What are the Types of College degrees and Which One is Right for Me
Alphabet soup isn’t just for kids. It’s for higher education, too.
Looking at a long list of letters can be confusing when you want to find out what degree is right for you and the career you want to pursue after graduation.
Regent University offers more than 150+ areas of study at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. But, what does that mean?
Let’s break down the types of degrees:
1. Associate Degrees
The Associate Degree is usually a two-year degree program for those who have completed their high school education and aren’t seeking a traditional four-year bachelor’s program. Getting your A.A. (Associate of Art) or your A.S. (Associate of Science) degree can prepare you for advancing your education, or it can help you get a faster start to the career of your dreams!
A.A. degrees generally focus on humanities and social science fields. A.S. degrees focus on applied scientific and technical fields, as well as professional fields of study. The less common A.A.S. (Associate of Applied Science) may be earned by completing a two-year technical or vocational program.
2. Bachelor’s Degrees
This degree program is for students who are seeking a standard four-year degree program. Oftentimes through advanced courses, students can finish a semester or two earlier if they desire.
Bachelor’s degrees come in several forms:
• Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), for students who wish to study the humanities, such as language or history.
• Bachelor of Science (B.S.), for students who wish to focus their area of study in science, math, or technology.
• Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), for students who wish to pursue careers as charge nurses, health educators, health administrators or frontline nurses. The RN to BSN is increasingly popular as registered nurses without a bachelor’s degree are returning to the classroom to increase their credentials and job opportunities.
• Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.), for students who wish to incorporate hands-on training and integrate learning job-related skills into their classroom experience.
Students who complete these programs will be prepared for entry-level jobs in their desired fields upon their graduation. Several mid-level careers also require only a bachelor’s degree.
3. Master’s Degrees
These programs are for students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree program and are pursuing an advanced degree in their desired area of study. Oftentimes, these programs go into a much deeper level of understanding in a student’s field.
Along with coursework, master’s programs often require internships, culminating projects or thesis credits near the end of their education.
• Master of Arts (M.A.), for students who are continuing their education in the humanities field.
• Master of Science (M.S.), for students who are continuing their education in the areas of science, math, or technology.
• Master of Public Administration (MPA), for students who wish to prepare for roles in a government, large business or non-profit setting.
• Master of Business Administration (MBA), prepares students for all the ins and outs of marketing, advertising, public relations, accounting, and economics.
• Master of Education (M.Ed.), for students who wish to enhance their teaching skills in the classroom or those on track to advance as principals, school administrators, or curriculum developers.
Students who complete these programs will be prepared to advance in their careers following graduation.
4. Juris Doctorate (J.D.)
This degree program is for students who wish to practice the profession of law. This is a three-year track for those who have already completed a bachelor’s program in commonly (but not limited to) political science, history or government.
This program prepares students to practice law after passing their respective bar examinations.
5. Doctoral Degrees
These degrees are the “terminal” or highest level of programs for those who have already completed bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. These require an average of nearly five years of advanced study as well as an in-depth doctoral dissertation and a successful defense approved by a committee of university faculty.
These programs are highly respected; completion of these degrees often come with the honor of adding “Dr.” to your title.
• Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), often for those students who wish to teach at the graduate level of their chosen field.
• Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.), for students who wish to practice work as clinical psychologists, forensic psychologists or as private-practice therapists.
• Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), for students who wish to advance their contribution to the school systems as superintendents, education administrators, university professors, training and development managers, and instructional coordinators.
• Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.), for students who wish to seek a career in congregational ministries, institutional chaplaincies, counseling ministries, parachurch organizations, or missions agencies.
Want to learn more? Look through Regent University’s program options and see what degree is right for you!