Humanities & Social Sciences
Degree awarded: Associate in Arts
The Liberal Arts program offers students planning to complete a bachelor's degree a strong foundation in both general education and a selected field of concentration. The curriculum has been designed to meet the requirements for the first two years of BA programs at many of the schools to which Northampton students commonly transfer. Northampton has also negotiated a number of Liberal Arts transfer agreements, including dual admissions agreements, with many regional colleges and universities.
Liberal Arts majors often go on to careers in communications, management, public relations, marketing, and the arts. Their generalist background makes them readily employable at many levels in a wide range of career choices.
The program is both solid and flexible and provides an excellent, tailored preparation for transfer. Students who are undecided about their future major can explore different options by taking elective courses in various departments. Or electives can be chosen to concentrate in English, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, or Women's and Gender Studies, in order to prepare to major in these disciplines at a transfer institution. Students are encouraged to start taking classes in the chosen concentration in the first semester.
Freedom of choice in this major extends to scheduling as well: courses are available both day and evening, on campus or online.
Students may begin their path to a BA in English or a related field by using the elective credits in the Liberal Arts program toward a concentration in English. To complete the concentration students may select four courses from any of the 200 level English courses.
In English courses students learn how to read and analyze pieces of writing and to respond critically in their own words. A major in English is widely applicable to future careers in journalism, publishing, teaching, business and government.
Environmental Studies Concentration
Students may begin their path to a B. A. in Environmental Studies, or toward career pathways in non-governmental organizations and public service, by selecting 12 credits of course work in Environmental Studies. The Environmental Studies concentration allows a student in the humanities who has an interest in the environment, environmental philosophy, and sustainability to focus his or her coursework in this area.
Students may begin their path to a BA in History by using the elective credits in the Liberal Arts program toward a concentration in History. Students may select 12 credits from any of the history courses.
History is a way of studying the past in order to understand the present. It focuses on how societies, cultures, institutions, and even ideas change over time. The richness of a concentration in this field might include learning Ancient, Modern, European, Eastern, and various aspects of American history. Intellectually, historians subject evidence, such as documents and secondary sources, to critical analysis. The reading, thinking, and writing required in the history concentration provide an excellent foundation to a wide range of majors and occupations that value these skills.
Students may prepare for a BA in Philosophy, or begin a pathway to a variety of degrees and careers including law, teaching, and public service, by using the elective credits in the Liberal Arts program toward a concentration in Philosophy. Students need to complete Introduction to Philosophy, and select three additional courses from the following: On Death and Dying, World Religions, Ethics and Moral Problems, Asian Philosophies, Ancient Philosophy, Modern Philosophy or Existentialism.
Philosophy makes life more intellectually interesting, deeply meaningful, and ultimately rewarding. Training includes analysis, argument, interpretation, judgment, creative and critical thinking. Students learn reading, reasoning, speaking, and writing at advanced levels - all transferable skills, for further academics and employment.
Political Science Concentration
Students may begin their path to a BA in Political Science by using the elective credits in the Liberal Arts program toward a concentration in Political Science. Students must take Introduction to Political Science, and may select the remaining three courses from any of the political science courses.
The study of political science provides a way of understanding political processes, governmental systems, and political behavior of individuals or groups in settings ranging from the global to the local. Students learn to analyze political events both in the US and in countries and regions around the world using the key skills of observation, critical thinking, and writing.
Students may begin their path to a BA or BS in Psychology by using the elective credits in the Liberal Arts program toward a concentration in Psychology. Students must take Introduction to Psychology, and may select the remaining three courses from Abnormal Psychology, Psychology of Sex and Gender, Developmental Child Psychopathology, Introduction to Health Psychology, and either Developmental Psychology or Child Psychology (both may not be used for credit).
The study of psychology provides a solid understanding of human behavior and development, critical for careers in education, psychology, and therapy in a variety of settings. Students learn and apply critical thinking skills and the scientific method in order to better understand the human individual.
Students may begin their path to a BA in Sociology or a related field by using the elective credits in the Liberal Arts program toward a concentration in Sociology. Students must take Cultural Anthropology and Principles of Sociology, and may select the remaining two courses from American Ethnicity, Sociology of Families, Issues in Genocide & Mass Violence, Deviance, Sociology of Gender, and Social Problems.
Sociology allows students to study the society they live in by examining various groups within societies, cultural traditions, and social problems. Students learn the skills of observation, critical thinking, and writing.
Women's and Gender Studies Concentration
Students may begin their interdisciplinary work in Women's and Gender Studies by applying the elective credits in the Liberal Arts program toward this concentration. To complete the concentration, students may take any four of the following: 20th Century Literature by Women, Psychology of Sex and Gender, Sociology of Gender, Introduction to Women and Gender Studies, and Women and Politics.
Courses in Women's and Gender Studies allow students to understand and develop an awareness of the impact of gender on the human condition as reflected in the sciences and arts as well as in day-to-day life. Students will be able to communicate and use critical thinking skills in evaluating gender theory as they apply it to disciplines including psychology, sociology, literature, political science and others. Given that gender is a universal human condition, a concentration in Women's and Gender Studies is appropriate for students on virtually any educational path, but is especially valuable for those interested in pursuing a career in the social sciences.
