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Is an Associate of Arts / Science Degree Right for You?

At ACC, we offer over a hundred degree and certificate programs grouped into seven pathways:

  • Arts, Communication, & Design
  • Business
  • Global, Human, & Social Studies
  • Health
  • Math & Sciences
  • Public Services
  • Technology

Two of your options while seeking a degree are the Associate of Arts (AA) and the Associate of Science (AS) degrees. These degree choices fulfill general education requirements needed to pursue bachelor degrees at 4-year Colorado colleges and universities, and include first-to-second year courses in the major of your choice, so that once you transfer you’ll be prepared for third-year coursework.

There are a few factors to consider when choosing your degree, such as your area of interest and your educational and career goals.

The Associate of Arts degree covers the arts and humanities majors. The subjects associated with this degree are anthropology, art history, business, communication, criminal justice, economics, education, English, geography, history, languages, music, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology, and studio art.

The Associate of Science covers the math and science majors, and includes biology, chemistry, fermentation science, geology, mathematics, physics, and psychology for students interested in the more scientific aspects and conducting research in the field.

These 2 degrees are also good choices if you are unsure of what you want to major in. To figure out what you should major in, you can take the following steps:

  1. Set up an appointment with one of our academic advisors, who will be able to work with you in figuring out what you might major in and in choosing what courses you should take. Appointments can be made through Navigate (access through myACC), by email at advising [at] arapahoe [dot] edu, or by phone at 303.797.5664 for the Littleton Campus, 303.734.4822 for the Parker Campus, and 303.660.3160 for the Sturm Collaboration Campus.
  2. Start by taking courses that can be applied towards any degree choice, such as English and math courses, or that can be counted as transferable electives.
  3. When you find a subject that engages you, consider it as a possible major and use the degree rubric as a guideline for future classes you might take.
  4. If a subject is easy for you to comprehend and you enjoy it, it will make for a good major. Majoring in something that doesn’t get you excited is a bad idea, no matter how good you are at it.
  5. If you end up with more than one subject that you want to major in, consider what some of your possible career choices might be if you choose to major in that subject. You may also consider if you want to earn more than one associate degree, which has become a growing trend.
  6. If you are still unsure of what you want to major in and are approaching the 60 credits required for a degree, you have the option to choose a general Associate of Arts / Science degree without a major designation. This can give you some flexibility as you prepare to transfer to a 4-year school.

The Associate of Arts and Associate of Science are the first steps to attaining a higher degree. While students who go straight for their Bachelor's degrees need to earn the full 4 years-worth of credits before being able to show off their efforts, earning an associate degree at ACC first is proof that you put in the time and effort into your education, and gives you that 2 years edge when it comes to pursuing higher level degrees or employment.

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