Degrees and Certificates

Highline College Degrees and Certificates

At Highline, you’ll find five types of degrees and two types of certificates.

Each has its own requirements and applications. Within these degree and certificate options, you may choose general or specific areas of study or disciplines. These more specific choices also have their own requirements and applications.

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Now you can earn an applied bachelor’s degree at Highline in four programs: Cybersecurity and Forensics, Global Trade and Logistics, Respiratory Care, and Youth Development. These new applied bachelor’s degree programs build on Highline’s strong AAS degree programs. Earning an applied bachelor’s degree will help you gain skills and knowledge and put you on the path to higher wages and promotion.

The AA degree is intended to prepare you to transfer to bachelor’s degree programs in a wide variety of fields. The AA degree corresponds to the first two years of a four-year baccalaureate degree program. Most transfer students plan to earn this degree. The AA degree can be general in its emphasis, providing you with a broad educational background to transfer to a university. In this general form, the degree is best suited to students whose major area is in the liberal arts and/or social sciences. However, if you have chosen a specific major, an AA program may be designed—with adviser assistance—to meet specific prerequisites and/or pre-major lower division requirements for transfer in these fields:

At Highline, the AA degree is offered in two options: A or B.

This degree is designed to satisfy the lower-division general requirements at many Washington colleges and universities. AA, Option A, degrees earned after 1984 meet the requirements of the Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) of the Intercollege Relations Commission (ICRC). It is important for you to work out the exact requirements of transfer with an adviser because programs change from time to time.

Learn about Option A »

Associate of Biology » This specialized AA, Option A, degree is designed to prepare students for admission into a biology or environmental studies program after transfer. This Major-Related-Program (MRP) degree meets the guidelines for the DTA of the ICRC.

Associate of Business » This specialized AA, Option A, degree is designed to help students meet the requirements for entry into the business major after transfer. This MRP degree meets the guidelines for the DTA of the ICRC.

Associate of Pre-Nursing » This specialized AA, Option A, degree is designed to help students meet the requirements for entry into the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program after transfer. This MRP degree meets the guidelines for the DTA of the ICRC.

This degree is a specialized transfer degree, individually designed to meet the requirements for certain majors at specific colleges and universities. It does not meet the requirements of the ICRC. In order to plan this degree program, it is essential that you know which college or university you will be attending and which major you will be pursuing. You must work closely with an adviser for this transfer degree.

Learn about Option B »

The AS degree is intended to prepare you for transfer in science, mathematics and other pre-professional fields. The degree is recognized by the Intercollege Relations Commission (ICRC). At Highline, the AS degree is available in the following disciplines:

You will find Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees in a variety of fields. The AAS degree will prepare you for successful employment in a professional or technical area. Some AAS degrees have pathways to Bachelor of Applied Science degrees or other bachelor’s degree options. The main goal of AAS degrees is to prepare graduates for careers in high-demand areas.

You will find a few professional-technical programs where you can earn an Associate of Applied Science–Transfer (AAS–T) degree. The AAS–T is built upon the technical courses required for job preparation but also includes a college-level general education component, which is common in structure for all such degrees.

You can earn a Certificate of Completion (CC) by completing a professional-technical education program requiring a minimum of 45 credits. Each program consists of at least three quarters and has specific requirements. Students must complete at least one-half of the required credits at Highline with a 2.0 minimum overall GPA.

You can earn a Certificate of Arts and Sciences (CAS) for personal reasons, as a specific educational goal, in preparation for an AA degree, or for transfer to a university. The 45-credit CAS is not intended as a substitute for the AA degree and does not carry with it the benefits of the AA degree as defined by the ICRC articulation agreement.

Important Notes

Advising » Advising is a critical element in the completion of any degree. You are strongly encouraged to identify a faculty adviser in your area of study as early as possible. For some degrees, adviser approval is required for completion of the degree. In addition, if you are pursuing the AS degree, you are responsible for checking specific major requirements of baccalaureate institution in the year prior to transfer. Your faculty adviser can help you check those requirements.

Degree Requirements » Students are responsible for knowing degree requirements and for staying informed regarding changes in their degree requirements.

Forty percent of public baccalaureate graduates in Washington (class of 2011) started at a community or technical college.
Source: The Role of Transfer in the Attainment of Baccalaureate Degrees at Washington’s Public Bachelor’s Degree Institutions, Class of 2011 (Research Report No. 13-5). Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (August 2013).Learn More