The following grid shows the number of credit hours required for each component of a degree.
|Written and Oral Communication1||9||9||6||3||9|
|Physical and Life Science6||8||8||4|
|Other General Education7||-||-||-||-||-|
|Minimum Total General Education Requirements||44||38||15||15||22-28|
|Elective and Major Area Requirements9||15–18||21–24||44–53||44–53||31-37|
* Minimum credits required for each degree program as specified by the Virginia Community College System.
Written and Oral Communication1
A.A, A.S. and A.F.A. 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.
A.A.A. degrees require 3 credits in English composition (ENG 111 College Composition, ENG 115 Technical Writing, or ENG 131 Technical Report Writing) and an oral communication course.
A.A.S. degrees require 3 credits in English composition (ENG 111 College Composition I, ENG 115 Technical Writing, or ENG 131 Technical Report Writing).
See the "General Education Electives" section for a list of approved general education courses.
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), and 200-level foreign language courses. See the “General Education Electives” section for a list of approved general education humanities/fine arts courses.
AFA programs cannot require both 9 credits of humanities/fine arts courses and 9 credits of social/ behavioral science courses. AFA programs must include a 200-level literature course as one of the humanities/ fine arts requirements.
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. SPA 205-206 also meets this requirement.
Social/behavioral science requirements may be met by selected courses in economics (ECO), geography (GEO), history (HIS), political science (PLS), psychology (PSY), and sociology (SOC).
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.
AFA programs cannot require both 9 credits of social/ behavioral science and 9 credits of humanities/ fine arts electives.
See the "General Education Electives" section for a list of approved general education social/behavioral science courses.
A.A.A. and A.A.S. degrees require a minimum of 3 credits in mathematics or 4 credits of physical/life sciences.
Note that the mathematics courses offered by NOVA changed completely in Fall 2018. Please see your advisor if you have questions about how the old math courses can be applied to new degree programs and how the new math courses can be applied to programs begun prior to Fall 2018.
See the "General Education Electives" section for a list of approved general education math courses.
Physical and Life Sciences6
A.A. and A.S. degrees require 8 credits in courses in 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 science courses.
Other General Education7
To meet SACSCOC accreditation 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.
All degrees require a one-credit Student Development course, either SDV 100 College Success Skills or SDV 101 Orientation to a specific discipline. 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.
General Elective and Major Area Requirements9
Not all courses will transfer to all senior institutions or meet the requirements of a given four-year degree. Students who plan to transfer should refer to transfer pathways posted to the NOVA website. If no pathway is available for the desired senior institution, students should see a counselor or academic advisor prior to registering for general electives. Students who plan to transfer to a four-year degree program should become familiar with the requirements of the intended transfer institution and select electives that meet that institution’s requirements.
A.A.S. degrees require between 60 and 69 credits, with the exception of Health Science programs, which may require as many as 72 credits.