CU Denver Instructor Miyoun Paek teaches the Principles of Finance course, a business core course that covers financial markets and institutions, financial statement analysis, and more.
CU Denver Instructor Miyoun Paek teaches Principles of Finance, a business core course that covers financial markets and institutions, financial statement analysis, and more.

Associate Versus Bachelors: How to Finish Your Degree

February 20, 2024

So, you’ve completed your associate degree. Now what?  

Your next step could be earning a bachelor’s degree at CU Denver. This decision—leveling up your associate degree with a bachelor’s degree—could open long-term career pathways that can lead to meeting career aspirations, increasing earning potential, and elevating your livelihood.  

CU Denver’s Business School can help you finish your degree. Our top-ranked school will teach you valuable skills, and offers more than 300 business connections in Colorado and beyond to bring relevant industry knowledge to help you be career-ready after graduation.  

In particular, the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) General, offered by our Business School, serves as your bridge to a brighter future. The BSBA General allows you to leverage your Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree for a streamlined path toward your bachelor’s to give you an efficient track to career success. 

What we want to do is give AAS students coming from our community college partners the option to transfer into our BSBA General once they complete their degree. We want to give students, who’ve already put in a lot of work, an efficient pathway to achieving that four-year degree and moving their career forward.

—Joesph Murdock, BSBA Program Director 

Why Earn a Bachelor’s Degree?  

As of 2021, 25- to 34-year-olds with a bachelor’s degree reported more than $16,000 (or 37%) higher median annual earnings ($61,600 versus $45,000) compared to associate degrees. They also had a 10% higher level of employment (79% versus 69%).  

CU Denver’s Business School bachelor’s-level grads do even better. On average, these graduates report median annual earnings of $80,300.  

In your important decision-making process, you should consider how CU Denver’s program could be the ideal bridge between your associate degree, the job you want, and your future business career. The program’s unique blend of academic rigor, industry connectivity, and personalized pathways could help you jumpstart your career. 

How CU Denver’s BSBA General Program Works  

The BSBA General Program recognizes prior academic achievements so that you can provide an efficient avenue to finish your degree. This transfer-friendly initiative ensures that your hard-earned credits seamlessly integrate at CU Denver to expedite your journey towards a bachelor’s education.  

Normally, an AAS is considered a terminal degree. They’ve been difficult to articulate historically. Now, we have an option for students that want to get a business degree, and who’ve already completed their AAS to receive a Bachelor of Science from a well-known university in as little as two years, which is fantastic.

—Joesph Murdock, BSBA Program Director 

Moreover, the program aligns with industry demands and equips students with marketable skills and knowledge that transcend the scope of an associate degree. The emphasis on practical experience, workforce connections, and a holistic education approach amplifies career prospects upon graduation.  

CU Denver’s BSBA General Program students will take classes in key liberal arts areas, including English, mathematics, behavioral and social sciences, the humanities, global viewpoints, and the exploration of diverse cultures. But they will also take key courses in the Business School, such as accounting, marketing, management, finance, ethics, and more. CU Denver also offers invaluable international learning experiences and opportunities for real-world application of knowledge through internships and projects.  

Which AAS Credits Transfer?

CU Denver’s BSBA degree is designed to accept the following business-related AAS degrees and put you on the path to get a business degree in as little as two years. With a business-related AAS degree, you are automatically admitted to CU Denver.

  • Cannabis Business  
  • Cybersecurity 
  • Broadband Tech and Comm  
  • Accounting  
  • Business Administration  
  • Marketing 
  • Computer Information Systems  
  • Computer Net Technology  
  • Computer Programming  
  • Health Info Technology  
  • Management 
  • Business  
  • Software Development 

Your Next Step: Apply to CU Denver 

CU Denver’s BSBA General Program stands out because of its flexibility and inclusivity. It caters to various AAS degrees and provides specialized pathways to meet diverse career interests. This adaptability, coupled with its efficiency in time-to-degree and potential cost savings, makes CU Denver’s BSBA General degree an attractive choice if you are weighing the benefits of associate versus bachelor’s degrees. 

Joseph Murdock, BSBA Program Director and Business School Senior Instructor 

Joseph Murdock is a senior instructor of Information Systems in the Business School at CU Denver. He received his master’s degree in computer information systems from Regis University and has more than 20 years of professional experience leveraging technology in challenging business environments, as well as utilizing proven business processes to improve technical departments and education.