Contact the Admissions Office at 610.861.5500 for further information.
Graduates of the program will:
- Understand the historical and cultural contexts of contemporary civilization.
- Evaluate and discuss diverse points of view.
- Communicate ideas effectively.
- Speak and understand a modern language other than English.
- Retrieve, evaluate, and apply information from a range of sources.
- Develop strategies for solving both abstract and practical problems.
Associate in Arts Degree
|Course Code||Course Title||Credits|
|ENGL 101||English I||3|
|CMTH 102||Speech Communication||3|
|PHIL 201||Introduction to Philosophy||3|
|HIST _____||History Elective ++||3|
or Elective ++
|ENGL 151L||English II (Literature)||3|
|PSYC 103||Introduction to Psychology||3|
|MATH ___||Mathematics Elective (QL) ++||3|
|SOCA 103 or||Principles of Sociology or|
|SOCA 102||Cultural Anthropology||3|
or Elective ++
|CMTH 110 or||Introduction to Theatre or|
|MUSC 101 or||Introduction to Music or|
|ARTA 101 or||Art History Survey or|
|DANC 101||Dance History||3|
|ENGL___||Literature Elective ++||3|
|MDLA___||Modern Language +||3|
|------------||Science Elective (SCI) ++||3/4|
or Elective ++
|MDLA ___||Modern Language +||3|
|POLS ___||Political Science Elective ++||3|
|------------||Mathematics (QL) or Science (SCI) Elective ++||3/4|
or Electives ++
* For a Concentration Elective in:
English - Literature Elective and 3 other courses from ENGL2__.
Environmental Studies - Select four courses from among:
GEOG 140 Investigating Climate Change; GEOG 121 Environmental Sustainability (this course can not also be used as a Science elective); GEOG 271 Intro to Geographic Information Systems; HUMA 150 The Nature of the Environment; BIOS 104 Field Ecology (If BIOS104 is used as a science elective, it can not also be counted toward the concentration elective.)
History - History Elective and 3 other courses from HIST ___.
Philosophy - Introduction to Philosophy and 3 courses from the following: On Death and Dying, World Religions, Ethics and Moral Problems, Asian Philosophies, Ancient Philosophy, Modern Philosophy, or Existentialism.
Political Science - Introduction to Political Science, and 3 other POLS___ classes.
Psychology - Introduction to Psychology, and may select 3 courses from Abnormal Psychology, Psychology of Sex and Gender, Developmental Child Psychopathology, Introduction to Health Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, and either Child or Developmental Psychology.
Sociology - Intro to Sociology, Cultural Anthropology, and 2 courses from the following: American Ethnicity, Sociology of Families, Issues in Genocide and Mass Violence, Deviance, Sociology of Gender and Social Problems.
Women's and Gender Studies - any 4 courses in the following: 20th Century Literature by Women, Introduction to Women and Gender Studies, Women and Politics, Psychology of Sex and Gender, Sociology of Gender and/or Special Studies in various disciplines.
- For the Electives, students must select one course from the list of approved courses in the category of Social Science: Societies and Institutions over Time (SIT).
- The Mathematics (QL) and 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 course must be taken in a Writing Intensive (WI) section. In addition, students must select a second Writing Intensive course.
- Completion of both ENGL101C and ENGL151C satisfy the computer literacy requirement.
+ Six credits of the same modern language are required for graduation.
++ Electives for Liberal Arts:
- Biological Science: any BIOS except not both 105 and 107
- Chemistry: any CHEM except 011, 121, 135
- Communications: all CMTH except 180, 182, 185, 240, 252
- Computer Information Science: CISC 101, 115
- Economics: only ECON 201
- English: only ENGL 201G, 203G, 205G, 250G, 251G, 255G, 256G, 257G, 260G, 264G, 265G
(ENGL 211G, 215G, 253, 258 and 267 are not applicable literature electives, but may be used as other electives.)
- Geography: any GEOG
- Geology: only GEOL 201
- History: any HIST
- Humanities: any HUMA
- Journalism: JOUR 101, 103, 201
- Mathematics: any MATH except 020, 022, 026, 028, 103, 118, 119
- Modern Languages: any MDLA
- Music: any MUSC
- Philosophy: any PHIL
- Physical Education: any PHED to a maximum of 2 credits
- Physics: any PHYS except 215, 225
- Political Science: any POLS
- Psychology: any PSYC
- Sociology/Anthropology: any SOCA
NOTE: Regarding majors in liberal arts - A student following one of the concentrations in liberal arts listed above or a student planning to major in another field will find it necessary to begin taking courses in that major field early in the program during the first year, and move the free elective to the second year.
Transfer to majors in: English History, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology
NCC students have transferred to: East Stroudsburg University, Kutztown University, West Chester University, Moravian College, DeSales University, Albright College, Cedar Crest College, Penn State, Temple University