The number of semester credit hours required for an associate degree depends on the college and degree program. In general, an associate degree takes two years full time and represents half the work required for a bachelor's degree. Even though the typical bachelor's requirement is 120 credits, most two-year degrees require more than 60 credits, according to Complete College.
Range of Requirements
Complete College surveyed 104 associate degree programs in 2011. The organization found that the most-frequent degree requirement was 60 semester credits. However, only 14.7 percent of the programs in the survey required 60 credits, and no college had a median requirement of 60 credits for all its programs. Most programs required more than 60 units, and some required 70 credits or more.
Reasons for the Differences
Requirements for associate degrees vary, because community colleges are governed at the local state level, according to Complete College. In general, programs in business, sciences, education and liberal arts require a median of 61 to 63 credits. A variety of majors require a median of 64 to 66 credits, including computer and criminal justice majors. Programs in the technical and health professions typically have the highest median requirement of 67 hours or more. This is in part because of licensing requirements.
Semester vs. Quarter Units
Two credits on the semester system are equivalent to three quarter units. An associate degree requiring 60 semester credits is equivalent to one requiring 90 quarter units.
- Photo Credit Thinkstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Requirements for an Associates Degree
An Associates Degree is the most basic college degree you can earn after high school. It generally takes two years of full-time...
Credit Hours Needed for a Bachelor Degree
Obtaining a bachelor's degree may allow graduates to get better-paying jobs, making on average about 65 percent more over their lifetimes than...
How to Design Landscapes for Free Online
A well-designed landscape adds curb appeal to your home. Your landscape should include the features you want, but determining where they should...
How Many Credits Are Business Management Degrees?
A degree in business management may be a good fit for students with strong leadership and communication skills. Business management programs prepare...
How Many Credit Hours to Become a Registered Nurse?
A registered nurse requires a high level of training. RNs usually have a bachelor's or associate's degree and have passed a certification...
The Best Gunsmithing Schools
Compared to other trade schools, there are not a lot gunsmithing colleges to choose from, but this does not mean you can't...