Definition of Academic Degrees

When you enroll at WCC, you have the option of working toward a certificate or an associate degree. This information will help you decide which one is right for you.

Associate degrees

We offer 4 associate degrees that are assigned based on an area of study's primary purpose and the minimum level of general education requirements. The degree title and specific program title will appear on the diploma.

Associate in Arts (A.A.)

The Associate in Arts is a transfer degree, used mainly by humanities and social science programs. Some transfer programs in health, technology, and business also use the A.A. degree title. A.A. degrees require between 60 and 63 credit hours to complete.

Associate in Science (A.S.)

The Associate in Science degree is mainly used by transfer programs that have heavy math and science requirements. It requires a minimum of 60 credit hours.

Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)

The Associate in Applied Science is the standard career-entry degree. It is used for programs that prepare students for careers in health, business and technology. Ranging between 60 and 72 credit hours, this degree is good for programs that are mainly career-entry but also have articulation agreements with specific bachelor's degree programs. An articulation agreement is a formal agreement between 2 colleges (or a college and university) that provides a clear path for you to transfer your credits.

Associate in General Studies degree (A.G.S)

The Associate in General Studies (A.G.S) is a flexible cross-divisional degree program that allows the students, in consultation with an advisor, to design a program that combines courses from multiple areas of the institution. This degree has dual uses and can be planned for either transfer or career entry according to the student's needs.


We offer 4 types of certificates that are designed to meet a variety of needs—from preparing you for an entry-level job to helping you obtain advanced skills, if you are already in the workforce. Certificates also can form the foundation for an associate degree.

Since our certificate programs are developed with industry professionals, you can be assured that you are learning current industry standards and practices in state-of-the-art labs that lead to gainful employment.

Certificate of Completion

The Certificate of Completion provides you with a discrete body of skills and/or knowledge that will prepare you for an entry-level position or enhance your current skill set. The Certificate of Completion can be credit or noncredit, but is limited to a maximum of 8 credit hours (approximately 1-3 courses).


This certificate is awarded for standard credit programs that range from 9 to 36 credit hours. Primarily used to prepare you for entry-level occupations, the certificate also may be used to prepare you for an advanced certificate. Certificates also may form the basis for an associate degree.

Advanced Certificate

Advanced Certificate programs further enhances your education and provides more advanced skills than the basic Certificate program.  Some advanced certificate programs prepare you for an industry recognized certificate exam. These programs range in length from 9 to 36 credit hours.  Completion of a certificate or equivalent industry experience is required for admission into these programs.

Post-Associate Certificate

Post-Associate Certificate programs provide you advanced study and/or formal certification in an occupational area. These programs may be from 9 to 36 credit hours in length and require an associate degree or equivalent industry experience for admission to the program.

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