What is an Associate of Arts (AA) Degree?

Varun Mehta  |  March 18, 2019

What is an Associate of Arts (AA) Degree?

An Associate of Arts (AA) degree is a two-year undergraduate program that provides you with a liberal arts education with subjects such as mathematics, literature, history, psychology and life sciences. This associate of arts degree is usually considered to be a stepping stone to an undergraduate degree program.

University Canada West (UCW) provides you with the advantage of transferring to the Bachelor of Commerce or the Bachelor of Arts degree at the university. The UCW AA degree also is accepted for transfer into bachelor degree programs at all British Columbia degree-granting institutions provided other admission requirements are met.

The AA degree is comprised of 20 courses. While some of the electives that you can choose from are already mentioned above, there are some compulsory areas of study as well. Many of the core course are completed in the first year of the program and manyof the electives are taught in the second year. The degree program is taught on-campus and online. Some of the skills you can develop after completing an Associate of Arts program are as follows:

  • Oral and written communication;
  • Ability to work in collaboration with others;
  •  Applying theoretical knowledge in real-life;
  • Research and evaluative skills;
  • Mathematical and scientific reasoning;
  • Analysis, synthesis and integration of knowledge.

Apart from the aforementioned skills, an Associate of Arts degree can provide you with learning experiences with regards to:

  • Appreciation of creativity and high intellect;
  • Accepting of a variety of world views;
  • Interest in life-long learning;
  •  Social responsibility.

The learning methods in an Associate of Arts degree usually include written assignments, lectures and class discussions, presentations, group study and assignments. In order to qualify, you must:

  • Have a high-school diploma or equivalent with an overall average of C or better (2.0 on a 4.33 scale) in hand;
  • Academic IELTS score of 6.5 or better with a minimum of 6.0 in the writing band or equivalent, if English is not your first language.

What do you study in an Associate of Arts (AA) degree?

The Associate of Arts degree offered at University Canada West (UCW) consists of 60 credits and the program is designed to help students build and hone communication, team performance, writing and research skills. Take a look at the program structure for the Associate of Arts degree at UCW:

  • Tier 1 University Foundation I: the tier one program structure equips students with basic writing and researching skills while giving them an introduction to a variety of topics. Courses in tier 1 include:
  • Two English courses (6 credits);
  • One Science course (3 credits);
  • One Computer Science or Mathematics course (3 credits);
  • Two Humanities courses (6 credits);
  • Two Social Sciences courses (6 credits);
  • Two Art elective courses (6 credits).
  • Tier 2 University Foundation II: Tier 2 courses at UCW offer students with an in-depth exploration of a variety of subjects and they include:
  • One Laboratory Science course (3 credits);
  • Six Arts courses (18 credits);
  • Three electives (3 credits).  

Careers options

According to PayScale, the average Associate of Arts degree salary you can earn in Canada is $45,000 CAD per annum. Take a look at some of the jobs that you can take up:

  • Marketing Coordinator: marketing coordinators are responsible for developing marketing campaigns in coordination with marketing managers. These campaigns are created for ideas, services or products. Your exact job responsibility in this role could vary depending upon the size of the organization and the industry in which it operates. The average annual salary earned in this job role is $42,000 CAD.
  • Legal Administrative Assistant: legal administrative assistants work with lawyers and paralegals, while assisting them with research, filing, correspondence and drafting of documents. They are also responsible for handling the daily operations of the law offices. Legal administrative assistants earn $36,000 CAD on average annually.
  • Medical Records Technician: this role combines office administration duties with information technology duties. Medical record technicians are responsible for maintaining patient records and ensuring correct information is entered into the system while complying with the preset organisational procedures. These people work in hospitals, medical clinics and offices and can earn up to $24,000 CAD per annum.

If you are interested in developing problem-solving, critical thinking, quantitative and analytical skills while obtaining in-depth information in a variety of subject areas, then check out the Associate of Arts degree offered by University Canada West (UCW).

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