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Associates Degree in General Arts: Program Information and Options

An Associate of Arts degree program usually involves general arts or general studies subjects. Students who obtain a degree in this field have diverse employment and further education options.

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Essential Information

General arts associate's degree programs provide interdisciplinary education. Many programs offer concentrated electives, such as business administration, human psychology or social work. Graduates may transfer their earned credits into a baccalaureate degree program at a four-year institution. Associate's degree programs typically require 60-90 credits for graduation, and they often fulfill the general education requirements when they are transferred to a bachelor's degree program.


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  • Art
  • Art History
  • Arts Management
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing
  • Metal and Jewelry Art
  • Multimedia Arts
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Weaving and Textile Arts

Associate's Degree in General Arts

Applicants to an associate's degree need a high school diploma or equivalent. Requirements for an Associate of Arts program include core courses and general or targeted electives. Curricula include standard math, English, humanities and science classes, and may focus on foundational topics, such as writing, literature and information technology. Elective coursework requirements vary by school and may include:

  • Oral and interpersonal communication
  • Poetry and creative writing
  • Technical, developmental and creative writing
  • Philosophy and analytical thinking
  • Business accounting and administration
  • Society, culture and civilization

Popular Careers

Associate's degree programs allow students to explore many areas and decide on career or academic options. Many employers prefer to hire skilled or professional workers with a college education. Some of the possible career options for general arts associate degree-holders include:

  • Research assistant
  • Writer
  • Public relations
  • Sales
  • Graphic design
  • Teacher's assistant
  • Social work
  • Management trainee

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Since there are numerous occupations related to art, job outlooks and salaries can vary widely. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that craft and fine artists will have a slower-than-average job growth for the decade 2014-2024. Fine artists, such as illustrators and painters, earned $46,460 as a median annual salary in 2015. On the other hand, craft artists only made a yearly median wage of $30,720 in 2015.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates of an associate's program in general arts may continue academic studies in a baccalaureate degree program. With general education requirements often satisfied, bachelor's students may take less than the standard four years to complete the degree. Students may earn a degree in general arts and sciences, enroll in a professional degree program, such as a Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Business Administration option, or declare a major and focus studies on a specific field of study.

Students that earn an associate's degree in general arts will have a strong foundation in science, math, English and the humanities. Graduates often go on to pursue a bachelor's degree but are already qualified to work in a wide variety of fields, including art, writing and sales.

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