Four Major Degree Levels- Explained

major degree levels

College is on the horizon for many indecisive high school juniors and seniors who soon will be asking the question: “What am I going to do with my life?” For many, the answer will depend on the type of college degree they choose to pursue after graduation. There are four major types of college degrees — each with their own prerequisites — that can lead to fulfilling careers and professions within two to eight years.

Associate degree

  1. Bachelor’s degree
  2. Master’s degree
  3. Doctoral degree


An associate degree is a two-year degree to prepare students for vocational areas and fields such as nursing, office administration, cosmetology or Engineering technology. This degree transfers to a four-year university to complete a bachelor’s degree.


A bachelor’s degree is a four-year degree that provides educational resources, including general education classes and classes that relate to a particular subject matter or industry such as health, business, education or biology. A bachelor’s degree can help students gain entrance into graduate degree programs.


A master’s degree is a graduate degree that can typically be completed within one or two years to help students go further in their field of interest. This degree is designed to advance students in their careers to upper level management positions and improve their earning potential. The most common master’s degree is the Master of Business Administration (MBA).


A doctoral degree is the highest and most advanced degree earned in many fields and usually involves research. The degree, which may take several years to complete, typically helps students become experts in their field and increases their professional credibility. This degree requires a deeper focus in specific areas such as medicine, psychology, or law. Education is a lifelong journey. Regardless of the degree level you achieve, embrace the path you choose because your education is an achievement that stays with you for the rest of your life.

Four Major Degree Levels From Business to Nursing and Psychology to Information Systems, Auburn University at Montgomery instructors and professors provide students with award-winning, experienced teaching talent in on-campus, online and hybrid (on-campus and online blended) environments.


  • Campus- Program can be completed without taking online classes
  • Online- Entire program offered online
  • Hybrid- Program can be completed taking some courses online and others face-to-face


60+ degrees—see for all.


  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Computer Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Management Information Systems
  • Liberal Arts
  • Nursing
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Teaching Writing


  • Nursing
  • Public Administration

Check out for their full list of program offerings.

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