How Many Credits Do I Need To Graduate From A Community College?

Graduating from a community college is an accomplishment that can lead to a range of opportunities, such as transferring to a four-year university or starting a career. However, you must meet your chosen program’s credit requirements before you can don your cap and gown.

Understanding the number of credits required for graduation is crucial in achieving your academic goals. This post will explore how many credits you need to graduate from a community college.

What Is A College Credit?

College credit is a unit of measurement used by colleges and universities to quantify the amount of coursework a student completes. Typically, one credit represents one hour of classroom or instructional time per week for one semester (or quarter) of a college course.

Most college courses are assigned a certain number of credits, with a typical course worth three to four credits. Students need to earn a certain number of credits to complete a degree program, and the number of credits required varies depending on the institution and the specific degree program.

In addition to classroom time, earning college credit may involve completing assignments, taking exams, and participating in other learning activities outside the classroom. The amount of work required to earn credit may vary depending on the course and the institution, but generally, students can expect to spend two to three hours outside of class for each credit earned.

Most undergraduate college courses last three to four credit hours on average. Your GPA (along with your final grade) and eligibility for federal financial aid are calculated using the number of credits you have earned.

Your enrollment status as a full-time or part-time student will depend on your total credits each semester. Part-time students enrol in fewer than four classes or less than 12 credits per semester, while full-time students enrol in four or more classes or at least 12 credits per semester.

How Many Credits Do I Need To Graduate From A Community College?

The number of credits required to graduate from a community college varies depending on the institution and the specific degree program. Typically, associate degree programs at community colleges require students to complete around 60 credits, which usually takes about two years of full-time study.

However, the number of credits required can vary depending on several factors, such as the specific degree program, any transfer credits the student may have earned, and the institution’s policies regarding credit requirements.

It’s important to note that in addition to completing the required number of credits, students may also need to meet other requirements, such as completing specific coursework, maintaining a certain GPA, or fulfilling certain residency requirements to graduate from a community college.

How Many Credits Do You Need To Graduate College with an Associate’s Degree?

An associate degree is a two-year degree offered by technical schools, community colleges, and vocational schools.

An associate degree normally requires 60 credits to complete. Despite being a degree that lasts two years, the length of your schedule will depend on the number of credits you take each semester:

  • 60 credits / 15 credits per semester x 2 semesters per year = 2 years
  • 60 credits / 6 credits per semester x 2 semesters per year = 5 years
  • 60 credits / 9 credits per semester x 2 semesters per year = 3.3 years

When applying to a four-year university to pursue a bachelor’s degree with your AA/AS, you may be able to start as a junior rather than a freshman because many colleges will accept them as the equivalent of two years of college. You’ll probably get your 60 credits transferred to you.

How Many Credits Do You Need To Graduate College With A Bachelor’s Degree?

A bachelor’s degree is regarded as a four-year degree; however, depending on your institution, major, degree program, and acceleration options, it can really take anything from 3 to 7 years to complete.

A bachelor’s degree normally requires 120 credits to complete. Some majors, however, will call for more. Architecture can take up to 150 credits, whereas engineering can take up to 130 credits.

You must enrol in 15 credits per semester to get a bachelor’s degree that requires 120 credits in four years. This is how the calculation appears:

  • 15 credits per semester x 2 semesters per year x 4 years = 120 credits

If you only earn 12 credits per semester, it will take you five years to earn a bachelor’s degree:

  • 12 credits per semester x 2 semesters per year x 5 years = 120 credits

You might enrol in specialized rapid bachelor’s degree programs to graduate more quickly. For instance, you can discover a dual degree program to help you earn your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a combined five years by taking summer classes as part of an accelerated, three-year bachelor’s degree program.

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How Many Credits Do You Need To Graduate With A Masters’s Degree?

Studying for a master’s degree can take one to three years. Once more, it depends on the number of credits you earn each semester and the number of courses you take. It will also take longer for some majors than for others.

A master’s degree typically requires 30 to 40 credits to complete. Your final total may range from 150 to 160 credits because you are adding these credits to the credits you have earned as an undergraduate.

Even though some courses can have up to 60 credits, they usually have a narrow focus.

You should be aware that master’s degrees don’t always adhere to the “three credits per class” maxim.

They may be worth extra credits per class because they are instructing in difficult, time-consuming material.

How To Find Out How Many Credits You Need To Graduate

To find out how many credits you need to graduate, check for the graduation or degree requirements on your university’s website to see the complete outline of your school’s credit requirements.

You may find your major requirements by searching “major requirements” on your department’s website once you’ve chosen your major. For instance, look up “major requirements” on the psychology department’s website. Your major’s core, elective, and credit requirements should be listed.

How Many Hours Do You Need to Graduate College?

In the United States, a bachelor’s degree typically requires between 120 and 128 credit hours, which can take approximately four years to complete if a student takes a full course load each semester. However, some programs may require more or fewer credit hours.

