General Studies

Humanities & Social Sciences

Degree awarded: Associate in Arts

Program Narrative

If you're ready for college, but you are still exploring career choices, an associate's degree in General Studies can be a good way to start your education. Northampton's General Studies major allows you to explore a variety of fields and to discover what subjects suit you best. We'll provide you with a well-rounded selection of studies in social, cultural, behavioral, scientific and computer-related subjects. Upon completion, you will be prepared to transfer to a four-year institution to complete a bachelor's degree in the major of your choice.

Program Features

Our General Studies program is specifically designed so that you can transfer your credits to a four-year college or university. Schools that are a part of the Pennsylvania state college and university system will accept all of your credits; however, if you wish to attend another school, we suggest you choose elective courses that are transferable to the institution of your choice. We encourage you to work closely with your academic advisor, as well as the transfer advisor in the Office of Academic Advising, to ensure your greatest opportunity for a smooth and successful transition to a four-year institution.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of the program will:

  1. Be able to critically assess and discuss competing perspectives from various disciplines.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of human diversity and an awareness of global issues through analysis of arts, histories, cultures, geographies, economics, medicine, scientific data and/or institutions.
  3. Have a basic understanding of key concepts in social sciences, business, and liberal arts.
  4. Comprehend the process of scientific inquiry, gain quantitative skills and understand the principles of modern scientific knowledge.
  5. Know how to retrieve, evaluate, and apply information from a range of sources.
  6. Possess skills necessary to communicate ideas effectively in the workplace.
  7. Have a working competency in basic technology applications.
  8. Be able to work independently and in teams to complete tasks

General Studies

Associate in Arts Degree

Course Code Course Title Credits
  First Semester  
CISC101 Introduction to Computers 3
CMTH102 Speech Communication 3
ENGL101 English I 3
MATH___ Mathematics Elective 3
______ Social Science/Cultural Studies Elective 3
  Second Semester
ENGL151* English II 3
_______ Business & Technology Elective 3
_______ Mathematics or Science Elective (QL/SCI) 3/4
_______ Social Science/Cultural Studies Elective 3
_______ Elective 3
  Third Semester
_______ Communication Elective 3
_______ Social Science/Cultural Studies Elective 3
_______ Social Science/Cultural Studies Elective 3
 _______ Science Elective (SCI) 3/4
_______ Elective 3
  Fourth Semester  
_______ Social Science/Cultural Studies Elective 3
_______ Elective 3
_______ Elective 3
_______ Elective 3
_______ Elective 3
 Total Credits 60/63


Electives must be chosen from the four groupings that follow:

  • Students have a choice of ENGL 151L (Literature option), ENGL151R (Report Writing) or ENGL 151T (Technical Writing). Contact your advisor for guidance.
  • For the Electives, students must select one course from the list of approved courses in each of the following three categories: Arts and Humanities (AH); Social Science: Societies and Institutions over Time (SIT); Social Science: Scientific Study of Human Behavior (SSHB).
  • The Mathematics (QL) and Laboratory Science (SCI) Electives must be selected from the list of approved General Education courses in each of those categories.
  • One course should be designated as Diversity and Global Awareness (D).
  • One General Education Elective must be taken in a Writing Intensive (WI) section. In addition, students must select a second Writing Intensive (WI) course.
  • Two 200-level courses must be taken from the Social Science/Cultural Studies category or communication electives category.
  • In addition to satisfying the above requirements, the 18 credits of unspecified electives should be selected from those in the groupings below, or from those allowable in the Liberal Arts program, or from the list of courses which are applicable to A.A. and A.S. degrees. Within this, students should select courses which will transfer to the baccalaureate institution of their choice.
  • A student who has completed the entire 15-credit Library Technical Assistant specialized diploma may apply these 15 credits to the General Studies degree as free electives.

Communications Electives (3 credits)

These courses enhance communication skills and offer students the opportunity to pursue an interest in the arts as communication.

