Certificates are generally one-year programs that lead directly to entry-level employment in a specific occupation such as aviation pilot, diesel mechanic, or respiratory therapist.
A credit or noncredit program of less than 16 credit hours or 600 clock hours.
Certificate of Proficiency
A credit or noncredit program of less than 30 credit hours or 900 clock hours.
Certificate of Completion
A credit or noncredit program requiring 30 or more credit hours or 900 clock hours.
A program less than a year long that requires at least a bachelor’s degree for entrance. Graduate certificates provide specialized knowledge which enhances career options or fulfills state or national licensing requirements.
Associate degrees are two-year programs that provides preparation for employment or transfer to a bachelor's degree.
Applied Associate Degree (A.A.S.)
Two-year programs that provide broader knowledge in fields ranging from biomanufacturing and computer information systems to dental hygiene and digital media. The in-depth knowledge and skills acquired in an A.A.S. degree prepare students for employment in a career track with advancement opportunities.
Transfer Associate Degree (A.A., A.S.)
Two-year programs that provide the academic foundation for transfer to a four-year bachelor's degree program. Associates of Arts (A.A.) and Associates of Science (A.S.) programs cover the curriculum taught in the first two years of a four-year program of study.
Four-year programs that provide in-depth, specialized knowledge in a major or field of study. Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees prepare students either for employment in fields from accounting to theater or for further studies.
Programs offered at a postgraduate level, usually after earning a bachelor’s degree.
Master’s or Professional Degree
Master of Art (M.A.), Master of Science (M.S.), or professional master's degrees like M.B.As prepare students for occupations and/or additional study in a variety of fields. Common examples include education, engineering, nursing, and business. Programs can typically be completed in one to six years of full-time attendance, depending on the field of study.
Provides further training in a more specialized area, in occupations similar to master’s or professional degrees.