Graduation Requirements

The College awards the Associate in Arts, the Associate in Science, the Associate in Applied Science, the Associate in Occupational Technology Degrees, or Certificates for non degree programs.


The Associate in Arts and the Associate in Science degrees are awarded to students who complete planned university parallel programs and the General Education Minimum Requirements as outlined in this catalog.

A majority of the Associate in Arts and Associate in Science Degree Programs are designed for those students who plan to transfer to four-year institutions to pursue programs of study requiring little specialization on the freshman and sophomore levels. Substitutions to degree requirements in these programs are possible to afford maximum course transfer to a specific institution. All substitutions must be recommended by the advisor and approved by the appropriate Department Head or Division Chairperson and the respective dean’s office.

The Associate in Applied Science Degree is awarded to students who satisfy the requirements of a specific career, technical, or occupational degree program as outlined in this catalog.

The Associate in Occupational Technology Degree may be awarded to students who satisfy the requirements in both a primary and secondary technical specialty.

Degree Requirements

  1. Meet program requirements. Each student will determine program requirements from the College catalog. (Students who maintain continuous enrollment excluding summer term may elect either to meet graduation requirements specified in the original catalog in effect when they entered, or they may elect to meet graduation requirements listed in the catalog in effect at the time for graduation. Students who do not maintain continuous enrollment may use the catalog in effect at the point of readmission or the one in effect at the time for graduation to determine graduation requirements.)
  2. Earn a Cumulative GPA of 2.0 in all courses attempted at the College. When a course (other than one which can be repeated for credit) has been repeated, only the most recent attempt will be used in calculating the Cumulative GPA for graduation. However, a course may be counted only once for purposes of meeting graduation requirements unless specifically noted in the course description.
  3. Complete at least 25 percent (25%) of degree requirements at the College.
  4. Clear all procedural, operational, and financial obligations to the College.

Occupational and General Certificate Requirements

Graduation requirements for certificate programs are the same as those described for degrees. In order to graduate from certificate programs, students must complete all program requirements as outlined. Course substitutions are made only with the approval of the Department Head or Division Chairperson and the respective dean’s office.

Multiple Degrees or Certificates

Students may receive more than one degree or certificate with the following stipulations:

  1. Only one transfer degree (Associate in Arts - AA or Associate in Science - AS) will be awarded;
  2. All program-specific courses must be completed for each Associate in Occupational Technology Degree and each Associate in Applied Science Degree awarded. Required general education courses (orientation, English, Speech, math, science, etc.) may be used for multiple degrees.
  3. The cost for reprinting a degree will be $17.50.


When a student meets the required number of hours for his or her program of study, the student will automatically be graduated. The degree or certificate will be reflected on the student’s transcript. Students who have graduated will receive a printed copy of the award.

Any questions regarding graduation should be directed to the Registrar's Office at 256.331.5297 or email to

Reverse Transfer

Northwest Shoals Community College participates in the statewide initiative to award Associate degrees based on reverse transfer from four-year institutions located within the state of Alabama. 

To be eligible for a reverse transfer, students must have earned at least 25 percent of the credits they need for a degree from a community college and have earned at least three semester hours from the four-year institution as part of the overall associate degree requirements.

Questions concerning the reverse transfer program should be directed to the Executive Director of Enrollment Management at 256.331.5462 or email

All paperwork for the associate degree will be completed by NWSCC. Any questions concerning the degree audit should be directed to the Registrar at 256.331.5297 or email