Build Your Degree

An associate's degree is intended to assist students in completing the lower-division (freshman and sophomore) portion of a baccalaureate degree. Completion of the full associate's degree, typically 60-64 credits, makes it much more likely that a four-year institution will accept all transferring credits and grant the student junior status. The associate's degree is a credential recognized by academic institutions and employers alike, and completion of the degree can bring added value for a student’s application or resume.

Associate in Arts (AA) Degree

The Associate in Arts (AA) degree is designed for students interested in areas related to the humanities, social sciences, or liberal arts. The AA degree includes the full package of transferable General Education Core Courses (GECC).

General Education Core Curriculum Requirements (37–40 hours)

 

GECC Requirements for an AA Degree
  • Communications - 3 courses (9 semester credits)
    Must include a two-course sequence in writing (6 semester credits) with a grade of C or higher and one course in oral communication (3 semester credits).
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences - 3 courses (9 semester credits)
    Must include courses selected from at least two disciplines.
  • Humanities and Fine Arts - 3 courses (9 semester credits)
    Must include at least one Humanities course and at least one Fine Arts course.
  • Mathematics - 1 course (3–5 semester credits)
  • Physical and Life Sciences - 2 courses (8 semester credits)
    Courses must be lab-based.
    Must include one Life Science course and one Physical Science course, or two interdisciplinary courses.

*One course must fulfill the Non-Western culture requirement. Applicable courses are noted with an asterisk and located in Social and Behavior Sciences, Humanities, or Fine Arts.

For a list of applicable courses, view the General Education Core Curriculum.


AA Degree Requirements (3 hours)

  • LAS 189 - Introduction to the Liberal Arts and Sciences (3 hours)

Electives in Areas of Interest (17–20 hours)

  • Students are encouraged to choose 3 to 5 courses with the same or related prefix, dependent on interest and transfer goals. Students can choose any transferable classes that interest them. Parkland College's course number system identifies transferable courses as those with an even middle digit.

Total Semester Credits = 60 Hours

Associate in Science (AS) Degree

The Associate in Science (AS) degree is designed for students interested in disciplines related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (commonly known as STEM). Students should note that the AS degree requires only 31 to 35 hours of coursework for completion of the General Education Core Curriculum (GECC). Two additional courses to complete the general education requirements may be taken after transferring.

General Education Core Curriculum Requirements (31–35 hours)

GECC Requirements for an AS Degree
  • Communications - 3 courses (9 semester credits)
    Must include a two-course sequence in writing (6 semester credits) with a grade of C or higher and one course in oral communication (3 semester credits).
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences - 2 courses (6 semester credits)
    Must include courses selected from at least two disciplines.
  • Humanities and Fine Arts - 2 courses (6 semester credits)
    Must include at least one Humanities course and at least one Fine Arts course.
  • Mathematics - 1 course (3–5 semester credits)
  • Physical and Life Sciences - 2 courses (7–8 semester credits)
    Must include one laboratory-based Life Science course and one laboratory-based Physical Science course.

*It is recommended that one course fulfill the Non-Western culture requirement. Applicable courses are noted with an asterisk and located in Social and Behavior Sciences, Humanities, or Fine Arts.

For a list of applicable courses, view the General Education Core Curriculum.


AS Degree Requirements (6–10 hours)

  • One additional mathematics and one additional physical or life science course (6–10 hours)
    Any AST, BIO, CHE, ESC, MAT, PHY, or SCI courses numbered 100 through 289 whose second digit is even, beyond the general education requirements in mathematics and science.

Electives in Areas of Interest (17–20 hours)

  • Students are encouraged to choose 3 to 5 courses with the same or related prefix, dependent on interest and transfer goals. While students can choose any transferable classes that interest them, students working toward the AS degree typically choose courses relevant to science, engineering, and math. Parkland College's course number system identifies transferable courses as those with an even middle digit.

Total Semester Credits = 60 Hours

What You Need to Know about Transferring Parkland Courses

Parkland College courses with an even middle digit in the course number will transfer to most four-year institutions as a general education course, a major's core course, or an elective. 

Courses identified as General Education Core Curriculum (GECC)-eligible will transfer to public four-year institutions in the state of Illinois as a general education course. If a student completes the full GECC package, it will transfer as a unit. When a student completes only a portion of the GECC, the transfer institution will consider acceptance of each course individually.

  • For students interested in a specific area of study, we recommend reviewing the relevant Areas of Study page that will help identify core courses recommended by most public four-year institutions in Illinois.
  • It is always a good idea to speak to a Parkland advisor, as well as advisors from the intended transfer institution, to determine the best choice of coursework. 
  • Students can also identify how courses may transfer to a four-year institution by setting up an account at Transferology, a nationwide network designed to help students explore their college transfer options.

Associate in Fine Arts (AFA) Degree

The Associate in Fine Arts (AFA) degree is designed for students interested in pursuing degrees specifically in Arts and Music.

Students should note that, depending on the area of study, the AFA degree might not require all coursework required for completion of the General Education Core Curriculum (GECC). Additional courses to complete the general education requirements may be taken after transferring.

Associate in Engineering Science (AES) Degree

The Associate in Engineering Science (AES) degree is designed for students intending to pursue a specialized engineering degree at a four-year institution. 

Students should note that the AES degree may include very little of the coursework required for completion of the General Education Core Curriculum (GECC). The number of general education courses required for the study of engineering is dependent upon the specific field of engineering and the transfer institution. Students are strongly encouraged to speak to an advisor concerning the best choice of classes for their goals.