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Associate Degree in Letters, Arts, and Sciences — 60 credits

Build a solid educational base in the liberal arts. Expand your career options. Hone your critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. With the associate degree program in letters, arts, and sciences, you can build on these proficiencies so highly valued in the workplace — and gain valuable knowledge to work in:

  • business
  • industry
  • government
  • international concerns

Values to Bring to an Employer
Now more than ever, employers seek people with excellent communication skills and a lifelong capacity for learning, who can adapt to change more easily and see “the big picture.” The required courses in this degree program can enhance your knowledge in these areas that are so critical for job success today:

  • writing and speaking skills
  • the arts and humanities
  • social and behavioral sciences
  • natural sciences
  • math

Pursue a Special Interest with Electives
The 60-credit associate degree program in letters, arts, and sciences also provides excellent flexibility so you can specialize in an area of special interest to you. The elective courses for this two-year degree are not specifically defined for you, so they can be chosen from many different disciplines.

Education Milestones
As you work toward completing the program, you can earn one or more related professional certificates — an excellent way to add credentials to your résumé on the path to your degree. And once you have completed the associate degree, you will have fulfilled many of the requirements for the bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership. Talk with a Continuing Education adviser to learn more.

Admission Requirements

  • You must be a high school graduate.
  • Or, you must have completed your GED.

Submit your application electronically through the Undergraduate Admissions Office. Your adviser can help you with a preapplication checklist.

Program Curriculum

Suggested Academic Plan

Curriculum Check Sheet

View the current Schedule of Courses

The associate degree in letters, arts, and sciences is a 60-credit liberal arts program. The degree's major courses (24 credits) focus on writing and speaking skills, the arts, the humanities, social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences, and quantification.

General Education (21 credits)

(Of these 21 credits, 6 are included in the requirements for the major.)

Requirements for the Major (30 credits)
(This includes 6 credits of General Education GWS courses.)

Prescribed Courses (6 credits)

  • CAS 100 (GWS) Effective Speech (3 credits)
  • ENGL 015 (GWS) Rhetoric and Composition (3 credits)

Additional Courses (3 credits)
Select one of the following:

  • ENGL 202A (GWS) Effective Writing: Writing in the Social Sciences (3 credits)
  • ENGL 202B (GWS) Effective Writing: Writing in the Humanities (3 credits)
  • ENGL 202C (GWS) Effective Writing: Technical Writing (3 credits)
  • ENGL 202D (GWS) Effective Writing: Business Writing (3 credits)

Supporting and Related Areas (21 credits)

  • Select 3 credits in any course designated as arts (GA).*
  • Select 3 credits in any course designated as humanities (GH).*
  • Select 3 credits in any course designated as social and behavioral sciences (GS).*
  • Select 3 credits in any course designated as physical, biological, or earth sciences (GN).*
  • Select 9 credits in any one of the following areas:* arts (GA), humanities (GH), social and behavioral sciences (GS), natural sciences (GN), quantification (GQ), and foreign language skills. (If foreign language courses are chosen, it is recommended that these courses be in one foreign language sequence.)

*Courses that will satisfy the requirements in the arts, the humanities, social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences, and quantification are defined on the letters, arts, and sciences check sheet, which can be obtained from your Continuing Education adviser or from the College of the Liberal Arts.

Electives (15 credits)
For assistance in choosing elective courses best suited for you, please talk with an academic adviser.

Financing Your Education

Exploring alternatives to finance your education can be overwhelming. The Continuing Education staff can help you determine the best option for you based on your particular circumstances from Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to a deferred payment plan or employee reimbursement. Continuing Education also offers scholarship opportunities to adult learners.

Learn more about tuition and fees.

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities to participate in its educational programs. If you anticipate needing special accommodations or have questions about physical access, please contact the Office for Disability Services (ODS) or call 814-863-1807 (V/TTY).