A.O.S. Degrees

NCAD is proud to offer five distinct Associate of Occupational Studies (A.O.S.) Degree Programs.

Those A.O.S. degree programs are:

Why an A.O.S. degree at NCAD?

Built on the foundation and successful track record of our BFA in Visual Communication Degree Program, NCAD’s new A.O.S. degrees are designed to provide students with an intensive career-focused education on a highly accelerated schedule.

The goal of the two “academic” year (16 month) associate degrees, with their applied technical emphasis, is to quickly prepare students for entry-level jobs in in-demand creative positions in just 4 semesters.

Key Benefits of our A.O.S. Degrees:

  • Our “two-year” occupationally oriented Associate degrees designed to be completed in 16 months = Start a rewarding creative career in less than 1.5 years.
  • Large majority of classes are technical/occupational and are directly related to career from day one of degree programs.
  • Small number of required General Education classes. Required Gen. Ed. classes directly support skills needed for job placement (Business Writing, Public Speaking, etc.).
  • Business-related classes (Principles of Marketing & Sales, Principles of Finance, Business Planning, etc.) support personal choice of long-term freelance and/or full-time employment.
  • Required Internship and Portfolio classes support immediate Job Placement after graduation.
    Program Graduates will receive Placement Assistance for 2 years after graduation.
  • Shorter length of time to degree translates to lower overall cost of degree

Program Length

The A.O.S. degree programs are 62 or 63 credits. Program Credit Requirements: GD, WD, WDev, UXD degree programs are 62 credits; Concept Art is 63 credits.

The program is 2 academic years (4 semesters), typically completed in 16 months.

The program length is not guaranteed and may be lengthened for various reasons including, but not limited to: course failure, suspension, program changes, course reduction or withdrawal. The program is considered a full time program.

NCAD is a year round college with three 15-week semesters per 12 months.


Students who interrupt the program at any time will be considered to have withdrawn from the program and must reapply. The programs must be completed within 93 credits (94 credits for the A.O.S. degree program in Concept Art) to comply with the satisfactory progress policy. The program grid is intended to give you an ideal schedule and broad overview of the curriculum. Course names, titles, sequencing, prerequisites, credit value, content, instructor assignment, and/or scheduling is subject to change.

NCAD’s accelerated and highly structured BFA program does not lend itself to flexibility in terms of alternative scheduling due to students failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Students who fail coursees may be required to extend the length of their program in order to meet graduation requirements.

Credit Information

Semester Credit Hour

The semester credit hour is the basic unit of credit awarded at NCAD. A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement.

A semester credit hour varies according to the content of the course. One semester credit hour of academic credit is given for at least 15 hours of classroom contact, at least 30 hours of supervised laboratory time, at least 30 hours of documented independent study activities, or at least 45 hours of internship experience.

Students will typically be expected to work two hours outside of class for each hour of lecture. Additional outside work may be required for specific technical/ occupational classes.

Clock Hour Definition

One “clock hour” is defined as a period of one hour comprising no less than 50 minutes of class time with a 10 minute break.