AA Degree – How Many Credits are Required?

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Are you considering pursuing an Associate of Arts (AA) degree? As you embark on this exciting educational journey, one important question may arise: how many credits are required to obtain an AA degree? In this article, we will delve into the world of AA degrees, explore the significance of credit hours, and provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the credit requirements for an AA degree.

What is an AA Degree?

An AA degree is a two-year undergraduate program offered by community colleges and some universities. It is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in general education subjects before they transfer to a four-year institution or enter the workforce. This degree is highly versatile and can be pursued by individuals with various career goals.

To earn an AA degree, students must complete a specific number of credit hours, which represent the amount of time spent in class. These credit hours are a crucial aspect of your academic journey, as they determine the depth and breadth of your education.

Understanding Credit Hours

Credit hours serve as a measure of the time and effort required to complete a course. They reflect the amount of learning expected from students. In general, one credit hour equates to one hour of classroom instruction per week throughout a semester.

The calculation of credit hours is based on the Carnegie Unit, which was established by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. This system provides a widely accepted measure of academic credit in the United States.

How Many Credits are Required for an AA Degree?

The number of credits required to obtain an AA degree varies depending on the educational institution and the specific program of study. However, most AA degree programs typically require around 60 credit hours.

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It’s important to note that credit requirements may differ between institutions or even states. Some programs may have additional requirements, such as internships or capstone projects, which can affect the overall credit count.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the typical number of credits required for an AA degree?

As mentioned earlier, the typical number of credits required for an AA degree is approximately 60 credit hours. However, it is crucial to research and consult the specific institution and program you are interested in to obtain accurate information.

Can I transfer credits from previous education towards my AA degree?

Yes, many institutions accept transfer credits from previous education. If you have completed courses at another college or university, it is possible to transfer those credits towards your AA degree. However, the transferability of credits depends on various factors such as the accreditation of the previous institution and the compatibility of the courses with the AA degree program requirements.

Are there any variations in credit requirements based on majors?

While the core credit requirements for an AA degree remain relatively consistent, there may be variations based on the chosen major or field of study. Some programs may require specific courses or additional credit hours in certain subject areas. It is advisable to review the curriculum of your intended major to understand any additional credit requirements.

Can I earn an AA degree with part-time enrollment?

Yes, part-time enrollment is an option for earning an AA degree. Many community colleges and universities offer flexible scheduling to accommodate students who are unable to attend full-time due to work or personal commitments. By taking a reduced course load, you can gradually accumulate the necessary credits to complete your AA degree.

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What happens if I have excess credits beyond the AA degree requirements?

If you earn more credits than required for your AA degree, those additional credits may still hold value. They can be considered as elective credits and may be transferable to a four-year institution if you choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the future. However, it is essential to check with the intended transfer institution to understand their credit transfer policies.

Can I complete an AA degree with online courses?

Yes, many educational institutions offer online courses for AA degree programs. Online learning provides flexibility and convenience for students who may have other commitments. However, it is crucial to ensure that the online program is accredited and recognized by the appropriate accrediting bodies to ensure the legitimacy and transferability of the earned credits.


In conclusion, an AA degree is a valuable stepping stone in your educational journey. The number of credits required to obtain an AA degree typically hovers around 60 credit hours, but this can vary. It is essential to research and consult the specific institution and program you are interested in for accurate credit requirements.

Credit hours play a significant role in your AA degree pursuit, representing the time and effort dedicated to your education. Through careful planning and consultation with academic advisors, you can navigate the credit requirements and successfully earn your AA degree. So, take the first step towards your academic goals and embark on a fulfilling journey with an AA degree!

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