Admissions and Records

General Education Requirements

The Associate Degree

The associate degree consists of two main elements: 1) general education, which gives students a broad base of knowledge and 2) a “major,” where a student specializes in a particular field of study. Depending on the “major” selected, the student will be awarded an Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) Degree.

At Napa Valley College, A.A. degrees are earned in general areas of study that provide students with a liberal arts foundation. The A.A. degree does not guarantee that students meet transfer admission requirements; however, by careful planning with a counselor, most students who wish to transfer can do so with an A.A. Degree.

At Napa Valley College, A.S. degrees are earned in occupational programs that provide students with skills and training for immediate entry into the workforce. These programs are not designed for students planning to transfer to a four-year institution, even though some courses in the A.S. degree programs may meet transfer requirements.

An associate degree documents students’ educational achievements and provides them with a foundation for future learning. Since most jobs in the future will require some education beyond high school, the associate degree will make students more competitive in the job market.

Associate Degree Requirements 

The following are requirements for graduation with an Associate of Arts (A.A.) or an Associate of Science (A.S.) Degree from Napa Valley College. Requirement 7 applies only to the A.A. degree. Requirement 8, general education, is the same for both, with the exception of Area (e), Multicultural Requirement. Please refer to (e)Multicultural/Gender Studies on page 70 for an explanation of how this requirement differs for AS degrees and AA degrees.

1. Unit Requirement: 60 semester units in courses numbered between 90 and 399. Units from other colleges may be used if they are determined acceptable by the Admissions and Records Office.

2. Scholarship Requirement: Cumulative G.P.A. of 2.0 or better with a “C” or better in all classes in the major.

3. Residence Requirement: Completion of 12 semester units at NVC and attendance at NVC during the semester prior to graduation or 30 semester units completed at NVC.

4. P.E./Health Requirement: 3.0 semester units of physical education classes or HELH 106. Exemptions: a) health occupations majors; b) veterans with six months service (form DD214 must be on file in the Admissions and Records Office); or c) Police Academy graduates.

5. Competency Requirements: Competency in reading, writing, mathematics: completion with grade of “C” or better: in courses from Area (d) “Language and Rationality” of NVC General Education pattern (see page 69).

6. Petition for Graduation: All candidates for graduation must file a petition in the Admissions and Records Office in the semester prior to the semester in which graduation is anticipated.

7. American History and Institutions: (A.A.Degree only) Students must select one course from History 120, 121, 150 or 152 and one course from Political Science 120 or 121. The courses chosen to satisfy this requirement cannot be used to satisfy General Education Area (c): Social and Behavioral Sciences.

8. General Education: Completion of 21 semester units; one course of at least three units in each area. A course cannot be used to satisfy more than one area (except in the case of Area E for the A.S. Degree).

a) Natural Science: Examination of the physical universe, life forms, and natural phenomena. Choose three units:
ANTH 120; ASTR 110, 111; BIOL 103, 105, 110, 112, 117, 120, 150, 218; CHEM 110, 111, 120; EART 110; GEOG 110, 114; GEOL 110, 112, 116*; PHYS 105, 110, 120, 140.

b) Humanities: The study of cultural activities and artistic expressions. Choose three units:
ANTH 150; ART 110, 115, 116, 215; ASL 120, 121; CFS 145; DRAM 110, 114, 115, 203, 220; ENGL 121, 123, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 220, 221, 222, 223; FREN 120, 121; GERM 120, 121; HIST 122, 123; HUMA 100, 101, 104, 125, 170, 174, 175, 176, 178*, 179, 180, 185, 186, 188, 190; ITAL 120, 121; LATI 120, 121; MUSI 110, 112, 114; PHIL 120, 121, 125, 130; 133, 134; PHOT 120, 180; RUSS 120; SPAN 111, 114, 116, 120, 121, 240, 241, 280, 281.

c) Social and Behavioral Sciences: The study of people as members of society. Choose three units:
ADMJ 121, 122, 125; ANTH 121, 130, 131, 150, 180; CFS 120, 140, 180; ECON 100, 101, 120; ENGI 110; GEOG 101, 102; HIST 120+, 121+, 122, 123, 135, 140, 142, 145, 150+, 152+; HUMA 188; POLI 120+, 121+, 125, 130, 135, 140; PSYC 120, 123, 124, 125, 126, 128, 135, 158, 185, 186; SOCI 120, 122, 123, 135; SPEE 126.

d) Language and Rationality: Courses that develop language, communication, mathematical reasoning, and critical thinking skills.

1) English Composition: choose three units and complete with “C” or better.
BUSI 105, 111; ENGL 120.

2) Mathematics: choose three units and complete with “C” or better.
A.S. Degree: BUSI 90; ELEC 98, 109; MATH 90, 92, 94, 97, 106, 107, 108, 115, 120, 121, 220, 221, 222, 232, 235.
A.A. Degree: ELEC 109; MATH 94, 106, 107, 108, 115, 120, 121, 220, 221, 222, 232, 235.

Note: Competency in this area may be demonstrated through examination. Contact the Testing and Tutoring Center.

