general studies associate student

What Can You Do with a General Studies Associate Degree?

by | Dec 7, 2021

An associate degree in general studies can be a stepping-stone to a bachelor’s or it can get you ready for an entry-level career right now. It’s a well-rounded degree program that allows you to choose from a range of subjects and departments to customize your academic experience. And it provides you with important skills that today’s employers look for in new hires such as critical thinking, communication, and relationship building.

Use Your General Studies Degree to Sample Majors

If you intend to pursue a bachelor’s degree, a general studies associate degree allows you to sample a range of courses. General studies is a path that can leave your options open, while you build a strong learning foundation across a range of different courses, including:

  • Introductory English
  • US History
  • Fine Arts
  • Physical Science
  • Lab Science
  • Analytical Writing
  • Speech Writing
  • Algebra
  • Social Sciences
  • Economics
  • Literature
  • Ethics
  • Various Electives

Explore a Variety of Career Paths with a General Studies Degree

An associate degree in general studies can prepare you for a variety of different industries. Among the fields you might enter will the well-rounded experience of general studies are:

  • Business
  • Technology
  • Math
  • Science
  • Writing
  • Social Sciences
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Media
  • Public Relations
  • Law
  • Finance

General Studies Associate Degree Careers

Because your associate degree program will teach you how to communicate, learn, and think critically, there are a variety of specific jobs you may be qualified for upon its completion. Entry-level positions that you could consider include:

  • Executive Assistant: As an executive assistant, you can work in different fields and be well-positioned to move up the ranks in your company. Your degree program will prepare you with organizational, writing, and interpersonal skills to help perform the job well. Duties in this position include clerical tasks like organizing files, scheduling meetings, greeting customers, managing calendars, purchasing, and more.
  • General Manager: Whether restaurant, retail, or something else entirely, general managers are responsible for managing operations and a team of employees. In this role, you’ll be responsible for tracking daily income, scheduling, hiring, and inspiring your team to excel. You can pick up a lot of the organizational and basic math and communication skills for this role in a general studies program.
  • Bookkeeper or Financial Clerk: If a company can’t keep track of its finances, it doesn’t know whether it’s making or losing money. That’s why they often need a team of accounting professionals. These two entry-level roles are where you might start your career and would also give you a glimpse of what a career in finance might be like. Your associate degree program should provide you with the foundational skills in math and writing you need to get started. Once you gain experience, you may consider pursuing a degree in business administration so you will have the credentials to move up in your company or find another.
  • Social Media Manager: Every company seems to have a social media presence these days. That’s why they need good, responsible communicators with an excellent command of the English language to represent their brands online. As a social media manager, you would post on behalf of your organization and respond to users online. Because your associate degree program will teach you how to research, analyze, and write well, you could become an important member of a company’s marketing team.
  • Nonprofit Roles: The nonprofit sector is a great place to land if you want to work in an organization that supports a mission or social issue that you’re really passionate about. Your associate degree can prepare you for a variety of nonprofit roles including program management, development, or communications. The key here is to find an organization you’re passionate about, and then focus on a specific role.

What You Learn in an Associate in General Studies Degree Program

This program will give you a strong foundational survey of coursework from a variety of disciplines. So, no matter your dream career, you can build valuable skills that apply widely across the board. You’ll learn about a range of subjects like English, history, social sciences, math, economics, and more. Plan to strengthen your communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. These can help prepare you to pursue a bachelor’s degree or begin work in one of the above fields.


Bluefield University is built on strong Christian values and believes in preparing our students for a life of service to others. We have more than 70 different degree programs including undergraduate, graduate, online, and in-person. We also offer an Associate Degree in General Studies Degree that can be completed in-person or online. Visit our program page now to learn more about how this degree path may be right for you.

Do I only apply once?

  • No. Students must apply each academic year for the fall semester and submit the necessary documents.

Do I have to take the classes specified in the Associate's Degree tracks as they are listed on the information sheet?

  • No. Students may take any of the courses that are offered in a given term.

Where do I find the textbook listing, and where do I purchase the books?

  • Log in to myBU, and under the "Student" tab, you will find a list of the textbooks required (if any) for each course. Students are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks.

How long is a semester?

  • Our semesters are divided into two 8-week terms.

Is there an orientation?

  • Yes. Students can attend an orientation session that explains how to access courses, how to register for classes, and answers other questions.

Where can I find a course description?

Does the student need to take the SAT or ACT in order to take Dual Enrollment classes?

  • No. If a student decides to study at BU full time, BU is currently test-optional for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.

Are the classes live? Do students need to log in and participate at certain times?

  • Classes are offered online, so a student can log-on and study at their convenience and their own pace. Students have assignments due each week; you can complete your assignments at any point in time before the deadline.

Does an Early College student need to come to campus for anything?

  • No. However, we would love to have you visit our campus if you are interested in continuing with traditional on-campus study. Students who complete their associate's degree have the option to walk at our commencement ceremony.

Are Early College students able to receive Financial Aid?

  • No. However, Early College courses are very affordable compared to other options. The cost for an online Dual Enrollment course is $100 per credit hour.

How do transferring credits work?

  • Each College or University completes a transcript review in order to decide which courses transfer. Sticking to general education classes generally makes transferring credits simple. All Early College courses at Bluefield University are general education classes that should transfer to another accredited institution.

Is an Early College student considered, and treated, as a transfer student when they become a full-time college student if they have earned enough credits to be a Junior?

  • No. Since they have not graduated from high school, they are considered a first-time college student regardless of how many credits transfer. However, by transferring credits when they enroll as a full-time student, they will have to take fewer classes to receive their bachelor's degree, which shortens the length of time to earn the degree.

Can I speak to someone if I have more questions?

  • Yes. Please contact the Office of Admissions by email or you can call them at 276.326.4231


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