Degree and Certificate Types and Requirements

Associate in Arts Degrees

Transfer programs listed in this catalog generally lead to the Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree and prepare students for transfer to a four-year college or university. These programs are designed to meet most senior institution requirements. However, students are responsible to make sure that their program will transfer to the institution of their choice. The BCC Transfer office works with students by appointment to design programs for transfer. Refer to the catalog section “Transferring” for more information.

Associate in Science Degrees

Courses of study leading to an Associate in Science (A.S.) degree are generally described in this catalog as career programs. Successfully completing one of these programs prepares students for technical or professional entry-level positions. Many A.S. programs also allow students to transfer to four-year institutions.

Associate in Applied Science Degrees

Courses of study leading to the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree are designed to lead directly to employment in a specific occupational area. The career courses in these programs are linked to current practices in the work world.

Certificate Programs

The College also offers a number of certificate programs that can be completed in one year if the prerequisites are met. Three levels of certificates are offered:

Certificate of Achievement 24-29 credits

Certificate of Accomplishment 15-23 credits

Certificate of Recognition less than 15 credits

Graduates earning the Certificate of Achievement will be recognized at Commencement.

Earning a Second Degree from BCC

To qualify for a second associate degree, a student must complete a minimum of 15 credit hours beyond the first degree and meet all specific degree requirements of the second program. Students may earn one degree in an academic program of study. Students that have earned a degree in a program concentration cannot be awarded a second degree in the same program with a different concentration.

General Education Requirements

Entering a degree or certificate program at Bristol Community College means that you are committed both to expanding your general education and pursuing a career.

At BCC, General Education is a core of courses that helps students strengthen their skills in reading, writing, and mathematics while increasing their awareness and appreciation of historical thinking, important social issues, and the role of languages, literature, science, and the arts in our society.

1.0 Critical Analysis 0 credits
2.1 Written Communication 6 credits
2.2 Oral Communication 0-3 credits
3.0 Scientific Reasoning and Discovery 3-4 credits
4.0 Quantitative/Symbolic Reasoning 3-4 credits
5.1 Historical Awareness 3 credits
5.2 Global Awareness AS 0-3; AA 3 credits
5.3 Multicultural Perspective 0-3 credits
5.4 Social Phenomenon 3 credits
6.0 Humanities 3 credits
7.0 Ethical Dimensions 0-3 credits
8.0 Technical Literacy 0-3 credits
9.0           First Year Experience 0-3 credits

The core courses for degree programs include:

Foreign Language Requirement

In those programs that require foreign language, students may elect to enroll in any foreign language offered at Bristol Community College, including American Sign Language. Under Massachusetts law, ASL is recognized as the equivalent of a spoken language for the purpose of foreign language study and course credit. Students may also receive transfer credit for foreign languages not offered at BCC.

College Success Seminar 101 Waiver 

All incoming, freshman, degree students are required to complete a First Year Experience to earn an Associate's degree.  Many students are required to take CSS 101 to satisfy this competency.  Unless otherwise required by the student's program, a blanket waiver has been approved for one of the following conditions:

  • the student already holds an Associate's degree or higher;
  • the student has earned 30 or more transfer credits;
  • the student has earned 30 or more BCC credits with a GPA of 2.5 or better; or
  • the student has a combination of 30 or more transfer and BCC credits with a GPA of 2.5 or better.

Students who have earned and have documented one of these credentials are not required to submit a Petition for Waiver.  The student must, however, meet all other program requirements and the 60-credit minimum number of credits to graduate.


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