All students seeking a bachelor's degree in the U.S. must take two years of general education and pre-major classes (years one and two) and two years of classes focusing on a specific major subject (years three and four). This is true whether you begin your bachelor's degree at a community college or a university. If you start at a community college, you will earn an associate degree after two years of general education study.
Earning an Associate Degree
General education classes cover a variety of subjects, including English, math, sciences, business, humanities, arts, and social sciences. This allows you to build a wide base of knowledge, as well as explore different subjects before choosing your major. After two years at a community college, you will earn one of the following degrees:
- Associate of Arts (AA)
- Associate of Business (AB)
- Associate of Science (AS)
- Associate of Fine Arts (AFA)
The type of associate degree you earn will depend on your intended transfer major and the general education subjects you take. Your associate degree studies will prepare you to transfer by helping you meet the general education requirements and prerequisites for your bachelor's degree program.
Earning a Bachelor's Degree
Upon earning your associate degree from a community college after year two, you will transfer to a university. Once you transfer, the courses you take will be specific to your chosen major subject. After two more years of study (years three and four), you will earn your bachelor's degree.