Course Code Course Title Credits
ARTA 161 Ceramics 3
CMTH 104 Mass Media and Society 3
CMTH 105 Public Speaking 3
CMTH 111 Acting I (AH) 3
CMTH 115 Technical Theatre (AH) 3
CMTH 126 The Communication Arts (AH)(D) 3
CMTH 206 Directing (AH) 3
CMTH 212 Acting II (AH) 3
CMTH 214 Interpersonal Communication 3
CMTH 215 Intercultural Communication (D) 3
CMTH 220 Introduction to Film (AH) 3
CMTH 225G Scriptwriting (WI) 3
CMTH 230G Introduction to Communication Theory 3
CMTH231 Small Group Communication 3
ENGL 253 Creative Writing (AH) 3
JOUR 103 Newswriting 3
JOUR 201 Feature Writing 3
MDLA 102/112/122 Elementary French I/II or Intermediate French I (AH)(D) 3
MDLA 103/113/123/133 Elementary Spanish I/II or Intermediate Spanish I/II (AH)(D) 3
MDLA 105/115/125/135 Elementary Chinese I/II or Intermediate Chinese I/II (AH)(D) 3
MDLA 107/117 Elementary Arabic I/II (AH)(D) 3

Business/Technology Electives (3/4 credits)

These courses are the most generally valuable introduction to business and technology. They are neither too specialized, nor too technical in nature and should prove both interesting and accessible to the non-major.

Course Code Course Title Credits
CISC 104 Microcomputer Applications (C) 4
CISC 115 Computer Science I (C) 4
ACCT 101 Financial Accounting I 3
BUSA 101 Introduction to Business 3
BUSA 115 International Business 3
BUSA 131 Principles of Marketing 3
ECON 201 Macroeconomics (SSHB) 3
ECON 251G Microeconomics (WI) 3

Social Science/Cultural Studies Electives (15 credits)

These courses inform students about society and culture, past and present. They will help the student to place problems in a broad perspective and to make informed choices about the conduct of their lives. In fulfilling the 15-credit social science/cultural studies elective requirement, no more than nine credits may be earned from either group below.

