College FAQs

Can you explain the different types of undergraduate degrees?

A. Undergraduate degrees can only be awarded by a college or university.

The following are types of degrees:

A.A.S./Associate in Applied Science:

These are technical-occupational degrees that allow graduates to enter the work force in specialized fields such as automotive, child care, police sciences and allied health. To earn an A.A.S., you must complete at least 60 hours of approved coursework and graduate with an overall 2.0 grade point average (GPA). These degrees do not completely transfer into most bachelor degree programs.

A.A./Associate in Art or A.S./Associate in Science:

These college degrees also require a minimum of 60 hours of approved coursework and an overall 2.0 GPA. At least 37 of these credit hours must be in general education (see below). The remaining 23 credit hours (minimum) focus on your chosen major.

B.A./Bachelor of Arts or B.S./Bachelor of Science or other specialized bachelor’s degrees:

A bachelor’s degree typically requires four years of full-time student course load with a minimum of 120 credit hours completed and a graduation GPA of 2.0. These degrees are made up of three areas of study: general education requirements, course work in your chosen major and elective courses.

The following are NOT college degrees:

Certificate: These are specialized courses, not an academic degree, but may be used toward requirements for a degree program. Diploma: This is a formal document that recognizes your completion of study at an institution other than a public college or university.

Q. How many credit hours are in a course?

A. The average course is three credit hours although some are only one or two credit hours (such as labs). Therefore, if you need to complete 60 hours to graduate, you would take at least 20 courses. A full-time student usually takes 12 to 15 credit hours (four to five classes) per semester.

Q. I can’t go to school full-time. Now what?

You can attend college part-time, and many adult students make this choice. Taking fewer courses each semester means it will take you longer to complete your degree and may impact your financial aid.

Q. What are general education courses?

A. General education courses are required in all undergraduate degree programs. Their purpose is to expose you to a wide variety of courses that develop communication and math skills, national and global citizenship, and appreciation for cultural diversity and heritage. Some common general education courses include: English, citizenship, history and government, math, science, psychology, foreign languages and art.

Q. What’s the difference between a community college and a university?

A. Community colleges are two-year higher education institutions offering certificates and associate degrees as well as course work that will transfer to a four-year institution. Oklahoma has 12 public community colleges.
Universities offer bachelor’s degrees as well as graduate degrees. A few universities do offer two-year degrees. There are 13 public universities in Oklahoma. For a complete list of Oklahoma public colleges and universities, please see the back cover.

Q. I did poorly in college years ago. Can I still go to school?

A. A college or university can provide you with “academic forgiveness” options. These are procedures where you can recover from academic problems in ways that do not forever jeopardize your academic standing. During the admissions process, you may request an academic reprieve or renewal or the option to repeat courses.

Q. What if I need more information?

A. The State Regents help new and transfer students every day. There are three ways you can get more information:

  • Visit okhighered.org – the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s website.
  • Call (405) 225-9100
  • Email info@smartok.org