AA Degree vs AS Degree: Difference and Comparison

Similar to a Bachelor’s Degree, an Associate Degree certifies the successful completion of coursework in a particular field of study. The degree is equivalent to 2 years of study in a Bachelor’s course.

Key Takeaways

  1. AA (Associate of Arts) and AS (Associate of Science) degrees are two-year college degrees but focus on different subject areas.
  2. AA degrees emphasize liberal arts and humanities courses, while AS degrees prioritize science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects.
  3. Both degrees can be a foundation for a bachelor’s degree, but the choice between AA and AS depends on a student’s intended major and career path.

AA Degree vs AS Degree

An AA degree is obtained after completing a program of study in the liberal arts, including subjects like humanities, social sciences, and fine arts. An AS degree is gotten after completing a program of study in the natural sciences, including subjects like mathematics, engineering, etc.

AA Degree vs AS Degree

The course is related to the field of liberal arts, which includes all the subjects and coursework that are included in a course of arts.  

Students have the option to choose any of the subjects included in the degree, such as mathematics, natural science, etc, the course is equivalent to the first half of a Bachelor’s of Science degree.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAA DegreeAS Degree
DefinitionAA Degree stands for Associate in Arts DegreeAS Degree stands for Associate in Science Degree
SignificanceIt is equivalent to the completion of the first half of a Bachelor’s Degree in liberal artsIt is equivalent to the completion of the first half of a Bachelor’s Degree in science
Duration of courseIt is a 2-year courseIt is also a 2-year course
Subjects includedSubjects in the field of liberal arts are included in the courseSubjects of science such as mathematics, natural science, etc are included in the course
Transferable easeAA degree has the easiest transferability since it is a postsecondary degreeTransferability is restricted to a certain limit, because of the specific nature of the subjects
Future optionsStudents with AA degrees can pursue BA in fields such as Humanities, Literature, Fine Arts, etcStudents with AS degrees can peruse BSC degree as well as degrees in Engineering, Pharmacy, etc

What is AA Degree?

Associate of Arts (AA) Degree is a 2-year degree that is equivalent to the first half of a Bachelor’s Degree in liberal arts.

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Thus, generally, students who wish to gain thorough knowledge about the subjects in Bachelor’s in Arts before pursuing a degree in Bachelor’s of Arts opt for this degree.

The duration of the course is 2 years, with about 60 credit hours, depending on the subject. 5 credit hours are also awarded for social science and humanities.    

The degree provides adequate knowledge about the subjects in arts; hence, it is beneficial for students who want to gain a deeper understanding of the subjects.

aa degree

What is AS Degree?

Associate of Science (AS) degree is a two-year course that is equivalent to completion of the first half of a Bachelor’s Degree in Science.

The course is beneficial for students who wish to gain a deeper understanding of the field of science before pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in science.

Subjects such as mathematics, natural science, physics, medicine, and engineering are some of the popular choices that are available for students.

The degree is recognized throughout the world, and thus, there are many further studies and work options available for students after completing their AS degree.  

as degree

Main Differences Between AA Degree and AS Degree

  1. AA degree has the easiest transferability among postsecondary degrees. The transferability of an AS degree is restricted to a certain level.
  2. Students with an AA degree can pursue a BA degree in humanities, fine arts, performing arts, etc. Students with AS can pursue BSc degree in fields of science, engineering, pharmacy, etc.
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References
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0109564187800556
  2. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED491908
  3. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13561820701578044
  4. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10668926.2018.1478346

Last Updated : 07 September, 2023

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8 thoughts on “AA Degree vs AS Degree: Difference and Comparison”

  1. Although the content is excellent, It could use a little more information on the job prospects for graduates of both AA and AS programs.

    Reply
  2. I really enjoyed reading this informative article. It’s so important for students to understand the differences between these degrees as they impact their future education.

    Reply
  3. This is a very informative post. I really appreciate getting to know the main differences between an AA degree and an AS degree. It will be very useful for students who are deciding which path to take for their careers.

    Reply
  4. The post is quite informative, but it could benefit from some discussion on how these degrees compare in terms of the value they provide in the job market.

    Reply

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