3) Communication and Analytical Thinking: choose three units and complete with “C” or better.
ADMJ 123, 124; ANTH 150; ASL 120, ASTR 111; BIOL 103, 110, 112, 120, 150, 151, 219, 220, 240, 241; BUSI 103, 108, 110, 111, 143; CFS 123, 135, 140, 155, 160; CHEM 110, 111, 120, 121; COUN 100; DRAM 114, 116, 120, 150*, 153*, 170*, 200, 203, 240, 244; EART 110; ECON 100, 101; ELEC 98, 109; ENGI 123; ENGL 121, 123, 125, 200, 201, 202, 203, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 220, 221, 222; HUMA 100, 101, 104, 125, 185, 186; ITAL 240; MATH 90, 92, 94, 97, 106, 107, 108, 115, 120, 121, 220, 221, 222, 232, 235; PHIL 120, 121, 125, 126, 130; PHYS 105, 110, 120, 121, 140, 240; POLI 125, 135, 140; PSYC 100, 124, 130, 135, 158, 186, 187; RESP 120; SOCI 122, 135; SPAN 240, 241, 280, 281; SPEE 120, 122, 124, 126, 128.

e) Multicultural/Gender Studies: (A.S. Degree: course may double count for one other general education area, where that particular course appears). Courses that explore cross-cultural views, including male/female perspectives and contributions. Choose three units:
ANTH 121, 150, 180; CFS 140, 180; COUN 124; DRAM 115; ENGL 217; HIST 145, 150, 152; HUMA 174, 186; PSYC 128, 186; SPEE 126.

* Two-unit courses or variable unit courses
+ A.A. degree only. Courses chosen to satisfy the American History and Institutions requirement cannot be used to satisfy Category C.

Completing a major:A.S. Degree - Refer to the Occupational Education section on courses required to complete the major. For each program, major and general education courses are outlined in a suggested sequence. Both counselors and program coordinators can advise students to ensure that all requirements for the A.S. Degree are being met.
A.A. Degree - Students may earn this type of degree in six areas: Humanities and Fine Arts, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Social and Behavioral Sciences, General Studies, Transfer in a Specific Major, and General Education/Breadth Requirements.
A minimum of 18 semester units is required for any one of these majors. Students are advised to consult a counselor to develop an Educational Plan for an A.A. Degree. The following section outlines courses that meet major requirements for the A.A. Degree.

Completing a Major for the A.A. Degree 

To complete a major for an A.A. degree, choose one or more of the six options below.


a) Humanities and Fine Arts Major: The study of cultural activities and artistic expressions of human beings. Choose 18 units:
ANTH 150; ART 110, 112, 115, 116, 120, 127, 129, 131, 135, 136, 137, 139, 140, 147, 154, 155, 157, 158, 180, 181, 215, 216, 240, 255, 258, 260; ASL 120, 121; CFS 145, 196; DRAM 110, 114, 115, 116, 120, 125, 135, 150, 151, 152, 153, 155, 160, 170, 190, 191, 200, 201, 203, 220, 240, 244; ENGL 121, 123, 125, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 220, 221, 222, 223; FREN 120, 121, 240, 241; GERM 120, 121, 240, 241; HIST 122, 123; HUMA 100, 101, 104, 125, 170, 174, 175, 176, 178, 179, 180, 185, 186, 188, 190; ITAL 120, 121, 240; LATI 120, 121; MUSI 110, 112, 114, 120, 121, 122, 130, 135, 137, 140, 145, 150, 155, 158, 160, 163, 164, 166, 170, 172, 185, 196, 221, 222, 230, 232, 240; PHIL 120, 121, 125, 126, 130, 133, 134; PHOT 120, 121; PHYE 134, 138, 142; RUSS 120; SPAN 114, 116, 120 (or SPAN 110 & 111, both must be taken), 121, 240, 241, 280, 281; SPEE 122, 128.

b) Natural Science and Mathematics Major: The study of the physical universe, its life forms, and the relationship between science and other human activities. Choose 18 units:
ANTH 120; ASTR 110, 111; BIOL 103, 105, 110, 112, 117, 120, 150, 151, 218, 219, 220, 240, 241; BUSI 90; CHEM 110, 111, 120, 121, 240, 241, 242; EART 110; ELEC 98, 109; GEOG 110, 114; GEOL 110, 111, 112, 116; MATH 90, 92, 94, 96, 97, 104, 106, 107, 108, 115, 120, 121, 220, 221, 222, 232, 235; PHYS 105, 110, 111, 120, 121, 140, 240, 241.

c) Social and Behavioral Sciences Major: The study of people as members of society, the methods of inquiry used in the field and the response of individuals to their societies. Choose 18 units:
ADMJ 120, 121, 122, 125; ANTH 121, 130, 131, 150, 180; CFS 120, 140, 180; ECON 100, 101, 120; ENGI 110; GEOG 101, 102, 114; HIST 120, 121, 122, 123, 135, 140, 142, 145, 150, 152; HUMA 100, 101, 104, 188; POLI 120, 121, 125, 130, 135, 140; PSYC 120, 123, 124, 125, 126, 128, 135, 158, 185, 186; SOCI 120, 122, 123, 135; SPEE 120, 126.

d) General Studies Major: This major is reserved for students completing apprenticeships or majors not offered at Napa Valley College. Consult a counselor.

e) Transfer in a Specific Major: Completion of all lower division requirements for the major as designated by the college to which the student plans to transfer for a minimum of 18 semester units. Consult a counselor to determine eligibility.

Note: Completion of this A.A. degree does not guarantee admission to the chosen four-year
college or into the specific major at that college. Students must meet all admissions
requirements for the transfer school. See Transfer Information.

f) General Education/Breadth Requirements Major: completion of any one of the following options constitutes a major in general education:

i) California State University General Education requirements  can be found in the campus catalog.

ii) IGETC (Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum) which meets general education requirements for both CSU and UC systems in the campus catalog.

iii) University of California Breadth Requirements for a specific college within one
of the UC campuses (consult a counselor).

Note: Completion of general education/breadth requirements does not guarantee admission to the chosen four-year college. Students must meet entrance requirements for their transfer school. See pages 97-101 in the chapter on transfer and consult a counselor.