Degree Explanation


Degree Explanation

AA – Associate of Arts Degree

The AA degree is designed for students who plan to transfer to a university to earn a baccalaureate (4 year) degree.  The coursework consists of 64 credits in written and oral communication, humanities and fine arts, history and social sciences, health and physical education, and electives from a variety of disciplines of the student’s choosing.  Students who earn this degree are guaranteed to have all general education requirements completed at any public university in Minnesota.  This liberal arts curriculum is widely accepted as transfer in any state.  The AA is a two-year degree.

AS – Associate in Science Degree

The AS degree is offered for students who may transfer to a university in a select major; or for those pursuing select professions that require an associate degree and licensure.  The 64-credit degree is similar to the AA degree liberal arts coursework but requires at least 34 credits of coursework to be taken in a subject of the desired major.  The AS is a two-year degree.

AAS – Associate in Applied Science

AAS degrees are designed for students planning to enter the workforce upon completion.  The AAS degree combines 20 credits of liberal arts/general education coursework with at least 44 credits of major specific courses.  The AAS is a two-year degree ranging from 60-72 credits.

Diploma and Certificate

The diploma and certificate programs are designed to provide students with the skills necessary to enter the workforce upon completion.  Diplomas and Certificates are awarded for vocational/technical training programs and require very little, if any, liberal arts courses.  Diploma programs range from 30 to 64 credits (one or two years).  Certificate programs range from 10 to 30 credits (one year or less).

Path to Purple

Majors designated under 2 + 2 indicate that RCTC has an articulated agreement with Winona State University or the University of Minnesota that allows the student to complete a baccalaureate degree on the UCR campus.  The student will follow the prescribed coursework to associate degree completion at RCTC and will spend two additional years on the UCR campus completing the prescribed coursework from Winona State University or University of Minnesota faculty for the baccalaureate degree.

Associate in Fine Arts:

An Associate in Fine Arts (AFA) degree is awarded for study in music or art at Rochester Community and Technical College . The AFA is awarded for successful completion of a program of 60-64 semester credits; at least 20 semester credits must be earned at RCTC. The degree contains part of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC), and is articulated with at least one other baccalaureate-granting institution with a comparable music or art degree program. The AFA, by virtue of its concentration of art or music study in the two year degree, can also prepare students for immediate employment in the arts. The Associate in Fine Arts is the newest degree authorized by the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

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