The Associate of Science General degree is intended for students planning to transfer to a four-year college or university and receive a bachelor’s degree in a science-related area. This 90-credit degree is designed to fulfill many of the general education requirements for most four-year degrees in arts and sciences and, at the same time, provide students with an opportunity to concentrate in a major area of study in math or science.

The Associate of Science General degree allows students to earn 40 credits of math/science courses in their major area of study, 20 credits of basic requirements (ENGL&101 and &102 composition, precalculus and basic computer science), and 30 general education credits (humanities and social sciences).


This degree is a good option for science majors that do not require more than 40 credits of prerequisite math and science classes, allowing students to complete general education credits that they would otherwise need to complete at the four-year college or university. Also, students who begin taking math at college preparatory levels are able to take general education coursework while earning the math prerequisites for the required or recommended math or science courses in their major area of study.

Learning Outcomes
  • Recognize the interdisciplinary nature of the sciences and use scientific inquiry to critically evaluate a proposal, claim, process or theory.
  • Generate significant questions about the physical world and use the tools of science or engineering to design and conduct an experiment; draw conclusions based on a systematic collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Recognize and interpret the meaning of quantitative and mathematical symbols and apply appropriate logic, tools, and processes to make meaningful decisions and solve problems. Utilize multiple representations, including graphical, symbolic, numerical, and narrative, to analyze and solve problems.
  • Obtain, comprehend, analyze, evaluate, internalize and act upon knowledge in order to understand and communicate complex scientific systems and reasoning.
  • Use appropriate documentation to exchange spoken, written, and visual information in order to communicate effectively and to participate as an effective team member within the scientific community and other appropriate settings.
  • Apply scientific or technical knowledge and practice to a variety of disciplines in order to understand issues, solve problems and engage in responsible practices.
  • Apply modes of inquiry from the social sciences to issues and problems found in individuals’ lives and work, in their local, national, and global communities, and to find effective and ethical solutions to society’s problems and challenges.
  • Explore, interpret and represent human experience through the arts.

There are three possible Associate of Science degree options. Students should meet with an academic advisor, faculty coordinator, and 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.


Completion of the Associate of Science degree requires earning 90 credits of college-level courses (numbered 100 or greater) with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better. At least 15 credits must be earned at NSC. In addition, students must complete an application to graduate in order to be awarded this degree. Graduation applications must be submitted no later than three weeks prior to the start of your final quarter. Students with incoming credits from colleges or universities must request an official evaluation after registering the first time at NSC. 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.

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 in a science field such as: biological science, chemistry, computer science, earth science, engineering, environmental science, mathematics or physics.

Required Courses
20 credits
from the following specifically required courses must be successfully completed.

  • ENGL&101
  • ENGL&102
  • MATH&141, MATH&142, MATH&151, MATH&152, or MATH&163
  • Any computer science (CSC) course numbered 110 or greater

Minimum Elective Credits and Distribution Requirements
In addition to the specifically required courses, successful completion of this degree requires earning elective credits in several discipline-categories, often referred to as Areas of Knowledge Distribution. The categories, minimum credit requirements, and special conditions required for degree completion are as follows:

Visual, Literary and Performing Arts (VLPA)
15 credits
of arts and humanities classes must be earned from this category, and must include a minimum of two different disciplines (identified by the course prefixes). However, 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. In addition, at least one of the courses completed to fulfill this category must also qualify as a Global Studies or US Cultures course.

Individuals, Cultures and Societies
15 credits
of social science classes must be earned from at least two different disciplines (identified by the course prefix) in this category. In addition, at least one of the courses completed to fulfill this category must also qualify as a Global Studies or US Cultures course.

The Natural World
40 credits
of natural/physical sciences and mathematics must be earned from a minimum of three different disciplines (identified by the course prefix) in this category. At least two lab courses and a two-quarter sequence must be included in those credits.

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Revised March 15, 2016
Effective beginning Fall Quarter 1997