The four types of college degrees include an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and finally a doctor of philosophy.
These degrees are based on various educational programs and curricula. Each type of these degrees plays its own set of critical roles in career advancement, intellectual fulfillment and personal satisfaction for different people. The degree you choose will largely be based on the type of career you wish to have, and what the requirements are for the job you want.
Here is a list of the types of degrees offered in colleges and the different college degree levels:
- A.A. (Associate of Arts) – This degree requires students to complete a coursework of 60 hours, including courses in general education and other courses related to the degree program. A.A. degree is often awarded in liberal art areas, like English, music or history.
- A.S. (Associate of Science) – It focuses on science and requires students to complete many hours of coursework in general education. Common A.S. programs include biology and chemistry.
- A.A.S. (Associate of Applied Science) – It is designed to ready students to join the working world. There are several types of this degree, including programs in business or engineering.
- A.E. (Associate of Engineering) – Focuses on engineering
- A.A.A. (Associate of Applied Arts) – Deals with applied arts
- A.P.S. (Associate of Political Science) – Mainly focuses on political science
Types of Bachelor’s Degrees
- B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) – It is considered as the widest bachelor’s degree. The BA degree focuses on arts but also require the students to take some general education classes.
- B.S. (Bachelor of Science) – It usually covers majors such as engineering, physics, accounting or business or any of the sciences. A B.S. degree requires some general studies courses.
- B.F.A. (Bachelor of Fine Arts) – Professional actors, dancers, singers, sculptors and painters are perfect candidates for this degree. BFA degree is also offered in fields such as digital media and web design.
- B.B.A. (Bachelor of Business Administration) – BBA degree often covers courses in management strategy, decision making and even organizational psychology. You should opt for this course if you aspire to be a general manager.
- B.Arch. (Bachelor of Architecture) – This is a degree program that future architects must complete.
Types of Master’s Degrees
M.A. (Master of Arts) or M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts) – It can cover various graduate studies. These include education, communication, social sciences and music.
M.S. (Master of Science) – This degree could be earned in a wide range of science, health and even social science professions. Major focus is on research, though a few courses can have a combination of research-based courses and class-based courses.
M.Res. (Master of Research) – It’s designed to offer training on how to carry out a research. MRes may help you a lot if you intend to pursue a research career or PhD.
M.Phil. (Master of Philosophy) – It’s a research-only degree and is often a precursor to PhD. Most PhD students register for this degree in their initial 1-2 years of study and must produce a report after this period to change their registration status to that of a PhD student.
LL.M. (Master of Laws) – This degree usually takes one year as a full time program or 2-4 years as a part time course. While professional Law degrees just give a general coverage of all the skills required to become an attorney, LLM would give you an opportunity to specialize.
M.B.A. (Master of Business Administration) – These degrees are often designed for management professionals with some experience. Intensive and demanding, MBA focuses on creating future successful business leaders.
Types of Doctorate Degrees
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) – These are research-based doctorate degrees often awarded to recognize peer-reviewed published academic research.
M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) – This is the most advanced degree for medical students and must be completed to professionally practice medicine. M.D. students often choose a specialty area.
Ed.D. (Doctor of Education) – This is the highest level degree of education in the education field. People who hold this degree often work in administrative, research or academic positions related to education.
J.D. (Juris Doctor) – This degree is the most advanced one available to lawyers in the US. A thesis is typically not required in J.D. degree program.
In this stiff competition of job opportunities and the eligibility of qualifying for a given profession, these degrees do play an important role. Hopefully, the aforementioned list of degrees gave you a better understanding of the different types of degrees available. All you have to do is choose the right one for you depending on your interests, career aspirations as well as capability.
If I’ve forgotten anything from the list, be sure to let me know in the comments here.