Associate of Arts and Science Degree

The Associate of Arts and Science degree is the foundation for all UW college majors and bachelor’s degrees and represents to employers that you offer communication and critical thinking skills – paramount for success in today's workplace. In addition, the Associate of Arts and Science degree serves as the foundation for acquiring new knowledge, pursuing a bachelor's degree and adapting to change in the work environment. University of Wisconsin schools that grant the bachelor's degree consider UW Colleges students with an Associate of Arts and Science degree to have satisfied the university-wide general education breadth requirements.

About the Degree

To fulfill the UW Colleges mission, the degree requires that core requirements in writing and mathematics be completed as well as a distribution of credits in a breadth of knowledge categories 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 achieve 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 life forms 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 it.

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