Degrees & Certificates Explained
What’s the Difference?
- Bachelor’s Degree
- Requires 4 years of full-time study beyond high school at a 4-year college or university
- Associate Degree
- Requires 2 years of full-time study at a community college
- Certificate of Completion
- Normally requires 1 year and is designed to meet specific needs of the community
Associate Degrees at TCC
Associate of Arts Degree (A.A.)
- Provides a liberal arts foundation that does not generally include a declared major
- For students who want to earn a degree that fulfills core curriculum / basics to transfer to a 4-year college or university
See a list of our A.A. Programs.
Associate of Arts in Teaching Degree (A.A.T.)
- Provides a first step towards a career in teaching
- For students who want to transfer into a teacher education program at a 4-year college or university
See a list of our A.A.T. Programs.
Associate of Science Degree (A.S.)
- Fulfills lower division course requirements and includes a major in a science, an engineering specialization or a related discipline
- For students who want to earn a degree in a science or engineering discipline that transfers to a 4-year college or university
See a list of our A.S. Programs.
Associate of Applied Science Degree (A.A.S.)
- Prepares your for a career in a workforce field
- For students who want to begin a career after completing the program or who want knowledge in a specific technical field
See a list of our A.A.S. Programs.
Certificates of Completion at TCC
- Prepare you for occupational employment
- Awarded upon successful completion of specific courses that have been industry validated and sequenced for the purpose of developing and upgrading skills in an occupation
- For students who want to enter the workforce after completing the program
See a list of our Certificate of Completion Programs.
Occupational Skills Award (OSA)
- Prepares you for immediate employment or adds to your marketability to employers
- Awarded upon successful completion of 9-14 semester credit hours specified in a particular technical area
- Meets the minimum standard for program length specified in the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA)
- For students who want to enter the workforce after completing the program or to enhance their skills in their fields
See a list of our OSA Programs.
Updated January 23, 2017