Associate of Arts (Liberal Arts and Sciences)


About This Program

The Liberal Arts and Sciences program focuses on developing a well-rounded student who has studied a variety of subjects. Students who have a plan to continue their education after this degree, are exploring subjects that are of interest to them, or are just not quite sure which direction is the best fit often find this degree a great match.

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Degrees & Credits

A.A. Degree (60 credits)

Mesabi Range - Virginia
Rainy River

Program Features

Find what you enjoy the most

Highlights from the Liberal Arts and Science program include:

  • Variety of class options, and option to explore several different career paths and fields
  • Ability to ensure you have met all of the general education credits required in the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum
  • A diverse selection of subjects in each of the required goal areas, and 15 credits worth of electives to explore courses you are interested in
  • Faculty who will know you by name
  • Close knit group of students in the program
Career Opportunities

Professional degree or transfer options

Liberal Arts and Science students oftentimes are focused on preparing for a professional degree or for transferring for additional education. We offer the ability to work with an adviser to customize your degree in a way that will help you transfer. Some degrees our students have transferred into include Accounting, Architecture, Arts, Biology, Engineering, Education, Environmental Science, Geography, History, Nursing, Pre-Medical, Political Science, Psychology, Social Science, Sociology, Speech, and Theater

Meet Our Alumni

Courtney Johnson

Liberal Arts Program

Minnesota North - Itasca

My experience at Itasca was powerful in unsuspecting ways. I worked as a work-study in the Records/Financial aid office and it was an impactful opportunity for me to work alongside professionals who also truly cared about students. I learned so much from the staff about the education system that helped me navigate the rest of my college experiences on my own. The other huge impact on me from my time at Itasca was being a part of the Denmark Exchange program in 2012. The Denmark trip was positively life-altering. I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to travel abroad. I was able to travel with a mix of students whom I knew and many that I did not. We created life-long memories and a true-appreciation for travel and culture. Our group has remained very close. We’ve hosted reunions, attended each other’s weddings, as well as many of us in 2019 returning to Denmark for a reunion tour! I pursued my A.A. Degree at Itasca and then transferred to a 4-year university. The program prepared me by helping me better understand the schedule structure of college vs. high school. I also was able to work and live at home, which helped me save money. When I transferred to North Dakota State University to complete my B.A. in Agricultural Communication and Animal Science, I was well positioned because of my experience at Itasca. Itasca provided me the opportunity to save money on my college experience without losing educational integrity. My A.A. degree provided me with a solid foundation for my B.A. and ultimately my Masters in Education. I am now working as an Extension Educator for the University of Minnesota Extension: Department of Youth Development-Itasca County.

LaMont Johnson

Liberal Arts Program

Minnesota North - Vermilion

Education and experience
I received my associates from Vermilion and was also on the men’s football team. I had my internship at Francis Lauer Youth Center and received my bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Waldorf University.

Current employer
St. Ambrose University

Men Wide Receiver Football Coach. My responsibilities are breaking down film, having daily meetings with players, coaching the WR position at practice, and assisting in the weight room with the Strength and conditioning coordinator.

Favorite Vermilion memory
Working with all of the faculty and staff.

Megan McDonald

Liberal Arts Program

Minnesota North - Vermilion

Education and experience
After Vermilion, I transferred to Bemidji State University and got my BS in Elementary Education. I returned to Ely to complete my student teaching at Ely Memorial. I got a 6th-grade teaching position right out of college.

Current employer
West Central Area Schools

I’m currently teaching 6th grade Language Arts. This year, I have 70 kids that rotate throughout my classroom through the day. In this school, I deal with kids from all walks of life. Much like Ely, it is a small community (big difference–farming community!) Our school day starts at 8:00 AM and ends at 3:15. Two days a week I run an after-school program for at-risk/struggling students. Seeing kids succeed brings me great joy. My goal going into teaching was to change lives, cliché as it may sound. It’s not about the money… it’s about the smile, light bulb going off, the kids feeling safe in my room. If I change a few kids lives in a positive way, I’ve done my job.

Favorite Vermilion memory
Many of my Vermilion professors played a huge part in shaping the way I live my life and do my job. They are the best part of Vermilion. Pam Brunfelt will always hold a special place in my heart: a professor who demands respect but is also there to talk if something arises. Vermilion holds a true gem with her. I also loved being able to attend the school I grew up around, with my dad (Paul McDonald) being a coach/AD/teacher since I was a baby! I saved a ton of money going the community college route, and wouldn’t change my decision. I graduated the same time as everyone else in 4 years, with no debt. Completely and totally worth it.

Additional Information


Students who intend to transfer often pursue the Associate of Arts degree which provides a solid foundation in liberal arts and science courses. Minnesota North classes transfer to colleges and universities across the United States, and our Associate of Arts degree is especially tailored with other Minnesota schools in mind. Our advising staff will work carefully with you to ensure that the courses you select meet the requirements of your college goals.