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Associate Degrees and Certificate Programs


Associate Degree

The Associate Degree is a certification of the student's  satisfactory  completion  of a program of study with a specific major or area of specialization. The Associate Degree is normally completed in two years, compared with the Baccalaureate Degree, which is normally completed in four years. Associate Degrees are commonly conferred by community colleges and are referenced as "local degrees".​

The Associate in Arts Degree (A.A.) is used primarily for transfer programs that lead to the bachelor of arts degree at a four-year college or university. It may be used for general liberal arts programs.
The Associate in Science Degree (A.S.) may be used for certain career-technical studies and for science or professionally-related programs that lead to transfer to a bachelor of science degree at a four-year college or university.
The Associate Degree for Transfer (AA-T or AS-T) is designed to provide a clear pathway to a California State University degree major. It allows students to complete an Associate’s degree while satisfying lower division general education and major requirements for transfer at the same time.
An Associate Degree leads to the completion of the first two years of a Bachelor Degree​.

Ordinarily Associate Degrees have one of two major purposes. Either the program of study prepares the individual for transfer to a four-year college or university or the program of study is intended to prepare the student for immediate employment. 

​​​Cer​​tificate of Achievement

​A Certificate of Achievement (18 or more units or state approved under 18 units) is a verification of achievement in a particular academic or occupational area, and it will be included on the official transcript. Certificate of Achievement programs normally include only those courses which have a direct bearing upon specialized occupational competency since the certificate has the sole objective of  immediate  employment in a specialized area. For this reason there is no general education requirement in a certificate program.

International students can obtain one or more certificates while completing their Associate Degree. 


​​​Common Questions​

​What academic majors does Santiago Canyon College offer?​​​

​A full list of academic majors can be found in the SCC ​​​2021-2022 College Catalog. Apprenticeship programs and Cosmetology are not available to F-1 international students.

Am I able to transfer after graduating at SCC?​

Absolutely. As students complete the requirements for their two-year degree, they are also completing general education requirements needed to transfer. Transferable coursework is then used to meet the requirements for a four-year degree at the university.​ SCC students transfer to institutions all over the country! Commonly, students transfer locally to the CSUs or UCs but there are also private unviersities and those out-of-state. For a full​ overview of transfer pathways and services, visit the Transfer Success Center​.​

Can I receive a certificate before completing an Associate degree?

​Yes, students can receive a certificate before completing an Associate degree. The certificate can take about 3 - 4 semesters to complete depending on the course availability each semester. Because of course prerequisites and availability, F-1 international students may find themselves needing other courses to maintain their full-time enrollment as not all required courses for a certificate can be completed in one semester.

How do I apply?​​

​Visit our homepage at:​ and click the APPLY NOW button.

​Can I apply for the English Language Program (ELP)?

​​​The English Language Program is an intensive English training for students not yet meeting the minimum English proficiency requirement for SCC and is available every fall and spring semesters. Students interested in more information, please visit the dedicated webpage: English Language Program (ELP)​.