Associate of Science (AS): General Studies Degree Overview
Students who want to take a wide range of course topics in a flexible program of study can pursue an Associate of Science in General Studies. These 2-year programs can prepare graduates for entry-level careers or 4-year bachelor's degree programs.
Associate of Science in General Studies
Associate of Science in General Studies programs are for students who are unsure of what career fields they would like to pursue. These programs allow students not only to earn general education credits in math, composition, the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, but also to discover areas of study that interest them. Students can also develop their communication and critical thinking skills or learn how to use computer technology.
Applicants to an A.S. in General Studies program should submit official high school transcripts or GED scores. Some schools may also require applicants to take placement exams in English and math.
Most general studies associate's degree programs require students to complete core coursework in the liberal arts and sciences. Students may also take up to 29 hours of electives in an area of interest. Available course topics can include the following:
- World literature
- United States history
- College composition
- Music appreciation
Popular Career Options
Although this degree is often taken to fulfill general education requirements and explore different disciplines, program graduates may also pursue entry-level positions. According to some community colleges, careers may be available in areas such as banking, health care, sales or human services. Some possible job titles include the following:
- Office manager
- Administrative service manager
- Book keeping clerk
- Executive assistant
- Customer service representative
- Loan processor
To provide some salary perspective, as of May 2012, administrative services managers earn a median annual income of $81,080, while customer service representatives bring in $30,580 per year, and bookeeping, accounting and auditing clerks earn a median of $35,170 annually, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Graduates from A.S. programs in general studies can also enroll in bachelor's degree programs. Depending on their course of study, students can enter programs in science, math, health care, the liberal arts and engineering. Some schools even have transfer agreements with 4-year colleges and universities that allow graduates to begin these programs as juniors.
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