Degrees, Certificates, and Transfer

Earn an Associate in Arts (AA) or Associate in Science (AS) degree, prepare to transfer to a four-year university, or build career and technical skills. With numerous certificate, degree and transfer pathways, our programs provide you endless options for the academic path of your choice.

  1. Degrees
  2. Degrees for Transfer
  3. Certificates
  4. Guided Pathways

Associate Degrees

Associate degrees are commonly conferred by community colleges. They are usually of two types: the Associate of Arts and the Associate of Science. The distinction between the Associate of Arts and the Associate of Science degrees lies in the majors. If the major is in the fields of engineering, physical or biological science, or career curricula, the degree conferred is usually an Associate of Science. Otherwise, the Associate of Arts degree is conferred. The college also offers Associate in Arts for Transfer and Associate in Science for Transfer degrees which are specifically for transfer to CSUs.

Ordinarily, associate degrees have one of two major purposes. Either the program of study prepares the individual for transfer to a four-year college or university, or the program of study is intended to prepare the student for immediate employment. See descriptions of individual programs for their purposes.

The academic requirements to receive an Associate Degree are:

  • Completion of a minimum of 60 semester units of acceptable college credits.
  • Overall grade point average of 2.0, “C”, or better in coursework at Mendocino College and in all college work.
  • No more than eight (8) semester units of Special Topic courses numbered 88 or 188 may be counted as elective credit towards an associate degree or certificate of achievement.

Degrees for Transfer

For the Associate of Arts for Transfer (AA-T) or the Associate of Science for Transfer (AS-T)
degrees a student must:

  • Complete 60 CSU transferable semester units.
  • Achieve a CSU transferable GPA of no less than 2.0.
  • Complete the major coursework, a minimum of 18 semester units, prescribed in a State
  • Chancellor’s Office approved AA-T or AS-T with no less than a “C” or “P” in each course.
  • Complete the CSU GE-Breadth pattern or IGETC pattern for CSU.
  • Complete 12 semester units in residence at the college granting the degree.


A variety of certificates are conferred by community colleges. Certificates have program-specific requirements but do not require general education.

The certificates offered by Mendocino College are:

Certificate of Achievement

For students completing credit courses in prescribed pathways, a certificate of achievement may be awarded for approved programs of study of 16 or more units. Typically, certificates of achievement are developed in the career technical education (CTE) areas.

Certificate of Completion

For students completing noncredit courses in a prescribed pathway leading to improved employability or job opportunities, a certificate of completion may be awarded.  A noncredit certificate of completion means a document confirming that a student has completed a noncredit educational program of noncredit courses that prepares him or her to progress in a career path or to take degree-applicable credit courses. 

Certificate of Competency

For students completing noncredit courses in a prescribed pathway that prepares students to take credit coursework, including basic skills and ESL, a certificate of competency may be awarded.   A noncredit certificate of competency means a document confirming that a student enrolled in a noncredit educational program of noncredit courses has demonstrated achievement in a set of competencies that prepares him or her to progress in a career path or to undertake degree-applicable or nondegree-applicable credit courses. 

Certificate of Skills

To award a credit Certificate of Skills (approved locally) at Mendocino-Lake College District, the college shall certify that the following requirements have been met: Up to and including 17.5 semester units; Completion of specified courses with a "C" grade.  These certificates will not be recorded on the student's transcript.

Mendocino College developed eight Learning and Career Pathways (LCP) focused on areas of interest and programs that will help you create a clear pathway to employment or further education. The degrees and certificates within a LCP are a clearly designed program of courses that includes different majors and fields, but all have similar content. It’s an easy way to search for and find the major that’s right for you! Select one of the LCPs to explore the programs and maps designed to help you stay on task while on your educational journey.