Program Overview

The Associate of Arts (AA) program in Business Administration is a multi-disciplinary program that prepares students for success by establishing a strong foundation of essential business skills and knowledge coupled with career-relevant skills in in-demand fields. Graduates of this program will be prepared for entry level roles in a range of functions, small business ownership, and the pursuit of a four-year degree program in the future.

General education core courses are required for the completion of this program, including college writing, mathematics, communication, social science, and applied reasoning. The major requirements for this program include foundational business courses in disciplines such as economics and accounting. As part of the program, students will complete an industry certificate that is designed to prepare them for an entry-level position in a business-related role such as bookkeeping, sales and marketing, project management, user interface design, data analytics, or IT & technical support.

While pursuing an associates degree in business administration, students will study major theories and practices in business and apply that knowledge using traditional and innovative approaches. Through this program, students will sharpen their reasoning skills by considering changes and challenges in the field, such as innovation and ethical or social issues alongside industry-relevant skills needed to compete in a dynamic economy. This career-focused and academically rigorous program exposes students to foundational business concepts and relevant business skills for entry into a variety of roles upon graduation. The AA in Business Administration is a flexible degree focused on a career entry point, one that enables students to receive credit for prior learning and/or work experience and enables them to continue to earn credit for learning acquired outside the classroom.

This program is offered in partnership with Applicants must apply for admission via the Outlier website.

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The degree requires completion of 60 units as follows: 24 units of core courses, 24 units required for the major, and 12 units of elective courses. Each course listed carries four semester units of credit.

A cumulative grade-point average of 2.00 (“C” grade) or higher is required in all courses taken at Golden Gate University. Prerequisites to courses, if any, are listed in the course descriptions.

Students enrolled in this program may not audit any of the courses required for this program.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this program should be able to do the following in the following areas:

Critical Thinking

  • Identifies assumptions and claims in arguments. Identifies, categorizes, and distinguishes among elements of ideas, concepts, theories, or practical approaches to standard problems.
  • Draws warranted inferences and formulates hypotheses from evidence; assesses strengths and weaknesses of inferences.

Quantitative Fluency

  • Presents accurate arithmetic and algebraic calculations and symbolic operations.
  • Presents accurate interpretations of quantitative information on political, economic, health-related, or technological topics and explains how both calculations and symbolic operations are used in those offerings.
  • Explains how both calculations and symbolic operations are used in quantitative information on political, economic, health-related, or technological topics.
  • Creates and explains graphs or other visual depictions of trends, relationships or changes in status.


  • Describes one’s own moral beliefs and values, including their origins and development, assumptions, and predispositions.
  • Identifies and describes ethical issues. Describes common theories, concepts, and approaches to moral problems. Applies ethical perspectives/concepts/theories to ethical questions accurately. Articulates positions on ethical issues and/or rationale for decisions taking into account differing ethical perspectives and concepts.
  • Describes, explains, and evaluates the sources of their own perspective on selected issues in culture, society, politics, the arts, or global relations and compares that perspective with other views.

Information Literacy

  • Identifies, categorizes, evaluates, and cites multiple resources to create projects and papers with respect to a general theme within the arts, sciences, or professional practice.

Lifelong Learning

  • Identifies and examines connections between values, interests, strengths, prior learning (including academic learning), and professional goals.
  • Demonstrates attitudes and habits productive of lifelong learning, including curiosity, initiative, independence, and transfer (adapting and applying learning skills and knowledge gained in one situation to a new situation).

Applied Learning

  • Describes in writing at least one substantial case in which knowledge and skills acquired in academic settings are applied to a field-based challenge and evaluates the learning gained from the application using evidence and examples.
  • Analyzes at least one significant concept or method in light of learning outside the classroom.
  • Locates, gathers, and organizes evidence regarding a question in a field-based venue beyond formal academic study and offers alternate approaches to answering it.


  • Develops cogent, coherent, and substantially error-free writing for effective communication to general and specialized audiences.
  • Effectively delivers formal and informal oral presentations appropriate to an audience in various contexts.

Broad Integrative Knowledge

  • Describes a key debate or problem relevant to each core field, explains the significance of the debate or problem to the wider society, and shows how concepts from the core field can be used to address the selected debates or problems.
  • Uses recognized methods of each core field studied, including the gathering of evidence, in the execution of analytical, practical, or creative tasks.
  • Describes and evaluates the ways in which at least two fields of study define, address, and interpret the importance for society of a problem in science, the arts, society, human services, economic life, or technology.

Specialized Knowledge

  • Defines, explains, and correctly applies concepts, theories and practices in business management.
  • Applies knowledge of managerial finance and economics to business problems.
  • Applies concepts, theories, standards, and practices of business management to develop tactics and strategies and develop innovative solutions to business challenges.