An associate's degree in applied science is available through any two year training program with an applied science major. To receive a degree, a student will need to meet the graduation requirements for the institution, along with the major requirements from the department in charge of applied science majors. It may take someone longer than two years to graduate in some circumstances. While in school, students can be eligible for financial assistance to cover their education and the costs of living, as well as opportunities like work-study, where they work on campus and receive compensation.
Graduation requirements for associate's degrees are usually set on a regional level by education agencies. These agencies want to make sure all students achieve a basic level of competence. Individual colleges may set their own requirements, such as adding a language requirement or adjusting other aspects of the criteria for graduation, as long as the minimum standard is met. Someone who wants an associate's degree in applied science will need to complete some general education requirements like English and history in order to be a well-rounded graduate.
Specific department requirements are set by individual departments to make sure their students receive an adequate education. An associate's degree in applied science can prepare a student for work or application into a more advanced degree program. In both cases, people expect some basic skills and areas of knowledge from a person with this degree, making it important to provide students with the tools they will need to match expectations.
Students may need to take some classes in specific sequence and can have a lab requirement, as well as a classroom one. Students in an associate's degree for applied science program may be given preference for certain types of course registrations to make sure they are able to complete the program in two years. In some cases, however, overloaded classes make it difficult for students to get into all the classes they need to graduate in two years. Students may also have to go part time because they're balancing school with work, childare, or other activities. Some students take summer classes to make up for this.
With an associate's degree in applied science, a graduate may be able to work in some scientific settings, or can apply into programs for higher degrees like a bachelor's degree. Some colleges have transfer agreements with four year programs, where all interested students can transfer as long as they have a grade point average above a certain level. Students who plan to pursue higher education after getting an associate's degree in applied science may want to consider getting their two year degrees from colleges with such arrangements to guarantee acceptance into at least one four year program.