While many college students choose to major in a specific discipline, there are other options that include no distinct major at all. A general associate degree is the study of college math, science, history, English and social studies with no specific major. Sometimes referred to as an Associate Degree in General Studies, this type of degree is available at community colleges. Every general associate degree requires the student to fulfill a certain amount of college credits. Most colleges that offer general associate degrees require a minimum of 60 credit hours.


Basic courses such as English or English composition are required for a general associate degree. Lansing Community College requires at least 3 to 4 credits in writing while St. Petersburg College requires 6 credit hours in English composition. The general associate degree is for students looking to move onto a bachelor's degree in a specific major. Each college that offers Associate Degrees in General Studies has different minimum requirements for English, but all the colleges do require some course or multiple courses in English to qualify for a general associate degree.


Mathematics is another important course required for a general associate degree. Again, the number of credit hours required is determined by the college, or when the student plans to major in a certain subject. Most colleges that provide a general associate degree require a minimum of 6 college credits in mathematics. The College of the Sequoias requires courses in algebra and a college math course and students must also pass two different mathematical competency examinations. College mathematics courses can open up numerous possibilities in the selection of a bachelor's degree major.


Most general associate degree programs require some science courses. These courses can include biology, chemistry, geology, or a combination of all three. A minimum of 3 college science credits are required when attempting to receive a general associate degree at some colleges such as Central Piedmont Community College. Some colleges require more than 3 credits, such as St. Petersburg College which requires two college courses for a total of 6 college credits. The minimum science requirements for a general associate degree depends on the college.

Elective Courses

Elective courses make up a large part of required college credits when working toward a general associate degree. Most colleges allow up to 24 credit hours of elective courses as part of the 60 total college credits required. These elective course requirements can be achieved by taking courses in music, political science, government, dance and a whole host of other courses. For example, Tallahassee Community College has elective courses in comparative politics, the United States Constitution and national government that qualify as part of the 24 credit hours of electives.

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