An Associate Degree is an undergraduate academic degree consisting of a minimum of 60 degree-applicable semester units including general education requirements, major or emphasis requirements, and electives. Associate degrees may be earned in career technical areas or in the arts, mathematics, sciences, and humanities.
- Major/Area of Emphasis and General Education
Choose from these two options and complete the required courses for the major chosen (a minimum of 18 units).
- General Education - Complete the appropriate General Education requirements for the chosen major and educational goal.
- Units - Satisfactorily complete at least 60 semester units of degree-applicable college credit coursework (General Studies Patterns II and III degrees require all 60 units to be CSU transferable units).
- Grades - Earn a grade of “C” or better or a “P” if the course is taken on a “Pass/No-Pass” (Title 5 § 55063) in every course in the major or area of emphasis. Even though a “Pass/No Pass” is allowed, it is recommended that students complete all major coursework for a letter grade.
Note: Universities have limitations on the number of units that can be taken “pass/no pass” basis and therefore it is strongly recommended that students take all major coursework for a letter grade. Most universities also have limitations on the number of general education units that can be taken on a pass/no pass basis.
- GPA - Achieve a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better in degree-applicable college credit coursework.
- Competency Demonstrate competency in reading, written expression, and mathematics.
- Reading – Minimum competency in reading is satisfied by completion of the requirements for the associate degree.
- Written Expression – Minimum competency in written expression is satisfied by one of following:
- Successful completion (A, B, C, or P) of a college English Composition course at the freshmen composition level, or
- Successful completion of an equivalent English Composition course from a regionally accredited institution; or
- A score of 3 or higher on the Advanced Placement (AP) Language and Composition; or
- A score of 3 or higher on the Advanced Placement (AP) Literature and Composition; or
- A score of 5 or higher on the International Baccalaureate (IB) English HL exam; or
- A score of 50 or higher on the College Level Examination Program (C.L.E.P) exam.
- Mathematics – Minimum competency in mathematics is satisfied by one of the following:
- Successful completion (A, B, C, or P) of a high school mathematics course in Intermediate Algebra or taught at the level of Intermediate Algebra (i.e. High School Algebra II or Integrated Mathematics 3); or
- Successful completion (A, B, C, or P) of a high school mathematics course with Intermediate Algebra or equivalent or higher as its prerequisite (i.e. Math Analysis, Financial Algebra, College Algebra, IB Math HL 1, IB Math HL2, IB Math Applications and Interpretation SL, Trigonometry, Analytic Geometry, Statistics, Precalculus, Calculus or higher); or
- Successful completion (A, B, C, or P) of a college mathematics course in Intermediate Algebra; or
- Successful completion (A, B, C, or P) of a course offered by the college mathematics department with an Intermediate Algebra or higher prerequisite; or
- Successful completion (A, B, C, or P) of a course offered by a different department with an enforced prerequisite of Intermediate Algebra or higher; or
- A score of 3 or higher on the AP Precalculus exam; or
- A score of 3 or higher on the AP Calculus AB or Calculus BC exam; or
- A score of 3 or higher on the AP Statistics exam; or
- A score of 4 or higher on the IB Mathematics HL exam; or
- A score of 50 or higher on the CLEP College Mathematics or Precalculus exam; or
- Successful passing of the VCCCD math competency exam; or
- Successful completion (A, B, C, or P) of any course offered by the college’s math department, or approved by the math department if offered by another department, which includes demonstrated ability in all of the following:
- Simplify rational expressions and solve rational equations
- Solve problems and applications involving systems of equations in three variables
- Graph systems of inequalities in two variables
- Simplify expressions involving positive, negative, and rational exponents
- Perform mathematical operations on radical expressions and solve radical equations
- Solve quadratic equations and their applications using multiple methods
- Graph and evaluate elementary functions. Use definitions, domain and range, algebra and composition of functions on related applications.
- Solve elementary exponential and logarithmic equations and related applications.
- Residency - Complete a minimum of 12 semester units in residence at the college granting the degree. The VCCCD Board of Trustees may make exceptions to the residency requirements in any instance in which it is determined that an injustice or hardship would otherwise be placed upon an individual student.
References: AP 4025 Philosophy and Criteria for Associate Degree and General Education; last reviewed by the VCCCD Board of Trustees in May 2017. AP 4100 Graduation Requirements for Degrees and Certificates; last reviewed by the VCCCD Board of Trustees in December 2022.