Requirements for Associate Degrees

  • Associate of Arts (AA)
  • Associate of Science (AS)
  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS)

Credit Hour Requirements

For most associate degrees, 60 semester credit hours in approved course work must be earned. A cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or higher must be achieved for all courses including those which comprise the area of emphasis. Some programs have additional GPA requirements.

Academic Residency for Associate Degrees

To receive an associate degree from Colorado Mesa University, students must complete a minimum of 15 of the final 30 semester hours of credit through Colorado Mesa University.

Associate of Arts (AA) and Associate of Science (AS) Degree Requirements

AA and AS degree programs are designed to prepare students for transfer into upper division collegiate work (junior level) in colleges and universities granting the Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. The AA degree is structured for transfer into a baccalaureate degree program, with junior standing, in the arts, humanities, social or behavioral sciences, or one of the professional fields with such disciplines as its base. The AS degree is designed for transfer into a baccalaureate degree program, with junior standing, in one of the mathematical, biological, or physical sciences, or in one of the professional fields with such disciplines as its base.

CMU’s Essential Learning Core coursework for all AA and AS degree programs aligns with the Colorado Statewide General Education Core and will thus meet the lower-division General Education requirements of most baccalaureate degree programs at public institutions in Colorado. A grade of “C” or higher is required in each Core course in order to be accepted for transfer under the Core Transfer Agreements.

Students should consult with their faculty advisors to assure that the emphasis and electives chosen will satisfy requirements of the particular baccalaureate programs to which they plan to transfer.

In general, coursework for the AA or AS degree includes:

  1. Completion of the university’s 31 credit hour Essential Learning Core which fulfills the state’s General Education curriculum. The same English and mathematics requirements specified for baccalaureate-seeking students also apply to those pursuing an AA or AS degree.

    Students pursuing an AA or AS degree do not have to complete the 4 credit hour Essential Learning Capstone unless they transfer into a baccalaureate degree program. Once a student makes the transition to a baccalaureate program, the Essential Learning Capstone requirements take effect and should be completed in the earliest possible semester after which 45 credit hours have been earned.

    Students enrolled prior to summer/fall 2015 have the option of completing CMU’s previous Applied Studies requirement (3 semester credit hours) instead of the current Essential Learning Capstone requirement (4 semester hours). For a list of approved Applied Studies courses, see the entry under the “Other Lower Division Requirements” section for baccalaureate degrees.

    Specific information about the Essential Learning content areas, required hours and courses is found under the baccalaureate section “Essential Learning Core Course Requirements” and “Core Courses Approved for the Essential Learning Program Requirements.”
  2. Other lower division requirements. For the Wellness requirement, an associate degree seeking student must earn two semester credit hours in Kinesiology. In addition to KINE 100, a student also must complete one activity course which include: KINA 1XX, DANC 160, DANC 169, DANC 174, DANC 177, DANC 180, and MUSP 147. Up to three KINA courses (excluding varsity athletics) may be taken as electives toward graduation with an associate degree.

    Students seeking an associate degree must complete the Essential Learning Core, but do not have to enroll in the Capstone coursework until they formally declare a major in a baccalaureate degree. Students enrolled prior to Summer/Fall 2015 have the option of completing CMU’s previous Applied Studies requirement (3 semester credit hours) instead of CMU’s Essential Learning Capstone requirement. Applied Studies courses are not considered part of the Essential Learning Core for AA or AS degree programs. See the list of courses approved for Applied Studies in the baccalaureate section of this chapter.
  3. Discipline classes (emphasis). Consult with a faculty advisor.
  4. Electives. May be required to meet the minimum 60 hours. See program sheet.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree Requirements

AAS degree programs are intended to prepare individuals to enter skilled and/or para-professional occupations or to upgrade/stabilize their employment. With the exception of the Bachelor of Applied Science degree, these programs generally are not intended for transfer to baccalaureate degree programs. Selected courses, however, may be accepted toward a baccalaureate degree at some institutions. The AAS degrees available at Colorado Mesa University, along with the courses required to complete each degree, are described in the Programs of Study section in this catalog. Students should consult a faculty advisor on specific degree requirements.

Required coursework for an AAS degree includes:

  1. Essential Learning courses (15 semester credit hours)
    While some courses may be specified for a major, the following minimum requirements apply:
    1. 3 semester hours of Mathematics:
      • MATH 107 or higher

        Note: MATH 107 and MATH 108 do not meet the mathematics Essential Learning (General Education) requirement for students who subsequently elect to pursue an AA, AS, or a baccalaureate degree.
    2. 6 semester hours of Communication:
    3. 6 semester hours of other Essential Learning Core courses:
      • 6 semester hours Social and Behavioral Sciences, History, Natural Sciences, Fine Arts or Humanities.
  2. Wellness Requirement: 2 semester hours
    For the Wellness requirement, an associate degree seeking student must earn two semester credit hours in Kinesiology. In addition to KINE 100, a student also must complete one activity course which include: KINA 1XX, DANC 160, DANC 169, DANC 174, DANC 177, DANC 177, DANC 180 , and MUSP 147. Up to three KINA courses (excluding varsity athletics) may be taken as electives toward graduation with an associate degree.
  3. Additional lower division requirements as relevant to some degrees, e.g. prerequisites.

Double Emphasis within an Associate Degree

Students who elect to pursue a double emphasis within one degree must satisfy all the requirements for each emphasis. Only one associate degree will be awarded, and all emphases must be declared on the petition to graduate.

Second Associate Degree

A minimum of 15 semester hours of credit beyond that required for the first associate degree must be earned by a student seeking a second associate degree at Colorado Mesa University. A minimum of one semester of residency at Colorado Mesa University is also necessary. In addition, the student must satisfy all specific requirements for the new degree. Only one AA and only one AS degree may be granted to any student.