The Associate of Arts Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) degree is a 90-credit transfer degree that provides a broad liberal arts education for students intending to transfer to a four-year university or college and pursue a baccalaureate degree in major areas such as humanities, literature, political science, psychology or sociology. To earn the AA degree, students must complete coursework in English composition, quantitative/symbolic reasoning, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and several electives.


The AA degree allows students to fulfill some or all of the general education requirements and prerequisite coursework for many four-year degrees in the arts and humanities. Most baccalaureate institutions require completion of this degree prior to admission in order to receive the benefits of the Direct Transfer Agreement.

Learning Outcomes
  • Have college-level knowledge and skills in critical thinking, quantitative analysis, and written composition.
  • Have college-level mastery of information literacy and technology literacy.
  • Have effective skills for in-person and media-based interactions with individuals and within groups.
  • Understand methods and modes of inquiry specific to traditional and contemporary areas of knowledge in the humanities and arts, natural and physical sciences, mathematics, and the social sciences.
  • Understand the interdisciplinary nature of knowledge.
  • Understand the United States as a multicultural society.
  • Understand the global society and processes of globalization from mostly, but not exclusively, non-Western and indigenous perspectives.

Because the rules for successful completion of this degree and transfer of credits to other institutions are complex, students are strongly encouraged to meet with an advisor, and consult with a faculty member in their field of study, who will assist in developing a program of study.

Students should also meet with a transfer advisor at the intended four-year institution to determine which degree will best serve their needs, get assistance in developing an educational plan, and get guidance in course selections. It should not be assumed that earning this degree constitutes completion of the general college or university requirements of the institution to which one intends to transfer.


Completion of the Associate of Arts degree requires earning 90 credits of college-level courses (numbered 100 or greater) with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better. At least 15 credits from courses numbered 100 or greater must be earned from NSC. Students with incoming credits from other colleges or universities must request an official evaluation after registering for the first time at NSC.

In addition, students must complete an application to graduate. The application must be submitted no later than 3-weeks prior to the start of your final quarter. Transferability of courses must be coordinated between you and the institution to which you plan to transfer. Completion of degree requirements, official evaluation requests, and graduation application are the student’s responsibility.

Depending on initial placement testing, students may need to complete prerequisite math and science courses. If so, those courses can be included as part of the major-specific or elective degree requirements provided they also qualify to satisfy those requirements.

Note that many four-year institutions require students to have completed some foreign language credits for admission and/or graduation. Please check with the four-year institution to which you plan on transferring regarding foreign language requirements.


10 credits. Both ENGL&101 and ENGL&102 must be successfully completed.

Quantitative/Symbolic Reasoning

5 credits of QSR courses must be earned from this category. Courses offered at NSC that currently qualify to fulfill the QSR distribution requirement are listed here for your convenience. Students are encouraged to verify transferability of courses in advance.

MATH102, MATH103, MATH&107, MATH109, MATH116, MATH120, MATH&131, MATH&132, MATH136, MATH&141, MATH&142, MATH&146, MATH&148, MATH&151, MATH&152, MATH&153, MATH172, MATH220, MATH224, MATH238, MATH239


Individuals, Cultures and Societies

15 credits of social science classes must be earned from at least 2 different disciplines (identified by the course prefix) in this category.

Natural World

15 credits of natural/physical sciences must be earned from a minimum of two different disciplines (identified by the course prefix) in this category. Of those, 5 credits (minimum) must be from lab sciences.

Visual, Literary and Performing Arts

15 credits of arts and humanities classes must be earned from this category, and must include a minimum of 2 different disciplines (identified by the course prefixes). Of those, no more than 5 credits of studio/performance classes may be used in this category, and no more than 5 credits of college-level (numbered 100 or greater) world language classes may be used to fulfill this category.


30 credits of elective courses must be successfully completed. Acceptable courses include the following.

  • Any course included in the Natural World, Individuals, Cultures, and Societies, and Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts categories not being used to satisfy the credit requirements of those specific categories
  • Any course numbered 296, 298, or 299
  • ACCT&201, ACCT&202, ACCT&203, BUS&101, BUS200, BUS&201, BUS210, CSC198, DRMA200, DRMA201, DRMA211, DRMA224, DRMA231, DRMA241, DRMA251, DRMA261, DRMA271, DRMA281, DRMA291, ENGL&230, ENGR&112, ENGR140, ENGR141, ENGR170, ENGR&204
  • MATH198 (5 credits maximum)
  • Any college-level (numbered 100 or greater) Physical Education Activity (PEC) course (3 credits maximum)
  • No more than 15 credits of career/professional-training or typically non-transferable courses from the following list:
    • CMST290, CMST291, CMST292, CMST293, CMST294, MATH106, MATH118, PEC155, PHYS118, PSYC160
    • Any other college-level (numbered 100 or greater) course with the following discipline-prefix: ACCT, AHE, AHM, AMA, ATEC, BUS, CCE, EET, EMT, FAM, HIN, HVAC, IT, NANO, NUR, PHA, RES, TDR
    • 3 credits maximum from EDUC200, or any college-level (numbered 100 or greater) Service Learning (SLN) course
    • 5 credits maximum of any college-level (numbered 100 or greater) Internship/Cooperative Work Experience (CWE) course
    • 6 credits maximum from LIB101, LIB140, LIB150, LIB180
    • 6 credits maximum  of Human Development (HDC) courses
    • 6 credits maximum of Parent Education (FAM) course

Additional Requirements

The following additional requirements must also be satisfied to earn the AA degree. It is acceptable to concurrently satisfy one or more of these requirements with the same course. It is also acceptable to concurrently satisfy one or more of these requirements and any other AA degree requirement with the same course.

Of the 90 credits required to complete this degree, at least one course must be from the Communication category, Global Studies and US Cultures categories.

Integrated Studies

8 credits of integrated studies courses must be successfully completed as either Linked Classes or as a Coordinated Studies course. See your options for Integrated Studies here.


View class schedule and register for classes.


Find the most up-to-date A.A. Transfer Degree PDF here.


Revised March 15, 2016

Effective beginning Summer Quarter 2004