Program of Study: A combination of courses designed to achieve the knowledge and skills required for entry into or advancement in a profession, or the pursuit of a higher degree. Successful completion of the program of study culminates in the attainment of a College-awarded certificate, diploma, or degree. The term “Program” may be used interchangeably with Program of Study.

Certificate: An award approved by the Governing Board signifying a student’s completion of a program of study designed for entry-level employment or for upgrading skills and knowledge within an occupation. Certificates must include at least 6 credit hours and should be completed in 1-2 semester’s time.

Degree: An award approved by the Governing Board signifying a student’s completion of an undergraduate or graduate program of study which typically can be completed in 4 years or less.

  • Associate Degree: A degree awarded for completion of a minimum of 60 required program credit hours, primarily at the lower division (100-299) level, including at least 26 credit hours in the major and at least 15 general education credit hours. Clinical programs typically culminate with a capstone, internship, practicum, or level II fieldwork in the final semester. The degree may lead the individual directly to employment or to transfer into an upper-level baccalaureate program.
  • Baccalaureate Completion Degree: A degree awarded for completion of a minimum of 120 required program credit hours, of which up to 72 credit hours may be earned from an associate’s degree. At least 27-30 major credit hours must be earned at the upper division (300-499) level. At least 12 of the 30 General Education credit hours must be at a level of 300 or above. The term Bachelor’s Degree” or Bachelor’s Completion Degree may be used interchangeably with Baccalaureate Completion Degree.
  • Master’s Degree: A post-baccalaureate degree awarded for completion of a minimum of 30 major hours at the graduate (500-699) level. The degree typically culminates with a capstone, internship, practicum, Level II Fieldwork, or thesis in the final semester.

Diploma: An award approved by the Governing Board signifying a student’s completion of a professional program of study at the 100 level, which typically can be completed within one full year of study. Diplomas must contain a minimum of 35 credit hours, 23 credits in the major and 6 credits in general education.

Elective Courses: Depending on the program of study, students may select from an array of General Education Electives, Major Electives, or Non-Major Elective choices. These choices are listed in the Catalog at the end of each program of study. Programs listing a Non-Major Elective provide students with a broader selection of courses beyond those in the major, however the course must be successfully completed in order to graduate.  A Non-Curriculum Elective does not count toward either course or credit hour requirements for the enrolled program and financial aid may not apply.

Major: A cohesive combination of discipline-specific, interdisciplinary, or multidisciplinary courses required by the diploma or degree program, not including undergraduate general education courses, which enable the student to attain breadth and depth of subject matter knowledge. An undergraduate major should include a combination of introductory, intermediate, and advanced courses appropriate to the degree level. A graduate major should include a capstone project, practicum, thesis, or other research study in the final semester. The term “Field of Study” may be used interchangeably with “Major” at the graduate level. Examples of majors: Associate of Science degree with a major in Nursing; Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Medical Imaging; Master of Occupational Therapy degree.

Minor: A series of courses outside of the declared major curriculum, which complements the student’s major. The minor typically is a subset of course work from one or more disciplines, with all credits earned at an upper course level.  Number of courses and credit hours required for the minor depend on the degree level.  At least 50% of the credit hours for the minor must be taken at Cabarrus College.

Tracks: Completion of a major may include multiple options or tracks of approved courses, allowing the student to choose a specialty area of interest. Example of tracks: A student enrolled in the Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Medical Imaging might choose a Management or Clinical track.

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