For those entering a public state college for the first time, it may be a little difficult to determine exactly which associate's degree you want to pursue. And while most educators will attempt to steer an individual to make a choice at the beginning of his or her higher educational effort, that choice isn’t carved in stone. In fact, despite being told you must declare a major when applying, the truth is that you can change that major at any time, and you can pursue two associate's degrees at the same time, too.
Program Structure Enables Earning Two Degrees at Once
In the University System of Georgia, as with other state systems, colleges adhere to offering (and requiring participation in) a consistent set of basic core classes that is the same for each of their associate's degree options offered (see Macon State College links in the Resources Section below to compare two such associate's degree options). This makes it much easier the first year of college to earn two associate's degrees at the same time.
Identical Core Classes Aids in Earning Second Degree
This "core" for each associate's degree generally consists of the following basic college-level classes: English (two classes), math, political science, psychology, sociology, physical education and about seven electives, with three of the seven having to be in the subjects of math, literature and history. Therefore, the first year of college (and the second year other than six classes pertaining to the actual major) is spent taking courses that will be applicable for credit toward any associate's degree chosen.
No Extra Time Required in Year One For Second Degree Earned
During the first year of your associate's degree pursuit, because you will be taking the core classes that can be used for both degrees desired, you will not be expending any more energy toward getting that second degree. Of course, that will not be the case in the latter part of year two of your dual degree pursuit because you will have approximately six classes to take that final year that deal specifically with the other major.
No Additional Cost During Year One of the Two-Degree Pursuit
Just as was the case in the aforementioned situation, there will be no extra cost incurred for any additional classes during your first year of pursuing two different associate's degrees because you only have to take the English, math, science and other core classes once to count toward both degrees.
As with the examples provided in the link below, similar related associate's degrees (like the two Associate of Science degrees, criminal justice and psychology) enable the student to obtain two degrees at one time—and in the shortest period. In the event one associate's degree is in science and the other is in another field (such as humanities), there will be some additional class differences required in the core, but probably only two or three, which would still allow for pursuing two degrees at one time.