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Associate in Arts (A.A.)

The Associate in Arts degree (A.A.) is intended primarily for students who plan to transfer to another college to complete a bachelor's degree. The A.A. degree is a generalist liberal arts degree and no specific major is listed in conjunction with the degree. However, many students choose to concentrate in a particular field of study as preparation for a planned major at a four-year college or university. Students may choose to follow one of the A.A. emphasis areas or develop an individual plan within the general A.A. degree. Both options are designed to identify the appropriate core of courses for transfer in a student's major to their chosen four-year college or university. At least 40 of the 60 credits must be taken within the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) . Students are strongly encouraged to develop an educational plan in consultation with an Inver Hills counselor to assure that degree requirements are fulfilled. You can find transfer resources from the counselors here.

A.A. and MnTC Planning Guide
2013-2014 AA Planning Form pdf document
2012-2013 AA Planning Form
 pdf document
2011-2012 AA Planning Form
pdf document
2009-2011 AA Planning Form
pdf document


Upon completion of the A.A. curriculum, the student will have acquired the following competencies:

  • Knowledge of fundamental concepts and principles of the natural sciences, mathematics, history, behavioral sciences, arts and humanities.
  • The skills necessary to advance this knowledge; including skills in thinking, communication, and methods of inquiry in the various fields of knowledge.
  • Critical examination of the self and the fundamental values of our society.
  • Ability to apply general education to the vital issues of our times.

Distribution Requirements-Associate in Arts Degree (60 credits total)

All courses must be numbered 1000 or higher.

Required Minnesota Transfer Curriculum Distribution* (40 credits)

MnTC Goal 1 Communication, 3 courses
MnTC Goal 2 Critical Thinking, 0-1 course
MnTC Goal 3 Natural Science, 2 courses
MnTC Goal 4 Mathematical/Logical Reasoning, 1 course
MnTC Goal 5 History/Social Sciences/Behavioral Sciences, 3 courses
MnTC Goal 6 Humanities/Fine Arts/Literature, 3 courses
MnTC Goal 7 Human Diversity,1 course
MnTC Goal 8 Global Perspective,1 course
MnTC Goal 9 Ethic and Civic Responsibility,1 course
MnTC Goal 10 People and the Environment,1 course
More information can be found on the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) page.

*Some courses may be applied to more than one goal area resulting in completion of the 10 goals with fewer than 40 credits. If this occurs, additional credits from the 10 goals listed must be taken to complete a minimum of 40 credits..

Electives, liberal arts and pre-major (18 credits)

Courses numbered 1000 and above from any department may be used to fulfill these electives. These electives may be freely chosen or selectively used for transfer requirements. The Pre-Major Tracks in the A.A. degree or individual educational plans developed with an academic counselor are used to focus these electives to meet transfer coursework for specific majors.

Health and Physical Education (2 credits)

See MnTC for more detailed information about the Physical Education and Health requirement.

Preparation for a Bachelor's Degree

An Associate in Arts degree allows students to complete both general education requirements and pre-major requirements for a wide range of majors and programs at four-year colleges and universities. Students may choose to follow one of the emphasis areas of the A.A. degree or develop an individual educational plan to focus their course selection on their transfer plans.

Associate in Arts degree with emphasis

Each of the emphasis areas of the Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree is designed to provide students with a listing of the core courses needed in preparation for transfer within that major. Earning an A.A. degree with an emphasis allows students to deepen their breadth of knowledge in a particular subject while also more thoroughly preparing them for the major at corresponding baccalaureate programs at several public and private four-year colleges and universities.

To earn the A.A. degree with Emphasis, students will need to complete all requirements for a general A.A. degree, including the specific requirements of their chosen emphasis. Courses within specific emphases may satisfy either elective or MnTC requirements. Students satisfying graduation requirements for the degree will have the A.A. degree and the appropriate emphasis documented on their academic transcript. Careful planning with an academic counselor is strongly advised to tailor any of the emphasis areas to meet the requirements of the student's chosen four-year college or university.

Emphasis Areas

English - Pending MnSCU Approval
Gender and Women Studies
Political Science