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Do you have to transfer your associate's degree to your bachelors?

Hi,

I am currently a rising junior who is taking dual enrollment classes in psychology. I was wondering that when I go to university do they take away my associates degree if they transfer the credits to my bachelors degree. I was wondering because If they didn't I could pursue a better-paying job with my associates degree rather than waiting till I get my bachelor's.

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Chinyere’s Answer

Hello Summer,

It is not necessary to transfer your associate's degree to your master's degree. In most cases, the credits earned for an associate's degree can be transferred and applied towards a bachelor's degree program, but you would still retain the credentials of having earned an associate's degree. This means that you could still pursue job opportunities that require an associate's degree while working towards completing your bachelor's degree. It would be best to consult with academic advisors at the university you plan to attend to understand their specific transfer policies and how they may impact your career goals.

Best wishes.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, your advice was very helpful. Summer
Thank you comment icon Glad I could help. Chinyere Okafor
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Loriel’s Answer

The classes that you have completed in your associates degree will not transfer to your masters degree. However you can transfer those credits/classes to your bachelors degree.

From there your associates and bachelors can help you get into graduate school to earn your masters (And your associates can help you get into an undergraduate program to complete your bachelors). Those classes will not be a part of your masters degree but your overall GPA and how well you did in those classes will help you get into a masters program.

Most jobs will require a bachelors degree or higher. If you are trying to become a counselor or psychiatrist or anything in that field you will need more than an associates degree.

Loriel recommends the following next steps:

Reach out to your psychology department to talk about your options in terms of next steps
Talk to career services about what you will need for the job that you want to obtain.
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Aynur’s Answer

No, transferring your associate's degree credits to a bachelor's degree program does not take away your associate's degree. Once you earn your associate's degree, it is yours permanently. Here’s how it works:

1. **Earning the Associate’s Degree:** You complete the requirements for your associate's degree, and you are awarded the degree. This credential is yours for life.

2. **Transferring Credits:** When you transfer to a bachelor's degree program, the university will evaluate your transcript and transfer applicable credits. These transferred credits will count towards your bachelor's degree requirements.

3. **Using Your Associate's Degree:** Even after transferring credits, you can still list your associate’s degree on your resume. This can be advantageous for job opportunities while you continue your education.

**Benefits of Transferring Credits:**
- **Accelerate Your Bachelor’s Degree:** Transferring credits can help you complete your bachelor's degree faster.
- **Cost Savings:** It can save you money by reducing the number of credits you need to take at the university level.

**Job Opportunities with an Associate’s Degree:**
- While pursuing your bachelor’s degree, you can look for jobs that require an associate’s degree. This can help you gain work experience and potentially earn a better income.

**Steps to Transfer Credits:**
1. **Check University Policies:** Different universities have different policies on credit transfers. Make sure to understand the specific requirements of the university you plan to attend.
2. **Credit Evaluation:** Contact the admissions or registrar's office at the university for a credit evaluation to determine which of your associate degree credits will transfer.
3. **Maintain Records:** Keep copies of your transcripts and course syllabi, as some universities may request detailed information about the courses you completed.

In summary, transferring credits does not negate your associate’s degree. You can still use the degree for job opportunities while you work towards your bachelor's degree.
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Annah’s Answer

Summer, An AA or associates degree is less than an undergraduate BA or bachelor's degree. If you are wanting a graduate level degree in psychology (or a related field), you will first need to transfer credits to a BA program. Typical BA programs are four years while an AA is typically a two-year school. What is great about getting an AA (from a community college, for example) is the courses are a lot less costly. You can do all the introductory courses. Then you will apply for a BA, transferring all the credits you completed thus far. Depending on the (BA level) college or University they will accept most, if not all the credits. Example of undergraduate degrees- BA, BS, BFA. BA = Bachelor of Arts, BS = Bachelor of Science, BFA = Bachelor of Fine Arts. Once you complete your undergraduate degree, you can then move on to applying to a graduate program (MA or MS). My graduate counseling degree is an MA in clinical counseling with art therapy. And just to make things a bit more complicated (!), a doctoral degree is the highest level of graduate degree. For psychology you can choose either a PhD or PsyD program. A doctoral degree in psychology can take as long as six years to complete. If you know you want the doctorate, apply directly to a doctoral program instead of a master's program. This is just a suggestion to save you time and money. So, to recap in order of level of education- High school graduate, Associates degree, Bachelors degree, Masters level graduate degree, Doctorate level (post-masters) degree. Some students prefer to get the master's and gain work experience before deciding about additional education. Either way, it is a big commitment. There is no right/wrong way to go- you will follow your own path of learning! My advice is to keep going and do your best to not be intimidated by the length of study. Psychology students are lifelong learners! You will have a lot of time to get hands-on experience as a student. There will be hundreds of supervision and client/patient contact hours to complete along with professional exams for licensure. It is a marathon for sure. You will be required to complete annual continuing education credits. This will ensure that as a professional, you stay abreast of advancements and keep your skills fresh. This is a field that requires passion and commitment. I have no doubt you have it in you to stay the course! My own career trajectory was not traditional. In the end, it does not matter how you get there, only that you get there!
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Karissa’s Answer

If you have an Associates Degree completed they will not take it away. If you completed the right courses and the right amount of credits you will leave college with nothing. If you complete all the required classes for an Associates Degree you need to go through the steps to graduate. Usually this includes applying to graduate and paying applicable fees. You do not have to go to the ceremony but make sure you get a paper diploma.
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Lora’s Answer

Hey, check with your local college about what credits will automatically transfer to which university. For instance, once your earn your AA, there is nothing to take that away from you. Many AA programs are tied to local universities and such and all of the credits will transfer over toward your BA or your BS. Here in Pennsylvania, if I were to get my AA at Delaware County Community College, then all of those credits transfer to West Chester University toward my BA.

Also, ask your advisor!
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