Associate Degrees

What is an Associate Degree at Donnelly College?  

An Associate Degree at Donnelly College is an undergraduate degree awarded after a course of study of a minimum of 60 credit hours. The associate degree is a level of academic achievement between a high school diploma or GED and a bachelor's degree. 

While there is a lot of room for flexibility in the 60-hour requirement, the standard curriculum of 24 hours that emphasizes written and oral communications, mathematics, information technology, philosophy and theology. Known as the Donnelly Core, these required courses are designed to help students develop effective communication, problem-solving and critical thinking skills. 


Why Should I Pursue an Associate Degree at Donnelly College? 

Associate degrees earned at Donnelly College will provide you with an educational foundation based in the liberal arts and sciences, and are designed for students interested in: 

(1) pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Donnelly or another institution, or  

(2) entering the workforce.   

It’s not a secret that for many to reach their career goals, they will need a formal education beyond a high school diploma or GED. The jobs requiring at least an associate degree are available now and waiting for qualified candidates, and the available jobs are continuing to grow. In fact, the MId-America Regional Council projects that the Kansas City metropolitan area will continue to experience double digit increases in jobs requiring associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees or a nursing credential. 

And it’s not just about getting a job, it’s about earning a great paycheck. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau suggest that, over a lifetime, someone with an associate degree will earn approximately half a million dollars more than someone with just a high school diploma. Earning a bachelor’s degree can mean more than $1M more over a lifetime.   

If your career goal requires a bachelor’s degree, consider Donnelly’s bachelor’s in Business Leadership or Information Systems. If you have your sights set on a degree other than one of those, in order to provide our associate degree graduates with pathways to four-year degree programs, Donnelly partners with other higher education institutions in both Kansas and Missouri. Federal grants from the Department of Education and the National Science Foundation support partnerships with KU, UMKC, and K-State, and Donnelly has established articulation agreements and 2+2 programs with Emporia State University, Park University and University of St. Mary. Most accredited four-year institutions of higher education will accept some or all credits earned at Donnelly – check with your academic advisor and the institution you wish to transfer to for details.  

Whether you are focused on a specific career or earning potential, Donnelly’s associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees in Business Leadership and Information System, or many of our nursing programs are here to help you reach your goals and become part of a 21st century workforce that will enable our region to continue to thrive.   


More About Donnelly  

At Donnelly College we understand the varied paths that lead students to our door. We respect the individuality of each student and are committed to helping all students become the best version of themselves. In our warm and caring campus community, faculty will know you by name. You’ll feel supported and grounded as you explore, discover, question and create. Donnelly takes a holistic approach to education by focusing not only on classroom instruction, but also on service learning and social and spiritual growth. At Donnelly you can speak your mind and live your faith in a Catholic college that encourages you to explore your own beliefs. 

  • Donnelly’s small class sizes and personalized attention have an average (11:1) student-teacher ratio.  
  • Donnelly’s academic and co-curricular support programs are designed to help students balance academic demands with work and family commitments. 
  • Donnelly has the lowest tuition of any private college in Kansas or Missouri and is consistently ranked in the top 100 most affordable private four-year colleges nationwide by the U.S. Department of Education. 
  • Donnelly offers more than 50 merit-, need- and criteria-based scholarship opportunities.  
  • As the Kansas City region’s only federally designated Hispanic-Serving and Minority-Serving Institution, Donnelly also stands out for its diverse student body. With 83% students of color, Donnelly has been named “The Most Diverse College in the Midwest by U.S. News World Report for three years in a row. 
  • Free counseling services provided by a Licensed Professional Counselor on-site and other community resource referrals.  
  • Free tutoring and supported study assistance available. 
  • Donnelly has also expanded Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs through grant awards from the Department of Education’s Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program and the National Science Foundation. 
  • Donnelly also offers a Career Resource Center that helps connect students with part-time employment as well as with job shadowing and internship opportunities to career exploration.  
  • A robust Campus Ministry program promotes faith formation is available. 
  • During the 2018-19 academic year, Donnelly exceeded top performing colleges in all five areas measured in the 2018 national Community College Survey of Student Engagement—active and collaborative learning, student effort, academic challenge, student-faculty interaction, and learner support.  

Need more information? Contact:

Donnelly Admissions
(913) 621-8706