College Catalog 2013-2014

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Degree Requirements

The following grid shows the number of credit hours required for each component of a degree.

Components

Degrees

A.A.

A.S.

A.A.A.

A.A.S.

Written and Oral Communication1

9

9

6

3

Humanities/Fine Arts2

6

6

3

3

Foreign Language3

6

Social/Behavioral Sciences4

9

9

3

3

Mathematics5

6

6

3

3

Physical and Life Science6

8

8

SDV Elective7

1

1

1

1

Physical Education/Wellness8

1

1

1

1

Personal Development Elective9

1

Other General Education10

-

-

-

1

Minimum Total General Education Requirements

46

40

18

15

Elective and Major Area Requirements11

14–17

20–23

47–51

50–54

Total Credits*

60–63

60–63

65–69

65–69

* Minimum credits required for each degree program as specified by the Virginia Community College System.

Written and Oral Communication1
For A.A. and A.S. degrees, ENG 111 College Composition I and ENG 112 College Composition II or ENG 125 Introduction to Literature is required. A 3-credit oral communication course is also required.

For A.A.A. degrees, 3 credits in English composition (ENG 111 College Composition, ENG 115 Technical Writing, or ENG 131 Technical Report Writing) and an oral communication course are required.

For A.A.S. degrees, 3 credits in English composition (ENG 111 College Composition I, ENG 115 Technical Writing, or ENG 131 Technical Report Writing) are required.

See the General Education Electives section for a list of approved general education courses.

Humanities/Fine Arts2
Humanities requirements may be met by selected courses in art (ART), 200-level literature (ENG), humanities (HUM), music (MUS), philosophy (PHI), religion (REL), American Sign Language (ASL), 200-level foreign languages, and the history (HIS) courses specified under Humanities/Fine Arts Electives. See the General Education Electives section for a list of approved general education courses.

Foreign Language3
Students who are in an A.A. program must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language through the intermediate (201–202) level, which is consistent with the lower division requirements for most B.A. degrees. Waivers or credit by exam (through CLEP) for previous experience may be available for some languages.

Social/Behavioral Sciences4
The social/behavioral science requirement may be met by selected courses in economics (ECO), geography (GEO), history (HIS), political science (PLS), psychology (PSY), and sociology (SOC). Where the social science is listed as an elective in a curriculum, students may select from courses in any of these areas.

Only 6 semester hours of social/behavioral sciences are required for engineering majors who plan to transfer to a baccalaureate degree engineering program that requires 6 or fewer hours in this category, provided that the college/university publishes such requirements in its transfer guide.

See the General Education Electives section for a list of approved general education courses.

Mathematics5
A.A. and A.S.: A minimum of 6 credits in mathematics at or above MTH 151 is required. The A.S. in General Studies requires only 3 credits of mathematics.

A.A.A. and A.A.S.: A minimum of 3 credits must be earned in mathematics/natural sciences. In degrees that have a science requirement, the mathematics course may be fewer than 3 credits.

See the General Education Electives section for a list of approved general education courses.

Physical and Life Sciences6
A.A. and A.S. degrees require 8 credits in courses in the physical and life sciences that include laboratories. Courses may be chosen from biology (BIO), chemistry (CHM), environmental science (ENV), geology (GOL), natural science (NAS) (non-science majors only), or physics (PHY). Some four-year degree programs require a two-semester sequence in a single laboratory science.

A.A.A. and A.A.S. degrees may or may not require a physical/life science, depending on the curriculum.
See the General Education Electives section for a list of approved general education courses.

SDV Elective7
A one-credit Student Development course, either SDV 100 College Success Skills or SDV 101 Orientation to a specific discipline, is required. All Student Development courses cover topics related to academic success, responsible decision making, and College information. Some sections address additional topics. First-time NOVA students are required to take an SDV course within their first 15 semester hours at the College.

Physical Education/Wellness8
The physical education/wellness requirement may be met by PED 116 Lifetime Fitness and Wellness (1–2 cr.) or HLT 110 Concepts of Personal and Community Health (3 cr.).

Personal Development Elective9
The personal development elective may be met by a course in HLT, PED, RPK (activity courses only), or SDV. The course should be selected based upon the student’s goals. Note that the 2-credit version of PED 116 Lifetime Fitness and Wellness will meet both the physical education/wellness requirement AND the personal development elective.

Other General Education10
To meet SACS and VCCS requirements, any given degree program MUST include at least 15 credits in general education courses; the additional credit for the A.A.S. degree may be in any of the general education areas.  

General Elective and Major Area Requirements11
Not all courses will transfer or meet the requirements of a four-year degree. Students should see a counselor or academic advisor prior to registering for general electives. If a student’s primary goal is to transfer to a four-year degree program, he/she should become familiar with the requirements of the intended transfer institution and select electives that meet that institution’s requirements.

Total Credits*
The total credits in A.S. degrees are between 60 and 63 credits, with the exception of engineering, which may have as many as 72 credits.

The total credits in A.A.S. degrees are between 65 and 69 credits, with the exception of the programs in Allied Health and Veterinary Technology, which may have as many as 72 credits.