Associate in Arts Degree (AA): General Studies Degree Overview

Research associate's degree programs in general studies. Learn about coursework and advanced degree options to make an informed decision about your education.

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Essential Information

Associate of Arts in General Studies degree programs give students the opportunity to explore a variety of fields, including psychology, history, literature, physical science, life science, math, and statistics. By taking a variety of courses, students become better prepared to enroll in a bachelor's degree program. These programs are typically designed for students who have not decided on a particular field of study or career path yet and often prepare students to continue their education and earn a bachelor's degree.

If students would prefer to enter the workforce, the acquisition of writing and interpersonal skills can prepare them for careers in fields as diverse as management, health care, sales, and marketing. Prior to enrolling in an associate's degree program, students are generally required to obtain a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Course Topics

Through an associate's degree program in general studies, students can expect to develop general skills and knowledge, including writing skills, interpersonal skills and critical thinking abilities. Students may also be able take elective courses in specific subject areas, such as world literature, U.S. history or calculus. Required or elective courses may include coursework in the following areas:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy
  • Communications
  • Psychology
  • Economics
  • Social sciences
  • Natural sciences

Popular Career Options and Salary Information

General studies associate's degree graduates can work in entry-level positions in areas such as retail sales, marketing and management. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2012, retail salespersons earned a median annual salary of $21,110, and market research specialists and analysts had a median salary of $60,300. The BLS projects the number of jobs for retail salespersons will grow at an about-average rate from 2012 to 2022, while market research analysts and specialists are projected to grow much faster than average over the 2012-2022 decade. Salaries for those in management vary by occupational field.

Continuing Education Information

Although students may apply for jobs after graduation, general studies degree programs are generally designed for students who intend to pursue bachelor's degrees. Depending on the educational institutions involved, students usually have the option of transferring some or all of their credits towards a liberal-arts based bachelor's degree program. Some associate's degree programs have flexible requirements, giving students the opportunity to custom tailor their curriculum for transfer to a specific 4-year university.

While enrolled in an associate's degree program, students can consider the subject in which they plan to major and accordingly choose their electives. Upon graduation, students have the option to enroll in broad, general studies bachelor's degree programs, or they can major in a particular area, such as English, mathematics, business, psychology or philosophy.

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    Do you prefer online or campus based learning?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at George Washington University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Geography and Cartography
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
        • General Studies
        • Humanities
        • Liberal Arts and Sciences
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • Delaware (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Delaware include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Geography and Cartography
      • Human and Consumer Sciences
      • Human and Social Services
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
        • General Studies
        • Liberal Arts and Sciences
      • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • Utah (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Utah State University include:
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
        • General Studies
  • School locations:
    • Louisiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Louisiana Tech University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Geography and Cartography
      • Human and Consumer Sciences
      • Human and Social Services
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
        • General Studies
      • Political Science
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • South Dakota (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at South Dakota State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Geography and Cartography
      • Human and Consumer Sciences
      • Human and Social Services
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
        • General Studies
        • Liberal Arts and Sciences
      • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies
      • Political Science
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • Louisiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Southeastern Louisiana University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Human and Consumer Sciences
      • Human and Social Services
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
        • General Studies
        • Liberal Arts and Sciences
      • Political Science
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • Montana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at The University of Montana include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Geography and Cartography
      • Human and Social Services
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
        • General Studies
        • Liberal Arts and Sciences
      • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • Louisiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Louisiana include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Human and Consumer Sciences
      • Human and Social Services
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
        • General Studies
      • Political Science
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Indianapolis include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Human and Social Services
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
        • General Studies
        • Liberal Arts and Sciences
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History

Popular Schools

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