The time it takes to graduate may also depend on factors such as the student’s academic progress and whether they take summer courses or study abroad. It’s best to check with the specific college or university you are interested in attending to determine their requirements for graduation.

There are certain credit requirements for each degree level to graduate. You must obtain about 60 credit hours if you’re enrolled in an associate program. For instance, it takes two years to acquire an Associate of Arts degree; therefore, students must finish 15 credits per semester.

A student pursuing a master’s degree must complete 30 to 60 credits to graduate. In contrast, the credit requirements for a PhD degree might range from 30 to 90 credits, depending on the program. Your major requirements and the kind of program you’re enrolled in will determine this.

Generally, undergraduate degree programs require more credit hours than graduate degrees.

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What Are Transfer Credits?

Transfer credits are academic units students have already earned while enrolled in another college or program. These credits can be transferred to another university and will contribute toward the minimum credit requirements of the student’s degree or diploma at that university.

However, some colleges and universities do not accept transfer credits from students. Check the school’s official website for information on transfer credits to see if it accepts them.

Are There Colleges That Accept Transfer Credits?

Most colleges accept transfer credits from other institutions. This means that if you have completed coursework at another college or university, you may be able to transfer those credits to the college you are interested in attending.

However, it is important to note that each college and university has transfer credit policies and procedures, and not all credits may be accepted. In some cases, the college or university may only accept a certain number of transfer credits or may only accept credits from accredited institutions.

To determine if a college or university accepts transfer credits and their specific policies, visit their website or contact their admissions office. It is also important to work closely with your current institution to ensure that the credits you seek to transfer will be accepted by the college or university you plan to attend.

Here are a few institutions that accept transfer credits:

1. Southern New Hampshire University

This reputable university authorises transfer students to transfer up to 90 college credit hours. Southern New Hampshire University takes transfer credits for both on-campus and online programs.

2. The University of Phoenix

Prospective students transferring to the University of Phoenix can transfer their credits if they have attended an accredited academic institution. Other students who have transferred credits to this postsecondary institution have saved between $5,000 and $12,000 on tuition.

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3. Clemson University

Clemson University is a public research university in Clemson, South Carolina, United States. This university accepts transfer credits but requires students to submit their academic transcripts beforehand.

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4. University of North Texas

The University of North Texas (UNT) does accept transfer credits from other accredited colleges and universities. However, the specific transfer policies and procedures can vary depending on the program and college within UNT.

Generally, UNT accepts transfer credit for courses in which the student received a “C” or better grade, and the credit applies to a degree program at UNT. Some courses may have additional requirements for transfer credit, such as being completed within a certain time frame or meeting a certain GPA threshold.

Students who wish to transfer credits to UNT can begin the process by submitting official transcripts from their previous institutions to UNT’s Office of Admissions. UNT will then evaluate the transcripts to determine which courses are eligible for transfer credit.

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How Many College Credits Is Full-Time?

According to the University of Nebraska Omaha, undergraduate college students must be enrolled in at least 12 credits per semester to be considered full-time. Check first to see if this rule applies to your college or university.

12 to 15 credits are typically completed by full-time undergraduate students each semester. To be enrolled full-time, graduate students must take at least nine credits per semester. These figures will differ if you enrol in summer courses or work in a niche industry.

How Many College Credits Is Part-Time?

To be deemed part-time, undergraduate degree-seeking students at a university or college must be enrolled in six credits each semester. On the other hand, graduate students often need to be enrolled in four credits every semester to be considered part-time. It could take much longer to finish a degree as a part-time student than to get one as a full-time student.

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How Long Are College Credits Good For?

College credits are good for life and do not usually expire, although this can depend on the study area.

However, some colleges and universities may have specific policies regarding the acceptability of transfer credits earned more than a certain number of years ago. In such cases, it may be necessary to revalidate or retake the course to ensure the credit will be accepted towards a degree program.

Additionally, some professional certifications and licenses may require the completion of specific coursework within a certain time frame to maintain eligibility. For example, in nursing, continuing education credits must be completed within a certain period to maintain licensure.

Overall, students need to check with their college or university and any relevant certification or licensing bodies to determine any specific requirements regarding the validity of college credits.

Do College Credits Ever Expire?

It depends on the specific college and program policies. College credits do not expire, but some factors may impact their validity.

For example, suppose you earned college credits more than a certain number of years ago (usually 5-10 years). In that case, some colleges may require you to retake certain courses or demonstrate that you have maintained relevant knowledge and skills. Additionally, if you earned credits for courses no longer relevant or applicable to your degree program, those credits may not match your degree requirements.

It’s always a good idea to check with your college or university’s a registrar or academic advisor to understand their policies regarding the validity of college credits.


Earning a degree from a community college requires significant dedication and hard work. By understanding the credit requirements for your program, you can plan your academic journey accordingly and ensure that you are on track for graduation. Whether planning to transfer to a four-year university or enter the workforce, your community college education can be valuable.


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