Earn Your AA in Liberal Arts Degree
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Strengthen your communication and critical-thinking skills by earning an Associate of Arts (AA) in Liberal Arts from Southern New Hampshire University. If you need general education to seek entry-level employment in business, social services, administration or management, earning your liberal arts degree could help put you in a position to excel and move up in your career. It can also be a meaningful milestone on your journey toward a bachelor's degree or a springboard into the working world.
The AA in Liberal Arts curriculum and experienced faculty will inspire you to explore a range of subject areas as you broaden your understanding of the world. During this process, you'll learn to analyze issues, formulate reasoned conclusions and effectively communicate your analysis – valued skills in the classroom and at work.
Have you earned a significant number of college credits already? This associate degree is primarily made up of general education and elective courses. This makes it a great program for maximizing your transfer credits and getting your degree faster.
You'll learn how to:
Whether you need a degree to go further at a job you love or you really aren't sure what your calling is yet, this online liberal arts degree is a great next step in your education. Earning an associate degree can make an impact on your career and finances by opening doors to new opportunities.
"More and more employers require a degree for eligibility for career advancement opportunities," said Priscilla Hobbs, SNHU’s associate dean of general education and interdisciplinary studies. "Having an associate's degree helps you start in your career."
In fact, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows associate degree holders were less likely to face unemployment than those with just a high school education.1 And in 2019, the BLS reported that people with high school diplomas made median weekly earnings of $746 while those with associate degrees made $887. For those who continued on to earn their bachelor's degrees, that number jumped to $1,248.1
The online liberal arts degree provides a broad, flexible foundation, preparing you for entry-level positions in a variety of roles and industries. Some jobs you could consider pursuing include:
Earning your associate degree is also the first step toward completing a bachelor's degree and pursuing more management-level positions. At SNHU, we have 100+ on campus and online bachelor's degree programs to choose from.
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation, plus financial aid for those who qualify. We also make it easy to transfer to SNHU by accepting up to 90 credits for a bachelor's degree and 45 credits for an associate degree from your previous institution.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 100,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, SNHU has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
At Southern New Hampshire University, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 200,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate the field. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
At SNHU, we know community can happen anywhere. That’s why we’ve created a space with countless opportunities for our online learners to connect, join and share. SNHUconnect is your student center – a private virtual community exclusively for our online students.
What can you do in SNHUconnect?
96.5% of students would recommend SNHU.2 Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Part of our mission to expand access to quality higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. That’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials.
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 6 (8-week) undergraduate terms.
Simply work with an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options, answer all your questions and walk you through the application process. Start by:
Pursuing an associate degree in liberal arts launches a lifetime of learning. General education courses provide the writing, computational and technical skills that will serve a student in any field. The core courses also include a serious introduction into the arts and culture that helps you begin to understand your place in the world.
The liberal arts degree was built to help you find your direction while gaining a solid educational foundation. Our program allows you to explore:
In a world where more and more jobs have become automated, the competencies developed through these foundational subjects matter more than ever. Technology and artificial intelligence have limits, meaning they can't be programmed to respond in every situation – especially ones involving emotion. In this online liberal arts program, you'll learn to hone your critical thinking and decision-making skills, making you an asset in these situations.
As a standalone degree or a starting point for more advanced study, an associate degree in liberal arts from SNHU provides a significant educational experience that enhances your knowledge, skills and insight. And with 5 elective courses built in to the curriculum, you can tailor the program to your interests along the way.
Through small classes and personal attention, this online liberal arts degree provides an individualized educational experience that stimulates personal innovation and creativity – elements that are necessary in today’s workplace.
New to online learning? Our associate program includes Success Strategies for Online Learning, a course that highlights strategies for thriving in an online learning environment. To improve your academic success, you'll build skills such as critical thinking and self-advocacy, while learning about all of the support services we have to offer.
If you've already taken college courses elsewhere, our associate degree in liberal arts could be the fastest path to a degree credential. Upon graduating, you'll already have all of your general education requirements out of the way. This means you can continue onto a bachelor's program and jump right into the focused courses of your chosen major.
Curriculum Requirements & Resources
Total Credits: 60
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Yes, you can. An associate degree in liberal arts allows you to explore a variety of possible career paths and provides solid preparation for more advanced degrees. If you’ve already completed some college coursework, a liberal arts associate degree can be the fastest path to earning a college credential.
