Associate Degrees

MiraCosta College offers the following degrees: Associate in Arts (A.A.), Associate in Science (A.S.), Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T), and Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T). The awarding of an associate 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 an associate 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. The academic disciplines as well as the career and technical disciplines for which MiraCosta offers an associate degree are identified on the Associate Degrees & Certificate Programs table.

Although the associate degree recognizes the completion of lower-division course requirements, it does not guarantee admission to a four-year college or university.

Associate in Arts (A.A.) and Associate in Science (A.S.) Requirements

Students who wish to earn an associate degree from MiraCosta must meet the following requirements (per MCCCD 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.

  • Plan A: Completion of MiraCosta College General Education Requirements (Plan A)*
  • Plan B: Completion and certification of California State University General Education (CSU GE) Breadth (Plan B)
  • Plan C: Completion and certification of University of California/California State University Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC; 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.

General education at MiraCosta introduces the content and methodology of major areas of knowledge. Its purpose is to encourage students to select a broad spectrum of classes. Students completing this program are able to demonstrate the following:

  • A broad understanding of mathematics, science, social science, humanities, and the arts
  • Effective communication in oral and written form
  • A multicultural global perspective
  • Critical thinking skills that apply analytical and creative approaches to problem solving
  • The ability to adapt to new environments and technologies
  • Social awareness and responsibility as a participating member of society.

*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 grade point average of 2.0 in all units attempted at MiraCosta and a combined 2.0 grade point average, including all work transferred to the college that is to be included in the degree evaluation. 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, with at least 6 of those 12 in the major or area of emphasis.

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 course-work 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 United States 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, 101; ENGL 100, 201, 201H, 202, 202H; or equivalent.

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

  • Achieve a qualifying multimeasure score on the MiraCosta College English Assessment that gives placement into ENGL 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 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, 201, 201H, 202, 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 103 through 150
  • 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 in Arts for Transfer (AA-T), Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T) Requirements 

MiraCosta College offers associate degrees for transfer 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. 

AA-T and AS-T degree requirements are as follows:

  • Complete 60 semester (90 quarter) CSU transferable units
  • Complete all courses required in the major with a “C” or better
  • Complete the CSU-GE or CSU-IGETC general education pattern 
  • Achieve a minimum CSU transferable GPA of 2.0 
  • Complete a minimum of 12 units in residence at MiraCosta College.

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. 

This priority 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 the CSU campus. This may include an emphasis or option within the degree offered at the CSU campus or another degree program at the CSU campus. Once admitted, the student will be required to complete only 60 additional prescribed units to qualify for the similar baccalaureate degree.   

At the time of this publication, MiraCosta offers an AA-T in communication studies, history, psychology, sociology, and studio arts and an AS-T in administration of justice, business administration, and mathematics. To view which CSU campuses accept these degrees, please visit www.sb1440.org.

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. An Associate in Arts or Associate in Science for Transfer degree 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.

 Applying for the Associate Degree

Students who expect to receive an associate 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 2013: September 23, 2013
  • Spring 2014: February 13, 2014

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 Counseling 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 major units. 
  • All degree requirements have been met, with at least 12 units in residence completed in the additional major at MiraCosta College.

(Source: MCCCD 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 Activities Office prior to the ceremony.

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