Associate of Arts

With an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree Direct Transfer Agreement (D.T.A.), you will meet the general education course requirements for most arts and sciences bachelor’s degrees.

If you want to focus on a specific area of study, we offer a range of programs including Communications, Psychology, English, Art and more. Learn more about programs offered through the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Division and the Science, Engineering, Technology and Math Division.

If you are still undecided on a major, an A.A. degree allows you to explore a wide selection of topics that may help you narrow down your choices.

Associate of Arts-Direct Transfer (AA-DTA): Seattle Central has Direct Transfer Agreements (DTA) with most 4-year colleges and universities in Washington State, ensuring that the credits you earn will easily transfer toward your bachelor’s degree.

Learning Outcomes

Adapted from the Association of American Colleges & Universities VALUES Rubrics on April 9, 2014, Rhodes, Terrel, ed. 2010. Assessing Outcomes and Improving Achievement: Tips and Tools for Using Rubrics. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.

As a result of achieving an AA degree, students will be able to accomplish the following:

1. Communication (Reading, Oral or Signed, Written, Other Forms of Expression)
Explain meaning of written work, presentations, arts, and media in different contexts and present oral, signed, written, or other forms of expression to increase knowledge, foster understanding, or promote change in an audience.

2. Critical Thinking, Inquiry and Analysis, and Problem Solving
Explore issues, ideas, phenomena, and artifacts to define and articulate problems or to formulate hypotheses. Analyze evidence to formulate an opinion, identify strategies, develop and implement solutions, evaluate outcomes, and/or draw conclusions.

3. Global Learning and Intercultural Knowledge and Competence
Critically analyze complex, interdependent, national and global systems, and their legacies and implications, regarding the distribution of power. Reflect on how one's position in these systems affects both local and global communities. Apply a set of cognitive, affective, and behavioral skills that support effective and appropriate interaction in a variety of cultural contexts.

4. Quantitative Literacy
Reason and solve quantitative problems in a wide array of contexts and use quantitative evidence to develop and communicate sound arguments.

5. Creative Thinking
Synthesize existing ideas, images, or expertise in original ways.

6. Information Literacy
Identify, locate, and evaluate needed information in a complex and changing environment. Effectively and responsibly use that information to develop ideas, address issues, and solve problems.

7. Technology Literacy
Effectively and critically evaluate, navigate, and use a range of digital technologies.

8. Integrative Learning
Connect disciplinary and divergent ideas across contexts by synthesizing and transferring integrative learning principles to complex situations within and/or beyond the classroom.

9. Collaboration
Work effectively with others to learn, complete tasks, and pursue common goals that shape, influence, and benefit the individual and/or society.

10. Ethical Reasoning
Examine, assess, and articulate core beliefs and values, and apply that knowledge to analyze and evaluate complex ethical situations from various perspectives.

11. Civic Engagement
Promote the quality of life in the civic community through actions that enrich individual life and benefit the community.

12. Foundations and Skills for Life–long Learning
Transfer previous learning to new situations, reflect on learning experiences, and initiate steps to apply effective learning strategies to improve and expand knowledge, skills, and competence.

Special Requirements

Within the 90 credits required for the AA degree, students must complete special requirements in Integrated Studies, Communication, U.S. Culture and Global Studies. Students should consult their college advising office for a current listing of these courses. Specially designated courses that satisfy these requirements differ by college. Special designation credit for courses taken at one of the Seattle Colleges will transfer to other colleges in the district.

  • At least two courses of Integrated Studies. (This requirement may be met through specially designated individual courses, linked courses, or coordinated studies programs.) *IS requirement is waived if transferring in 65+ credits from another institution.
  • At least one course in Communication.
  • At least one course in U.S. Cultures.
  • At least one course in Global Studies.

For details on the courses that meet these special requirements, enrolled students can run Degree Audit or download an AA degree planning sheet (above).

Basic Requirements (15 credits)

Requirements: English 101 and English 102 (10 credits), and a Quantitative or Symbolic Reasoning (Q/SR) course (5 credits).

Electives (30 credits)

An AA degree planning sheet (above) has up–to–date information about courses that can count toward the elective requirement.

Distribution Requirements, Areas of Knowledge (45 credits)

Humanities & Arts | Social Sciences | Science & Math

Course listings often change. Students should confer with their college advising office for the most current information, run Degree Audit, or consult an AA degree planning sheet (above).

Visual, Literary & Performing Arts (Humanities & Arts) (15 credits)

Courses in this area include languages, literature, art, music, drama, and communication. Choices must include a minimum of two different course prefixes, and no more than five credits each of a world language at the 100 level and a studio/performance class may be applied to the distribution requirements.

Individuals, Cultures, & Societies (Social Sciences) (15 credits)

Courses in this area include social sciences such as anthropology, psychology, and sociology, as well as areas of study like history, philosophy, and ethnic and gender studies. Choices must include a minimum of two different course prefixes.

Natural World: Natural & Physical Sciences, Mathematics (15 credits)

Courses in this area include science and social science courses. Choices must include a minimum of two different prefixes; five credits must be in a lab science.

Total credits required for Associate of Arts Degree: 90