Infographic for a general studies degree course list

Exploring the General Studies Degree Course List

Our general studies degree course list offers a comprehensive view of the unique interdisciplinary education that a general studies degree provides. Students have the opportunity to build essential skills while exploring a breadth of subjects.

Whether you’re passionate about a liberal arts education, keen on delving into various subjects or gearing up for a specific career path, a general studies degree (GSD) ensures a versatile and adaptable academic journey.

At the associate and bachelor levels, general studies programs combine core course requirements with elective options, allowing students to tailor their education to their interests and goals. These programs typically include a wide range of subjects, such as writing, math, social science, natural science, humanities, and history, providing a well-rounded foundation.

With a GSD, you can prepare for diverse careers in fields like business, education, politics, law, and more. The flexibility and interdisciplinary approach of these programs equip you with transferable skills that are highly valued by employers.

Key Takeaways:

  • General Studies Degrees offer interdisciplinary education and skill-building opportunities.
  • Associate and bachelor-level programs include core course requirements and elective options.
  • GSD can lead to various careers in multiple fields.
  • These programs provide transferable skills valued by employers.
  • Consider your interests and career goals when selecting a general studies program.

Types of General Studies Degrees

A general studies degree can be pursued at both the associate and bachelor’s levels, offering students the opportunity to explore various subjects while building a solid foundation of interdisciplinary skills. Let’s take a closer look at the two types of general studies degrees:

Associate Degree in General Studies

An associate degree in general studies is a two-year program that provides students with a well-rounded education. This degree includes a mix of core course requirements and elective courses in specific areas of study. Students have the flexibility to choose courses that align with their interests and goals while gaining a broad knowledge base across multiple subjects.

Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies

According to the Bureau of Labor & Statistics bachelor’s holders earn an average of 43% more than those holding an associates degree.  A bachelor’s degree in general studies is a four-year program that offers even more flexibility and specialization. In addition to core coursework, students can select electives in specified areas of study and often pursue an additional concentration, minor, or major.

This degree allows students to tailor their education to their specific interests and career aspirations while developing interdisciplinary skills that are highly valued in the job market.

Both associate and bachelor’s degrees provide a well-rounded education and a solid foundation for further studies or career advancement. They offer the opportunity to explore various subjects, develop transferable skills, and gain a wider perspective on the world.

General Studies Degree Course List

A hallmark of the general studies program is the diverse range of subjects it covers, providing a holistic educational experience. While emphasizing interdisciplinary learning, these programs allow students the autonomy to design a curriculum that resonates with their unique interests and career aspirations.

Curriculum and Courses

Core Courses: At the foundation of a general studies degree, you’ll typically find a set of core courses. These are intended to build a well-rounded knowledge base in various disciplines. Some quintessential core courses include:

  • Literature and Composition: Dive deep into different literary works, and enhance your writing skills.
  • Mathematics: Strengthen your analytical and problem-solving abilities with foundational math courses.
  • Social Sciences: Explore human societies, behavior, and cultures, touching upon subjects like psychology, sociology, and anthropology.
  • Natural Sciences: Delve into the workings of the physical and biological world, from chemistry to biology.
  • Arts and Humanities: Appreciate art, music, philosophy, and other facets of human expression and thought.
  • Global Studies: Understand the interwoven histories and cultures of various nations and civilizations.

Specializations: Beyond the core curriculum, general studies degrees often offer avenues for more focused learning. While some students may choose a broader path, others might zero in on specific areas. Potential specializations, minors, or concentrations include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies: Understand the intricate balance of nature and our role within it.
  • BA in Digital Media and Design: Explore the nexus of technology, art, and communication.
  • BS in Health and Wellness: Gain insights into physical, mental, and social well-being.
  • Bachelor of Business Administration & Entrepreneurship: Equip yourself with the skills to launch and manage successful ventures.
  • BA in Public Relations: Master the art of image management and strategic communication.
  • Bachelor of Education: Prepare for roles in educational settings, from curriculum development to classroom instruction.

In a general studies program, the combination of a comprehensive core and varied specializations ensures that students are well-equipped, both academically and practically, for an array of future opportunities.

What Can You Do With a General Studies Degree?

Earning a GSD opens up a wide range of career opportunities across various industries. With the versatility and interdisciplinary skills gained through this degree, graduates can pursue roles in business, education, administration, information technology, communications, and more.

Here are some potential career paths for individuals with a general studies degree:

  • Business: General studies graduates can find employment in entry-level positions in business, such as administrative roles, customer service, sales, or human resources. They can also explore opportunities in management or entrepreneurship, leveraging their broad-based knowledge and transferable skills to succeed in diverse business environments.
  • Education: A GSD can be a stepping stone to a career in education. Graduates can pursue roles as teacher assistants, tutors, or after-school program coordinators. With further education and certification, they can become licensed teachers or pursue careers in educational administration.
  • Administration: Graduates possess excellent communication, critical thinking, and organizational skills, making them well-suited for administrative roles. They can work in various settings, such as healthcare institutions, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, or corporate offices, supporting the smooth operation of these entities.
  • Information Technology: The rapidly evolving field of technology offers many opportunities for general studies graduates. They can work as technology support specialists, project coordinators, or business analysts. With additional training, they can specialize in areas such as web development, data analysis, or cybersecurity.
  • Communications: Graduates with a GSD can pursue careers in communications, media, or public relations. They can work as content creators, social media managers, marketing assistants, or communications coordinators, utilizing their strong writing, research, and interpersonal skills.

The job outlook for GSD holders is promising, as the demand for individuals with a diverse skill set and adaptable mindset continues to grow in the modern job market. While specific salary figures vary based on industry, location, and experience, general studies graduates can generally expect competitive compensation and opportunities for career advancement.


A general studies degree offers numerous benefits and considerations to prospective students. With its interdisciplinary approach and versatile curriculum, this degree allows students to explore various subjects while building valuable skills.

One of the key benefits of earning a GSD is the flexibility it offers. Whether you are a nontraditional student seeking flexible online course options, a working professional looking to advance your career, or a traditional student interested in a broad educational approach, a general studies degree can be a suitable choice.

Another significant benefit of a GSD is the diverse range of career paths it can lead to. The degree equips students with transferable skills such as communication, critical thinking, teamwork, and professionalism, which are highly valued by employers across various industries.

When considering a general studies program, there are several factors to keep in mind. First and foremost, it is essential to research and evaluate the accreditation of the program, ensuring it meets industry standards.

Additionally, program length, tuition costs, and course offerings are crucial considerations. Prospective students should also explore potential transfer opportunities if they plan to continue their education or specialize in a specific field.

A GSD provides a well-rounded education that allows students to pursue their interests while acquiring valuable skills. The degree offers numerous benefits, including increased earning potential and diverse career opportunities.

It is important to carefully consider the program’s accreditation, length, costs, and course offerings before making a decision. By thoroughly evaluating these factors, prospective students can find a program that best aligns with their needs and aspirations.