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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 must complete all NKU graduation requirements including:

  • General education requirements for AAIS as outlined in the student's catalog (a minimum of 31 hours)
  • A minimum of 60 credit hours
  • A minimum 2.0 GPA overall
  • Last 20 hours completed at NKU (residency requirement)

Starting in the 2022 catalog, the requirements for the AAIS degree are:

Integrative Studies Core (6 credits)

Students must complete the following two courses. A grade of C- or higher is required for a Core course to count toward the program.

  • IST 185 Introduction to Integrative Studies
  • IST 397 Interdisciplinary Inquiry

Depth (6 credits)

Students must choose at least 6 hours at the 300-level or above. Courses can be selected from the same or different disciplines.

General Education (31 credits)

Students must complete 31+ hours of general education to comply with the KY transfer policy. This includes IST 185, which satisfies the Individual and Society category, and courses from the following groups:

  • Communication Written I -- 3 hours
  • Communication Written II -- 3 hours
  • Oral Communication -- 3 hours
  • Quantitative Reasoning -- 3 hours
  • Natural Science -- 4 hours (include lab)
  • Cultural Pluralism -- 3 hours
  • Cultural and Creativity -- 6 hours
  • Global Viewpoints -- 3 hours

Refer to the "General Education" section of the catalog to determine which courses satisfy these areas.

Breadth (20 credits)

Students must fulfill the remaining program requirements with any 20 or more hours of additional electives. For more detail see the catalog