The Associate in Arts (AA) degree program is intended for the student interested in pursuing a four-year baccalaureate degree. Each program of study leading to an AA degree consists of a common core of General Education courses, specific program requirements (if applicable), and elective courses. Each first-time-in-college (FTIC) student must also complete the three-credit class, SLS 1122 First-Year Seminar, as a graduation requirement. A student may complete only one AA degree. An individual who already holds an Associate in Arts or baccalaureate degree is not eligible to enroll in an AA degree program.
The program requirements to enter specific majors within the State University System are quite varied. A 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 a Polk State College Associate in Arts degree in Liberal Arts.
Although the State articulation agreement ensures transferability of the AA degree into the State University System, specific prerequisite courses for intended majors must be taken at Polk State 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 a student is certified by Polk State as having completed the General Education requirements, no further General Education courses are required upon transfer.
Some courses designed for use in Associate in Science (AS) degree programs are not applicable in AA degree programs. An AA student should not take these courses and should consult with an advisor prior to registration to avoid taking unnecessary or inapplicable courses.