as college graduates (I guess out of courtesy because I know how I felt when I had only my Associate degree and the work/commitment involved) but sometimes find myself defending this title as "graduate" with people who believe otherwise. I believe that if the person successfully completes a course of study at college or university level then that person should be referred to as a "college graduate". What is actually correct; are people with only an Associate degree rightly considered to be a "college graduate"? Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:18, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

I think I just answered my own question by searching "college graduate" and this is the Wiki page that came up Bachelor's degree or higher. I am really surprised that people holding only an Associate degree are not considered to be a "college graduate" (this includes some [RN]]'s!). I think, out of courtesy, that I will continue to refer to persons holding an Associate degree as a "college graduate". Seems like "degree snob" stuff, like (some) MD's saying that Dentists, Optometrists, or Audiologists and the like aren't real doctors. Ridiculous. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:27, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

A person with an Associate Degree has indeed graduated from a college. But it's not what most people mean when they say college graduate. It is not snobbery, people have in mind a certain level of education when they use that phrase.--RLent (talk) 19:16, 15 May 2009 (UTC)


A lot of the statistics in the article are at least thirty years old. Does anyone have more recent data to supplement these outdated stats? 07:02, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Yeah could these sources be any older? Corn... -- 04:19, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Koltai (1984) presents a comprehensive analysis of the current status of the associate degree. If this was written in 1984, it can't possibly be saying anything about the current status of the associate degree. If there are issues with the associate degree currently, then this needs to be updated.--RLent 21:27, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Is it really the case that "very few students go to college full time?" (Beginning of the 3rd paragraph under "Time Requirements") Georgia Yankee (talk) 16:49, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

No. I'll modify the statement. Thanks for pointing it out! ElKevbo (talk) 17:16, 28 September 2011 (UTC)


The list of academic degrees at the bottom doesn't include the MD.

Misplaced External Link?[edit]

Under the first heading, Associate's Degree, and its first subheading, Generalized categories or types of Associate's Degrees, there is the text:

It is possible to break the Associate's Degree into three general categories.

An Associate of Arts degree is often awarded for programs that are terminal or intended for transfer to a four year college, usually with a major in the social sciences or humanities. It is also awarded to General Studies students, those who decline to select an area of concentration.

Right after that last word is a link to external link to Does anyone know why that link is there and why it's in such an odd place? Shouldn't it be in a References or External Links section? For that matter, why is it relevent? It seems to be a very small (13 members) and largely inactive forum. If no one has an explanation or objection, I will remove the link. Thanks. - Square pear 00:39, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Removed. - square_pear | talk 01:59, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

The link is still there? Or maybe someone put it back? Ccg 1 03:09, 19 February 2007 (UTC)


I added a short section on the advantages of an Associate Degree. I didn't go into a great deal of detail, as it is pretty well covered in the Community College section.--RLent 21:45, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Associate's v. Associate[edit]

Bachelor and master also use the possessive form for their article titles. Doctorate -- as I expected -- has the more ... proper form. It's more proper when one reads in context: these articles discuss the degree, not necessarily the person holding the degree, although each article could discuss aspects of people holding such degrees.

Call me picky, but I believe the redirect should go from associate's degree -> associate degree and the article begin "An associate degree..." Justin 22:52, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree totally with the previous poster. I have done considerable research into educational planning as it relates to careers, and "associate" without the possessive is the standard. Yes, I know it flies in the face of "bachelor's" and "master's," but this is our wonderful English language at work. Exceptions are the norm! Verbalmedia 23:29, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

I have two degrees hanging on my wall at this time, an ASSOCIATE degree (of Science) and a BACHELOR degree (of Arts), they are not titled "Associate's of..." or "Bachlor's of..." and I doubt that anyone else's degrees are either; I think that pretty much speaks for itself. --Paulsprecker (talk) 05:49, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Both the Associated Press Style Guide and the New York Times Manual of Style & Usage, both standards of how English is used in practice, show that it's a bachelor's or master's degree, but an associate degree (note it is both singular and non-possessive). I move that based on these two fairly official sources, we change the article to associate degree.

