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General Studies, AA

Program at a Glance


General Studies, AA


Online, Hybrid

Total Units




Program Overview

The Associate of Arts (AA) in General Studies provides a well-rounded foundation of knowledge designed to prepare students for employability and/or further academic work. Students can focus their skill set by selecting courses specifically designed to support their professional goals. The AA is ideal for working adults with a minimal number of academic credits who seek a milestone of achievement while working toward the bachelor’s degree.

The AA program is taught by practicing professionals, with a curriculum that integrates the liberal arts with knowledge of management principles, leadership strategies and organizational theory. Coursework emphasizes practical business applications, while providing a strong educational foundation for lifelong learning. Students develop the capacity to think critically and creatively in preparation for a successful future in business or management.

GGU’s nationally recognized eLearning environment allows students to pursue a degree online, in person, or in combination.

Step Up to a Bachelor’s Degree

In the process of completing the AA, students fulfill the general education and liberal studies requirements of GGU’s bachelor’s degrees, while also developing skills and knowledge outcomes in communication, critical thinking, media and information literacy, and quantitative fluency. A flexible course of study is designed to maximize the number of transfer credits counted toward degree completion.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the Associate of Arts in General Studies will be able to:

  • Communicate effectively to general and specialized audiences through structured written, oral and visual presentations.
  • Identify, categorize, and analyze problems and issues, and draw warranted conclusions.
  • Perform accurate calculations using symbolic operations, and provide accurate interpretations and explanations of data.
  • Correctly identify, categorize, evaluate, and cite multiple resources to create projects, papers, or performances.
  • Describe ethical issues and apply ethical principles or frameworks in judgment and decision-making.
  • Describe and analyze relationships between academic learning and problems outside the classroom.
  • Explore, connect, and apply concepts and methods across multiple fields of study.
  • Examine connections between academic learning and professional goals and demonstrate attitudes such as curiosity, self-awareness, adaptability, and motivation.


The degree requires completion of 60 units as follows: 36 units of general education, 6 units of foundation, 3 units of capstone, and 15 units of elective courses. Each course listed carries three semester units of credit, unless otherwise noted.

A cumulative grade-point average of 2.00 (“C” grade) or higher is required in all courses taken at Golden Gate University. Prerequisites to a course, if any, are listed in the course descriptions. Other than Degrees+ students, all degree-seeking undergraduate students must complete their English, mathematics, and critical thinking basic proficiency requirements within their first 27 units at Golden Gate University. Placement tests must be taken prior to enrolling in ENGL 10A, ENGL 10B, ENGL 60 and MATH 10, MATH 20,or MATH 30 to ensure proper placement in the sequences (see course descriptions in this catalog for details).

Undergraduate Honors Program

The School of Undergraduate Studies’ honors program provides opportunities for students enrolled in all degree programs to engage in enriched learning experiences while they work toward earning their degrees. Students do not need to apply separately for this program, but may participate in it by registering for honors-designated course sections, as described below. Upon graduation, students who have completed the honors program must complete and submit the Honors Program Notation Request form to the Registrar’s Office to have the notation added to their transcripts.

Honors-designated course sections will emphasize the following learning outcomes: media and information literacy, quantitative fluency, oral/written communication, and critical thinking. Students will be required to complete advanced and more rigorous assignments that demonstrate learning beyond the articulated course outcomes. Additional assessments will be designed to emphasize core skills such as critical thinking, writing, research, and self-reflection.

To complete the honors program, students must complete any combination of 12 units (four 3-unit courses) of honors-designated sections and an honors-designated capstone course section (3 units) for a total of 15 units, with a minimum GPA in the five honors courses of 3.00 and a minimum overall degree program GPA of 3.30. Note: honors course sections can be identified in the online course schedule with a section prefix beginning with the letter “A” (e.g., ASF1) and by information in the section comments field of the section details page. Students should contact their academic advisor or the Registrar’s Office if they need help identifying honors-designated course sections.

Honors sections of the courses below will be offered every term. In addition, students who transfer any of these courses into GGU may petition to have an honors section offered of other courses in order to satisfy the 12-unit requirement. Students should contact their academic advisors to begin the petition process.

Core Requirements – 12 Units Capstone Course – 3 Units

Complete the honors section of the capstone course applicable to the student’s degree program.

Learn More About the School of Undergraduate Studies

Our programs promote student employability, adaptability, insight and lifelong learning through comprehensive and on-going support. We provide coursework in the liberal arts as a strong educational foundation for lifelong learning, emphasizing the relevance of communication skills, critical thinking, information literacy and other essential skills to practical business and organizational applications.

Go to the School of Undergraduate Studies

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