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Degree Overview: Associate’s (A.A.) Degree in Humanities (by Specialization)

Degree Overview: Associate’s (A.A.) Degree in Humanities (by Specialization) November 2, 2013

Students planning to opt in completing a bachelor’s degree program in humanities may transfer with credits earned in an associate’s degree program in humanities. Many Institutions offer A.A. Programs with specializations such as social science, literature, history, and humanities. Correspondingly, A.A. programs train students to extend their view of the world by learning about fine arts, foreign languages, history, and literature.

A.A. Programs in Humanities with a Specialization in History

Schools offering Associate’s degree programs with a specialization in history typically acknowledge them as an Associate in Arts or Associate of Arts degree. Coursework related to a two-year liberal arts program combines general education classes and electives such as philosophy, drama and art. The program allows students to use credits earned for admission into elementary and secondary teacher education programs or degree programs in majors such as history and English, among others, at four-year universities and colleges. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.


Coursework in the interdisciplinary Humanities associate’s programs focuses on a wide array of studies such as writing, literature and foreign languages. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•The World Wars
•The Industrial Revolution
•The U.S. Civil War
•World civilization

Career Choices

Those who successfully complete the program can pursue entry-level careers in various work environments such as human services, publishing and business. They can choose from numerous job titles including:

•Administrative assistant
•Museum guide
•Social services worker

Continuing Education Choices

Enrollment in a post-bachelor’s teacher preparation program will particularly benefit graduates who seek entry-level jobs as teachers. These programs, that typically take 1.5 to 2 years to complete, prepare students to seek teaching occupations in secondary and elementary schools. Teachers would need to satisfy licensure norms that could vary from state to state.

A.A. of Arts Programs in Humanities with a Specialization in Literature

Students enrolled in these writing-intensive programs are taught critical thinking, research and writing skills and imparted education in a broad of topics in art, history and cultural studies. Programs that offer the literature specialization include studies in the novel, drama and poetry, and world literature. They may also focus on other areas such as studies in the fine arts, composition and world philosophy. Admission criteria are similar to those in the earlier-mentioned program.


Coursework in the major is augmented by classes in subject areas such as sociology, psychology, writing and English, and may include topic areas such as:

•The Harlem Renaissance
•Argumentative essays
•Short stories
•Post-modern literature

Career Choices

Graduates can seek entry-level jobs in various industries, such as education, media, and communications, among others. They may choose from career options such as:


A.A. of Arts Programs in Humanities and Social Science

Students enrolled in this program are required to complete coursework that combines studies from departments of art, history, English, and social and behavioral science. Coursework includes exploration of intellectual movements worldwide, the history of civilization and studies of world cultures worldwide. Oral, written and interpersonal communication skills are learned by students who develop diversity awareness and cultural sensitivity. Admission criteria are similar to those in the earlier-mentioned programs.


Writing and research-intensive, interdisciplinary courses include social science and Humanities courses, covering subject areas such as cultural studies, philosophy and literature. Coursework may include:

•Human knowledge
•Social movements
•Ethical choices
•Classic philosophers

Job and Wage Outlook

As the humanities represent broad study areas, graduates can aim for various career paths and the income levels would differ according to the field of choice. While students enrolled in humanities associate’s degree programs are allowed to transfer credits to a four-year program, those who complete the program can seek entry-level work in various industries such as human services and the arts.

Those who successfully complete an associate’s degree program in humanities with a specialization in history can seek entry-level careers employed by a historical society or a museum; those who earn a specialization in humanities and social science can aim to perform human or social services work. Those who complete an associate’s degree program in humanities with a specialization in literature can aspire to an entry-level occupation, as a publishing professional such as an author or writer. In May 2012, there were 41,990 authors and writers in the country, and who took home an average annual wage of $55,940 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Continuing Education Choices

Those who graduate from the program can use credits earned to seek admission into a bachelor’s degree in humanities, whereby they could boost their career and income prospects. Schools offer various degree options including a bachelor’s degree in humanities with a specialization in women’s studies, English, anthropology, philosophy, history, and many more.

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