Associate Degree

The Associate of Arts and Science (AAS) degree is the foundation for many college majors and for the bachelor's degree. The AAS degree provides a two-year, general education liberal arts-based academic program with training in the fine arts and humanities, mathematical and natural sciences, and social sciences.

The AAS degree is a foundation for many majors in the University of Wisconsin System and is generally accepted by other University of Wisconsin System institutions as fulfilling the university-wide general education breadth requirements. Students may earn the Associate of Arts and Science Degree with Emphasis.

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About the Degree

The degree requires that core requirements in writing and mathematics be completed as well as a distribution of credits in breadth of knowledge categories.

The breadth categories in the degree are defined as follows:

Fine Arts and Humanities

Students must acquire knowledge of ideas, beliefs, and abiding concerns pertaining to the human condition as represented in literature, philosophy and cultural history. They must acquire a level of aesthetic appreciation of the human imagination as expressed in the fine arts, and appreciation of the impact of the arts upon the quality and character of human life.

Mathematical and Natural Sciences

Students must know of the nature and workings of the physical universe. They must understand scientific method, the functions of numerical data and the solving of problems through mathematical and statistical computations, as well as the application of the scientific method in laboratory and experimental work. For this, an appropriate level of computer literacy is required. Students must also be aware of environmental conditions and challenges, the interrelationships of lifeforms and ecosystems, and the impact of human activities upon natural environments.

Social Sciences

Students must understand the nature and dynamics of human social systems and how and why people organize their lives and resources. In doing so, students will learn about both their own and diverse cultures to acquire a historical perspective on long-term characteristics and consequences of social change and an informed understanding of the variety of human conditions and the interrelationships of nations, regions, peoples and individuals.

Application and Performance

Students must demonstrate an understanding of concepts, theory and knowledge through the application of their skills and understanding to specific problems and activities.

Ethnic Studies

Students must become aware of and sensitive to diversity issues and problems. Courses fulfilling this requirement will have a substantial emphasis on cultural diversity within the United States and examine these issues from at least one of the following perspectives: African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, and American Indian topics.

Interdisciplinary Studies

Students must acquire an appreciation for the multiple dimensions of any given subject by applying the content, methods and assumptions of two or more disciplines. Students will learn to integrate knowledge from across the curriculum. A course is an interdisciplinary studies course if instructors from two or more disciplines teach the course.