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Associate Degree Requirements

Associate Degree Requirements

The associate degree at MiraCosta College provides a framework within which students complete patterns of learning experiences designed to develop capabilities and insights to support their academic and career goals. Among these capabilities and insights are competencies that comprise a general education curriculum. These competencies include the ability

  • to think critically and communicate clearly and effectively both orally and in writing,
  • to locate, evaluate, and use needed information effectively,
  • to engage with diverse perspectives,
  • to use quantitative reasoning,
  • to understand the modes of inquiry of the major disciplines,
  • to be aware of other cultures and times,
  • to achieve insights gained through experience in thinking about ethical problems, and
  • to develop the capacity for self-understanding.

In addition to these competencies, students graduating with an associate degree will possess sufficient depth in some field of knowledge to contribute to lifetime interest and career pursuit.

The associate degree is designed to prepare students for either immediate employment or transfer to a four-year college or university. 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 Degree & Certificate Programs table

Coursework Requirements

The District confers the associate degree upon students who have completed 60 semester units of degree-applicable lower-division courses, including a minimum of 18 semester units of focused study in a major or interdisciplinary area of emphasis and a minimum of 21 semester units of general education.

General Education

General education introduces students to the variety of means through which people comprehend the modern world by providing opportunities for students to engage with the arts and humanities, sciences, mathematics, and social sciences. It ensures students who receive their degrees have mastered principles, concepts, and methodologies both unique to and shared by the various disciplines. 

Students have three general education patterns from which to choose but are strongly encouraged to consult with a MiraCosta College counselor for assistance in selecting the general education pattern that is most appropriate for their educational goal.

  • 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 or area of emphasis requirement.

Students who have been awarded a bachelor’s degree from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education shall be deemed to have fulfilled the general education course requirement for the associate degree. Additionally, the Plan A general education requirement may be met by submitting a transcript verifying completion of an associate degree at an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.

*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.

Graduation Requirements

Students who wish to earn an associate degree from MiraCosta College must satisfy the following additional graduation requirements.


Complete the requirements for the associate degree with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 in the degree-applicable courses and a minimum grade of "C" or "P" in each course counted toward the major or area of emphasis. Courses completed with a C- at institutions accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education may be used to satisfy this requirement. Note: 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.


Complete a minimum of 12 degree-applicable units in residence within the MiraCosta Community College District.

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. Note: This requirement does not apply to Associate Degrees for Transfer.
  • 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.)


Campus Locations

MiraCosta Community Learning Center

1831 Mission Avenue
Oceanside, CA 92058
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MiraCosta Oceanside Campus Building

1 Barnard Drive
Oceanside, CA 92056
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MiraCosta San Elijo Campus

3333 Manchester Avenue
Cardiff, CA 92007
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MiraCosta Technology Career Institute Building

2075 Las Palmas Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92011
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