Jun 21, 2024  
Catalog/Handbook 2023-2024 
Catalog/Handbook 2023-2024

Liberal Arts, AA

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Program: 11000

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.

AA General Education Requirements

The Polk State College Associate in Arts (AA) degree requires 36 credit hours of General Education coursework in specified areas. Some upper-division majors have modified General Education requirements. A student should consult with an academic advisor to determine the General Education and elective requirements of the chosen upper-division major.

Pursuant to Florida Statute Section 1007.25(3) and State Board of Education (SBE) Rule 6A.14.0303, an AA student must complete at least one course from a list of courses that are common to all state colleges and universities for each of the General Education subject areas: Communications, Mathematics, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences. The options outlined below ensure that each student who earns a degree at Polk State meets this statewide requirement.

Mathematics (6 Credits Required)

One course must be from List A; the other can be from List A or B.

Social Sciences (6 Credits Required)

Two courses are required. The student must select one course from List A; the second course can be from List A or List B.

Natural Sciences (9 Credits Required)

Program Electives (24 Credits Required)


  • First-time-in-college students must also complete the three-credit class,  .
  • Most college-level credit courses taught at Polk State will count toward elective credit. Any credits in excess of the minimum required in any of the five core areas listed above will count as elective credits. University majors require certain prerequisite courses before transferring; these are the courses that should be taken as electives.

Total Program Hours: 60

Foreign Language Proficiency

In addition to earning 36 credits of General Education courses as delineated above, the AA graduate must also demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language through any of the following means: completion of two years of high school instruction in the same foreign language, completion of a college-level course at the Elementary-2 level (or higher) in a foreign language or in American Sign Language (ASL) (e.g., SPN 1131 First Year Spanish II, FRE 1131 First Year French II, or ASL 1150 American Sign Language II), achievement of minimum scores on a foreign language proficiency exam approved by the Registrar’s Office, achievement of a score of three or higher on the Advanced Placement exam in a foreign language, or completion of a high school diploma from a foreign country where the student studied in a language other than English.

Civic Literacy Competency

Pursuant to Rule 6A-10.02413 of the Florida Administrative Code, effective in the Fall 2022 Semester, competency in civic literacy is a requirement for all students receiving an Associate in Arts or baccalaureate degree. Competency in civic literacy must be demonstrated through one of the two options listed below:

Option 1:


  • Successful completion of the Florida Civic Literacy Examination with a score of 60% or better.

Option 2:

Completion of one of the following assessments with the score indicated:

  • The Advanced Placement (AP) Exam in Government and Politics: United States with a score of three or better.
  • The Advanced Placement (AP) Exam in United States History with a score of four or better.
  • The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) American Government Exam with a score of 50 or better.
  • The Florida Civic Literacy Examination with a score of 60% or better.

Note: All approved accelerated credit is listed in Credit-By-Exam Equivalencies. The Credit-by-Exam section of the Florida State Articulation Committee website provides further details.

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