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2023-2024 Academic Calendar

Associate of Arts Degree

Location(s): Chetwynd, ​Dawson Creek, ​Fort Nelson, ​Fort St. John, and ​Tumbler Ridge

The University Arts and Sciences Program at Northern Lights College serves individuals and communities by providing university-level learning opportunities that reflect the intellectual and creative modes of inquiry practiced in the Arts and Sciences. A wide variety of first- and second-year courses enable learners to pursue numerous credential and career options, and engage in personal enrichment.

The Associate of Arts Degree enables students to focus on humanities or social sciences disciplines. This provincially recognized credential provides a well-rounded educational experience that prepares students for work, citizenship, and further study.

For students intending to pursue further studies, the Associate of Arts Degree comprises the first two years (60 credits) of a four-year degree program (120 credits). All 60 credits of the Associate Degree receive complete block transfer at postsecondary institutions throughout British Columbia. Accordingly, the Associate of Arts Degree enables Northern Lights College students to complete the first half of a degree program while remaining in their home communities.

Students transferring to a post-secondary institution may still be required to meet specific first- and second-year requirements for certain degree programs, so students should plan their course selection accordingly to meet these requirements while enrolled at NLC in the Associate of Arts Degree. 

Career Prospects

The Associate of Arts Degree provides introductory, university-level education for many different careers. It can also transfer to degree programs at other post-secondary institutions, provided pre-requisites are met for the chosen course of study at the receiving institution. 



Dawson CreekFallFull-TimePart-Time
Fort Nelson*FallFull-TimePart-Time
Fort St JohnFallFull-TimePart-Time
Tumbler Ridge*FallFull-TimePart-Time

* requires a mix of online and video-conference courses


60 credits (900 hours), minimum.

This is a two year program taken over four semesters with minimum of 15 credits per semester.  Part-time studies will take longer.

Estimated Program Fees

Program fee type: Academic

Costs indicated are estimates for a full-time course load.

Book, instruments, supplies, uniforms/clothing and third-party fees are additional.

Domestic Fees

 TuitionStudent FeesInstruction-related
Fees (includes GST)
Year 1$ 3,581.40$ 149.76$ 51.84$ 3,783.00
Year 2 (estimated)$ 3,653.03$ 152.76$ 0.00$ 3,805.78

International Fees

 TuitionStudent FeesInstruction-related
Fees (includes GST)
Medical Insurance
Year 1$ 11,580.00$ 149.76$ 51.84$ 828.00$ 12,609.60
Year 2 (estimated)$ 12,300.00$ 152.75$ 51.84$ 828.00$ 13,332.59

Still have questions?


Admission Requirements

English Requirement

For applicants from countries that practice Standard Written English, one of the following:

  • English Studies 12 with a grade of B or higher, or equivalent
  • English First Peoples 12 with a grade of B or higher, or equivalent
  • ENGL 050 with a grade of B or higher, or equivalent
  • ENGL 099 with a grade of B or higher, or equivalent
  • Any university-level English course with a grade of C or higher
  • NLC Writing Assessment with placement at the college level (100)

For all other applicants, one of the following:

  • IELTS result with an overall score of 6.0 or higher with no band less than 6.0*
  • TOEFL iBT of 78
  • Canadian Academic English Assessment (CAEL) 60 overall band
  • Canadian Language Benchmark Assessment (CLBA) 8 in each section
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) 57
  • Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) 76
  • Cambridge-Michigan Language Assessment (CaMLA) 69 plus NLC’s Writing Assessment
  • A post-secondary level credential with equivalent English language requirements
  • Two years of full-time secondary school education in English in Canada and completion of English 12, English Studies 12, English Literature 12, English 12 First Peoples, or equivalent with a minimum grade of B.
  • Completion of the Citation in English for Academic Purposes Level 060

The General Academic English Language Proficiency Requirements  outline more details of the academic English requirements.

Students with a writing band of 6.0 or less are required to complete ENGL 099 with a B grade or higher before or during the first semester of their program.


Elective courses may have specific prerequisites. Meeting entrance requirements for the program does not ensure course prerequisites have been met for all available courses.

Important Notes

  1. The program is eligible for Canada Student Loans. Visit StudentAidBC to apply for financial assistance online. Note that dual credit students are not eligible for Student Aid.
  2. Course transfer agreements allow students to receive course-by-course transfer to other colleges, universities, and institutes in BC, as indicated in the BC Transfer Guide.
  3. Transfer with an Associate Degree in BC provides preferential treatment to students continuing to complete a baccalaureate degree.  Students anticipating transfer to Alberta or another province should consult with an NLC Chair or the institution they are planning to transfer to.

Program Requirements

Residency Requirement25% of all coursework must be completed at Northern Lights College.
Minimum Grade Requirements2.00 program Grade Point Average (GPA); D grade (50%) minimum in all courses

General Requirements

  • 60 credits of first-and second-year courses (normally 20 courses). These must include a minimum of 18 credits (6 courses) in Arts at the second-year level, in two or more subject areas.

Specific Requirements

  1. 6 credits in 100-level English
  2. 9 credits (3 courses) in Science at the 100- or 200-level, including:
    • 3 credits in Mathematics, Computer Science, or Statistics (a Statistics course could be in a discipline other than Math, e.g., Business or Psychology)
    • minimum of 3 credits in a 100- or 200-level lab science 
  3. 36 credits (12 courses) in Arts, including:
    • 6 credits (2 courses) in 100- or 200-level Humanities other than English but including the Creative/Performing Arts
    • 6 credits (2 courses) in 100- or 200-level Social Sciences
    • 24 additional credits (8 courses) in Arts
  4. 9 credits (3 courses) in Arts, Science, or other areas (ie., Business, etc.)

Note: An individual course may not be used to fulfill more than one of the specific requirements listed above.


Associate of Arts Degrees with a concentration or specialization require a minimum of 15 credits in a single discipline; normally, 6 of these credits must be at the second-year level.


Associate of Arts Degree