This site is best viewed in Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or EdgeX

A female Liberal Arts associate degree student in formal suit and blouse, sits on a bench under a tree in front of the Dimitry building in Lawrence.

If you have the creativity to solve challenging problems and communicate clearly, you can save thousands of dollars on the cost of a bachelor’s degree and receive a liberal arts education that will provide you with a range of skills that will serve you well in a variety of career settings.

Why Choose NECC?

By earning an Associates in Arts Degree in Liberal Arts at NECC, you will gain solid skills in critical reading, critical thinking, research, and communications, and prepare for a career in a wide range of fields, including education, law, business, human/social services, and more. With this program, you can:

  • Learn critical thinking skills to solve challenging problems
  • Develop writing and communication skills
  • Explore multiple academic areas to provide you with a range of knowledge
  • Join a variety of extracurricular activities for students of all fields
  • Participate in career workshops and mentoring opportunities with alumni and the community
  • Use NECC resources to help you succeed, including computer labs, tutoring centers, and a career and academic advising center.

Because of NECC

Mass Transfer - links goes to the Mass Department of Ed Mass Transfer website

Upon completion of this program, you will be prepared to transfer to complete your bachelor’s degree and pursue many career paths. Employers increasingly seek workers who possess the critical thinking, problem solving, and effective communication skills you will learn. You can:

  • Take advantage of MassTransfer Pathways and other transfer agreements to earn your bachelor’s degree, while saving thousands of dollars on the cost of your degree
  • Prepare for a career in fields such as education, law, business, human and social services, and more.

Top 10

Business Management is one of NECC’s top ten largest programs


I always encourage my friends to enroll at Northern Essex. I tell them it gives you the building blocks to build a foundation to help you reach your goals. If I hadn’t attended NECC I wouldn’t have attended a four-year college.”

Lizmarie Peralta, Liberal Arts


Hear What Lizmarie Peralta, ’13, Liberal Arts, Has to Say

View video on the NECC YouTube Channel.

Program Pathway

A pathway is the most efficient sequence of courses semester-to-semester recommended for students to complete their degree. View the suggested pathway for the Liberal Arts Associate in Arts.

Learning Outcomes



The Associate Degree in Liberal Arts is designed to prepare students for future enrollment in Bachelor Degree programs while exploring potential careers. The program’s mission is to provide students with the knowledge to be informed and responsible critical thinkers in an ever-changing world. Through a multi-disciplinary approach to coursework, students are exposed to the skills needed to become active participants in their society.



The program assists students in the development of:

  1. Knowledge concerning the broad aspects and interconnectedness of the Liberal Arts attained through a multi-disciplinary approach. The graduating student will be able to:
    1. Describe the major concepts and theories studied in the broad array of liberal arts courses.
    2. Articulate the relationships among the various liberal arts courses and discuss multiple perspectives afforded by the various disciplines.
    3. Articulate and employ the benefits of liberal arts as they apply to civic engagement, careers, and service.
  2. Written communication skills. The graduating student will be able to:
    1. Demonstrate consideration of context, purpose, and audience.
    2. Use appropriate, relevant, and compelling context for content development to explore ideas throughout an assignment.
    3. Demonstrate consistent use in writing, stylistic elements, organization, and genre.
    4. Demonstrate skillful use of sources and evidence.
    5. Use appropriate language, convey meaning, and control syntax and mechanics.
  3. Oral communication skills. The graduating student will be able to:
    1. Present organized, sequential material clearly and cohesively.
    2. Make language choices that are thoughtful and creative.
    3. Use delivery techniques that are compelling and polished.
    4. Present a central message that is clear, consistent, memorable, and supported.
  4. Information literacy skills. The graduating student will be able to:
    1. Effectively determine the extent of information needed.
    2. Access information using effective search strategies.
    3. Critically analyze and evaluate information and its sources.
    4. Use information effectively to accomplish specific purposes.
    5. Access and use information ethically and legally.
  5. Quantitative reasoning skills. The graduating student will be able to:
    1. Interpret and explain information in mathematical forms (graphs, diagrams, equations, words, tables).
    2. Convert relevant information into various mathematical forms (graphs, diagrams, equations, words, tables).
    3. Perform calculations sufficiently to solve problems.
    4. Make judgments based on quantitative analysis.
    5. Make and evaluate quantitative assumptions.
    6. Effectively communicate quantitative information in relation to argument or purpose of work.
  6. Global awareness skills. The graduating student will be able to:
    1. Articulate cultural self-awareness and biases.
    2. Demonstrate awareness of complexity of world-wide cultural frameworks.
    3. Demonstrate awareness of global interdependence.
    4. Demonstrate understanding of similarities and differences for global comparative analysis.
    5. Demonstrate awareness of global views from non-U.S. perspective.
    6. Display curiosity and openness regarding complex global questions.
  7. Science and technology skills: The graduating student will be able to:
    1. Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental science and technology concepts.
    2. Perform evaluation of science and technology research.
    3. Apply prior knowledge to science and technology to develop new understanding and synthesis.
    4. Identify reliable sources of information for science and technology purposes.

Courses and Requirements

Print View