Social and Behavioral Understandings and American Experience
Course Code Course Title Credits
Social and Behavioral Understandings
PHIL 111 On Death and Dying (AH)(D) 3
PHIL 202 Ethics and Moral Problems (AH)(D) 3
PSYC 103 Introduction to Psychology (SSHB) 3
PSYC 251 or 258 Child Psychology or Developmental Psychology (SSHB) (D) 3
PSYC 255 Abnormal Psychology (SSHB) 3
SOCA 103 Principles of Sociology (SSHB)(D) 3
SOCA 150 Deviance (D) 3
SOCA 204 Social Problems 3
American Experience
ENGL 265G African-American Literature (AH)(D)(WI) 3
GEOG 151 Geography of U.S. and Canada (SIT) 3
HIST 113 American History I (SIT) (D) 3
HIST 121 The Black Experience (SIT)(D) 3
HIST 163 American History II (SIT) 3
HIST 166 Civil War and Reconstruction (SIT)(D) 3
HUMA 121 The American Work Experience (AH) 3
HUMA 140 Introduction to Women and Gender Studies (AH)(D) 3
POLS 110 American National Government (SIT) 3
POLS 251 State and Local Government (SIT)(D) 3
SOCA 105 American Ethnicity (SIT) (D) 3
World Experience and Cultural Understanding
World Experience
ENGL264G Irish Literature (AH)(WI) 3
GEOG 101 World Geography (SIT)(D) 3
GEOG 121 Environmental Sustainability (SSHB)(D) 3
GEOG 140 Investigating Climate Change (SSHB) 3
GLBL 130 Introduction to Global Studies (SIT)(D) 3
HIST 103 Ancient and Medieval History (SIT) 3
HIST 140 Modern Chinese History (SIT)(D) 3
HIST 153 Foundations of Modern European History - 1300-1815 (SIT) 3
HIST 167 Vietnam (SIT) 3
HIST 168 History of the Middle East (SIT)(D) 3
HIST 173 Modern European History-1815 to present (SIT) 3
HUMA 250G Research Methods in the Social Sciences (SSHB)(WI) 3
PHIL 121 World Religions (AH)(D) 3
PHIL 201 Introduction to Philosophy (AH) 3
PHIL 211 Ancient Philosophy 3
PHIL 215 Modern Philosophy 3
PHIL 220 Existentialism 3
POLS 101 Introduction to Political Science (SIT) (D) 3
POLS 202 International Relations (SIT) (D) 3
SOCA 102 Cultural Anthropology (SIT)(D) 3
SOCA 160 Issues in Genocide & Mass Violence 3
Cultural Understanding
ARCH 100 Architectural History I - Antiquity to 1870 3
ARTA 101 Art History Survey (AH) 3
CMTH 110 Introduction to Theatre (AH) 3
CMTH 211G/ENGL 211G Plays: Classical to Contemporary (AH)(D)(WI) 3
CMTH 220 Introduction to Film (AH) 3
ENGL 201G British Literature I (AH)(WI) 3
ENGL 203G Shakespeare (AH)(WI) 3
ENGL 205G American Literature I (AH)(WI) 3
ENGL 215G Multicultural Adolescent Literature (AH)(D)(WI) 3
ENGL 250G Latin American Literature (AH)(D)(WI) 3
ENGL 251G British Literature II (AH)(WI)(D) 3
ENGL 255G American Literature II (AH)(WI)(D) 3
ENGL 256G Modern Poetry (AH)(WI)(D) 3
ENGL 257G 20th Century Literature by Women (AH)(D)(WI) 3
ENGL 260G Contemporary Literature (AH)(D)(WI) 3
MUSC 101 Introduction to Music (AH) 3

Mathematics/Science Electives (9-11 credits) +

These courses help the student comprehend the process of scientific inquiry, to gain quantitative skills and some of the principles of modern scientific knowledge. Such comprehension is the essential foundation for understanding advancing technology that dominates society and the natural environment in which we live.

Course Code Course Title Credits
BIOS 104 Field Ecology 4
BIOS 105 Contemporary Biology 4
BIOS 107 Biology I 4
BIOS 110 In Your Genes: Introduction to Modern Genetics 4
BIOS 115 Essentials of Biology 4
BIOS 126 Environmental Science 4
BIOS 150 Biology II 4
BIOS 160 Human Biology 4
BIOS 202 Microbiology 4
BIOS 204 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4
BIOS 206 General Ecology 4
CHEM 105 Chemistry in Contemporary Society 4
CHEM 120 General Chemistry I 4
CHEM 135 Chemistry of Life 4
GEOG 150 Astronomy 4
GEOG 210 Weather and Climate 4
GEOL 201 Physical Geology 4
PHYS 101 Physics I 4
PHYS 151 Physics II 4
PHYS 152 Physical Science II 3
PHYS 215 Physics for Science and Engineering 5
PHYS 225 Physics for Science and Engineering II 5
MATH 120 The Nature of Mathematics 3
MATH 140 College Algebra 3
MATH 145 Trigonometry 3
MATH 150 Introductory Statistics 3
MATH 160 Pre-Calculus 4
MATH 165 Applied Calculus 3
MATH 175 Calculus with Review (part 1) 4
MATH 176 Calculus with Review (part 2) 4
MATH 180 Calculus I 4
MATH 181 Calculus II 4
MATH 210 Calculus III 4
MATH 211 Differential Equations 4

+ 3/4 credits must be math; 3/4 credits must be lab science.

NCC students have transferred to: East Stroudsburg University, Kutztown University, Moravian College, DeSales University, Cedar Crest College, Pennsylvania State University, Temple University