Degrees

MiraCosta College offers the following degrees: associate in arts (AA), associate in science (AS), associate in arts and associate in science for transfer (AA-T and AS-T), and one bachelor of science (BS). The awarding of a degree at MiraCosta represents more than an accumulation of units. It also symbolizes a successful attempt on the part of the college to lead students through patterns of learning experiences designed to develop certain capabilities and insights. Students who graduate with a degree from MiraCosta possess sufficient depth in some field of knowledge to contribute to lifetime interest and career pursuit.

The associate degree is designed to prepare students either for transfer to a four-year college or university or for immediate employment. Although the associate degree recognizes the completion of lower-division course requirements, it does not guarantee admission to a four-year college or university. 

The academic and career education disciplines for which MiraCosta offers an associate degree are identified on the Degrees & Certificate Programs table

Associate Degree (AA/AS) Requirements

Students who wish to earn an associate degree from MiraCosta must meet the following requirements (per MCCD Board Policy/Administrative Procedure 4100).

Major & Grades

Students must complete a minimum of 18 units in a chosen major or area of emphasis and complete each course with a "C" or better (or a "P" if the course is taken on a "pass/no pass" basis). Students may use courses to satisfy both a general education and a major requirement.

General Education

Students have three general education patterns from which to choose but are strongly encouraged to consult with a MiraCosta counselor for assistance in selecting the general education pattern that is most appropriate for their educational goal. Note: Students should refer to the Articulation or Transfer Center webpages for the most current list of courses that have been approved for the Plan B and Plan C general education patterns.

  • Plan A: MiraCosta College General Education Course Requirements (Plan A).*
  • Plan B: Certified California State University General Education (CSU-GE) Breadth Course Requirements (Plan B).
  • Plan C: Certified Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) Course Requirements (Plan C).

While a course might satisfy more than one general education requirement, it may not be counted more than once for these purposes. However, courses may be used to satisfy both a general education and a major requirement.

The MiraCosta College Core Competencies identify the learning outcomes students can expect to gain from their general education coursework.

*The Plan A general education requirement may be met by submitting a transcript verifying completion of a bachelor's degree from a United States regionally accredited college or university.

Units

Students must complete a minimum of 60 degree-applicable units of credit.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in all degree applicable units attempted at MiraCosta, as well as a combined 2.0 grade point average including all work transferred to the college. A grade of "A," "B," "C," or "P" is required for all courses to be counted toward an associate degree major or area of emphasis.

Students may need a higher GPA for admission to a University of California campus or to UC/CSU impacted programs and majors than is required for MiraCosta's associate degree.

Residency

Complete a minimum of 12 units in residence at MiraCosta College.

Competencies

All students seeking an associate degree must demonstrate competence in reading, written expression, and mathematics. However, achievement of minimum competency does not mean students have met coursework requirements for the associate degree.

Note: These competencies are met when students complete either the CSU GE-Breadth (Plan B) or IGETC (Plan C) general education pattern or submit an official transcript verifying completion of a bachelor's degree from a U.S. regionally accredited college or university.

Reading: Reading competency must be demonstrated by completing one of the following options:

  • Achieve a qualifying score on the reading component of the MiraCosta College English Assessment that gives a recommendation for READ 100.
  • Present proof of achieving one of the following minimum test scores:
    • A passing score on the CSU English Placement Exam.
    • A score of 3, 4, or 5 on a College Board Advanced Placement English Examination.
    • A score of 5 or better on the International Baccalaureate Higher Level English Test.
  • Complete one of the following with a minimum grade of "C" or "P": READ 100; ENGL 100, ENGL 100HENGL 201, ENGL 201H, ENGL 202, ENGL 202H; or equivalent.

Writing: Writing competency must be demonstrated by completing one of the following options:

  • Present proof of achieving one of the following minimum test scores:
    • A passing score on the CSU English Placement Exam.
    • A score of 3, 4, or 5 on a College Board Advanced Placement English Examination.
    • A score of 5 or better on the International Baccalaureate English Language A1 Higher Level Examination.
  • Complete one of the following with a minimum grade of "C" or "P" at MiraCosta or an equivalent course at another regionally accredited college: ENGL 100, ENGL 100HENGL 201, ENGL 201H, ENGL 202, ENGL 202H.

