Difference between an A.A. & an A.S.

How do I determine what program to take?

The Associate of Arts (A.A.) and Associate of Science (A.S.) degrees are general transfer degrees. Completion of either program indicates the student has completed a course of study equivalent to the first two years of a bachelor’s degree. Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees do not officially include a major or minor course of study; nevertheless, students do complete a 24 credit program of study option for either an A.A. or A.S. degree.

Minimum Requirements for A.A. and A.S.

  • Completion of 60 semester credit hours, 15 credits of which are at the 200 level.
  • Completion of 36 credits in General Education and 24 Credits in a Program of Study.
  • An overall GPA of 2.25 upon completion of the degree.
  • A grade of “C-” or higher in each course in the program of study.

Distinction between the Two Degrees

A: A.A. Degree (5+ credits in social science/humanities) Students seeking an A.A. degree must complete an additional 5+ credits in humanities/social science—these additional credits must include one foreign language course.

B: A.S. Degree (5+ credits in math/science) Students seeking an A.S. degree must complete an additional 5+ credits in math/science. Students must complete the second half of one of the science sequences noted above.

Associate of Applied Science Degree

The Helena College offers the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Accounting Technology, Automotive Technology, Aviation Maintenance Technology, Computer Technology, Construction Technology, Diesel Technology, Electronics Technology, Fire and Rescue, Metals Technology, Nursing, Office Technology, Water Resources, and Welding Technology. The A.A.S. degree is awarded to any student satisfactorily completing a program as established by the College. The A.A.S. degree is not designed for transfer; however, graduates may be accepted into baccalaureate programs offered at several four-year institutions. A passing grade of “C-“ or better in required courses and a 2.0 (2.5 for Nursing) minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) are required for a degree to be awarded. Courses numbered below 100 are not applied toward program completion requirements. Students seeking more than one program must inform the Registrar’s Office and/or the Financial Aid Office. Students will be required to use the catalog in use at the time the program is declared unless a Request to Graduate from Alternate Catalog form is completed and approved. Students entering after a one-semester time lapse (excluding summer) or longer will re-enroll under the current catalog.

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