13B.02.03.24

.24 Degree Programs.

A. Degree Levels.

(1) The degree levels described in this regulation are available to institutions in this State, as approved in accordance with COMAR 13B.02.02.10.

(2) Public community colleges and senior public higher education institutions shall comply with the credit hour standards of COMAR 13B.02.02.16A(1) and B(1).

B. Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.).

(1) An institution may award an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree for successful completion of not less than 60 and not more than 70 credit hours in vocational-technical occupational skills, including law enforcement, computer technology, and engineering technology.

(2) The program is intended for a student seeking immediate employment opportunities. However, the program does not preclude a student from transferring to a technical bachelorís degree program such as a bachelor's degree in technology or a bachelor's degree in technical or professional studies, or from transferring non-technical courses to a 4-year institution.

C. Associate of Arts (A.A.).

(1) An institution may award an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree for successful completion of not less than 60 and not more than 70 credit hours in the liberal arts (social sciences, humanities, and similar subjects) and in the fine arts (music, art, etc.).

(2) The program is intended for transfer to an equivalent Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree program at 4-year institutions.

D. An institution may award an Associate of Art in Teaching (A.A.T.) degree that:

(1) Meets the lower-level degree academic content, outcomes, and requirements for teacher education, similar to the first 2 years of a bachelorís program in teacher education;

(2) Requires evidence of qualifying scores as established by the State Superintendent of Schools on the teacher certification tests approved by the State Board of Education;

(3) Requires a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.75 on a 4.00 scale; and

(4) If achieved, transfers up to 64 credit hours, satisfying all lower-division teacher education program outcomes without further review by in-State 4-year public and independent institutions.

E. An institution may award an Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) degree for successful completion of not less than 60 and not more than 70 credit hours in the professional arts in programs that:

(1) Have as a primary goal transfer to a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree program;

(2) Are similar to the first 2 years of a B.F.A. degree program; and

(3) Require at least 60 percent of the course credit to be in studio work and related areas.

F. Associate of Science (A.S.)

(1) An institution may award an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree for successful completion of not less than 60 and no more than 70 credit hours in science or technology (engineering, agriculture, the natural sciences) with a heavy emphasis on undergraduate mathematics or science.

(2) The program is intended for transfer to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program at 4-year institutions.

G. Associate of Science in Engineering (A.S.E.).

(1) An institution may award an Associate of Science in Engineering (A.S.E.) degree that:

(a) Meets the lower-level degree academic content, outcomes, and requirements for engineering education, similar to the first 2 years of a bachelorís parallel program in engineering education;

(b) Requires at least a 2.0 on a 4.0 grade scale in all courses required by the program in computer science, engineering, mathematics, and the physical and natural sciences; and

(c) If conferred, transfers without further review or course-by-course match by in-State 4-year public and participating independent institutions into a bachelorís parallel program, except that transfer students may be treated like non-transfer students with regard to credit hours earned through Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and transcripted credits.

(2) The Commission shall convene a continuous review committee for each A.S.E. degree area, such as electrical engineering. Each continuous review committee shall be composed of faculty with relevant expertise in that area of study from in-State 2-year and 4-year public and independent institutions with approved engineering programs.

(3) Outcomes for each A.S.E. degree area shall be reviewed by the appropriate continuous review committee to ensure that outcomes are consistent with current standards. The committees shall meet at least once a year for the purpose of conducting this review.

(4) The president or president's designee of an in-State 4-year independent institution that wishes to participate in the Statewide articulation agreement shall submit a letter to the Secretary stating that the A.S.E. shall transfer to its institution without further review or course-by-course match, except that credit hours earned through Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or transcripted credit, may be treated as they would be with non-transfer students at the institution.

H. An institution may award a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.), or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree for successful completion of a program of 120 or more undergraduate credit hours.

I. Bachelor of Technical Studies (B.T.S.) or Bachelor of Professional Studies (B.P.S.).

(1) An institution may award a Bachelor of Technical Studies (B.T.S.) or Bachelor of Professional Studies (B.P.S.) degree of at least 120 credit hours awarded for the successful completion of an A.A.S. degree, an advanced program of study in the designated area of concentration, and a three-credit hour internship related to the program.

(2) Under an articulated agreement, students who have completed an A.A.S. degree may obtain a Bachelor of Technical Studies or a Bachelor of Professional Studies in a related, specialized area of concentration at an institution with degree-granting authority in this State. The area of concentration shall be specified by the institution granting the Bachelor of Technical Studies or Bachelor of Professional Studies. The receiving institution shall accept not less than 60 credit hours and not more than 64 credit hours for the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree.

(3) The Commission shall provide information on technical or professional fields that have graduated significant numbers of students and for which one or more community colleges request an articulated bachelor of technical or bachelor of professional studies degree. Institutions that wish to participate in developing a Bachelor of Technical Studies or Bachelor of Professional Studies shall meet and develop a memorandum of understanding. Participating institutions shall notify the Commission of their intent to develop the new degree program.

(4) A memorandum of understanding shall be drafted and agreed to by institutions. The memorandum of understanding shall address procedures for admissions, registration, advising, student services, financial aid, tuition, and faculty resources. Programmatic and degree requirements shall also be identified. The program shall include an internship which encompasses specific competencies and is a minimum of three credit hours. The program shall be made available at the principal location or other convenient locations, or both. The program may also be delivered through distance education.

(5) The memorandum of understanding shall be submitted instead of a program proposal.

J. An institution may award a Master's Degree for successful completion of at least 30 credit hours or the equivalent of graduate-level courses.

K. An institution may award a Doctoral Degree for the highest level of formal collegiate study in a field, typically requiring successful completion of at least 60 credit hours or the equivalent at the graduate level, including completion of a dissertation, final project, or other form of culminating academic work.