Associate of Science (AS): General Studies Degree Overview

Associate of Science in General Studies programs allow students to earn general education credits in math, composition, the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences that can transfer towards a four-year degree.

Essential Information

An Associate of Science (AS) in General Studies is a two-year, or 60 credit hour, program that allows students to pursue technical courses as well as general studies that can transfer towards a bachelor's degree. Students work with advisers to develop study plans to meet their career and academic goals. Applicants must meet school admission requirements.

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Associate of Science in General Studies

Students pursuing an AS in general studies will graduate with 60 credit hours, including their general education courses and 29 hours of electives. Qualified applicants will have to submit their high school transcripts or GED. Upon graduation students can pursue several entry-level positions or go on to earn a bachelor's degree. Some students are able to enroll in a university at the junior level. Some courses that may be part of the curriculum include:

  • World literature
  • College composition
  • Biology, astronomy
  • Algebra, economics
  • United States history
  • Sociology, philosophy
  • 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
  • Dispatcher
  • Loan processor

Salary Information

To provide some salary perspective, as of May 2015, administrative services managers earned a median annual income of $86,110, while customer service representatives earned $31,720. Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks earned a median of $37,250 annually, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Continuing Education

Graduates from AS 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 four-year colleges and universities that allow graduates to begin these programs as juniors.

An Associate of Science in General Studies program gives students a chance to explore a breadth of different topics before deciding whether to enter a bachelor's degree program in a variety of fields.

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