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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

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.

Specific Requirements

  • Six credits in first-year English
  • Nine credits in Science which shall include at least:
  • Thirty-six credits in Arts†, which shall include:
    • Six credits in Social Sciences (ANTH, CRIM, ECON, GEOG, POLI, POST, PSYC, or SOCI, or any course cross-listed with these)
    • 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)
    • Twenty-four additional credits in Arts†
  • Nine credits in Arts, Science, or other areas

* Does not fulfill the science requirement at KPU or elsewhere 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

With the exception of all Adult Basic Education (ABE), Post-Secondary Program Readiness (PSP) courses, and ENGQ 1099, MATQ 1092, MATQ 1093, CHEQ 1094, courses numbered 1000–1999 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 1000-level courses that may be used for second-year credit.

Credential Awarded

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

At a Glance

Faculty of Arts

Program Type:

  • Undergraduate

Credential Granted:

  • Associate Degree

Offered At:

  • KPU Langley  Langley
  • KPU Richmond  Richmond
  • KPU Surrey  Surrey

Start Date(s):

  • Fall Intake (September)  September
  • Spring Intake (January)  January
  • Summer Intake (May)  May

Intake Type:

  • Open Intake  Open intake


  • Full-time  Full-time
  • Part-time  Part-time

Minimum Credits Required:

  • 60

Instructional Cycle:

  • Semester-based

Curriculum Effective Date:

  • 01-Sep-2011

Applying to KPU:

Last Updated: 20-Jan-2017

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