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Can You Apply Associate Degree to Bachelor’s? A longer, more complete description.
News & Stories: Featured Items
Can an Associate Degree Be Applied to a Bachelor’s Degree?
October 13, 2022


By:
Claremont Lincoln University


An associate degree can provide valuable knowledge to set you on the path toward an entry-level career. It can also be the stepping stone to your bachelor’s degree. Whether you have an associate degree or college credits that don’t quite add up to any degree at all, you may be able to apply those credits to a bachelor’s degree. Some universities even accept credit for career and life experience. And all those accumulated transfer credits can serve as a head start to help you complete your bachelor’s degree sooner and for less tuition.


How to Transfer Your Credits

To apply your associate degree to a bachelor’s degree, you need to transfer your credits from one program to the next. Check the transfer policy of the institution you hope to attend. The information can usually be found on the admissions page of the university website, but you can also reach out to an admissions advisor. They know the rules of their school and the process for transferring credits into your program. Some factors your new school will consider include whether your: 

  • Credits are from an accredited institution 
  • Credits have been previously used toward a bachelor’s program
  • Caliber of coursework is similar to its standards
  • Credits were recently earned or earned long ago
  • Grades meet the minimum requirement

Apply to College

During the application process, you can upload an unofficial copy of your transcripts for evaluation. The school will use it to determine which of your credits will transfer. General ed classes from a school similar to your new one may be more likely to transfer. Credits from a similar program may also transfer. And if you work in a field, you may be able to leverage your experience. For example, it might be easier to transfer credits to an organizational leadership program if you currently work in a business setting and want to transfer general business course credits. As you explore your options, don’t be afraid to reach out to the school directly. Admissions officers often try to consider the full depth of your education and experience when they determine if you—and your credits—will be a good fit for their institution. Once you’ve been admitted, you will need to submit an official copy of your transcripts by mail or email. 


Transfer Your Experience

Along with your associate degree, you probably have gained quite a bit of work experience. Some schools give you credit for this work and life experience. This can include previous apprenticeships or internships, military training, corporate or professional training, industry licenses and certifications, and external credit and testing evaluation programs. Prior to enrollment, you can work with an admissions counselor to review your previous experience and determine what could be applied to your new degree program. 


Benefits of a Bachelor’s Degree

An associate degree may unlock doors, but a bachelor’s degree can push those doors wide open. The additional knowledge, skills, and training you receive can make you attractive to employers and could help you advance your career. The unemployment rate for workers with a bachelor’s degree is lower than the unemployment rate for workers with an associate degree. And those who hold a bachelor’s degree tend to earn more than workers with only an associate degree. 


When you apply your associate degree to a bachelor’s degree, you can also earn your degree more quickly because you have already completed some of the coursework. Less time in school can mean less money spent on tuition, and a quicker path toward that better career you deserve. If the degree program is offered online, you also have the flexibility to earn while you learn. And you can bring your classroom work to immediate use on the job. Likewise, you can share real-world work experiences with your fellow students.


If you’re ready to continue your education, contact Claremont Lincoln University today. We offer a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership online degree completion program designed for adult learners who have already completed an associate degree. The program is offered entirely online and can be completed in as few as two years. Begin classes by November 2022 and you can also earn a scholarship worth up to $1,650. Contact admissions at 909-667-4422 or admission@claremontlincoln.edu for more information.