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Associate's Degrees in Applied Science: Program Overviews

This article discusses associate's degree programs in applied science. See program overviews along with educational prerequisites, coursework and popular career options.

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Essential Information

Applied science degrees typically include fields wherein scientific knowledge is applied technically to solve problems. Most applied science degree programs are related to engineering, computers technology or medical technology. Associate-level applied science degrees prepare graduates for immediate entry into the workforce.

These 2-year applied science associate's degree programs are designed for students who want to work in one of several career fields, and candidates are taught how to apply their knowledge in the workplace. Courses in engineering, natural sciences, computers or allied health prepare students for roles in which they assist professionals in the field.

Applied science degree programs generally place heavy emphasis on science and technical courses that are designed for students who have clearly defined career goals. Graduates with Associate in Applied science degrees are prepared for specific technical roles in specialized fields that include radiology, biomedical, engineering and medical care.

Educational Prerequisites

Because associate's degrees in applied science are offered mostly through community colleges or technical schools, there are typically few educational requirements for entrance. Often applicants are required to have high school diplomas or GEDs. Some institutions may require students to take entrance or placement exams or complete remedial courses to ensure they are prepared for the demands of the coursework. Stricter prerequisites may apply to high-demand programs such as nursing or radiologic technology.

Program Coursework

Engineering and computer science programs may have drastically different course requirements than a health care program. The following represents a mishmash of courses one may find in an applied science degree program:

  • Introductory information systems
  • Digital data communications
  • Physics and technology
  • Mechanical and electrical equipment
  • Medical terminology
  • Hospital Maintenance and Sanitation
  • Statistics
  • Material strength testing
  • Mechanics

Popular Career Options

Graduates should be well qualified to enter whichever field or fields they studied in the associate's degree program. Some applied science jobs include the following:

  • Blueprint drafter
  • Medical technician
  • Computer repair technician
  • Construction foreman
  • Systems engineer
  • Radiologic technologist
  • Registered nurse

Continuing Education Information

Those with associate's degrees in an applied science are qualified to pursue bachelor's degrees. Students in the medical field, for instance, can earn bachelor's degrees in biomedical engineering or nursing, whereas students in the computer field may pursue bachelor's degrees in computer engineering or computer science. Your specific field should help narrow your choices.

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