Associate in Arts Degree


The Associate in Arts degree (A.A.) provides a framework for understanding the disciplines and skills of a liberal arts degree, a foundation for further study at the bachelor's degree level, and an initial academic credential required for career advancement. The degree is awarded to students who successfully complete the equivalent of two years of undergraduate study.

The courses completed for the degree count toward all Bachelor of Science degree programs at University College. Students preparing for a career in nursing are encouraged to apply for the Associate in Arts with a concentration in Health Science, and to meet with an advisor to select courses that meet admission requirements for Bachelor of Science nursing degree programs.

required course work

Basic Requirements: 9-18 units

  • Principles of Writing (U11-101)
  • Critical and Researched Writing (U11-203)
  • One course in oral presentation
  • One course in numerical applications
  • One course in moral reasoning
  • One course in non-Western culture

Additional basic requirements for the Associate in Arts with concentrations in Business and Communication Studies or in Global Leadership and Management:

  • Microeconomics or Macroeconomics
  • One course in applied mathematics or statistics
  • One course in information technology
Distribution Requirements: 18 units

18 units, 6 units in each distribution area noted below, including one course in moral reasoning, one course in numerical applications, (fulfilled in Basic Requirements for concentration in Business and Communication Studies), and one course in non-Western culture. Each distribution area must include coursework from at least two disciplines.

  • Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • Social Sciences
  • Humanities

Distribution Requirements for the Associate in Arts in Global Leadership and Management

Concentration Requirements: 18 units

At least half of the concentration must be taken at University College. Concentration courses should be selected in consultation with an advisor to ensure continuity with a B.S. degree in University College.

Students can select concentrations in the following areas:

  • Anthropology
  • Business and Communication Studies
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Economics
  • English
  • Global Leadership and Management*
  • Health Care
  • History
  • Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • International Studies
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sustainability

or select a divisional concentration in either Social Sciences or Humanities:

  • Social Sciences: select courses from Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Social Thought and Analysis, others with authorization.
  • Humanities: select courses from Classics, History, Literature, Philosophy, Religious Studies, others with authorization.
Electives: 6-15 units

admissions requirements

6 units of transferrable college-level course work
  • At least six units of transferrable college-level course work; or 
  • at least six units of course work taken at University College and proof of high school completion or GED.
2.7 minimum GPA

application requirements

Below is a list of requirements for an application to the Associate in Arts degree at University College. Applications will be reviewed once all requirements are received.

Completed application form

The online application is available online on our Apply page. Applications are ready for review when all fields on the application form are completed, required documents have been received, and the application fee is paid.


Official or unofficial (student-issued) copies of transcripts from the three most recent years of college-level work. If you have fewer than 6-units of transferable credit, proof of high school completion or GED must be submitted.

International Students must submit an official transcript from their school and an official evaluation of all previous college-level work.

Personal Essay

Tell us about yourself in a brief essay (about 250 words). Why are you applying to University College? What are your goals, both academic and professional? Is there additional information we should know about you when considering your application?

TOEFL scores (if applicable)

If you are not a U.S. citizen, official TOEFL scores must be forwarded to University College.

Graduates of a U.S. university or college or Canada, Australia, and U.K. residents are exempt if they have earned a bachelor’s degree or a graduate degree from such college or university.

$35 application fee

You may pay by credit card online, or via check or money order payable to Washington University in St. Louis. You may also pay the fee by cash at the University College office. 

This fee is waived for all WashU staff.

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Still have questions?

Administrative Assistant for Academic Programs: Holly Schroeder | (314) 935-6759 |

Director of Advising and Student Services: Elizabeth Fogt | (314) 935-6778 |