Degrees, Certificates & Majors

Learn the type of education you’ll need to follow your dreams.

From one-year certificates to four-year degrees, higher education equals opportunity.

Certificate — Generally one-year programs that lead directly to entry level employment in a specific occupation such as aviation pilot, diesel mechanic, or respiratory therapist.

Applied Associate Degree (A.A.S.) — Two-year programs that provide broader knowledge in fields ranging from biomanufacturing and computer information systems to dental hygiene and digital media. The in-depth knowledge and skills acquired in an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree prepare students for employment in a career track with advancement opportunities.

Transfer Associate Degree (A.A., A.S.) — Two-year programs that provide the academic foundation for transfer to a four-year bachelor’s degree program. Associate of Arts (A.A.) and Associate of Science (A.S.) programs cover the curriculum taught in the first two years of a four-year program of study.

Bachelor’s Degree (B.A., B.S.) — Four-year programs that provide in-depth, specialized knowledge in a major or field of study. Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees prepare students either for employment in fields from accounting to theater, or for further studies.

Master’s or Professional Degree — Programs offered at a postgraduate level, usually after earning a bachelor’s degree. Master’s degrees prepare students for occupations and/or additional study in a variety of fields. Common examples include education, engineering, nursing, and business.

Doctorate — Provides further training in a more specialized area, in occupations similar to master’s or professional degrees.


Degree/CertificateTypical Program LengthEducational or Career Goal AchievedExamples of Career Areas (with many more possible)
CertificateTypically one year, but may be longerEntry-level employment in a particular career
  • Aerospace/aviation
  • Diesel Mechanics
  • Marketing
  • Respiratory Therapy
Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.)Two yearsSolid preparation for employment and possible career advancement
  • Biomanufacturing
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Nursing
  • Allied Health
Associate of Arts (A.A.) and Associate of Science (A.S.)Two yearsCompletion of the academic foundation for transfer to a four-year degreeAny field for which a four-year degree is offered
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.)Minimum of four years, but may be longer depending upon major chosenEntry into career or preparation for future study at the graduate levelThe sky’s the limit…degrees from “A” (Accounting) to “Z” (Zoology)
Master’s or ProfessionalVaries, but generally two or three yearsQualification for a particular career or for career advancement requiring preparation beyond the bachelor’s degree or for entry into doctoral programProfessional master’s:

  • Social Work
  • School Administration
  • Fine Arts

Master’s for doctoral program entry:

  • Almost any field
DoctorateVaries, but generally no less than four yearsCareer entry or advancement for fields requiring experience in research methodsAlmost any field

Choosing and Applying

It’s your future — pursue what you want.

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Paying for College

With many funding options available in the form of scholarships, grants, and more — you CAN go to college.

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Be ready for college. Take the right classes.

Begin building a strong academic foundation by taking the right courses in high school.

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Look Locally

There’s a college in Utah that’s right for your child.

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While preparing for college, you’ll come across new terms and acronyms galore. Use this glossary to become fluent in college speak.

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15 to Finish

Finish college in 4 years.

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