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Which Type of Degree is Right for Me?

Certificate Program

A vocational education curriculum for those students interested in enhancing their career skills in a specific field. Students only focus on major courses without taking any general education classes.  In order to obtain a certificate, students are required to complete a minimum of 18 units or more depending on the major.

Associate of Arts Degree (A.A.)

Granted by community colleges after successful completion of major courses and general education courses.  Those students who are interested in obtaining an A.A. degree must complete a minimum of 60 units (18 units or more of major courses and 32 units of general education courses and any elective courses to make up for the 60 units). Students can transfer to a four-year university while simultaneously completing their A.A. degree.  Those students who are interested in obtaining an A.A. degree and planning to transfer to a four-year university must consult with a counselor to determine the exact courses needed to be taken at a community college in order to satisfy requirements at the intended transfer institution.

Associate of Science Degree (A.S.)

Conferred by community colleges upon completion of major and general education courses.  Those students who are interested in pursuing an A.S. degree must complete a minimum of 60 units (18 units or more of major courses and 32 units of general education courses and any elective courses to make up for the 60 units). An A.S. degree is similar to an A.A. degree, but the areas of concentration are usually in mathematics, natural sciences, or technology.  Students can transfer to a four-year university while simultaneously completing their A.S. degree.  Those students who are interested in obtaining an A.S. degree and planning to transfer to a four-year university must consult with a counselor to determine the exact courses needed to be taken at a community college in order to satisfy requirements at the intended transfer institution.

Transfer

University of California (UC) or Private Universities

Students who are interested in transferring without an A.A. or A.S. degree need to successfully complete their first two years of a four-year bachelor’s degree at a community college then transfer to a UC or private colleges at the junior level.  Students who are interested in pursuing this path must complete the lower division general education requirements (IGETC)  and lower division major courses before transferring.

Some major programs do not require IGETC, so please consult with a counselor before taking courses.  You must complete a minimum of 60 transferable units and no more than 70 transferable units before transferring. There are seven UC campuses that offer guaranteed admission to California community college students who meets specific requirements.  If you are interested in the Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) please consult with your counselor.

For further information regarding UC campuses, please refer to the UC Website. Transferring to a California State University (CSU): Students can transfer to any CSU without an A.A. or A.S. degree, but they must complete their first two years of a four-year bachelor’s degree at a community college then transfer at the junior level.

California State University

Students who are interested in the CSU path must complete the CSU lower division General Education requirements (CSU) and the required lower division major courses before transferring. You must complete a minimum of 60 transferable units and no more than 70 transferable units before transferring.

Graduating with a Degree and/or Certificate

Associates Degrees and Certificates of Achievement are awarded at the end of each semester (fall, spring and summer). The annual commencement ceremony is held on the last day of the spring term in May once per year.

Students must complete at least 60 units with a minimum 2.0 grade point average to be eligible to receive an associates degree.  Students must also complete courses required for the major with a grade of C or better.

A minimum of 12 units must be taken at Contra Costa College. Transfer credit is evaluated for transferability when official transcripts are received.