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How to Earn Your Associate Degree

The steps to earning your degree, including: degree and major requirements; as well degree-applicable units, and submitting a degree request form.

To earn your degree, you must complete:

  1. One of three General Education Breadth patterns:
  2. Four learning skill proficiency requirements (only if using Sierra College General Education Breadth pattern)
  3. The requirements of your selected major. All major courses must be completed with a C or better.
  4. 60 degree-applicable units and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. At least 12 degree-applicable units must be completed at Sierra College.
  5. A degree request (available at the counseling office)

Details on Earning a Degree

1. General Education Breadth

There are three General Education Breadth patterns you can take to fulfill your GE requirements at Sierra College.

A. Sierra College General Education Breadth Requirements
Use this pattern if you do not plan to transfer to a California public university system.
B. California State University General Education Breadth (CSU GE)
C. Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)
Use one of these patterns if you are taking an Associate Degree for Transfer (ATR) or if you plan to transfer to the UC or CSU university system. Meet with your counselor to best align your choice to your educational goals.
* IGETC is the only approved GE pattern for the Computer Science for Transfer degree.

2. Learning Skill Proficiencies

Learning Skill Proficiencies are requirements in four basic skills that may double count with major or general education. They are only required to be completed on the Sierra College General Education Breadth Requirements pattern.

  • WRITING: Satisfied by the English Composition course in area D-1
  • READING: Met by assessment score, or by one of the courses listed
  • ORAL COMMUNICATIONS: Complete one of the courses listed
  • MATHEMATICS: Demonstrated proficiency by one of the three options listed

3. Major

Please view the Sierra College Catalog for course and unit requirements of each of our over 70 majors.

4. Catalog Year

Know your catalog rights:

Students may choose the catalog in force either upon their entry or exit from Sierra College, or the catalog year when a new major is offered for the first time. A course may be used to satisfy a general education breadth requirement if it was approved for the general education area at the time of completion, within current Title 5 regulations. To maintain catalog rights, students must be enrolled in at least one semester or session per calendar year.

Current and previous catalogs

5. 60 Degree-applicable Units

If you are using the Sierra College General Education Breadth Requirements, this total includes major, general education, learning skills, and electives. To be “degree applicable,” a course must be numbered below 500. If you take English A, N, 50, 50L or 60, only one of these courses may be counted toward the degree.

If you are using California State University General Education Breadth (CSU GE) pattern or the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) pattern, this total includes major, general education, and electives. To be “degree applicable”, a course must be CSU transferable. Please refer to the Sierra College Catalog for the list of CSU transferable courses.

6. Degree Request

To complete graduation, you must submit a Degree Request form that you can pick up from the counseling office. The deadline is October 1 for fall graduation and March 1 for spring/summer graduation.

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