Academic Catalog

Programs of Study

Degrees and Programs

Completion of general education coursework is required for students to earn a Foothill College associate degree. For information on each of the general education patterns offered by Foothill College, refer to the following pages:

Students are strongly advised to meet early and often with a Foothill counselor to determine which pattern will best meet their goals.

Select a Major

Selecting a college major is an important step—one that establishes your career goals and determines where you should direct your academic efforts. Majors within career and transfer programs are described within the following pages. The chart on the Degrees & Certificates by Type page summarizes degrees and certificates available as of Summer Session 2021. There you will find program curriculum sheets containing the most current degree and certificate information. You can also consult with a Foothill counselor to develop a strategy for selecting your college major. To schedule an appointment, visit the Counseling website.

Bachelor in Science Degree (B.S. Degree)

The dental hygiene program is a bachelor in science degree program, under the pilot program (SB 850), authorized by the State Chancellor’s Office. The program is highly academic, with an emphasis on evidence-based practice and clinical skills to prepare students to assess the medical/dental status of patients, develop a dental hygiene care plan, implement appropriate dental hygiene care, and evaluate outcomes. The Commission on Dental Accreditation accredits the Foothill College Dental Hygiene Program. Graduates are eligible to take the National Dental Hygiene Board Examination and qualify for the State or Regional Registered Dental Hygiene licensure examination.

Certificate Programs

Foothill offers the following types of certificate programs:

  • Certificate of Achievement   
  • Certificate of Competency (non-credit)
  • Certificate of Completion (non-credit)
  • Other Division Certificates
    • Career Certificate (non-transcriptable)
    • Certificate of Proficiency (non-transcriptable)
    • Certificate of Specialization (non-transcriptable)
    • Skills Certificate (non-transcriptable)

For information about certificates, consult curriculum sheets located in the Degrees & Certificates section of this catalog for unit requirements, course sequences and major requirements. Foothill awards these certificates when you satisfactorily complete certain specialized programs requiring fewer than two years of full-time study. Certificate programs comprise:

  1. a complete curriculum pattern, or
  2. major and related courses selected from an associate in arts or associate in science degree curriculum at the recommendation of an advisory committee.

Certificate of achievement programs require:

  • a minimum GPA of 2.0; and
  • 50 percent of the program units must be completed in residence for most certificates.1,2

In addition, when noted on the curriculum sheet, some certificates may require a minimum English and/or math proficiency. For more information, schedule an appointment with a counselor.

Some Foothill College divisions also offer certificates of competency, completion, proficiency, specialization, career and skills. These certificates will not appear on the student’s transcript. General requirements include the prescribed coursework and a GPA of at least 2.0 in these courses. Non-transcriptable certificates are maintained and awarded by individual academic departments, and are not recorded on student transcripts. To apply for the certificate, contact the department chairperson within one academic year after completing the last course for the certificate.

Associate Degrees

While many students complete an associate degree in preparation for immediate entry into the job market, earning an associate degree may also serve as excellent preparation for transfer to a four-year college or university. By earning an associate degree, you indicate to potential employers, transfer institutions and society that you have gained specialized knowledge in a particular area of study, as well as critical and analytical thinking ability, written and oral communication skills, and the ability to consider issues with ethical and global perspective.

You are strongly advised to meet with a Foothill counselor early to decide which degree best suits your academic needs and for assistance in planning your course of study. Requirements for all Foothill College associate degrees include completion of:

  1. a minimum of 90 quarter units in a defined set of courses;
  2. a minimum of 18 units successfully completed at Foothill College;
  3. a grade of C or better in all core and support courses used for the degree;
  4. a minimum GPA of 2.0 across all college courses including Foothill courses;
  5. a major or area of emphasis of at least 27 units in a curriculum approved by the Foothill College Curriculum Committee; and
  6. general education coursework.

There are significant differences in the general education requirements depending upon the degree you are pursuing; consequently, you are again urged to meet with a Foothill counselor to determine which general education pattern is most appropriate.

