What is an Associate Degree?

By Alexander College Modified on May 11, 2024
Tags : Academics | Careers | Student POV

Learn all about two-year associate degrees, and how they can help you achieve your education dreams.

What is an Associate Degree?

Selecting a program and area of study is an important decision, and often a daunting one. You may find yourself in a position where different opportunities present themselves, and you are unsure what path bests suits your needs: will you do a bachelor's degree, a diploma, a certificate, or an associate degree?

You may even be wondering "are there associate degrees in Canada?" Yes — yes there are!

What is an associate degree in Canada?

You may never have heard of an associate degree before, so you probably have a few questions like:

  • How long does an associate degree take?
  • What's the difference between an associate degree vs. a diploma? Or a bachelor's degree?
  • What are the requirements for an associate degree?
  • Why should I do an associate degree in Canada?

An associate degree is a two-year undergraduate program that will prepare you with the experience and knowledge you need in order to transfer to university or directly enter the workforce.

Completing an associate degree constitutes a portion of the full four-year undergraduate degree that you can take at a university. Associate degrees are typically more specialization-focused than other degrees, meaning you learn the key skills and information in your desired subject.

Can I work while studying in Canada?

International students are able to work 20 hours per week during the semester, and any number of hours during scheduled breaks. This figure will increase to 24 hours per week as of September, 2024.

You can learn more about working in Canada in this article.

You're encouraged to double check your eligibility requirements prior to deciding on a route of study and work.

What types of associate degrees are there?

At Alexander College, we offer two types of Associate Degrees: the Associate of Science and Associate of Arts. Within these two Associate degree programs, you can choose from a variety of concentrations of study.

Associate of Arts

In the Associate of Arts program, you will expand your knowledge in the faculty of arts, focusing on topics in the humanities and social sciences, and developing your critical thinking and research skills.

If you're interested in the Associate of Arts, we offer concentrations in the Arts, Business, Psychology, Economics, and our new concentration, Sociology, and much more.

In the video below, AC student Mana Khalesi shares how working on campus during her associate degree program has created a deeper level of connection to her work, and how she finds joy in helping other students like her.

Associate of Science

In the Associate of Science program, you will have the opportunity to focus on an area of study such as basic sciences, computer science, or mathematics.

Kaining Zheng is a student in the Computer Science concentration and recipient of the AC Scholarship for Computer Science. Discover what an associate degree is like for an international student:

If you're interested in pursuing an engineering degree, the Associate of Science will provide you with a significant portion of your coursework requirements that you can transfer to a university in Vancouver, BC or across Canada. The BC Transfer Guide is a great resource for you to refer to when checking course transferability options for Vancouver colleges and universities in BC, or institutions across Canada.

Can I get an associate degree online?

Alexander College has introduced Online Learning. During an Online Learning course, you won't meet face to face with a lecturer. Instead, you'll have assigned weekly readings and you'll engage in online forums with your instructor and other students in the class. You'll be responsible for your online learning schedule and there are no fixed class times.

An associate degree is a great way to get started on a four-year bachelor's degree, and offers a pathway to permanent residency in Canada. Get started by browsing the many subject areas of study at Alexander College.

Find your Associate degree at Alexander College

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