How to choose a plan of study

The Plan of Study

A plan of study for the Associate degree is a listing of courses you need to complete to earn the degree. Plans of study can be found in the Programs and Pathways section of the website.

Which Plan of Study to Choose

If you plan to transfer to a four-year university, you should be in the Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Associate in EngineeringAssociate in Fine ArtsAssociate in Arts in Teacher Preparation, or the Associate in Science in Teacher Preparation programs.  

There are two other transfer pathways especially for nursing and early childhood education students. The Associate in General Education-Nursing (A1030N) degree is designed for students who wish to obtain their Associate Degree in Nursing here at Durham Tech and work on their general education courses to bridge to a bachelor’s degree program at the four-year university. See the RN to BSN course selection guide for more information. 

The Early Childhood Education Transfer Associate Degree is for students who wish to earn their Early Childhood Associate in Applied Science degree at Durham Tech and then transfer to a four-year university to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Birth to Kindergarten Education.

How to decide between an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree and a transfer degree

Generally speaking, students who want to attend Durham Tech to learn a specific workplace skill and then start working after completing their two-year degree seek an AAS degree. Durham Tech offers many AAS or “career-ready” degree options. Students who know they want to transfer to a four-year university right after they complete their associate’s degree should choose a transfer degree. University Transfer programs are listed in the Programs and Pathways section and specify which Durham Tech degree(s) lead to your desired baccalaureate degree program.

The Careers section of the website, as well as Career Services, can help you learn more about the job responsibilities and expected rates of pay for specific professionals with different degrees and credentials. The College Foundation of North Carolina provides free career assessments to help you identify potential careers. Your ACA 122 instructor can also help you research career opportunities and develop a plan to achieve your goals.

How to decide between the Associate in Arts (AA) and Associate in Science (AS) programs

The AA is a two-year degree designed for students who want to pursue a four-year degree in the humanities, social sciences, or business. The AS degree is designed for students who want to pursue a four-year degree in areas of study such as mathematics, science, or professional programs that require strong math and science backgrounds. Durham Tech’s Course Selection Guides can help students determine which program of study is the most efficient pathway to completing the associate’s degree and meeting requirements for the major.

When to select the Associate in Fine Arts (AFA)

The AFA is a great choice for students interested in studio art. It allows students to complete some studio arts classes at the community college before transferring. Not every university offers a Bachelor in Fine Arts or a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts, so students should select a university that offers such degrees. The Art and Design University Transfer web page indicates which UNC Schools accept the AFA.

When to select the Associate in Engineering (AE)

The AE degree is designed for students who plan to be engineers and transfer to one of the five UNC engineering schools: East Carolina University, North Carolina A&T, North Carolina State University, UNC-Charlotte, and Western Carolina University. Learn more on the Engineering University Transfer web page.

When to choose the Associate in General Education (AGE)

The AGE is not a transfer degree. Although any transferable credits a student earns in an AGE program will transfer to a UNC System university, the student will not have the general education protections of the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement. This means that the student will have to meet all of the general education requirements at the four-year university after transferring.

AGE is a great option for people who only need an associate’s degree to advance in their profession, who wish to complete an associate’s degree for personal enrichment only, or who have a unique situation requiring specific courses that would be impossible to gain under another degree program.