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How long does it take to earn an associate's degree?

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April 14, 2014 3:42PM

If you go to school full time (at least 15 credits per

semester), you can complete your degree in two years. However, the

average amount of time it takes to complete an associates degree in

the U.S. attending school part time is six years.

Though associate's degree are two-year programs, it will take

longer if basic skills courses are needed. Most colleges and

universities require all incoming students who are entering a

program of study be tested for basic skills. The test is broken

down into four parts: sentence sense(grammar), reading

comprehension, math computation, and elementary algebra. If a

student does not meet the minimum score requirement in any of these

areas, they are required to take non-credit refresher courses that

must meet state requirements. Thus, it is possible that some

students may have up to one academic year just in remedial courses

before entering the college level courses. Then again, it could be

a mixture of both remedial and college level. There are some

exemptions from basic skills testing like high SAT scores, but the

student should ask for the list of exemptions. The testing is to

ensure that students are appropriately prepared to handle the

college level courses successfully.

The associates degree is designed as a two year program of study

as a full-time student provided the student takes the degree as

prescribed by the college. There are some programs of study that

may take a bit longer depending on the number of credits required.

Usually these are programs within the health related fields. In

addition, for students who require developmental course work as a

result of basic skills testing, it would take longer. How much

longer would depend on the extent of the developmental courses they

are required to take. Evidently, those individuals who attend

college on a part-time based would also extend their time in

school. How much longer would depend on the credit load carried

each semester. Typically, an associates degree takes between 60

and 64 credits to complete depending on the specific school,

program of study, and state mandates. Associates


Here is more input:

  • Typically two of full time study. Full time study is generally,

    12 to 15 credits per semester. It depends on the college. Most

    schools have a course sequence chart on-line.


    COLLEGE: Community (aka Junior) Colleges offer Associate Degrees

    after successful completion of a TWO (2) YEAR curriculum. Some

    curricula may vary from the two year standard due to the particular

    field of study.

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