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WWU / Fairhaven College of Interdiscipinary Studies

The Upside-Down Degree

upside-down student with daughterTurn your ATA or AAS Degree from community college into a full Bachelor of Arts Degree.


The usual route to a BA degree calls for general education in the first two years and specialization in the last two years.  Fairhaven's Upside-Down BA program gives selected students an option to reverse this process. Graduates of Washington state community colleges who hold the ATA, the AAS or other approved two-year technical degrees may apply to transfer their specializations to Fairhaven as the completed major.  Stages 1 and 3 of Fairhaven's Core Curriculum and a minimum of 90 credits are then required for graduation. Students are expected to complete as much as possible of their elective credit at the upper-division level (course numbered 300 or above).


Applications for admission to the Upside-Down Program are reviewed on an individual basis, considering appropriateness for the BA and support available for upper-division enhancement of the technical degree's area of study.


Sample Degrees

Upside-Down degrees have been awarded recently from Fairhaven College in the following areas:
- Early Childhood Education
- Environmental Conservation Technician
- Graphic Design
- Human Services
- Paralegal Studies


Upside-Down Degree Required Coursework:

Stage 1: Exploratory Studies

  • FAIR 101a, An Introduction to Interdisciplinary Study at Fairhaven College
  • FAIR 201a, Critical and Reflective Inquiry
  • FAIR 202a, Humanities and the Expressive Arts
  • FAIR 203a, Social Relationships and Responsibility: Theories and Critiques
  • FAIR 305a, Writing Portfolio and Transition Conference
  • One 300 or 400 level course in each of the following areas, with the specific course in each area selected from a listing of approved "Upper Division Core Coursework":

Humanities and the Expressive Arts

Society and the Individual

Science and Our Place on the Planet


Current Courses


Stage 2: Concentrated Studies

Stage 2 is typically "Concentrated Studies," when Fairhaven concentrators file a self-designed Concentration.


Since Upside-Down Degree students have already completed specialized study, Stage 2 is not required.


Stage 3: Advanced Studies

  • FAIR 403a, Advanced Seminar


Upside-Down Degree Planning for current students

Information regarding how to build a plan for your studies at Fairhaven, the Core Curriculum, Independent Study, and helpful questions to guide career and graduate school planning.



Upside-Down Program Graduation Requirements

A minimum of 90 credits is required for graduation with the Upside-Down BA, to include:

  • 25 credits in Fairhaven College coursework (FAIR)
  • a minimum of 60 credits of upper-division coursework (course numbered 300 or above)
  • 2.0 minimum GPA in graded WWU coursework
  • elective coursework under advisement