What's the Curriculum of an Associate Degree in General Studies?

A two-year Associate of Arts (A.A.) in General Studies is geared towards students who would like to transfer to a four-year university later, but haven't yet decided upon a major, says the College Board. Students in a general studies program will be exposed to several disciplines, and this experience may be helpful with choosing a major later on. Continue reading to learn more about the curriculum for an associate's degree in general studies. Schools offering General Studies degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

General Education Associate's Curriculum Overview

The curriculum of an associate's program in general studies includes required courses in communications, the humanities, math, science and the social sciences; two semesters of a foreign language are also part of a general studies degree in most cases. This curriculum equips graduates with a broad range of skills that could be applied to careers in business, academia, the arts and more.

Important Facts About General Studies Associate's Degrees

Prerequisites High school diploma or GED equivalent
Key Skills Multitasking, self-discipline, flexibility, organization
Possible Careers Administrative assistant, copywriter, software consultant
Median Salary (May 2018) $38,880 (for secretaries and administrative assistants)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 12% growth (for secretaries and administrative assistants)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


The curriculum of an associate's degree in general studies includes core courses in the humanities. For instance, at Valencia Community College, general studies majors must complete at least 18 credits in humanities and communications. Courses in the humanities hone critical reading skills and the ability to research, construct an argument and write papers with style. Sample courses in the humanities can include:

  • Composition
  • Rhetoric
  • History
  • Literature
  • Art History

Math and Science

In addition to the humanities, the curriculum of an associate's degree in general studies also features math and science classes. These courses equip students with quantitative reasoning skills and the ability to use the scientific method; such classes also provide an enriched understanding of the natural world. For example, required courses in this area at Santa Fe College include:

  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Physics

Social Science

The social sciences are the final component in the curriculum of an A.A. degree in general studies. Courses in the social sciences help students to gain greater multicultural understanding and a heightened awareness of the way political and economic systems work around the globe, both throughout history and in the present day. Typical courses in the social sciences may include:

  • Political Science
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology
  • American Government
  • Women's Studies

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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