And to Paulsprecker, that's because it's a bachelor's degree when used in that context, and a Bachelor of Arts in subject. Or a master's degree, but a Master of Science in subject. Either of those two forms is correct depending on the usage and context. The AP Stylebook also confirms this. Pylon (talk) 15:58, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Obviously, an associate's degree follows the same formula as a bachelor's or master's degree: When used as an adjective to describe the kind of degree, an apostrophe "s" should be included. When speaking of the specific degree obtained, the apostrophe "s" should be dropped in favor of Associate of/in "field of study in specific area of study" or Bachelor of "field of study in specific area of study" or Master of "field of study in specific area of study." For example, someone may have obtained an Associate in Applied Science in Office Systems Technology, which is an associate's degree. (talk) 22:30, 13 January 2010 (UTC)DegreeFormatObserver

What is the best degree?[edit]

I am in my last year of Highschool and I really want to get the best degree in college. It sounds kind of stupid, but which is the best one? Masters, Decorate, Specialist? I'm taking classes for my Computer and Electronics Engineer career, and currently with my grades, I am aiming for the best degree out there. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 23:45, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

You may wish to read this about talk page guidelines. AuburnPilotTalk 00:39, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

stats (and dubious ones at that) about Master's and law degrees in the AS article?[edit]

Does anyone know anything about the following text from the time to degree section?

"Many persons in the workforce earn bachelor's and the practice of evening studies is so prevalent in the United States that the numbers of Master's degrees as well as post graduate degrees like Law degrees earned in evening classes frequently out numbers those awarded for full day-time study[citation needed]."

1., I agree that a citation is needed. 2., if these claims are true, why are they in the Associate's Degree article?

Dcullen61820 22:43, 18 December 2006 (UTC)dcullen61820


It is mentioned at the top of the article that associate's degrees are (infrequently) granted in Canada. Is there any evidence at all for this claim? I think I'll remove that claim if nobody can substantiate it. 01:18, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

I didn't make the claim and I can't substantiate it, but it does SEEM likely to me. The two-year college system, where most of the US Assoc. degrees are awarded, is very much a US higher ed invention; community colleges are not common anywhere else. Universities do award associate's degrees, but in small numbers. I would expect to see few associate's degrees awarded anywhere that does not have a well-developed two-year college system. [unsigned]

In British Columbia, there were 940 associate degrees awarded in 2001-02, almost all of them being AA degrees. I'm not sure about the other provinces. (source: Ccg 1 03:05, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

In BC they are very common...even if not many are awarded offen many ppl are in the programs. I would say in my high school 60% of people who went on to college or univ ended up in AA or ASc programs. Then around 20% in univ and 20% in a trade programs. However it shoudl be noted EVERYONE I KNOW didnt complete them...after one year they droped out or transfered to a BA/BSc program at a Univ or a Univ College like UCFV. The main point of the degree is to get ur BA/BSc....i dont think it has much use as a terminal degree. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:23, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Canada? II[edit]

Associate degrees are only offered in Western Canada, especially in B.C where they seem to be mirroring the U.S system. Alberta I believe also have them. In Ontario the prima donna of Canadian education they are definately looked down on.

      • Just so you know, the ontario education system makes you take (1 1/2)one and a half more course work to the U.S equivalent to get to the same or similar designations ***

I believe Ontario Community colleges Changed the names of the Diplomas, because people were thinking that they were the same as a Associates degree and comparable, which some of them are, and which some of them are definitely NOT. 3 year diplomas are now called Advanced Diplomas, and most Ontario Community colleges now offer Degrees.

In Ontario you only get a degree when you complete 4 years of UNIVERSITY level education, everything else is either a diploma 2-3 years or a certificate 6 months to 1 and a 1/2 years years

Oh ...and somehow Career colleges (private money grabbing colleges) are able to use the designation of diploma after only 8 months of a program. But most people know that its not the same as an Ontario College Diploma. Also high ranked urban Ontario Community Colleges are now calling themselves Polytechics, to move away from all the community college "association" as it's not the same level as in the U.S.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:31, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Associate of Art in General Studies?[edit]

In British Columbia, one cannot obtain an associate of art degree in general studies. Those with two or more years of "general studies" can only receive a diploma. Perhaps the wording "It is also awarded to General Studies students" should be changed to "It is also awarded to General Studies students by some institutes" ?

Also, only the AA and AS degrees are granted in B.C. I'm assuming that the AFA and AAT degrees are commonplace in the U.S. (and maybe other jurisdictions as well)?

Ccg 1 03:06, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Lists to Tables[edit]

I changed one of the "sprawling lists" to a table. Looks much better.

