Understanding Degrees

AA, AS, AAS & AGS Degrees

​​AA and AS Core Requir​​ements

While the number of credits vary in each core category, the AA and AS degrees share the same core courses. The best strategy for your first semester is to choose core courses from either degree. That way if you change your mind or major, the chance of taking courses that are not required for your degree is minimized.

The Associate in Arts (AA) degree is best suited for transfer to a four-year college for many majors. In addition, the AA degree provides the most flexibility for students that are undecided about a transfer college or major.

  • The AA degree requires 45 credits of core (general education) coursework.
  • Core courses are courses normally completed during the first two years of most four-year degrees.

The Associate in Science (AS) degree is best suited for students that want to enter a career field after two years but want the option to transfer to a four-year college in a related field.

  • The AS degree requires 28 credits of core coursework.
  • The AS degree combines core coursework and coursework specific to a particular major.

The programs of study that lead to an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree include specific courses required for the degree in addition to the AAS degree requirements. Refer to individual AAS programs to learn degree requirements in addition to these general requirements. Students must complete a specific program in order to receive the AAS degree.

The Associate in General ​Studies (AGS) degree is designed for those individuals who wish to choose a vocational/technical course of study suited to their unique needs. While some courses taken to complete this degree may transfer to a four-year college/university, students are cautioned that this degree is not intended as a transfer degree; nor does this degree represent a specific course of study. Students should check with potential employers and institutions to which they might transfer to determine if the AGS degree will be compatible with their future goals.


Some majors have prerequisite courses or specific admission criteria. Once you have decided on a major, speak with an advisor at the four-year college to determine the best way to prepare for transfer to your intended major. This will help you plan your DMACC courses.

Choosing a transfer college and major early will help you make your course selections while you are a student at DMACC. Contact with an advisor at the transfer college is important in order to receive accurate information regarding transfer admission and requirements for your major.

Articulation agreements are available for different transfer colleges and majors. These guides, also known as course equivalency guides and transfer plans, are designed to help students choose DMACC courses that are equivalent to the courses required at the transfer college.

Partnership programs provide the opportunity to connect with another college and its advisors while enrolled at DMACC. Visit with a DMACC counselor or advisor about partnership program options and how to apply.