3-4: Associate In Applied Arts and Associate In Applied Science Degree Requirements – Policy

Policy Overview

Defines degree requirements for the associate in applied arts and associate in applied science and establishes the procedure for earning these degrees. This policy and accompanying documents are designed to serve the best interests of our students by providing a clearly defined pathway to degree completion.

Scope and Applicability

This policy applies to all full-time and part-time students who are seeking an associate in arts or associate in science.

Policy Statement

A. The associate in applied arts and associate in applied science degrees shall consist of a minimum of 61 credit hours and shall not exceed 72 credit hours.
B. Applicants for the associate in applied arts and associate in applied science degrees must do the following:

1. Satisfy all conditions for admission to the college.
2. Successfully complete the required course of study specified in the college catalog for the degree plan that the student has chosen.
3. Earn an overall cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least 2.0.
4. Successfully complete the required college-level courses specified in the degree plan selected.
5. Successfully complete one-quarter of the total required credit hours for the degree at Santa Fe Community College. This requirement includes a minimum of one-quarter of the SFCC core requirements for the degree.
6. Complete at least 22 credit hours of general-education requirements described in Section B.1.
7. Complete the standard degree requirements for all associate in applied arts and associate in applied science degrees, which consist of 1 credit hour satisfying the Health and Wellness requirement.
8. Complete any remaining degree requirements, which may consist of SFCC core requirements, related requirements, and approved electives as specified in the degree plan.
9. Meet all financial obligations to the college.
10. File a petition to graduate.


Provides requirements and procedures whereby the associate in applied arts and associate in applied science degrees may be earned.


A. Associate in Applied Arts and Associate in Applied Science Degree is designed for students in programs who intend to seek employment in identified occupational fields immediately upon completion of their program at SFCC.
B. General Education

1. General-education requirements must consist of a minimum of 22 credit hours from each of the following categories (category minimums indicated):
Communications (6 credit hours, ENGL 111 or ENGL 119 required)
Mathematics (3 credit hours)
Laboratory Science (4 credit hours)
Social and Behavioral Sciences (3-6) total of 9 credits in social and behavioral sciences and humanities and fine arts.
Humanities and Fine Arts (3-6)
2. Six (6) credit hours of the A.A.A. and A.A.S. must come from an approved list of courses that satisfy the following requirements. These are not meant to be additional hours in the degree but are, instead, existing courses that satisfy the requirement and appear anywhere in the degree.
Cultural Perspectives: 3 credit hours
Sustainable Living: 3 credit hours
3. Courses to meet SFCC’s general-education requirements for the AAS degree may but are not required to be chosen from the HED transfer matrix. Due to the “dual possibility” of the AAS degree (i.e., workplace preparation and transfer), careful consideration of general-education requirements is essential. Students must therefore work closely with their advisors and their transfer institutions to assure the best transition to the four-year institution of their choice.

C. Core requirements are mandatory courses in or closely related to the student’s major field of study at SFCC. (The college’s use of the term core requirements should not be confused with the HED’s use of the term core in its Common Core Matrix of Transferable Courses.)
D. Standard degree requirements are mandatory for all SFCC associate degrees and consist of 1 credit hour satisfying the Health and Wellness requirement.
E. Related requirements consist of required courses (if any) from which students may choose that are in or are closely related to the major field of study.
F. Approved electives consist of optional courses (if any) from the “related requirements” list or any other courses that the student and his or her advisor determine to be appropriate and applicable to the degree.
G. College-level courses are numbered 111 and above. They include content that meets accepted standards of postsecondary academic skills.
H. Developmental courses are numbered below 111 and are intended to develop college-level academic skills.

Statement of Accountability and Responsibility

At least once every three years, this policy and supporting documents shall be reviewed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) and Curriculum Committee. The findings and recommendations shall be presented to Governance Council by the VPAA and, if approved by Governance Council, to the Governing Board.

(POLICY APPROVAL: 5/26/11, SFCC Governing Board)

Revised and SFCC Governing Board approved: 6/24/15

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