Mathematics: Math competency must be demonstrated by completing one of the following options:

  • Pass a MiraCosta mathematics course numbered 64 through 270 or equivalent with a minimum grade of "C" or "P."
  • Achieve a qualifying score on the MiraCosta College Mathematics Competency Examination that gives clear placement into a math course numbered 102 through 150.
  • Achieve a passing score on the CSU Elementary Level Mathematics (ELM) placement exam.
  • Achieve a Standard Exceeded score on the CSU Early Assessment Program (EAP) in math.
  • Achieve a qualifying score on a California Community College Mathematics assessment exam that gives clear placement into a math course that requires intermediate algebra as a prerequisite or has a traceable prerequisite to intermediate algebra.
  • Present proof of achieving one of the following minimum test scores:
    • A passing score on the College Board Mathematics Achievement Test (500 Level I; 600 Level II).
    • A score of 3, 4, or 5 on a College Board Advanced Placement Math Examination.
    • A minimum score of 50 on a College-Level Examination Program Subject Exam (College Algebra, Pre-calculus, or Calculus).
    • A score of 4 or better on an International Baccalaureate Mathematics Examination.

Associate Degree for Transfer (AA-T/AS-T) Requirements 

MiraCosta College offers associate degrees for transfer (ADTs) to the California State University (CSU). These degrees have been developed as a result of the Student Transfer Achievement Reform (STAR) Act and are designed to provide a clear pathway to a CSU major and baccalaureate degree. 

ADT requirements are as follows:

  • Complete a minimum of 60 CSU-transferable semester units.
  • Complete a minimum of 18 units in an approved ADT major.
  • Complete all courses required in the major with a “C” or "P" or better.
  • Complete the certified CSU-GE (Plan B) or IGETC (Plan C)* general education pattern.
  • Obtain a minimum CSU-transferable GPA of 2.0.
  • Complete a minimum of 12 units in residence at MiraCosta College.

* Students completing IGETC may be awarded the degree, but they must complete a course from Area IC: Oral Communication to meet CSU admission requirements.

California community college students who are awarded an AA-T or AS-T degree are guaranteed priority admission with junior status to a participating CSU campus and given priority admission to their local CSU campus. MiraCosta students earning an AA-T or AS-T degree or completing traditional admission requirements have local priority admission to California State University San Marcos. To view which CSU campuses accept these degrees, please visit www.sb1440.org.

Priority admission does not guarantee admission to a specific major. Participating CSU campuses determine that the degree awarded by MiraCosta is similar to a degree that can be awarded at that campus. This may include an emphasis or option within the degree or another degree program. Once admitted, students are required to complete only 60 additional prescribed units to qualify for a similar baccalaureate degree. Students are encouraged to consult with a MiraCosta counselor to determine which CSU campuses are participating in this program and which degrees are considered similar on those campuses.

Courses from other U.S. regionally accredited colleges will be reviewed for placement on the associate degrees for transfer based on existing C-ID numbers and/or course comparability to the transfer model curriculum template developed by the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office.

The associate degree for transfer may not be the best option for students intending to transfer to a particular CSU campus, the University of California, or a private or out-of-state university. Students are encouraged to consult with a MiraCosta counselor for further information regarding the most efficient pathway to transfer and to develop an educational plan designed to meet their educational goals.

Bachelor of Science Requirements

The bachelor's degree in biomanufacturing builds upon the associate degree program in biomanufacturing, allowing students who complete the associate degree or equivalent coursework from other colleges to enter as juniors and earn a baccalaureate. Information about the program, including eligibility requirements, the application process, and upper-division tuition, is available under the Biotechnology Area of Study

Applying for a Degree

Students who expect to receive a degree must file a petition by the 30 percent deadline of the final semester leading to their graduation. (Students intending to graduate during the summer intersession may petition during the spring semester.) Final dates to file a petition are as follows:

  • Fall 2018: September 21, 2018
  • Spring 2019: February 22, 2019

Official transcripts from all colleges attended (or concurrently attending), approved substitutions and waivers, educational plans, and any other necessary documents must be on file in the Admissions and Records Office before a student submits a petition to graduate. Petitions submitted after the deadline are automatically processed in the subsequent semester.

Multiple Degrees

Students who are in progress to complete or who have previously been awarded a MiraCosta associate degree may be qualified for an additional associate degree under the following circumstances:

  • The additional degree represents a new major.
  • Each degree has at least 12 mutually exclusive units.
  • All degree requirements have been met including residency, with at least 12 units completed in the new major, at MiraCosta College.

Students may earn multiple degrees concurrently provided the above criteria is met.

(Source: MCCD Administrative Procedure 4100.)

Commencement

The MiraCosta College commencement ceremony is held once a year in May at the end of the spring semester. Students who submit a petition for an associate degree or certificate of achievement are eligible to attend the commencement ceremony provided they meet the requirements for the degree or certificate. Students who are eligible to attend the ceremony will receive information about participating in the ceremony from the Student Life and Leadership Office prior to the ceremony.