The Associate in Arts (AA) degree program is intended for students interested in pursuing a four-year baccalaureate degree. Programs of study leading to the AA degree consist of a common core of General Education courses, specific program requirements (if applicable), and elective courses. First-time-in-college students must also complete the three-credit class, SLS 1122 First-Year Seminar, as a graduation requirement. Students may complete only one AA degree. Those already holding associate in arts or baccalaureate degrees are not eligible to enroll in an AA degree program.
The program requirements to enter specific majors within the State University System are quite varied. Each student is encouraged to declare an upper-division major upon admission to Polk State College; the individual is required to do so after earning 12 credit hours. After declaring a major, he or she should follow the prescribed course requirements for the college or university. The student should meet with an advisor to assist in the selection of both General Education core courses and recommended electives to prepare for the chosen upper-division major. Although each student must select an upper-division major, the degree earned is an Associate in Arts degree in Liberal Arts from Polk State College.
Although the State articulation agreement assures transferability of the AA degree into the State University System, specific prerequisite courses for intended majors must be taken at Polk State in order to avoid course or credit deficiencies after admission to a four-year college or university. For this reason, each student must meet with an advisor for information and assistance in creating a course schedule of lower-division courses that are applicable to the particular program chosen.
The AA degree requires a General Education component of 36 credit hours plus 24 other credit hours, including the three-credit SLS 1122 First-Year Seminar course (a graduation requirement), for a total of 60 credits. The public universities and colleges in Florida agree that once students are certified by Polk State as having completed the General Education requirements, no further General Education courses are required of them when they transfer.
Some courses designed for use in Associate in Science (AS) degree programs are not applicable in AA degree programs. AA students should not take these courses and should consult with an advisor prior to registration to avoid taking unnecessary or inapplicable courses.