Section B: Degree & Certificate Requirements

General Information

Degrees & Certificates

Clark College awards six (6) degrees: the Associate in Arts degree, for completion of a program of study for transfer to a senior institution; the Associate in Science degree, for completion of a program of study in the sciences in preparation for transfer to a senior institution; the Associate in Fine Arts degree, for completion of a program in fine arts in preparation for transfer to a senior institution; the Associate in Applied Science degree, for completion of a program of study in an occupational program; the Associate in Applied Technology degree, for completion of a program of study in an occupational program; and the Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Dental Hygiene or Applied Management degrees. BAS degrees require a minimum of one hundred eighty (180) credits and each associate degree requires a minimum of ninety (90) credits and a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0. Certificates of Proficiency are awarded upon completion of a minimum of forty-five (45) credits of specialized occupational training, including general education requirements, and require a minimum GPA of 2.0. Certificates of Achievement are granted upon completion of a program of specialized occupational training of less than forty-five (45) credits and require a minimum GPA of 2.0. Individual departments offer certificates of completion with varying credit requirements.

The grades assigned in transferable courses by the sending institution shall not be altered by the receiving institution. Courses completed with a grade of ‘D’ or above shall normally be accepted in transfer (except at The Evergreen State College, where a minimum of 2.0 or ‘C’ is required for transfer). Nontraditional grading practices require special handling, depending on the nature and circumstances of the program from which and to which a student is transferring, but receiving institutions shall take steps to assure all students receive equitable treatment.

A student may earn more than one career-technical degree and/or certificate at Clark College, and a student may earn a combination of academic and career-technical degrees and/or certificates. A student can also earn a Direct Transfer Agreement degree and an additional MRP degree (for instance, a student can earn a degree in both Business Administration – MRP and an Associate in Arts –Transfer).

Academic Residency Requirements

In an effort to accommodate our mobile student population, Clark College has adopted a residency policy that recognizes the value of coursework completed from other institutions of higher learning.

To obtain a degree or certificate from Clark College, students are required to earn a minimum number of credits in residence at our institution. Clark College does allow students to transfer credits toward meeting degree or certificate program requirements. There is no restriction on the number of transfer credits allowed; however, students must meet the minimum in-residence credit at Clark College for their specific program.

Refer to the following information for specific requirements and restrictions for each type of program:

Bachelor Degree

A minimum of thirty (30) credits, pre-college or college level, must be completed at Clark College at any time to meet Academic Residency.

Associate Degree

A minimum of thirty (30) credits, pre-college or college level, must be completed at Clark College at any time to meet Academic Residency.

Certificate of Proficiency

A minimum of fifteen (15) credits, pre-college or college level, must be completed at Clark College at any time to meet Academic Residency.

Certificate of Achievement

A minimum of ten (10) credits, pre-college or college level, must be completed at Clark College at any time to meet Academic Residency.

Non-traditional credit, course waivers and credit earned through prior learning assessment may not be included within the minimum number of credits required.

Academic Residency Requirements for Veterans

Clark College, in compliance with the Department of Defense (DOD) Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Executive Order 13607 of April 27, 2012, limits academic residency requirements for active-duty service members to no more than 25 percent of the degree program (22.5 credits); recognizes all credit course work offered by the institution as applicable in satisfying academic residency requirements; and allows service members to satisfy academic residency requirements with courses taken from Clark College at any time during their program of study.

Academic Honors

To be eligible for academic honors, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.4. Honors for the Associate in Arts degree and the Associate in Science – Transfer degree are based on the cumulative college-level GPA, while the Bachelor of Science, Associate in Applied Science, Associate of Applied Technology and Certificate of Proficiency are based on the cumulative GPA. Students in the Bachelor of Science and associate degree programs will earn the designation of “with honors” for a GPA of 3.4 to 3.89, and the designation of “with highest honors” for a GPA of 3.9 or higher. Certificates of Proficiency will be granted the designation of “with merit” for a GPA of 3.4 or higher (Certificates of Achievement are not eligible for honors designations). Those students participating in June ceremonies will receive recognition at the celebration based on their appropriate GPA on record at the end of winter term. If honor status changes once final grades are processed, adjustments will be made to the student record.

Distribution Coding

The following codes may be included in some course descriptions and indicate the applicability of the course toward the general education requirements of Clark College degrees and certificates. Be sure to verify which courses have been approved to meet general education requirements for your particular degree or certificate program as Distribution Coding is not universally applied.

CA Written Communication Skills (AAS and CP only)
CP Computational Skills
CT Written Communication Skills (AAT only)
GE General Elective
HA Humanities Academic (A list)
HB Humanities Performance (B list)
HE Health
HPE Health & Physical Education
HR Human Relations
NS Natural Sciences
OC Oral Communications
PE Physical Education Activity
Q Quantitative/Symbolic Reasoning
SE Specified Elective
SS Social Sciences
WC Written Communication Skills (Transfer only)

Title IV Student Complaint Process

The Higher Education Act (HEA) prohibits an institution of higher education from engaging in a “substantial misrepresentation of the nature of its educational program, its financial charges, or the employability of its graduates.” 20 U.S.C. §1094(c)(3)(A). Further, each State must have “a process to review and appropriately act on complaints concerning the institution including enforcing applicable State laws.” 34 C.F.R. § 600.9. The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) maintains a process to investigate complaints of this nature brought by community and technical college students in the State of Washington. For more information, contact the SBCTC Student Services Office at 360-704-4315.