Frequently Asked Questions

Associate’s Degrees

An Associate’s Degree is a two-year degree consisting of about 90 credits. There are three types of Associate’s Degrees available:
  • AA - Associate of Arts, consists of mostly Humanities and Social Science courses, with just a few technical courses.
  • AS - Associate of Science, consists of mostly math and science courses, along with Computer Science classes and a few general education courses.
  • AAS-T - Associate of Applied Science, consists of mostly technical courses, with just a few general education courses.
Which degree is best for you depends on your end goal:
  • If you wish to pursue a Bachelor’s of Applied Science (BAS) in Network Administration & Security at Green River, then you need to earn an AAS-T.
  • If you wish to pursue a Bachelor’s of Applied Science (BAS) in Software Development at Green River, then any two-year degree (AA, AS, or AAS-T) will work, along with a few prerequisite courses.
  • If you intend to transfer to another 4-year university, then you will need an AA or AS, depending on the program. Talk to your advisor for help choosing the pathway that is correct for you.
  • If you are interested in seeking an immediate entry-level job with a two-year degree, and do not intend to pursue a 4-year degree, then the AAS-T is your best option.
We advise the following courses (all five credits each) as part of the AA degree:
  • MATH& 141 Precalculus 1 or MATH 147 Finite Mathematics (Quantitative/Symbolic Reasoning, QSR)
  • CS& 141 Computer Science 1 - Java (Natural Science List B)
    • Requires CS 120 and MATH& 142 as a prerequisite
  • CS 145 Java 2 - Data Structures (Distribution)
For your elective credits, we recommend:
  • IT 201 Database Fundamentals (Unrestricted Elective)
  • IT 206 Front-End Web Development (Unrestricted Elective)
After completing the AA degree, we also recommend the following "bridge" classes:
  • IT 207 JavaScript for the Web
  • IT 190 Linux Administration 1 (nice-to-have, but not required)
The AAS-T in Information Technology has two options: A Networking track and a Software track. The Networking track prepares students to transfer to the BAS in Network Administration and Security, or to obtain an entry-level position as a help-desk technician. The Software track prepares students to transfer to the BAS in Software Development.

If a student has graduated high school within the past year, a student can use their high school transcript to obtain placement instead of taking the COMPASS test. Recent high school graduates can also use their Smarter Balanced Assessment scores to obtain placement instead of taking COMPASS. More details on placement are available at

If a student has taken an AP Calculus or Statistics exam in high school at any point in time and earned a score of 3 or higher, no additional math classes are required for the AAS-T or AA degree.

Bachelor’s Degrees

A BAS Degree is a 4-year Bachelor’s Degree focused on preparing students for a career. The BAS has fewer general education requirements than a BS or BA degrees. BAS Degrees are not generally designed for graduate school. However, Green River has articulation agreements with several graduate institutions, including Northeastern University in Seattle, Washington Governors University, and University of Washington-Tacoma.

Green River offers two BAS Degrees in Information Technology: Network Administration & Security, and Software Development.

The BAS in Software Development is more focused on real-world skills and technologies than a traditional Computer Science degree. Students learn theory and also apply what they are learning in the classroom by designing and building web and mobile applications for real clients. Additionally, a BAS at Green River College costs about half of a bachelor's at a state university.
To enter the BAS in Software Development, a student needs to have earned any Associate’s Degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution, and have completed the following prerequisites, or have equivalent industry experience:
  • Java I (IT 219 or CS& 141)
  • Java II (IT 220 or CS 145)
  • HTML/CSS (IT 206)
  • Database Fundamentals (IT 201)
  • JavaScript (IT 207)

To enter the BAS in Network Administration and Security, a student needs to have earned an associate’s degree or higher and have completed the following prerequisites, equivalent certifications, or equivalent industry experience:

  • IT 102 Programming Fundamentals
  • IT 114 CompTIA A+ Certification Preparation
  • IT 131 Networking Fundamentals
  • IT 160 Windows Server Administration 1
  • IT 190 Linux Administration 1
  • IT 210 Introduction to Routing and Switching
  • IT 240 Windows Server Administration 2

All of the prerequisite classes listed above are part of the program of study for the AAS-T Information Technology: Systems and Security degree, Networking track.

If you’re trying to decide between a BAS at Green River, and a Bachelor's Degree at another institution, we recommend that you take a few quarters of classes that will transfer to any program while you research and consider your options. There are a few general education classes that will apply toward any two-year degree. These include a math class, a writing class (ENGL), and a speech class (CMST), all 100- level or higher. In addition, all Associate degrees have room for at least 15 credits of IT electives. While you're taking those classes, visit the schools you're interested in, talk to your advisor, and talk to students in your prospective programs. Get as much information as you can before making a decision!
If your goal is to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science at a 4-year university, such as UW or WSU, then you need to talk with an advisor in the Computer Science Department in Cedar Hall (CH), or a transfer advisor in the Career and Advising Center.
Projected tuition and fees for 4 years full-time study comes to about $25,000, which is half the cost of earning a 4-year degree at a state university. For a detailed tuition and fee schedule, visit our tuition and fees page on the official Green River website.

Pre-earned Credits

If you have attended other colleges or universities and would like to use those credits at Green River, you must request official transcripts from the other colleges or universities attended to be sent to:

Green River College

Enrollment Services

12401 SE 320th St., Auburn, WA 98092

You should also request an unofficial copy be sent to yourself for advising purposes. Once official transcripts are on file at Green River, you must submit a Transcript Evaluation Request form to Enrollment Services. Results will be emailed to you in approximately 4 weeks.

From there, we can determine which of your credits will apply toward your Green River degree.
AP courses are taught by high school teachers who follow course guidelines developed and published by the College Board. Green River College grants credit in a variety of subject areas for students who have obtained a particular score on their College Board Advanced Placement examinations. To learn more, visit Alternative Options for Earning Credit.
Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is a process for evaluating and assessing a person’s existing knowledge and competencies obtained through prior nontraditional education, training, and/or work experience for college credit. An individual’s knowledge and competencies will be evaluated in relation to the competencies of the program and will be awarded credit for demonstrated learning outcomes that are appropriate to the course. To learn more, visit Alternative Options for Earning Credit.

Paying for School

Paying for college is a challenge for most students. In addition to Financial Aid, Green River provides several funding options to help eligible students with their college expenses. Please check out other funding options on our Money for College page.

The Worker Retraining program provides funding for dislocated workers who need retraining in order to return to the workforce. The program provides retraining support to individuals who are on: Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits, exhausted UI within the past 24 months, were self-employed, are displaced homemakers, are facing imminent layoffs, and honorably discharged from the military. To find out if you are eligible, visit Workforce Education.
There are many scholarships available to Green River students. To learn more, visit the College Foundation.


Green River College is committed to the success of their student veterans and their families. We strive to be the most veteran-supportive campus in the United States. We realize that these men and women bring a tremendous amount of life experience to our campus and our lives have been greatly enhanced by their personal sacrifice. To find out what we have to offer, visit Veterans Services.

Are you struggling with classes? The Tutoring and Resource Center is on the second floor in the Holman Library. We offer tutoring in all subjects except math. If you are having trouble with math then please contact the Math Learning Center.