Certificate or Diploma
These non-degree offerings can lead to employment in an occupational field. In the EDUHSD, several Regional Occupation Programs and Career Academies and Pathways programs offer them.
Community/junior colleges offer Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) degrees for two years of study, similar to what is offered through a four-year college. After earning an A.A. or an A.S., students may choose to transfer to a four-year college to complete the requirements for a bachelor’s degree. The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree is awarded on completion of technological or vocation programs of study. Some careers, such as nursing, require only an associate degree.
Bachelors or Baccalaureate Degree
Colleges and universities offer four- or five-year, full-time programs of study (or its part-time equivalent). The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees are the most common. Other colleges award very specific degrees, such as the Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) or Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.).
Teachers are required to have a credential from the state that declares that they have completed certain mandated-requirements and have passed teaching examinations. Each state has individual requirements for teacher certification. All states require certificated teachers to have a bachelor’s degree. To learn more earning a teaching credential in California visit: www.ctc.ca.gov/credentials/default-prospective.html. Some states require a masters degree in order to be a teacher (for example, Oregon). Be sure to research all state requirements when pursuing a teacher's degree. Note: There is also a separate certification process to be approved to teach in all states.
Combined Bachelor’s/Graduate Degree (or Joint Degree)
A combined Bachelor’s/Graduate (or Joint Degree) are sometimes available at colleges and universities for students who wish to complete a bachelor’s degree and a master’s or first-professional degree in less than the usual amount of time. In most programs, students apply to the graduate program during their first three years of undergraduate study, and begin the graduate program in their fourth year of college.
After completing a bachelor’s degree, you may decide to pursue an advanced or graduate degree. In general, you can earn a master’s degree after studying for two more years. Studying for four years after getting your bachelor’s can earn you a doctoral degree. Many students go into the workforce after getting a bachelor’s degree and then return to college later to pursue a master’s degree, often one in a different subject area than their first degree.
Earning a professional degree means completing the academic requirements to become licensed in a recognized profession. For example, if you want to be a doctor, lawyer, veterinarian or pharmacist, you’ll need a professional degree. These programs of study require at least two years of previous college work for entrance, and at least six years of total college work for completion.