If you know you need to continue your education but aren't sure where to start or how much you can realistically commit to, the associate in liberal arts program is a good option.
"The AA in Liberal Arts program helps you get a jump-start on college while also earning a degree along the way," said Priscilla Hobbs, SNHU’s associate dean of general education and interdisciplinary studies.
At SNHU, the 60-credit associate degree in liberal arts focuses on general education courses. You’ll explore everything from writing and public speaking to humanities and social sciences. And you can gain key career skills like communication, critical thinking and problem solving that will serve you well in any field.
The associate degree in liberal arts also includes 15 elective credits, so you can dig deeper into an area of interest, explore potential careers or get a head start on courses that could apply to a bachelor’s degree.
If you have transfer credits, this general studies associate degree can be a fast track toward graduation. SNHU’s generous transfer policy allows you to apply up to 45 transfer credits to a 2-year degree. With the maximum transfer load, you could turn your existing coursework into a degree with just 15 credits, or 5 courses.
Earning an associate degree can also help you get a head start on a bachelor’s degree. Because you’ll already have your general education requirements done, you can jump right into your major courses and be ready to graduate sooner.
Liberal arts often describes a category of university majors, including literature, mathematics and humanities. Liberal arts subjects are designed to give you general knowledge on a subject, rather than technical skills.
Sometimes called a general studies degree, an associate degree in liberal arts offers a broad base of liberal arts education, in subjects like social sciences, natural sciences, and history.
These general education courses will help you develop important career skills that are in high demand across many industries. These skills include critical thinking, problem solving and communication.
An undergraduate course is typically worth 3 credits, so a 60-credit degree usually translates into 20 courses. The actual number of courses can vary, however, based on the specific degree program and its learning requirements. If a degree requires an internship for credit, for example, the total number of required courses may be lower.
At SNHU, an associate degree in liberal arts consists of 45 credits – or 15 courses – of general education subjects. Topics include English composition, mathematics, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, history and public speaking.
Another 15 credits – or 5 courses – consists of elective courses, allowing you to explore a variety of subjects that interest you or to specialize your degree in a specific subject.
Yes, you can. Pursuing an associate degree in liberal arts is an efficient way to leverage previous college credits to earn a degree.
SNHU accepts up to 45 transfer credits toward an associate degree program. This means you could take as few as 5 courses (or 3 terms) to finish your degree.
Since the associate degree in liberal arts is mostly made up of general education courses, applying past college coursework to your program is an efficient way to get your degree quicker. Your admission counselor can help make sure no transfer credits are left behind.
An associate degree in liberal arts offers a solid foundation of general education and career skills that can help you find success across many fields.
"Liberal arts majors can often be seen in unique, off-the-beaten-path roles that help fill a void, or in up-and-coming departments that don't have clearly defined duties and responsibilities," said Lindsey Ranstrom, an instructor at SNHU.
A growing number of employers require a college degree for career advancement opportunities and even entry-level positions.1 Earning an associate degree in liberal arts can help you earn this key credential faster.
Some of the careers that are possible with a liberal arts associate degree include:
Earning a liberal arts associate degree can also help boost your lifetime earning potential. In 2019, workers with an associate degree had median weekly earnings of $887, compared with just $746 for people with a high school diploma alone.1
The abbreviation for an associate degree in liberal arts is an AA, or Associate of Arts, degree. A liberal arts associate degree may also be called a general studies degree or a general education degree.
Going from an associate degree into a bachelor’s program can save you time and money and help you graduate with your 4-year degree faster.
With an associate degree in liberal arts, you’ll start your bachelor’s degree having already completed your general education requirements. This means you can get started on your major courses right away and graduate sooner.
And if you end up stopping or pausing your education after finishing your liberal arts associate program, you’ll still have a degree. This means you'll have a credential in hand that provides more benefits than if you entered a bachelor’s degree program and took a break halfway through.
Workers with associate degrees have better employment opportunities and higher earnings than workers who have taken some college courses but didn’t complete a degree.1
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.
1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at:
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
2According to more than 9,200 SNHU online students in survey responses from the fall of 2019.