Associate of Arts in Liberal Studies

The Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Studies provides students with a broad-based educational background, attainable in two years or less of full-time study. The program provides students with the valuable communication and critical thinking skills needed for a broad range of professions and prepares students to continue their education at the bachelor’s degree level.

Students who complete the Liberal Studies degree will have met the core curriculum requirements at the University of Maine at Machias (UMaine Machias) and may then concentrate on their primary area of study when enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program.

Students completing the Associate of Arts in Liberal Studies may choose one of the following concentrations:

(Note: Concentrations marked with a 🌐 can be completed fully online. Learn more about UMaine Machias Online here.)

Allied Health
Careers in allied health fields are among the top 30 professions for expected growth through 2020 (US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics). Possible career tracks include emergency medical technician, dental assistant, surgical assistant, radiation technician, nurse or nursing assistant, home and personal health aide, and medical assistant.

The Allied Health Concentration will ensure that you meet the science and math prerequisites required in most bachelor’s degree programs. Your advisor will work with you to plan an application and transition into a specific allied health professional program, several of which are available at campuses in Bangor.

Students are prepared to seek careers in the growing aquaculture industry immediately after graduating. Coursework includes business and entrepreneurship and introduction to aquaculture as well as off-campus internship experiences that cover a broad array of choices for students such as finfish and shellfish culture, or sea vegetable farming. 

Audio/Media Production 🌐
Students develop a variety of production projects in their courses that become part of a professional portfolio. Students will build skills working with digital recording studios, Pro Tools, and the Adobe Creative Cloud suite that supports photography, video editing, graphic design, print design, web design and audio editing, among other applications. 

Creative Writing 🌐
This concentration is intended for creative writers in the areas of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and screenwriting. Two workshops at the intermediate level and two at the advanced level ensure that writers have the support and valuable feedback that will enable them to advance in their craft. Student writing is workshopped extensively by peers in small class sizes often found in graduate-level writing seminars.

Marine Biology
The Marine Biology concentration offers foundational courses in animal and plant biology and oceanography. Using UMaine Machias’s unique coastal location as a “living laboratory,” the curriculum emphasizes hands-on learning experiences.

Marine biology students will have learning and research opportunities at UMaine Machias’s Marine Science Field Station at the Downeast Institute for Applied Marine Research and Education (DEI). The field station, located 25 miles west of campus in the island community of Beals, is immediately adjacent to the ocean, overlooking a working waterfront. A variety of marine habitats (rocky intertidal, soft-bottom intertidal, islands, and subtidal soft- and hard-bottoms) are within a quarter of a mile of the field station.

Mental Health and Rehabilitation 🌐
The Mental Health and Rehabilitation concentration prepares students with the basic knowledge and skills required for direct service case management in adult and older adult community mental health and rehabilitation services. The coursework covers fundamental counseling skills, abnormal psychology, supportive services for people with disabilities, and an overview of the community mental health system and allied services. Additional courses, also available at UMaine Machias, are required for full state certification.

Psychology 🌐
The concentration in Psychology provides an introduction to the discipline and equips students for entry-level positions in counseling, motivational consulting, human resources and community services. Students will develop marketable skills through selected coursework that situates psychology in a community environment.

Visual Arts
This concentration provides a comprehensive groundwork for visual artists through a set of studio courses in drawing, painting, book arts, printmaking, and graphic design. There is a built-in elective in an upper-level studio course, and an art history sequence provides the context in which students understand their own contribution as practicing artists. 

Student working in Book Arts studio. Link to Creative Arts Programs

Program Faculty

Uriah Anderson
Professor of Psychology
Chair of the Creative Arts and Professional Studies Division

Sherrie Sprangers
Professor of Biology
Co-Chair of the Integrative and Marine Sciences Division

Eric Jones
Associate Professor of Botany
Co-Chair of the Integrative and Marine Sciencs Division

Why UMaine Machias?

  • Multiple concentrations allow students to choose a curriculum that prepares them for a desired career pathway.
  • Easily transition to baccalaureate programs at UMaine Machias with the support of dedicated faculty advisors. 
  • Earn an associate degree on your own schedule. Concentrations marked with a 🌐 can be completed fully online. Learn more about UMaine Machias Online here.
  • Beginning Fall 2021, students may also complete this degree through the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast, Maine. More information is coming soon.