In the United States, there are associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral college degree levels, with nondegree options including sub-baccalaureate, post-baccalaureate and post-master's certificate programs. Doctoral programs are split into two groups, including those for research and scholarship and those in professional practice.
An associate degree is typically a 2-year program completed at a community college and may lead to such careers as nurse or teacher's aide, mentions cafecollege.org. A bachelor's degree takes 2 additional years of study beyond the associate degree, although students can enroll without an associate degree and take 4 years of classes.
A master's degree program usually requires a bachelor's degree for admission and can take 1 to 3 years to complete. A doctoral degree can take between 3 and 8 years of post-bachelor's degree study, depending on the field and any other graduate studies completed.