15 Best Online Associate in General Studies

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Reviewed by Linda Weems I got started researching colleges and universities about 10 years ago while exploring a second career. While my second career ended up being exactly what I’m doing now, and I didn’t end up going to college, I try to put myself in your shoes every step of the way as I build out College Cliffs as a user-friendly resource for prospective students.

Updated: March 8, 2024, Reading time: 21 minutes

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Are you seeking careers that don’t require four years of education and cover a broad spectrum of disciplines? An online Associate in General Studies (AGS) may be best suited for you!

College Cliffs is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

What constitutes the General Studies discipline, you ask?

An Associate in General Studies covers the vast field of humanities, human resources, the physical sciences, behavioral sciences, world literature, mathematics, creative arts, psychology, and computer science.

Online Associate in General Studies - fact

This program is also ideal for students who are undecided about their career paths because, with an Associate in General Studies degree, you are positioned for a job you are likely to enjoy and earn well from, regardless of unemployment rates.

Students gain the skill set required for entry-level work, including oral and written communication, college algebra skills, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking skills.

AGS online degrees offer students the option to create their coursework and degree plans, so to speak, including transfer and occupational courses. Enrolled students generate transferable credits toward a bachelor’s program in General Studies.

Check out our summary of the article:

The Lowdown
A person’s degree-earning academic journey begins with an associate program. With General Education associate degrees, students aren’t focused on a specific profession or industry, so they enjoy the flexibility of picking the right career path that suits their interests!

Pursue higher education remotely with Associate degrees in General Studies that are now available through distance learning! In these programs, half of a student’s credits are generally assigned to lower-level division courses, and the rest are set to elective and advanced-level courses in their major.


Choosing the right school offering the degree at the associate level online works to your advantage. Employers prefer applicants who completed Associate in General Studies online programs at top-rated colleges.

To make selecting an online associate college easy, look at our list of the best online associate General Studies degree programs. We compiled the highly reputable providers of higher education in the country, featuring the online AGS program with these features:

Read our Methodology for more details on our ranking process.

Top Online Associate in General Studies Degree Programs

The University of Toledo

The University of Toledo

Online Associate Degree in General Studies

In addition to providing much-needed credentials for entering the workforce, the online associate degree in General Studies at the University of Toledo covers a variety of subjects that are important to quality liberal education. It combines general studies and specializations not typically offered in traditional majors.

Students follow a general studies curriculum and select one of four tracks based on their interests:

Did You Know?

Since 1872, The University of Toledo has served students as a regionally accredited public university. It is world-renowned in the research fields of water quality, cell architecture and dynamics, sustainability, solar energy, and astronomy. 

University of La Verne

University of La Verne

Online Associate in General Studies

The online Associate of Arts with a General Studies concentration at La Verne offers students an in-depth look at the liberal arts while exposing them to a wide range of college-level subjects. They become prepared for the rigors of completing their bachelor’s degrees at La Verne or entering the workforce with strong communication and problem-solving skills.

The online program is perfect for exploring a range of subjects before committing to one career or degree path. They can choose to study courses in:

The remainder of their credits is allocated toward electives and more advanced subjects in their chosen major after completing half of the lower-level division courses.

Up to 40 semester units can be transferred upon their associate degree in general studies. However, students must acquire 20 semester units, which is a residency requirement. The Associate of Arts in General Studies online can be completed in as little as nine months, depending on the semester hours completed.

Did You Know?

About half of the traditional undergraduates attend college for the first time among their immediate families. 

The University of La Verne offers financial aid to more than 70 percent of its students.

The university also provides specialized programs for adult learners at the La Verne and regional campuses.

Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University

Associate of General Studies Online

Learn about various interests with the online Associate of General Studies degree program. Make sure you gain a strong foundation for your future and a well-rounded education.

You can earn your Associate of General Studies online degree program at your own pace. Most college students enter college with a specific major in mind, only to discover that it’s not what they had envisioned for their future.

You will have an opportunity to explore different areas of study and find out what truly suits your interests and abilities through a combination of core courses and electives.

If you choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree, you will graduate with both the relevant skills to start a successful career right away and a solid academic foundation.

You will be able to think critically, communicate effectively, and solve problems creatively and strategically by taking courses across various disciplines, such as:

The Associate of General Studies online program is available to all U.S. residents at the same low tuition costs.

Did You Know?

With public-private trusted partner programs, Arkansas State University is a significant economic and cultural force in the region.

The college hosts the New York Institute of Technology Campus of Osteopathic Medicine, the first osteopathic medical school in the state. They also worked with O’Reilly Management for the Red Wolf Convention Center and Embassy Suites.

University of Arizona – Global Campus

Online General Studies Associate Degree

With its new online Associates General Studies degree program, the University of Arizona – Global Campus, formerly Ashland University, continues its tradition of making high-quality education affordable and accessible. For students who are entering careers that do not require four years of college, the Associate of Arts degree is best for you.

