Higher Education Guidance & Counselling

How Long does an Associate’s Degree Take? [Answers]

When many students finish college, they all understand a few common terminologies, including a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or a PhDs. However, there is another thing in the category, which is an associate degree.

So if you aren’t aware of it or would like to know whether it is the right choice for you, you have come to the right place as we will guide you through different aspects of it.

What is an Associate’s Degree?

So, the first thing that might pop up in your head is what an associate degree is?

To simplify it for you;

The Associate Degree (AD) is basically an academic degree one can start at an undergrad stage which is considered as the first college degree after secondary school.

The purpose of the degree is to equip the student with some basic technical, academic knowledge and various transferable skills that they might require for employment or if they want to continue further studies in the particular field they choose.

Many institutes offer an associate’s degree in the United States and some parts of Canada. In the UK, it’s known as a foundation degree, but you would still find many reputable academic institutions offering it.

Many people know an associate degree as half of a bachelor’s degree. It usually covers the lower division of the undergraduate credits with various 100- and 200-level courses. Usually, the students need to complete 60 credits to receive the associate’s degree. Thus, you can get an associate’s degree with a lot less work and at a lower price.

Different institutes offer associate degree programs; you can usually find them in technical schools or community colleges. Some universities also award the associate degree in the professional studies division.  The timing of the degree is also very flexible as the classes can take place during the evening, daytime, or even weekends.

How long does it take to get an Associate’s Degree?

Typically, an associate degree might take up to two years or four complete semesters to get it. If you enroll in an online program of a university, then it might take slightly less than two years to complete. It is due to the online college delivering faster courses. These courses reduce the duration of the standard 16-week semester to nearly six to eight weeks. So, ideally, an associate degree would take around 24 months for its completion.

The shortest associate course that you might find can take up to 12 to 18 months. However, you can get it a lot faster if you study year-round without any summer or winter breaks. Certain associate degrees take a bit longer than the regular 24-month period. E.g., there are various health care careers such as dental hygienists and therapy assistants, which require 70+ associate credits. Therefore, the duration of the associate degree would depend on the particular field that you intend on pursuing.

Types of Associate Degrees

If you aren’t sure of the exact types of associate degrees that you can pursue, here is a list of some:-

  • Associate of Arts (AA)
  • Associate of Science (AS)
  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
  • Associate of Business (AB)
  • Associate of Fine Arts (AFA)
  • Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

Is an Associate Degree a Good Option?

An associate degree is an excellent option if you can’t afford to pursue the complete program or you would like to try a field before actually going for professional qualification. It would allow you to get some practical knowledge and expertise in the field.

Yousaf Saeed

I'm Dr. Engr. Yousaf Saeed, founder of the AScholarship Education Portal. My academic path includes 3 prestigious international scholarships — Australia Awards, CSC, and HKPFS — for my higher studies. I am also an IChemE affiliate whereas I've also worked for companies like Aramco and BYCO oil refinery as an production engineer at the start of my career. I completed MS, and PhD with major research publications in leading SCI journals (details on my Researchgate Profile). This aScholarship.com reflects my commitment to educating and therefore i started it for the purpose to guide aspiring international students for find scholarships for their higher education dream. As an experienced educator and mentor, I specialize in navigating the intricacies of research and patent and write useful articles on these topics too.

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