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The Associate of Arts in Integrative Studies
The Associate of Arts in Integrative Studies (AAIS) is designed for students who want a college credential that will serve for career advancement, or to prepare for continuing toward a Baccalaureate degree. The program emphasizes a background in the liberal arts and integrative learning.


When is the AAIS the right degree? 

  • Perhaps you are looking for job advancement or entry into a new job that requires only an Associate's degree. The A.A. degree requires only 61 credit hours and often can be achieved in two years.
  • Do you want to start your college career at NKU but transfer to another school for a particular program later? The AAIS degree does require the basic general education classes that will transfer to any public institution in Kentucky (and in some cases to schools in Indiana and Ohio). Be aware, however, that some schools might require more general education. If you work carefully with an advisor and plan your A.A. degree path appropriately, what you transfer can be a good foundation for future work in a Bachelor's program.
  • Maybe you want a degree to recognize your progress along the way to a Bachelor's degree. In this case it is important to plan your progress through the A.A. program carefully so that working on the A.A. degree does not force you to take classes that will delay your progress to graduation with a Bachelor's degree. If you are sure you want to earn a Bachelor's degree, it is often better to plan a path to that degree from the start. Having both an A.A. and a B.A. (or B.S.) degree does not necessarily add much to your resume since most employers will be interested only in the highest degree obtained.
  • Are you only seeking a college degree for personal goals and want the greatest flexible to pursue your interests? The AAIS program is very flexible, allowing you to design your own program and take it at your own pace.

Whatever your interests, you should talk with an advisor to be sure you are pursuing the degree that is right for you.


Students seeking the Associate of Arts degree in Integrative Studies take 30 hours of general education and a concentration of 15 hours of program courses in one of the following areas (sometimes called "meta-majors"):

  • Humanities
  • Fine Arts
  • Social / Behavioral Sciences
  • Natural Sciences / Mathematics

The fifteen hours of course work must be from at least two different disciplines within the chosen area, and at least 6 credit hours of the 15 must be at the 300 level or above.

The IST 185 Introduction to Integrative Studies is required but also meets one of the general education categories. A capstone course, IST 397 Interdisciplinary Inquiry, is also required. 

Additional electives can be take to reach a minimum of 61 hours for graduation. For more detail see the catalog