Students who have not yet decided which career path they would like to pursue can enroll in the general studies online degree program. They select course material for our General Studies program at the University of Arizona appropriate for first-year learners.

The coursework for the degree program includes the required core requirements of an associate’s degree, which enables students to focus on specific academic areas that interest them. 

The University of Arizona’s program will particularly appeal to students who have completed coursework outside the university or may have studied in a field that no longer exists and would like to finish their degree.

Did You Know?

The University of Arizona – Global Campus belongs in the top 200 national colleges ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

Keiser University

Keiser University

Online General Studies Associate Degree

The general studies degree at Keiser University allows students to learn about various disciplines. Students pursuing associate degrees who need a practical alternative to a traditional major may find this helpful. 

Combining courses from eligible disciplines into coherent programs can help students achieve their academic goals and advance their professional development. Interdisciplinary courses are included in the degree program. Academic Affairs must approve proposed courses.

A student must earn 60.0 credit hours to earn an Associate of Arts degree in General Studies.

Many campuses offer this associate degree, but they’re also available online. With regionally accredited off-campus sites and learning centers worldwide, the university goes beyond America’s borders. There are approximately 13,000 students enrolled at Keiser University. About 15% of the university’s student population is online and international.

Did You Know?

There are campuses of Keiser University in 21 of Florida’s major and midsize cities and towns.

In the previous years, nearly 76 million dollars have been awarded in scholarship funds to academic and need-based Keiser students.

It is the university’s commitment to educate and develop leaders for service and competition globally.

Louisiana State University

Louisiana State University - no 2Logo

Online General Studies Associate

In as few as two years, you can earn an Associate of General Studies degree from LSU Eunice Online. LSU Online offers a focused curriculum for those interested in business or liberal arts.

The online AGS program offers two years of college coursework to meet cultural or vocational objectives. Transferable credits from previous coursework can be transferred up to 75% to the Associate of General Studies.

Did You Know?

Louisiana State University is one of only 30 universities in the United States to hold land-grant, sea-grant, or space-grant designations. LSU is also the only public university in Louisiana to be placed by the Carnegie Foundation in the “very high research activity” category.

Columbia Southern University

Columbia Southern University

Online Associate of Arts in General Studies

Students who earn an Associate of Arts in general studies at Columbia Southern University gain strong foundations in the humanities and sciences, preparation for professional settings, and advanced degrees.

Students are taught critical thinking, effective oral or written communication, problem-solving, research interpretation, and other skills essential to success in today’s workplace.

Associate of Arts in General Studies offers students the opportunity to get a solid foundation in both the arts and the sciences. By exploring various subjects, students acquire general knowledge that can be applied to the professions or baccalaureate study. Sixty credit hours are required to complete the program.

Did You Know?

Support educational services at CSU are personalized, responsive, and geared towards assisting students in attaining their educational goals. It takes pride in using the latest instructional technology, innovative higher education programs, challenging curricula, and caring, highly-trained faculty and personnel.

American Public University

American Public University - religious studies program

Online Associate of Arts in General Studies

APU’s general studies associate degree will enhance your communication, reading, research, and problem-solving skills. In this online program, you can earn an interdisciplinary college degree. The program is also available to students who wish to earn an associate degree by applying for previous college credits or work experience.

The general education courses in English, history, math, and science will provide you with the knowledge, skills, and abilities you need to succeed academically, professionally, and personally.

Their Associate of Arts in General Studies program offers 30 elective credits, allowing you to choose a specialization or sample course of study based on various broader interests.

Did You Know?

APUS offers a university book grant that covers no-cost textbooks and e-books for all undergraduates and eligible master’s-level students who receive a military tuition grant.

Active-duty service members, spouses, and dependents will only have to pay standard tuition per credit hour for any bachelor’s degree, graduate, or certificate program.

Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College

Online Associate Degree in General Studies

Students pursuing the General Studies degree receive a solid core of General Education courses, in addition to the option of additional elective classes. General Education provides a comprehensive study of:

Students can choose elective courses from Ivy Tech’s wide range of options, including business, technology, health care, and other career-related subjects.

Ivy Tech maintains four-year trusted partner programs in place if you wish to continue your bachelor’s education after graduating with an Ivy Tech General Studies associate degree. Students can reach out to counselors for their academic plans and see degree completion guides explaining how to graduate in eight-week terms.

Did You Know?

In addition to offering the convenience of more than 1,000 online classes and access to some of the state’s best training facilities, Ivy Tech offers small average class sizes of 22 students, allowing them to provide students with hands-on experience.

Weber State University

Weber State University

Online Associate Degree in General Studies

With a Weber State University General Studies associate degree, students get a solid educational foundation. The Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (AS) provides a broad understanding of academic subjects. You can pursue a bachelor’s degree after earning this degree.

