The Associate of Arts and Sciences (AAS) degree provides a strong foundation for many bachelor programs.
The AAS degree recognizes the completion of a two-year liberal arts program. This degree also shows employers that you possess critical thinking and effective communication skills, which are vitally needed in today’s workplace.
The AAS program allows you to explore courses related to your intended major while completing the general education classes required for most bachelor’s degrees. Many universities consider students with an AAS degree to have satisfied their general education requirements.
Why Alyssa, a Waukesha alum, loved earning her AAS degree
“I got my associate degree because I was stuck on what I wanted my bachelor’s degree to be. I also chose to get my associate degree because in the end, I knew my credits would transfer correctly to help fulfill my bachelor’s degree requirements. It was a smarter decision to pay less and live closer to home for me to figure out my major, while also being in a friendly environment.”
AAS degree-seeking students must complete a minimum of 60 degree credits, have a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average, and meet the core competencies in writing and mathematics. A distribution of credits demonstrating a breadth of knowledge is also required. The breadth categories are defined as follows:
Fall 2021 and later
- Fine Arts and Humanities
- Mathematical and Natural Sciences
- Social Sciences
- Cultural Diversity
- Applied Scholarship
Core Requirements for AAS Degree
- CGS ENG 102: Critical Writing, Reading, and Research (3 credits)
Choose one of the following: (3 credits)
- CGS MAT 102: Mathematical Literacy for College Students II
- CGS MAT 103: Contemporary Applications of Mathematics
- CGS MAT 105: Introduction to College Algebra
- CGS MAT 108: Quantitative Reasoning
- CGS MAT 110: College Algebra
- CGS MAT 116: College Algebra
Arts and Humanities (9 credits)
- One Arts course
- One Humanities course
Mathematics and Natural Sciences (11 credits)
- Eight credits in two Natural Science areas
- One laboratory science course
Remaining credits can be any Mathematical Sciences or Natural Sciences courses
Social Sciences (9 credits)
- Must include credits from at least two disciplines
Cultural Diversity (3 credits)
- Courses may be counted toward another breadth category
Applied Scholarship (3 credits)
- Courses may be counted toward another breadth category
A student who has met the core requirements and the other breadth category minimums may complete the 60 credit minimum requirement with courses in this category.
Please note: All courses are subject to change. Please consult the Academic Catalog for the most up-to-date information and more details.
Students pursuing the Associate of Arts and Sciences (AAS) Degree may elect to receive a degree with an emphasis: a concentration of coursework in a given discipline or in more than one discipline, in the case of an interdisciplinary emphasis. Students seeking an AAS Degree with an emphasis must successfully complete the AAS requirements and the specific emphasis requirements. View the Academic Catalog for details on each emphasis.
- Biological Sciences
- Communication Arts
- Environmental Studies
- Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies
- Health Sciences
- Political Science
- Theatre Arts
Considering a four-year degree? Choosing a major is a big decision that can help determine your future. At UWM, you don’t have to make that decision alone. Our academic advisors specialize in working with undecided students to help you explore your options. They’ll guide you to a successful declaration of major late in your first year or early in your second year. They’ll also make sure that the classes you take while deciding on a major count toward your degree. To make things easier, we’ve organized this coursework into the following Metamajor categories.
Are you interested in the creative process? Do you want to invent new ways of seeing and interacting with the world? Do you enjoy creative problem solving, design and having creative control of your work? Majors in the Arts, Design & Innovation pathway study and make art and design projects that explore and meet the challenges facing us in the 21st century. This field of study is a great fit for students who like to think, create and make.
Majors in this pathway typically lead to careers in traditional arts settings, social media, multimedia, entertainment, and in the expression of ideas and information for government, business and other organizations.
Are you a self-starter? Do you enjoy leading others? Students in this pathway explore the many facets of business, including marketing and promotion, supply chain and operations management, accounting, finance, actuarial science, information technology, human resources and economics. If you want to learn the skills necessary to launch a successful career in business, industry and technology, then consider exploring majors in this pathway.
Majors typically lead to careers supporting operations, promotion, administration, finance, and information/technology in business, local or global education, government and non-profit organizations.
Have you always been strong in math and science? Do you enjoy solving problems and puzzles? Are you technologically talented? This pathway is best for students with a strong interest in math and science who would like to learn how to apply those skills to a future in engineering, science or technology. The strong analytical skills developed by majors in this pathway are highly sought after by employers.
Majors in this pathway typically lead to careers supporting exploration, business and development in science, research, engineering, manufacturing or technology.
Students pursuing health careers often begin their story by saying they’d like to help people. UWM’s Health metamajor allows a student to explore the “how.” Students must be ready to make the sciences an integral part of their introductory studies as they explore the hundreds of roles available as health and wellness professionals. Students are grounded in the biological, physical and social sciences, which are stepping stones to applications in health, health care, and wellness.
Majors in this pathway lead to careers in health care or health education, research and development, business/administrative support, management or direct patient care.
Do you love studying languages, culture and history? Do you enjoy analyzing literature, film and art? As our world becomes ever more global and interconnected, we will need professionals to facilitate cross-cultural communication. Students who want to learn more about people and culture should consider majors in the Humanities and Communication pathway.
Majors in this pathway typically lead to careers providing global/cultural perspectives as well as communication, media, language, diversity, writing, critical thinking and/or leadership support in government, education, nonprofit or business organizations.
Do you find social issues interesting? Are you curious about why people think, behave and make decisions in the ways they do? Are you interested in other cultures and societies? Students who are interested in learning more about people, society and relationships should explore majors included in the Social & Behavioral Sciences pathway.
Social science majors develop a diverse set of skills that are applicable in a wide range of careers. Besides the knowledge gained in a particular major, these skills include strong oral and written communication, quantitative and qualitative reasoning, teamwork, organizational, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Majors can lead to careers in government, business, education, social service fields, nonprofit organizations, scientific careers, media, criminal justice and law, among many others.
Some of our students take the valuable two-year degree they receive at either of the two-year campuses and transfer to a four-year institution to earn a bachelor’s degree. Typically, our students transfer to UW-Milwaukee or another UW System school. If you decide to declare a major and transfer to a four-year university, your academic advisor can walk you through the process for a seamless transition to the next chapter of your academic career.
If transferring to a four-year college is in your plans, reach out to your academic advisor to learn more and get information that fits your specific goals.