Aemiliano 18:23, 22 June 2007 (UTC)


How does an associate's degree compare to graduation from one of Germany's Gymnasiums (accelerated high schools--unlike anything in the U.S.)? I think I remember that they're quite comparable. 01:45, 13 October 2007 (UTC) (user Lcament too lazy to reset password and log in)

Unique Extension Studies Associates Degree[edit]

Harvard University offers the following degree: Associate in Arts, in Extenion Studies. DegreeThe ProgramIs it possible to represent this special degree here?-- (talk) 22:09, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Removed Racial Data[edit]

I've removed the racial percentage breakdown. It was written in an inappropriate tense (we), it was almost ten years out-of-date, applies only to the United States, and it doesn't seem to contribute too terribly much to the article. I don't see why it couldn't be used as a reference rather than being a stand-out table. Darthveda (talk) 13:38, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

time frame?[edit]

Would it be more accurate to classify degrees by number of credit-hours (or their equivalent) rather than by time to completion? Time is becoming a tricky factor to pin down. I noticed this statement:

"A lesser diploma, called a certificate, is awarded for specific studies that complete in a one year program or less..."

... in particular, because I have just completed the FAFSA online, and one of the questions it now asks is whether the length of the certificate program to which you're applying is more or less than 2 years. (talk) 20:56, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

I have edited the content under Time Requirements. It is easy to verify that degrees are awarded only upon completion of requirements, not after passage of time. One need only look at the documents available to any prospective student in which the institution explains the requirements for any of the degrees it grants. In general, the requirements are in the form of a certain number of credits distributed among several academic and technical areas. For example some institutions may require six credits in English composition, six credits of humanities, nine credits of social interaction, etc. and x credits in the specific area of study such as nursing or information technology.ReneGMata (talk) 18:43, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

What is the Average number of hours required to get an Associates Degree?[edit]

What is the Average number of hours required to get an Associates Degree? Years ago I attempted a college education and attended 6 different schools, never graduated from any of them, just a semester here and a semester there. Long story short, applying for a job that is asking how many accumalative hrs I have from the schools I attended, and I honestly don't know. I should gather all my transcripts up and take them to a school and have that figured out. And I will, one day. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:45, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

In the United States, most Associate degrees are 20 course (60 credit hours). Certain educational and health care degrees may also require internship hours. — xaosflux Talk 05:57, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

International equivalent[edit]

The claim an Associate's Degree is 'roughly equivalent to the foundation degree and the Business and Technology Education Council's Higher National Diploma in Britain' does not seem quite correct.

If an AD is the first two years of a four year Bachelor's Degree then it cannot be equivalent to a British Foundation Degree or BTEC. It would be equivalent to two thirds of a Foundation Degree or BTEC. That is because a Foundation Degree is equivalent to two years of a three year Bachelor's Degree course in Britain.

Or am I missing something? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Artcyprus (talkcontribs) 12:20, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

What does it mean?[edit]

I just wanted to know what "A.A.S." stands for. I cannot believe the entire article never explained the abbreviation. (I learned from another page: Associate of Applied Sciences OR Associate of Arts and Science.) Georgia Yankee (talk) 16:43, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

European Part[edit]

The european part doesn't make ANY sense... please try to clarify it?

The statement (first 2 years college), is a severe mistake.[edit]

Colleges, bachelors degrees, have within the first 2 years generalized pre-requisites that are ample and sufficient to cover any potencial change in direction (leading upto profesional entitlements). Defacto, an associate degree is the midsection of a bachelors degree, without the overflowing prerequisites, and without the last years inicial masters pre-requisites.

Years(level) Bachelors: (1, 2, 3, 4) Associate: (1, 2) (= 2,3)

Appreciative of the changes to reflect this, if the maintainer of this page would be so kind. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 08:14, July 25, 2015‎

We need a reliable source that clearly states this. ElKevbo (talk) 16:50, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Associate diplomas[edit]

Should Associate diploma redirect to associate degree? Apokrif (talk) 01:42, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

Opening Definition[edit]

While I understand that Wikipedia is not a dictionary, I find the lack of definition of Associate degree at the beginning of the article appalling. Perhaps this is an issue of "see a need, fill a need" but I thought I would at least first submit to the article's Talk Page before attempting a definition of the term myself.

For what it's worth, here's what Wikipedia itself has to say about definitions:

Encyclopedia articles should begin with a good definition and description of one topic (or a few largely or completely synonymous or otherwise highly related topics[3]), but the article should provide other types of information about that topic as well. An encyclopedic definition is more concerned with encyclopedic knowledge (facts) rather than linguistic concerns.

--ProfessorTom (talk) 23:00, 7 December 2015 (UTC)

Canada III[edit]

So if you have a two year technical certificate, which is common to get in Canada, what does that mean for you? Say if you apply online to a company headquartered in the US or what have you. You get a drop down with a list of choices like this: less than high school, high school grad, GED graduate, some college/no degree, associates degree, bachelors degree, masters degree, doctoral or professional degree. So you are funnelled into choosing: some college / no degree. It seems designed whether by accident or not, to have extremely negative connotations. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:54, 24 February 2016 (UTC)