Sep 24, 2023  
2020-2021 Catalog 
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Liberal Arts, Associate of Arts

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The Liberal Arts degree program offers students a wide variety of courses to choose from and, at the same time, prepares the student to transfer into the junior year of study at a four-year college. The program is similar to other general Liberal Arts programs in the first two years at such colleges.

Liberal Arts is the study of basic knowledge and the development of one’s ability to think clearly. Thus, Liberal Arts students take courses in English, their own and foreign cultures, mathematics and science, the arts, the study of society, past and present, the study of ideas and a foreign language. Students who want to study Liberal Arts but also know they want to concentrate in Social Science, Music, Studio Arts, Theatre, or Communication may select one of the Liberal Arts options.

Although Liberal Arts is not career training in a direct way, many employers in corporations, government and in such professions as law and medicine believe that the best preparation for work in their fields is a Liberal Arts education. Liberal Arts teaches the student how to use and think about information, no matter what the job is or how jobs change.

Graduates are able to:

  • apply critical thinking strategies across the disciplines
  • write research-based essays that analyze and synthesize sources to support a thesis
  • organize and deliver effective oral presentations
  • forge a practical linkage between learning in the classroom and applying that learning to real-world problems
  • demonstrate cultural competence by communicating effectively and efficiently in cross-cultural and multicultural situations

Students enrolled in Associate of Arts degree programs who intend to transfer to four-year colleges or universities are strongly advised to discuss the General Education Foundation Courses with a counselor. Selection of these courses will facilitate full transfer of general education credits completed toward the degree.

Raritan Valley Community College Associate of Arts (AA) and Associate of Science (AS) degree programs are designed to comply with the New Jersey Community Colleges General Education Foundation which supports transfer of courses to NJ Public four-year colleges and universities.  Students who intend to transfer to a NJ college or university can further improve the transfer of courses by using the Recommended Transfer Program (RTP) feature in

NOTE: Students considering transfer to Rutgers University should choose a Global & Cultural Awareness (GCA) General Education course not replicated elsewhere in their curriculum.  Students who have already fulfilled the GCA requirement for their Associates of Arts (AA) degree should select an additional Social Sciences or Humanities General Education course.

Curriculum – A.A. Degree

First Semester

Second Semester

Third Semester

  • Science (lab) 4 Credits 2,8
  • History 3 Credits 2
  • English Literature 3 Credits 2
  • Free Elective 3 Credits 5
  • Technological Competency 2 Credits 6

Fourth Semester

  • Mathematics or Science 3 Credits 2
  • History 3 Credits 2
  • English Literature or Appreciation of the Arts 3 Credits 2
  • Humanities 3 Credits 2
  • Global and Cultural Awareness 3 Credits 4

Total Credits 60

1 Mathematics by official placement. Students may not take courses below placement level, except by permission of department chairperson.

2 Select a course from the appropriate category of the General Education  list. 

3 A two-semester sequence is required. Placement by examination is required for students who wish to continue studying a language previously studied. Students may not take courses below their placement level. For more information, see Foreign Language Placement Testing and Degree Requirements .

4 Any General Education course that is listed as a Global and Cultural Awareness (GCA) course. If a course satisfies both the Global and Cultural Awareness Requirement and another General Education requirement in Social Science or Humanities, the student may select any course from the General Education list. However, students planning to transfer to Rutgers University should choose a Global & Cultural Awareness General Education course, or an additional Social Sciences or Humanities General Education course with the GCA designation.

Any college-level course.

6 Select a course from the appropriate category of the General Education  list.  Students who pass the Technological Competency test (no credit) should select a Mathematics or Science course from the General Education list.  A minimum of 12 credits of Math, Science, or Technological Competency are required.

7 Students may fulfill this 3-credit requirement with any ARTS, MUSC,DANC, THEA, GDEV, or IDMX course EXCLUDING the following: MUSC 102 Music Appreciation  , MUSC 103 Rock N’ Roll History and Culture  , MUSC 105 Survey of Jazz Music  , MUSC 107 Introduction to World Music  , DANC 110 Dance Appreciation  , DANC 121 World Dance History  , THEA 103 Introduction to Theatre  , THEA 107 History of Theatre: Classical  , THEA 108 History of Theatre: Modern  .

8 Students are advised to select from the following one-semester Science Courses: BIOL 111 Principles of Biology  , BIOL 120 Human Biology  , BIOL 150 Plants, Humans & the Environment  , CHEM 102 Introduction to Chemistry  , GEOL 157 Introduction to Geology  PHYS 112 Concepts of Physics  , PHYS 130 Astronomy  .

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