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How Associate Degree Program in Arts is different from Bachelors in Arts?


In 2019, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) launched new programmes in replacement of two year Bachelor Degree Programmes. The Education Commission announced the Associate Degree Programme (ADP), which replaced the 2 year Bachelor in Arts (BA) programme. This move by HEC raised concern among many students, academic faculties, and the like. However, clarifying what ADP is in itself and how it differs from the previous BA degrees can lessen concerns of all the stakeholders. In this article, the main differences between the two degrees will be discussed along with the requirements for students to get themselves enrolled in this programme and more. Continue reading this article to find out more information.

Main Differences between ADP and BA

The main difference between these two programmes is that in ADP students will follow semester schedule rather than the annual system. The Associate Degree Programme will last for two years and consist of four semesters. Whereas, in the two year BA programmes there were no regular semesters and students only had to appear for examinations annually. In addition to this, the aim of ADP is to provide students a more skill-based degree. The focus of this degree programme is to cultivate the skills of students that are necessary in the 21st century and enable them to enter the job market early. Students who enroll in this degree will complete 14 years of education and will be awarded the status of “Graduate”.

Requirements for ADP

The duration of ADP lasts for two years, where students are enrolled in a full-time study programme divided into four semesters. In order to be awarded degrees, students have to complete at least 66 credit hours; those students who fail to meet this criteria will not be granted their degrees by the HEC. Apart from this, each semester lasts for 16 – 18 weeks in which teachers go over lectures, conduct examinations, and evaluate other forms of assessments. More importantly, in order to be awarded the Associate Degree, students have to maintain a minimum of 2.0 out of 4.0 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA).

Universities Offering ADP Programmes

Since 2019, various universities have started offering the Associate Degree Programme. However, it is important to distinguish programmes within the ADP. Students can enroll in Associate Degree Programme in Arts, Science, Commerce, and more. Apart from this, some of the universities that offer the ADP are Virtual University, Riphah International University (Islamabad), University of Gujrat, Punjab Group of Colleges, and many more universities will soon offer ADP.

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