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Associate Degrees

A.A. and A.S. University Parallel Degrees

Young Black Student on College CampusAn Associate of Arts (A.A.) University Parallel degree is a two-year community college degree program comprised primarily of general education courses which are not specific to a major or vocation. A.A. degrees are designed for transfer to a four-year university. 

An Associate of Science (A.S.) University Parallel degree is a two-year community college program that is more narrowly focused than an A.A. degree and includes additional math and science course requirements. The A.S. degree is also desigend for transfer to a four-year university for further specialization. 


General Education Core

All colleges in the Tennessee Board of Regents System share a common lower-division general education core curriculum of forty-one (41) credit hours for an Associate degree. Lower-division means freshman and sophomore courses. 

The purpose of general education core courses is to ensure that college students have a broad knowledge and skill set necessary to become lifelong learners in an environment of continued technological and social change. "Gen Ed" courses emphasize a breadth of understanding and not a set of skills, techniques or procedures associated with a specific occupation or profession.   

Students select general education core courses (41 credit hours) from the following six categories for an A.A. or A.S. degree. A total of 60 credfit hours (unless otherwise specified) is needed for associate degree completion.

  • Communication - 9 credit hours
  • Humanities/Fine Arts - 9 credit hours
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences - 6 credit hours
  • History - 6 credit hours
  • Natural Sciences - 8 credit hours
  • Mathematics - 3 credit hours

Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degrees

An Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) is a two-year terminal degree program offered by community colleges. The A.A.S. degree is designed for students planning to enter the job market immediately upon graduation. An A.A.S. degree is not designed for transfer to a four-year university. 

TN eCampus offers numerous courses that fulfill A.A.S. degree requirements for:

  • Business
  • Computer Information Technology
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Criminal Justice

Tennessee Transfer Pathways

Picture of Tennessee Transfer Pathway_From Here to Career

If you follow a TennesseeTransfer Path (TTP), the courses in your path will seamlessly transfer to many public and private Tennessee institutions. Visit http://www.tntransferpathway.org/ for more information.

All of the core courses (41 semester hours) and most of the emphasis courses (19 semester hours or more depending upon the Transfer Pathway chosen) are available via TN eCampus.