Here is a breakdown of some basic info about the hierarchy/types of degrees:
Colleges: contain specific majors and minors, examples College of Agricultural Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, College of Engineering, etc.
Majors: a plan of study containing specific courses for a concentration of study.
- Types of baccalaureate degrees - Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS). Some majors are specified as a certain degree BA or BS. Other majors let the student decide which to complete, the BA or BS degree. In general terms, a BA degree will require a foreign language and a BS degree usually does not (exception Smeal Business majors). Math requirements for the BA and BS degrees can also vary. Usually, a BA or BS degree is not a factor in a job search, one degree is not preferred over the other.
- Students are in a Pre-Major (PMAJ) status or the Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) while completing the entrance to major requirements.
Options: Bachelor of Science degrees may offer option areas which are a concentration of courses/specialization area in addition to courses required for the major.
Minors: a concentration of courses for 18 credits or more to supplement a major. Minors can be related to your major or in a different area of study.
Associate Degrees: a two-year degree of 60 credits. Students can use an associate's degree as a step to a baccalaureate (four-year degree) or get a job after completing the associate's degree. Some degrees are specific and the Letters, Arts and Sciences associate's degree is more general.
Certificates: 9–15 credits to enhance a degree or be a stand-alone exhibit of a knowledge area.
Graduate Degrees: upon completion of a bachelor's degree, a graduate degree can be obtained. A Master's degree is usually two years and a doctorate is four or more years, depending on the area of study.