What Is a General Education Associate Degree?

Associate's degree programs in general education allow you to explore a wide range of subjects and can prepare you for further bachelor's-level study. Read on for program descriptions. See what your course options are, and learn about transfer and online programs, too. Schools offering Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kind of General Education Associate's Degree Programs Are There?

Many community colleges and technical schools offer general education - also called general studies or transfer studies - associate's degree programs for students who want a broad educational experience. Some of these are intended for transfer to 4-year college or university programs, though in some general education associate's degree programs, you might not be able to transfer all of your credits to a bachelor's degree program. You can also find programs that award general studies transfer certificates and those that are conducted in partnership with a 4-year college or university.

You don't have to intend to earn a bachelor's degree to earn a general studies or general education associate's degree, though most are geared toward future transfer students. Additionally, there are some opportunities to learn online.

Important Facts About These Programs

Possible Careers Administrative assistant, customer service representative, medical assistant, patient care technician
Specializations Recreation, parks and leisure, human services, visual arts, teacher education preparation
Programs Internship adjunct programs are offered by some companies.
Prerequisites High school diploma/GED, at least 18 years of age

What Courses Do I Take?

If you choose to start your education with an associate's degree in general studies, your courses usually cover a wide range of subjects. You gain strong base skills in writing, reading and the sciences. Courses in language, social science, physical and life science and math are all required. Other areas of study often include communication, humanities, philosophy, computers and technical studies. In most general studies associate's degree programs you're allowed to choose from many course options that fill these general credit requirements. In some cases, you can focus on arts- and humanities-related subjects or on science and technology courses.

As in most associate's degree programs, general-education curriculum requirements usually include core courses that you must take. The rest of your credits are made up of electives that you can choose. This allows you to explore your options and figure out what kind of career you might eventually pursue.

How Do Transfer Programs Work?

Often, community colleges that offer transfer associate's degree programs in general studies partner with one or more state universities to ensure that students' credits are accepted into the 4-year programs they wish to pursue. If you pursue a general-education or transfer associate's degree program, an advisor typically helps you choose courses that meet admission requirements of bachelor's degree programs. Earning an associate's degree with transferable credits doesn't guarantee you admission to a 4-year program; you must still meet minimum grade requirements and other standards.

How Do I Earn the Degree Online?

You can find limited online options for earning your associate's degree in general studies. Online programs usually allow you to study, complete assignments and view lecture videos on your own time. While you must adhere to school and course due dates and deadlines, you're able to work with a flexible schedule.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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