Associate of Science (AS): General Studies Degree Overview
Get an overview of Associate of Science in General Studies degree programs. Keep reading to learn about educational prerequisites, common courses, career options, salary projections and continuing education opportunities.
Associate of Science in General Studies 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. In these 2-year programs, students work with advisors to develop study plans that will help them meet their career and academic goals. Applicants must meet school admission requirements.
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 2013, administrative services managers earn a median annual income of $82,310, while customer service representatives bring in $30,870 per year, and bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks earn a median of $35,730 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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