Feb 28, 2024  
2023-2024 College Catalog 
2023-2024 College Catalog

Associate in Arts, AA-DTA Planning Guide

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To use this planning guide, check the Class Schedule.

AA-DTA: What is it?

Direct Transfer Agreement

The AA-DTA, known as the direct transfer degree, is an agreement between Washington state community colleges and baccalaureate institutions. The credits earned in the AA-DTA transfer as a package to most baccalaureate colleges and universities in Washington, generally satisfying all of the lower division general education requirements and granting junior standing; it does not guarantee admission.


The AA-DTA requires a minimum of 90 quarter credits in college level courses numbered 100 or above with a cumulative college level GPA of 2.0 or higher. Each individual course must have a minimum grade of 1.0. There are three categories of requirements: 20 credits of general education core requirements, 45 credits of discipline-specific distribution requirements, and 25 credits of electives. You should select courses to explore your academic interests and begin preparing for an academic major within the AA-DTA degree guidelines.

Where do I Start?

Talk with an advisor at Shoreline. Shoreline advisors can provide guidance about which courses to take and how to prepare for different majors.

Understand the AA-DTA requirements. Review this Degree Planning Guide and make sure you understand what it takes to complete your degree at Shoreline. (AA-DTA Degree Planning Guide  )

Prepare for a major. When you transfer, you will likely enter as a junior. You should consider what major you would like to prepare for there while you are here. Use Shoreline’s Major Preparation Sheets to learn more about different majors and which courses will prepare you for those majors.

Understand admissions requirements. School admission requirements, deadlines, and application details vary. Check the website of your chosen school or schools and search for “Transfer admissions” to find their specific requirements. At many schools, you must apply to the school and then apply separately to the major.

Understand graduation requirements. All four-year programs have specific requirements to graduate and some schools require up to two years of a world language to graduate. Once you have decided upon a major or majors, visit the website of the departments where you will be applying; contact advisors at the four-year school to learn more.

What do I need to take?

Below is a summary of the categories of required courses for the AA-DTA. In selecting your classes, consult your Major Planning Sheet for recommendations related to pursuing a particular major.

General Education - 20 Credits

Courses used in General Education (Gen Ed) Core may not be used for distribution.

Communication (10 Credits)

Multicultural Understanding (5 Credits)

Choose one of the following courses: CMST 203 , CMST 285 , GWS 284 HIST& 220 , HIST 245 , HUM 105 , MCS 105 , PSYC 230 , SOC 270 .

Quantitative/Symbolic Reasoning (5 Credits)

Choose one of the following classes:

MATH& 107 , MATH 111 , MATH& 141 , MATH& 142 , MATH& 146 , MATH& 148 , MATH& 151 , MATH& 152 , MATH& 163 , MATH 207 , MATH 208 , MATH 211 , MATH& 264 , PHIL& 120  

* Students planning to transfer to the University of Washington must consult Math Advising, mathadvising@shoreline.edu.

Distribution Requirements - 45 Credits

See Courses That Meet Transfer Degree Requirements  

Humanities (15 Credits)

Select from at least two different disciplines (e.g., Art and Drama) in Humanities . Maximum of 5 credits allowed in Performance/Skills courses. No more than 5 credits in a world language at the 100 level.

Natural Sciences (15 Credits)

Select from at least two different disciplines (e.g. Biology and Physics) in Natural Sciences . At least 10 credits required in Physical, Earth, and/or Biological Sciences, including at least 5 credits of lab science. Maximum 5 credits from Other Science courses.

Social Sciences (15 Credits)

Select from at least two different disciplines (e.g., Psychology and History) in Social Sciences .

General Electives - Minimum 25 Credits

Consists of other college-level courses or unrestricted courses. A maximum of 15 credits allowed for restricted/vocational courses, and a maximum of 3 credits allowed in Physical Education. Please see the lists of Restricted Electives  and Elective Courses (Non-restricted) .

Where can I Transfer?

The AA-DTA makes it possible for students to transfer to a number of public and private colleges and universities in the U.S. with junior standing. Washington State institutions that subscribe to the Direct Transfer Agreement are listed below.

Public Institutions

Central Washington University
Eastern Washington University
The Evergreen State College
University of Washington
Washington State University
Western Washington University

Private Institutions

Bastyr University
City University
Cornish College of the Arts
Gonzaga University
Heritage College
Northwest University
Pacific Lutheran University
Saint Martin’s University
Seattle Pacific University
Seattle University
Walla Walla University
Western Governors University
Whitworth University

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