Degree Awards and Definitions

To certify a student’s successful completion of a program of study, Rochester Community and Technical College grants Associate Degrees, Diplomas, and Certificates.

The college and its faculty have also developed agreements with Winona State University permitting students to complete baccalaureate degrees at RCTC.

Rochester Community and Technical College Awards:

Certificates:
A certificate is awarded for successful completion of a specialized set of skills or program of study. Certificates range in length from 9-30 credits. Several certificates are intended to be portions of diploma or degrees. Thus, a student completing certain certificates will have completed a skill set that is part of a series of skills that may be used to complete a diploma or an associate degree. At least one-third of the credits in a certificate must be earned at RCTC.

Diplomas:
A diploma is awarded for successful completion of a program intended to provide students with a series of employment skill sets beyond the certificate. A diploma ranges in length from 31-72 semester credits. At least one-third of the credits in a diploma must be earned at RCTC.

Associate of Applied Science Degrees:
An Associate of Applied Science Degree (AAS) is intended to prepare students for employment. Increasingly, however, AAS degrees articulate to Bachelor of Applied Science degrees (BAS) with transfer institutions. An Associate of Applied Science Degree (AAS) is awarded for the successful completion of a program of 60-75 semester credits. At least 15 semester credits must be earned at RCTC.

An AAS degree includes a minimum of 15 credits in general education selected from at least three of the ten Minnesota Transfer Curriculum goal areas. Specific requirements within this general education requirement vary depending upon the purpose of the degree. At least 30 semester credits shall be program-related, occupational, or technical credits. Students considering eventual transfer to a four-year institution should be mindful of Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) courses when selecting general education options in an AAS degree. Courses not listed as MnTC courses may not be accepted by a transfer institution.

Associate of Science Degrees:
An Associate of Science Degree (AS) is intended to prepare the student for employment in a designated field or area OR to prepare the student in a designated field or area which transfers to a baccalaureate major (BS) in a related scientific or technical field. Increasingly the AS degree is intended to meet the first two years of requirements for a specific baccalaureate program (BS). An Associate of Science degree is awarded after the successful completion of a program of 60-75 semester credits An Associate of Science degree requires a minimum of 30 semester credits in general education selected from at least six of the ten goal areas of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC). At least 15 semester credits must be earned at RCTC.

Associate of Science degrees articulate with four-year programs. In order to maximize transferability, when possible, students should choose general education courses identified as MnTC courses when completing an AS degree. An AS degree may even include the entire 40 credit Minnesota Transfer Curriculum.

Associate of Arts Degree:
An Associate of Arts degree (AA) is intended to complete the first two years of a baccalaureate degrees (BA and/or BS). An Associate of Arts degree is awarded after the successful completion of a program of 60 semester credits. At least 15 semester credits must be earned at RCTC. An Associate of Arts degree includes the entire Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC).

Associate of Fine Arts:
An Associate of 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 15 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.