The general studies curriculum provides graduates with a well-rounded education. Students will learn from a range of courses in:

Besides becoming proficient in math and obtaining writing skills, they will also build their familiarity with computers, gain quantitative literacy and information literacy, and gain many more relevant skills for practical application.

You can discover your interest in a specific major while exploring a broad range of subjects in the general studies curriculum. This program enables you to meet the general education requirement for bachelor’s degrees at public universities in Utah.

In addition to being qualified to continue your education after earning an associate’s degree, you will also be qualified to apply for entry-level jobs that require a general education foundation.

Earning this degree entirely online is possible.

Did You Know?

Weber State University has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the best public university in Utah for return on education investment in terms of quality and variety. 

Campbellsville University

Campbellsville University

Online Associate of Science in General Studies

Students earning a Campbellsville University associate degree in general studies learn various collegiate-level topics while developing a broad foundation of knowledge.

The program is ideal for students who aren’t sure what career path is most engaging to them and can help them determine which field to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

The degree will also help students acquire skills they can immediately apply to their current career or an entry-level position.

The curriculum requires 64 credits for completion. Some core subjects you’ll take are:

Aside from core courses, there are 12 free electives that you can freely choose from any discipline.

With a flexible format, general studies degrees can be earned online conveniently. In as little as two years, you can complete the program. A Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accreditation is conferred on Campbellsville University by the Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Did You Know?

Campbellsville University is a Christian university founded in 1906 and prepared students for Christian service.

Genesee Community College

Genesee Community College

Online Associate in Science In General Studies

Using your academic advisor and a transfer counselor, you can design your own course of study in GCC’s General Studies program. This program could be especially helpful if you are unsure what educational or career path to take.

Your course sequences must meet the transfer institution’s requirements if you consider transferring after graduation. After earning your General Studies degree, you should consult with your advisor if you intend to pursue an upper-division program in a specific discipline.

Here are some of the different disciplines in Liberal Arts and Science that you can choose from:

Did You Know?

Genesee Community College launched One GCC, a new campaign highlighting what each student is doing on campus to promote inclusivity. This is one strong advocacy to promote cultural diversity and unity of all races.

Trine University

Trine University

Online Associate of General Studies

You can build a broad education with an Associate in General Studies degree offered at Trine University. The skills you learn in this program will equip you for success in any career, including critical thinking, effective communication, and combining knowledge from various disciplines.

You will gain foundational and critical thinking skills in this online General Studies program.

A Trine University Associate Degree in General Studies will prepare you for more advanced opportunities in a bachelor’s degree program.

Through TrineOnline, students have access to a convenient and accessible online degree program. Each eight-week term begins with classes. Since the classes come in asynchronous formats, you can log in whenever it is convenient. 

Did You Know?

Through laboratory experience, co-ops, practicums, and internships, your Trine education will prepare you for practical experiences. With their low student debt load and high job placement rate, Trine graduates offer a solid return on investment after completing their degree.

Dakota State University

Dakota State University Logo

Online Associate of Arts in General Studies

Develop your critical thinking skills and creativity by enrolling in this online associate of arts in general studies offered at Dakota State University. Become familiar with the fine arts and sciences.

Get ready to learn some programming and computer fundamentals. Utilize cutting-edge technology. Learn how to write and speak more effectively. Put your attention on the subjects that are most important to you. 

This program can be studied both online or through face to face. This program can serve as an entry point for those seeking admission to higher education programs but needing more credentials.

You must complete 60 credit hours, 30 of which must be general education. Electives and additional credits can be taken from any discipline. Some of the diverse fields you can pursue in our business, technology, and communications.

Did You Know?

While Dakota State has shifted its primary focus to the cyber world, the institution is still one of the few universities in the nation that provide students with the technology needed to excel.

Northern Wyoming Community College District

Northern Wyoming Community College District

Online Associate of Arts in General Studies

A major in General Studies allows you to explore a variety of college courses while building a solid foundation of knowledge in interdisciplinary fields. There are many careers you can pursue with a General Studies degree.

You can start to launch any career with this associate of arts in general studies but proceed into Bachelor’s degree programs later if you want to pursue a different or higher pathway. 

Online and in-person options are available for the General Studies program at NWCCD. You can choose different paths of interest through NWCCD’s General Studies program. If you decide to continue your education and transfer to a college or university, you will gain high-demand skills and gain a strong academic background.

Did You Know?

A student enrolled in General Studies will have an opportunity to explore a variety of electives, ranging from Earth Science to foreign languages like French and Spanish, all under the guidance of NWCCD’s friendly and expert faculty. Additionally, you will be able to receive individualized attention because of the small class size.

General Studies

Frequently Asked Questions

Why opt for an online General Studies associate program?

