A type of undergraduate academic degree typically earned at community colleges or technical schools. It is designed to provide students with a foundation in a specific field of study and is usually completed in two years of full-time study.


Associate's degrees come in various forms, including:

  • Associate of Arts (AA): Focused on liberal arts and humanities subjects.
  • Associate of Science (AS): Emphasizing scientific and technical disciplines.
  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS): Concentrating on vocational or technical skills for immediate employment.
  • Associate of Business Administration (ABA): Centered on business-related subjects.

These degrees can serve as a stepping stone to higher education, as many credits earned in an associate's program can often be transferred toward a bachelor's degree. Alternatively, they can provide direct entry into the workforce, as they often include practical, job-ready skills.

Overall, an associate's degree offers a versatile and cost-effective educational path, allowing students to pursue various career options or continue their academic journey.