Associate of Arts Degree Framework


The Associate Degree is designed to provide an educational experience that prepares students for work, citizenship and an enriched life as an educated person, and to lay a solid foundation for further study.

The associate degree curriculum comprises two years of post-secondary level study in a variety of academic areas. Students are required to complete a broad range of course offerings balanced with in-depth study in specific disciplines. Since many students will continue their studies, the requirements are sufficiently flexible to enable students to plan their educational program carefully and to complete the required prerequisites for upper-level course work at KPU or another university in British Columbia. Students will be exposed to concepts, theories and modes of inquiry in the humanities, the social sciences and the sciences to develop:

  • an interest in, and curiosity about the world around them
  • an understanding of the global context in which they live and work
  • an appreciation of intellectual thought and human creativity
  • an openness to a variety of viewpoints
  • a capacity for and interest in self-directed, life-long learning
  • acceptance of the social responsibilities that come with the benefits of advanced learning

In addition, the program of study should develop and improve those skills and abilities essential for academic success at an advanced intellectual level. These may be taught in some courses, embedded in the curriculum of others, or achieved through class participation and the learning process. These include but are not limited to:

  • advanced reading comprehension
  • effective written and oral communications
  • mathematical and scientific reasoning
  • computer and technological literacy
  • research and evaluative skills
  • analysis, synthesis and integration of knowledge
  • critical thinking and problem solving
  • application of theoretical understanding to practice
  • working collaboratively

The various subjects for Associate of Arts degrees at KPU are listed in the Program Index.

Completing a Bachelor of Arts at KPU

Students who wish to complete one of KPU's Bachelor of Arts degree programs are encouraged to declare into the program of their choice as soon as they meet the declaration requirements to do so.  Students who wish to move from an Associate of Arts (AA) program to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) program should consult an Arts Degree Advisor to properly plan their degree progression.

Transfer to Another Institution

Students who graduate with an Associate of Arts degree in order to transfer to a BC institution to complete their degree studies are awarded 60 transfer credits at the receiving institution. Students are strongly encouraged to obtain program information from the appropriate transfer institution to ensure all first- and second-year program requirements are met within their Associate of Arts program. Completion of an Associate of Arts degree does not guarantee admission.

Students are responsible for ensuring their courses are transferable to other receiving institutions by checking the online transfer guide from the BC Council on Admission and Transfer at

Faculty's website:

Admission Requirements

Students pursuing a Associate of Arts Degree must be admitted to the Faculty of Arts.

Curricular Requirements

Students are required to complete 60 semester credit hours of first-year and second-year courses with a minimum grade of 'C' in all courses. These must include a minimum of 21 credits in Arts at the second-year level taken in two or more subject areas.

The Associate of Arts Degree (AA) follows the standards published by the British Columbia Council on Admissions & Transfer (BCCAT) Accordingly, all courses used as part of an AA degree must be transferrable to one of the following BC universities:

  • Simon Fraser University (SFU)
  • University of British Columbia (Vancouver or Okanagan Campuses) (UBC)
  • University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC)
  • University of Victoria (UVic)

Specific Requirements

A. English
Select six credits in first-year English6
B. Science
Select nine credits in Science which shall include at least:9
Mathematics, Computing Science, or Statistics
Select one of the following:
Business Statistics
A course in CPSC numbered 1100 or higher
Quantitative Data Analysis I
Quantitative Methods in Geography
A course in MATH numbered 1112 or higher
Applied Statistics
Introduction to Social Research Statistics
Laboratory Science
Select one of the following:
Forensic Anthropology 1
Introduction to Astronomy
Introductory Biology I
Biology Today
Anatomy and Physiology I
Introductory Biology II
A course in BIOL numbered 1260 or higher
CSI: Chemical Sciences Investigation
Physical Geography
A course in PHYS numbered 1100 or higher
Select one additional course chosen from Mathematics, Computing Science, Statistics or Lab Science
C. Arts 2
Social Sciences
Select six credits in Social Sciences (ANTH, CRIM, ECON, GEOG, POLI, POST, PSYC, or SOCI, or any course cross-listed with these)6
Select six credits in Humanities (ARTH, ASIA, CRWR, FINA, FREN, HIST, HUMN, JAPN, LING, MAND, MODL, MUSI, PHIL, PUNJ, or SPAN, or any course cross-listed with these)6
Select 24 additional credits in Arts 224
D. Arts, Science, or other areas
Select nine additional credits in Arts, Science, or other areas9
Total Credits60

Does not fulfill the science requirement for Science majors.


Arts courses include all courses offered by the Faculty of Arts and all ECON courses. Areas designated as Social Sciences and Humanities are for the purposes of this Framework only.

 Students intending to transfer elsewhere should check whether courses designated as Arts, Humanities, or Social Sciences at KPU fulfill the same area criteria at their destination institution.

Course Numbering

Courses numbered 1100–1999 are primarily first-year undergraduate courses. Courses numbered 2000–2999 are primarily second-year undergraduate courses. Students may follow this as a guideline when choosing their courses for the Associate of Arts degree. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Below is a list of 1100-level courses that may be used for second-year undergraduate credit.

ANTH 1100Social & Cultural Anthropology3
ANTH 1200Biological Anthropology3
ANTH 1217Forensic Anthropology3
ANTH 1300Archaeology3
CRIM 1101Introduction to the Criminal Justice System3
CRIM 1207Introduction to Criminal Law3
CRIM 1208Methods of Research in Criminology3
CRWR 1100Introduction to Creative Writing I3
CRWR 1110Introduction to Creative Writing II3
FINA 1100Introduction to Drawing3
FINA 1110Introduction to Painting3
FINA 1170Introduction to Film Photography3
FINA 1175Form, Structure and Materials3
FINA 1200Drawing II3
FINA 1230Ceramics II3
FINA 1231Sculpture II3
FINA 1242Print Media II3
GEOG 1160Geography of British Columbia3
HIST 1113Cultures in Collision: Canada to 18673
HIST 1114Forged in Fire: Canada since 18673
HIST 1145Expansion, Revolution, & Civil War: American History 1607-18653
HIST 1146World Wars, Reform, & Cold War: American History 1865-19603
HIST 1150Beyond the Middle Kingdom: Introduction to East Asian History3
JAPN 1200Introduction to Contemporary Japanese Society and Culture3
PHIL 1110Introduction to Moral Philosophy3
PHIL 1112Introduction to Environmental Ethics3
PHIL 1145Critical Thinking3
PHIL 1150Introduction to Formal Logic3
POLI 1110Ideology and Politics3
POLI 1120Canadian Government and Politics3
POLI 1123Politics in the City3
POLI 1125Introduction to Political Science3
POLI 1145Comparing Countries: Introduction to Comparative Politics3
POLI 1150Introduction to International Relations3

Credential Awarded

Upon successful completion of this program, students are eligible to receive an Associate of Arts degree in their chosen subject area.

This online version of the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Calendar is the official version of the University Calendar. Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, KPU reserves the right to make any corrections in the contents and provisions of this calendar without notice. In addition, the University reserves the right to cancel, add, or revise contents or change fees at any time without notice. To report errors or omissions, or send comments or suggestions, please email

Back To Top