Generally speaking, college education offered online makes attendance issues due to location or schedule challenges a thing of the past!

A quick school search and exploration of school rankings can lead you to a reputable private school, public college, or community college offering online programs, with many offering federal student aid options.

General Studies online learners develop critical thinking, leadership, and creative thinking skills to address local, national, and global issues. They become committed, engaged community members with an awareness of their ethical, environmental, and social responsibilities.

An associate degree in General Studies also secures your chances of getting employed. People without a degree are impacted more by high unemployment rates than college graduates. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has asserted that associate degree holders have an unemployment rate of only 3.8%, compared to high school diploma holders’ 4.5%.

Can I finish my associate’s degree in General Studies degree fast?

It may be possible to complete your associate degree within a year by taking an accelerated program. Some schools may provide shorter duration, like seven-week courses. In one year and five weeks, students who begin the summer term can complete their degree program.

However, your schedule will be busy if you take an accelerated program. If you want to fit the same amount of material into a shorter time frame, you’ll need to focus on your studies most of the time. If you’re not up for it, you can follow the standard attendance requirements, which usually take 24 months to finish.

Some colleges enable students to set their own pace for learning. This might paint a different picture for you as far as the completion timeline goes.

What is the career path outlook for Associate Degree in General Studies graduates?

What is the career path outlook for Associate Degree in General Studies graduates?

Associate in general studies degrees cover a wide variety of jobs, with these roles being the most popular:

Social Media Manager

Social media managers post on behalf of their companies and build rapport with online followers. Brands need well-spoken, responsible communicators who have a good command of English.

As part of your associate degree program, you will learn how to communicate, interact, analyze, and write well, making you an asset to a company’s marketing team.

Office Manager

An office manager supervises employees, projects, and activities within the office. Their skills should include problem-solving, communication, and managerial abilities. An office manager must be able to manage multiple projects at the same time while working in a fast-paced environment. They need excellent time management skills, organization skills, and leadership skills.

Operations Manager

The operations manager is responsible for overseeing production for their employer. They ensure daily operational tasks are carried through successfully.

Manufacturing, warehousing, and purchasing are all handled by them to ensure their products meet customer expectations. Meetings with union representatives and employee performance reviews are also part of their duties.

Financial Clerk

A financial clerk can be a new account clerk, a brokerage clerk, a procurement clerk, or a loan interviewer. They provide good customer service and assistance, prepare and review bills, deal with monetary transactions, and organize financial records. 

A high school diploma is also needed for financial clerks, but some employers may prefer candidates with a 2-year or 4-year college degree. Financial clerks earn around $45,570 annually.

Administrative Assistant/Services and Facilities Manager

Administrative assistants and secretaries can work in various types of office spaces and work to keep the office running smoothly. They organize files, schedule meetings, and make appointments for staff members, working alongside the managers and other key people in the company. 

A high school diploma is required for secretaries and administrative assistants, but some employers prefer a college degree. Administrative Services and facilities managers earn a median salary of $101,870 per year. The demand for such jobs is expected to grow by 5% from 2022 to 2032.

Aside from these popular career tracks, a graduate who has completed General Studies associate online programs may find employment in several industries, including government, education, business, and professional and technical services.

What are the admission requirements for an associate General Studies degree program?

These are the typical AGS application requirements for online students:

Low scores may result in you being denied admission or requiring remedial math and/or English classes. You can earn college credit through your life and work experience if you have been working and have received work training.

Should I pursue a bachelor’s degree or find work after acquiring an associate degree in General Studies?

Online General Studies associate degree graduates can choose to continue their education at the bachelor’s level in four-year colleges. This way, you develop more skills and become better qualified for your chosen career.

That said, AGS is also about preparing students and making them qualified for fast entry into the workforce. Entry-level jobs such as office manager, administrative assistant, sales clerk, customer service representative, or social media manager are usually available. To bolster your credentials and gain more skills, enroll in a bachelor’s degree program.

How much does it take to finish an Online Associate in General Studies?

Several factors influence the cost of a degree, including the school and learners’ residence. 

According to Education Data, the two-year in-state tuition is $3,439 for public schools and $15,637 for private institutions. However, you need to consider other costs of attendance, including supplies, per credit hour costs, and room and board.

Key Takeaways

The benefits of earning your associate’s degree online are numerous! For one, you are more likely to gain employment and make more money with a college degree than with only a high school diploma.

Getting an online General Studies associate degree, in particular, strengthens your communication skills, increases your literacy and math abilities, and lets you gain a broad base of knowledge in various exciting subjects! You can explore multiple interests through General Studies and prepare yourself for multiple careers through specializations and minors. 

You can apply your learning immediately to your job or make a smooth transition into a new field if you earn an online Associate in General Studies!

Additional Resources: