General Studies, A.A.

If you’re not sure about your plans, you can earn a respected and versatile associate degree while you follow your curiosity and explore different professions. Our two-year associate degree in General Studies exposes you to a range of disciplines and provides a solid educational base for transferring into a bachelor’s program or moving up the professional ladder. At Vermont State University, you can design a program that fits your goals and future. Remote learning options also make earning this degree convenient for students who are also working full-time.

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Why Study General Studies at Vermont State?

  • A Respected Credential: Considering community college? You can earn an affordable degree from a state university that gives you more resources, services, support, and a strong name behind you. 
  • A Curriculum Built Around Your Interests:  Now is your chance to explore all the areas that interest you as you discern your future direction. You’ll work with your advisor to design your program and select courses in academic and professional areas that intrigue you the most. 
  • Higher Earnings:  According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, those holding an associate degree earn on average $5,300 more per year than those without a college degree. 
  • Flexible Study Options: Choose online or in-person and go at your own pace for a degree that fits your life circumstances. 
  • Supportive Environment:  At Vermont State, you’re not just a number. You’ll find small class sizes and caring faculty who are dedicated to your success.  
  • Strategic Step: Whether you decide to enter the job market and enjoy enhanced earning power or continue your studies in another Vermont State program, earning your degree is a smart decision that will open new opportunities for your future.   

What You’ll Learn

The General Studies associate degree is designed to give you broad exposure to the main divisions of university study in order to both build your academic abilities and help you solidify your vision for your future. 

The core of the program consists of 40 credits (about 11-13 courses) with at least one course selected from each of the following areas: written expression, digital literacy and computing, mathematics, arts and aesthetics, humanistic perspective, natural science, and social science. Then, working with your advisor, you’ll choose an additional 5-6 courses from these same areas. 

You’ll develop crucial soft skills, like critical thinking, communication, and creativity, that are eagerly sought by employers and foundational for further studies. You’ll also gain exposure to new ideas, areas of inquiry, and career paths, helping you grow in global awareness, self-knowledge, and career focus.  

Outside the Classroom, In the Community

At Vermont State, we believe knowledge is solidified through practical experience. Many of the courses you take will involve hands-on components, whether in the lab or in the field.  

You can take advantage of internship opportunities to build real-world work experience or even study literature, art, and architecture on a guided overseas trip.  

Special Facilities

Vermont State has an impressive variety of facilities that will enhance your studies through hands-on experiences. Here’s a small sample: 

  • Computer labs: You’ll find numerous computer labs equipped with top-of-the-line iMacs, printers, scanners, and other equipment to explore your creativity. 
  • Science facilities: Explore the natural world and gain familiarity with the tools of modern scientific research. Depending on the campus, you’ll find well-appointed teaching and research laboratories, special facilities like the artificial stream lab and Castleton Greenhouse, computer workstations with GIS software, and expansive outdoor spaces like the Babcock Nature Preserve for research and study. 
  • Art studios: Enjoy space to get creative. Our campuses host numerous studios dedicated to media like painting, ceramics, printmaking, woodworking, and photography. 

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Sample Courses

  • Website Development 
  • Architectural History 
  • Energy Systems & Sustainability 
  • Anthropology of Food & Ethnocuisine 

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