Arts or Science Degree?

Are you planning to transfer to a university but don’t know whether to get an Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree at ECC?  If you are undecided about a major we recommend you follow the requirements for the AA degree. This is because it fits the needs of most majors and it includes the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) General Education Core Curriculum (GECC) which transfers to all public universities and colleges in Illinois and most of the private ones.  The general education courses often transfer well to out-of-state schools, as well.

The AS degree requires more credits in math than most majors require at universities and the 2017 AS doesn’t include the IAI GECC, so we only recommend the AS if it fits the requirements for your major at your intended transfer school.  If you know your major and transfer school, I will check that school’s catalog/website to see what courses they require so we can see which degree is a better fit.  That takes time, so it’s best to make an appointment rather than come in on drop-in time.

The other popular transfer degree we have is the Associate of Engineering Science degree. It includes the courses required by universities for most engineering degrees. It doesn’t include the IAI GECC, but it is the best degree for an engineering major who is starting at ECC with MTH 190 (Calculus with Analytic Geometry I) or higher.  This is because it concentrates on the courses one would take in the first two years of a bachelor’s degree in engineering at a university.

Background on college jargon..

When used in academic degrees, the words “arts” and “science” don’t mean what most people think they mean.  A Bachelor of Arts degree doesn’t mean music, theater or painting.  Rather, it means the degree consists of knowledge from a broad field of  subjects. So you can earn a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, English, anthropology, etc.. Likewise, a Bachelor of Science degree is not about biology and chemistry.  It means it is more focused on one subject and often includes experiential learning.  So you can earn a Bachelor of Science degree in education, business, journalism, psychology, etc..




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