Georgia Student Finance Commission


Types of Degrees

College Money Matters

Types of Degrees

Types of DegreesMost careers require some level of education beyond high school.

The need to have some level of postsecondary education is growing rapidly. By 2020, it is predicted that nearly 67 percent of jobs in Georgia will require some sort of education beyond high school.

Here are explanations of degree types to help you determine which one is right for you and your career path.

Certificate - A postsecondary professional award that normally requires two years or less of full-time study to complete. Certificates consist of courses that help you develop career competency in a single subject.

Associates - A two-year postsecondary degree. Students who pursue this kind of degree full-time can complete a program in as little as two years— though many choose to go at their own pace. An associate degree translates into the first two years of a bachelor’s degree (freshman and sophomore years).

Bachelor's - A postsecondary undergraduate degree. Historically, the term “college degree” meant a bachelor’s or traditional four-year degree. Bachelor degrees are also sometimes called baccalaureate degrees. Regionally accredited liberal arts colleges award most of the bachelor degrees in the United States.

Master's - The first level of graduate study. To apply for a master's degree you usually must already hold an undergraduate degree (a bachelor’s degree).

Doctorate - The highest level of academic degree. Typically a doctorate degree takes four years to complete, post bachelor's degree. If you already hold a master’s degree, you may be able to complete a doctorate in the same subject area with only three years of additional full-time study.