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General Studies, AA

Online Associate of Arts in General Studies

The University of La Verne’s online Associate of Arts in General Studies program provides a thorough and adaptable introduction to the liberal arts, exposing students to a range of college-level subjects in the process.

From here, the knowledge gained sets them up for the rigors of completing their bachelor’s degree at La Verne or to enter the workforce with strong written and oral communication skills and problem-solving abilities. For adults eyeing an advanced degree, the online format also allows for some flexibility in completing the general education courses required for most bachelor’s degree programs.

Ideal for those interested in exploring a range of subjects before committing to a single career or degree path, the online Associate of Arts in General Studies covers a range of introductory courses across multiple disciplines: Written and Spoken English (Public Speaking Optional), Fine Arts and the Humanities, Natural Science, and the Social Sciences. After completing half of their credits in lower-level division courses, students allot the rest toward electives and higher-level subjects in a selected major.

La Verne strives to deliver a strong general education foundation regardless of major, and this online associate degree reflects our mission. Through all coursework, students:

  • gain the knowledge, skills, and attitude essential for success in the 21st century
  • develop the ability to think creatively and critically and apply these skills not just in the workplace but also toward solving local, national, and global issues
  • learn to express themselves and argue their point of view through oral and written communication methods
  • become effective leaders while learning to work well in team settings
  • become committed, engaged community members who understand their ethical, environmental, and social responsibility in the world

Flexible Online Format

La Verne Online specifically designed its AA in General Studies program to fit your schedule, helping you gain the necessary skills to advance in your educational goals:

  • All courses are scheduled asynchronously.
  • Courses involve regular projects and weekly assignments, with opportunities for collaboration facilitated through the Learning Management System and Blackboard.
  • Online students have the option of enrolling in courses in person at campuses where the program is offered: Bakersfield and Naval Base Ventura County.
  • Online students have access to the same support services as on-ground students via phone, video conferencing, or on-campus meetings, including personalized academic advising, financial aid counseling, library resources, study abroad programs, the Academic Success Center, the Sara and Michael Abraham Center for Veteran Student Success, the Career Center, and other support programs.


La Verne divides the online Associate of Arts in General Studies into two portions. Thirty (30) semester hours covering eight (8) courses are devoted to lower-division subjects across four (4) key disciplines. The other 30 semester hours combine electives and courses for a selected area of study; among this portion, at least 12 semester hours must be earned at La Verne and include a minimum of 18 semester hours in General Education.

La Verne accepts up to 40 semester units of transfer credits toward an online AA in General Studies, however, students must also fulfill the 20 semester unit residency requirement. Depending upon the number of semester hours taken per semester, the online Associate of Arts in General Studies may be completed in as few as nine months.

Introductory Courses (30 Semester Hours)

The degree’s introductory portion includes eight courses (2–4 semester hours each) covering at least six units from the four subject areas below.

Course Title Units
Written Communication A 1 course
Written Communication B 1 course
Oral Communication 1 course
Quantitative Reasoning 1 course
Creative Expression 1 course
Humanities 1 course
Natural World (Life or Physical Science) 1 course
Social Sciences 1 course

Fine Arts and the Humanities

Courses include literature, philosophy, religion, mass media, history, art history, and foreign language topics. In the process, students learn to analyze, evaluate, and interpret a diverse canon of works in terms of their historical context, the process of creation, and the human condition, and create their own across written, verbal, and performance media.

Social Sciences

Psychology, sociology, economics, political science, and anthropology subjects offer an introduction to elementary social science methodology. After completing these courses, students should have gained the knowledge to speak about the effects societal institutions have on groups, individuals, and organizations.

Natural Sciences

Physical and life sciences courses cover the field’s basic scientific principles, including general concepts, discovery, and processes. Outside of the classroom, students should be able to see the multifaceted roles science and technology play in society and the environment.

Written and Spoken English

Written and oral communication skills and quantitative abilities make up the foundation for the General Education curriculum, as well as all bachelor’s degree courses offered at La Verne. This group of introductory courses emphasize effective spoken and written communication and hone in on mathematics-based quantitative reasoning.

Electives (30 Semester Hours)

Toward the completion of the online Associate of Arts in General Studies, you need to think about what you would like to do with your degree. Most continue down the path toward a bachelor’s degree, and at this juncture, those considering this next step are advised to speak with an academic advisor regarding their electives and choice of major. After the completion of an online associate degree, students ideally pursue a bachelor’s degree at La Verne and have these credits applied to their field of study.

Application Requirements

To apply to the online Associate of Arts in General Studies at La Verne, you will:

  • complete an online application
  • verify completion of your high school education with a diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate
  • send your official transcripts
  • provide certificates of prior completed coursework, if applicable

Ready to Apply?

La Verne’s online associate’s degree program starts year round; join the next cohort today!

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