Southwestern's arts and sciences program is designed to prepare students for successful transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Students must complete general education requirements customary to most college disciplines. Most programs leading to a degree have a common core of courses a student may complete before declaring a major. Students in the arts and sciences program earn the Associate of Arts (AA) degree or the Associate of Science (AS) degree.
Associate of Arts
To obtain the Associate of Arts degree, students are required to take courses in six academic areas: communications, humanities, mathematics, sciences, social sciences, and physical education. Students select electives based on an area of interest to round out the degree. Completion of 64 credits with a minimum GPA of 2.0 is required to graduate. Southwestern’s arts and sciences courses will transfer to four-year colleges/universities in the United States and internationally. Students are advised to correspond with their advisors, the admissions office, or the department at the college where they plan to transfer. Additional transfer information is located on the transfer planning pages of SWCC's website.
Associate of Science
Students interested in certain science- or math-related transfer majors may benefit from earning the Associate of Science degree. To obtain the Associate of Science degree, students are required to take courses in five academic areas--communications, humanities/social sciences, math, science, and physical education--with an emphasis in math or science. Students can select electives based on an area of interest to round out the degree. Completion of 64 credits with a minimum GPA of 2.0 is required to graduate.
College Transfer Pathways:
Southwestern Community College students work with their advisors to plan their college transfers. The list below includes two-year guides for some of the college's most popular college transfer pathways. If the student's chosen major is not on this list, the student is advised to talk to an admissions representative or visit his/her academic advisor for course planning. Additional Transfer Planning information
- Agricultural Business*
- Agriculture Education*
- Animal Science*
- Criminal Justice*
- Elementary Education*
- Secondary Education*
* Transfer majors are designed for students pursuing Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degrees transferring to Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, or the University of Iowa. Requirements may vary at other institutions so students should become familiar with the specific course requirements of the four-year institution to which they plan to transfer. For more information on the coursework prescribed, please refer to the transfer pathway two-year guide. Students are also encouraged to consult with the admissions department or their academic advisors.
Arts and Sciences Program Outcomes
- Synthesize a variety of sources in order to produce logical conclusions.
- Articulate arguments through audience-appropriate oral presentation and writing.
- Articulate how systems of power or cultural groups affect both local and global communities.
- Analyze cultural artifacts to identify relationships among ideas, texts, artistic works and their cultural and historical contexts.
- Identify relevant terms and concepts in humanities disciplines.
Social Sciences Outcomes
- Analyze a variety of primary and secondary sources to evaluate their usefulness in regard to the social sciences.
- Apply knowledge of major concepts, models, and issues in the social sciences.
- Interpret and communicate mathematical knowledge and understanding within the context of the problem.
- Independently apply technology tools to graph, analyze, and solve functions.
- Apply the methods of mathematical, statistical, or analytical reasoning to critically evaluate data, solve problems, and effectively communicate findings.
- Utilize science-based, problem-solving skills to evaluate and communicate potential solutions to current issues.
- Apply the scientific methods to gain knowledge and examine the laws, theories and processes of physical and biological phenomenon.
Physical Education Outcome
- Apply the knowledge and skills necessary to develop a healthy lifestyle.