How Long Does It Take to Earn an Associate Degree?

How long it takes to earn an associate degree depends on multiple factors, including the number of credits built into the program, our area of study and your course load to name a few.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the factors that can influence how long it takes to earn an associate degree, how many credits hours a typical program might require and what other degrees you might want to pursue after graduation.

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Factors That Can Affect the Amount of Time It Takes to Earn an Associate Degree

There are many factors that can influence how long it takes to earn an associate degree. How many classes you take at a time, any breaks you take while earning your degree or if you have existing transfer credits can all play a part in determining the how long it takes to earn an associate degree.

While this list is not exhaustive, some factors that can play a role in the length of your associate degree program include:

  • Credit requirements: Some associate degree programs require more credit hours than others. Associate degree programs with a higher credit requirement may take more time to complete than those with less.

  • Available transfer credits: If you have qualifying transfer credits, it may help you graduate in less time by reducing the number of classes you need to take.

  • Full-time vs. part-time: Choosing whether to attend school on a full- or part-time basis will likely play a role in the length of your associate degree program. Full-time students can typically take more classes per session, which can enable them to graduate in less time than those who study on a part-time schedule.

  • Course load: While taking more courses per session can reduce the amount of time it takes to graduate, you should make sure that you are taking on only as much as you can handle.

How Many Credits are Needed for an Associate Degree?

The number of credits needed to earn an associate degree can vary from school to school, but it can also vary based on the degree you’re enrolled in. At DeVry, for example, our Associate Degree in Health Information Technology requires 67 credits in order to graduate, whereas our Associate Degree in Engineering Technology requires 64 credits. Make sure you check the school’s course catalog to get an idea of how many credits the associate degree program you’re interested in requires, and how you might balance that with your scheduling needs.

Associate Degree Admission Requirements

To enroll in an associate degree program at DeVry, you need to have a high school diploma or equivalent, such as a GED. You’ll also need to complete an interview with an Admissions Advisor and complete a college-level skills evaluation. There may be additional requirements depending on where you live. For a complete list of requirements, visit our undergraduate admissions page.

If you want to continue your education after earning your associate degree, your next step would be to earn a bachelor's degree. While it’s not absolutely necessary to hold an associate degree before pursuing a bachelor's, it may help start you off on the right foot.

In many cases, the credits you earn during one degree program at DeVry will stack into a related higher-level degree1. This means that the credit hours you earned while working toward your associate degree may count toward earning your bachelor's degree in a similar area of study. For example, credits from an Associate Degree in Business stack into a Bachelor's Degree in Technical Management.

Can I Earn an Associate Degree while Working Part Time?

At DeVry, all of our programs allow you to enroll in either a full- or part-time course schedule based on your needs. Some students are able to manage part-time work while enrolled in a full-time associate degree program, while others prefer to enroll part-time to allow themselves time for study or other commitments.

Earn Your Associate Degree at DeVry

DeVry is here to help you take the first step in continuing your education. Browse our associate degree programs to find one that’s right for you, or contact us to speak to one of our Enrollment Advisors.


1 At the time of application to the next credential level, an evaluation of qualifying transfer credits will occur and the most beneficial outcome will be applied.

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