AA/AS Degree Requirements

The awarding of an associate degree is intended to represent more than an accumulation of units. It is to symbolize a successful attempt on the part of the college to lead students through patterns of learning experiences designed to develop certain capabilities and insights. Among these are the ability to think and to communicate clearly and effectively both orally and in writing; to use mathematics; to understand the modes of inquiry of the major disciplines; to be aware of other cultures and times; to achieve insights gained through experience in thinking about ethical problems; and to develop the capacity for self-understanding. In addition to these accomplishments, the student shall possess sufficient depth in some field of knowledge to contribute to lifetime interest.

Graduation from College of San Mateo with the Associate in Arts or Science degree is based upon the completion of 60 units of lower-division college-level work. A student pursuing an associate degree must declare a major field of study. The major is comprised of specific courses within a discipline or related discipline as specified by the appropriate division and recorded in the college catalog. A list of College of San Mateo degree programs, with courses and units required for each major, can be found in the catalog. A minimum of 18 units must be completed in a major. Some majors require more than 18 units. Courses applied to the major may also be applied to meet general education requirements. A grade point average of 2.0 in the major is required. All classes applied to the major (core and selective) must receive a grade of "C" or better or "pass".  Either 12 units or 50% of the units applied to the major, whichever is fewer, must be completed at one or more of the San Mateo County Community Colleges (College of San Mateo, Cañada College, Skyline College). A maximum of 12 units from courses in which the student has elected a Pass/No Pass option may be applied toward an associate degree. An application for the degree must be filed in the Office of Admissions and Records during the last semester of attendance (refer to calendar for the college year for deadline).

To track the courses you have completed for certification, the Associate in Arts/Science Degree Requirements Worksheet is available online or on pages 416-17 of the 2023-2024 Catalog PDF.

Philosophy of General Education

Central to an associate degree, General Education is designed to introduce students to the variety of means through which people comprehend the modern world. It reflects the conviction of colleges that those who receive their degrees must possess in common certain basic principles, concepts and methodologies both unique to and shared by the various disciplines. College-educated persons must be able to use this knowledge when evaluating and appreciating the physical environment, the culture, and the society in which they live. Most importantly, General Education should lead to better self-understanding.

Student Catalog Rights

Graduation requirements are listed in the Catalog. Each catalog covers an academic year that reflects enrollment beginning with the fall term and includes subsequent spring and summer terms. Having "catalog rights" means students are held to the graduation requirements listed in the catalog at the time enrollment begins. Students may choose to use catalog rights for any subsequent year of continuous enrollment at Cañada College, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College. Catalog rights apply to enrollment in any of the San Mateo County Community College District colleges.

For the purpose of this policy, "continuous enrollment" means attending at least one term (fall, spring, summer) each academic year. Attendance is required through the fourth week of instruction for semester-length classes or thirty percent (30%) of summer classes and semester classes that are shorter than the full semester.

Catalog rights gained at a college outside of the San Mateo Community College District are not applicable at Cañada College, College of San Mateo, or Skyline College.

Catalog rights cannot supersede any State or Federal Regulation or requirement in effect at the time of graduation.