Associate in Science Degree (A.S. Degree)

The A.S. degree is awarded to students who complete all of the requirements in a major or area of emphasis in the areas of science, technology, engineering or mathematics. This degree also requires completion of the Foothill College General Education requirements or Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) or CSU GE Breadth. Students who plan to complete this degree and who also intend to transfer to a four-year college or university are advised to meet early and often with a Foothill counselor for assistance in developing an educational plan that satisfies both sets of requirements. Refer to the Associate in Science (AS) Degrees page for a list of available A.S. degrees.

Associate in Arts Degree (A.A. Degree)

The A.A. degree is awarded to students who complete all of the requirements in a major or area of emphasis in the liberal arts, social sciences and fields other than science, technology, engineering or mathematics. This degree also requires completion of the Foothill College General Education requirements or IGETC or CSU GE Breadth. Students who plan to complete this degree and who also intend to transfer to a four-year college or university are advised to meet early and often with a Foothill counselor for assistance in developing an educational plan that satisfies both sets of requirements. Refer to the Associate in Arts (AA) Degrees page for a list of available A.A. degrees.

Transfer Associate Degrees

The Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act (Senate Bill 1440, now codified in California Education Code sections 66746–66749) guarantees admission to California State University (CSU) system for any community college student who completes an associate degree for transfer, a newly established variation of the associate degrees traditionally awarded by the California community colleges.

The Associate in Arts for Transfer (A.A.-T) or the Associate in Science for Transfer (A.S.-T) is intended for students who plan to complete a bachelor’s degree in a similar major at a CSU campus. Students completing these degrees (A.A.-T or A.S.-T) are guaranteed admission to the CSU system, but not to a particular campus or major. In order to earn an A.A.-T or A.S.-T degree, students must complete a minimum of 90 required quarter units or 60 required semester units of CSU-transferable coursework, including a major or area of emphasis of at least 27 quarter units or 18 semester units, with a minimum GPA of 2.0. While a minimum GPA of 2.0 is required for admission, some majors may require a higher GPA. Students transferring to a CSU campus that does accept the A.A.-T or A.S.-T will be required to complete no more than 90 required quarter units or 60 required semester units after transfer to earn a bachelor’s degree (unless the major is a designated high-unit major). This degree may not be the best option for students who intend to transfer to a particular CSU campus or to a university or college that is not part of the CSU system. Students should consult with a counselor when planning to complete the degree for more information on university admission and transfer requirements.

More than 80 other private and out-of-state institutions now offer preferred or guaranteed admission for students earning an associate degree for transfer. For information regarding California independent colleges and universities, visit the AICCU website. For information on guaranteed admission to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), visit the A Degree With A Guarantee website.

Associate in Science for Transfer Degree (A.S.-T Degree)

Similar to the A.S. degree, the A.S.-T degree is awarded to students who complete all lower-division major preparation requirements for a related major in the areas of science, technology, engineering or mathematics for one or more local CSU campuses. This degree also requires completion of either the CSU General Education Breadth Requirements or the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC). Students who plan to complete this degree and who intend to transfer to a non-local CSU, UC or other college or university are advised to meet early and often with a Foothill counselor for assistance in developing their educational plan. Refer to the Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T) Degrees page for a list of available A.S.-T degrees.

Associate in Arts for Transfer Degree (A.A.-T Degree)

Similar to the A.A. degree, the A.A.-T degree is awarded to students who complete all of the lower-division major preparation requirements for a related major in academic areas such as the liberal arts, social sciences and related fields other than science, technology, engineering or mathematics for one or more local CSU campuses. This degree also requires completion of either the CSU General Education Breadth Requirements or the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC). Students who plan to complete this degree and who intend to transfer to a non-local CSU, UC or other college or university are advised to meet early and often with a Foothill counselor for assistance in developing their educational plan. Refer to the Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) Degrees page for a list of available A.A.-T degrees.