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Virtual Campus » Programs » Associate of Arts in General Studies (AA)

Online Associate of Arts in General Studies

The accelerated associate degree program allows students with little to no college credit to complete an Associate of Arts in General Studies within six semesters.

An AA in General Studies provides a solid foundation for professional development. Students who graduate from this program may go on to pursue careers in any number fields. However, with a focus in business, this program is also a perfect stepping stone to USF's online bachelor's completion program. For students who choose to pursue their Bachelor in Business Administration, the transition will be seamless.

If you've completed less than 48 college-level credits or this is the first time you'll be taking college courses, and you would like to obtain your degree, this is a great place to start!

Admissions Criteria

Applicants to the AA in General Studies program must meet the following criteria:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • A cumulative GPA of 2.0 on prior college coursework, although none is required
  • One year of full-time work experience
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) may be required for applicants whose native language is not English

*There is no minimum age requirement for this program.

To apply for the Online AA in General Studies program, students must:

  • Submit online application for admission
  • Submit official high school diploma or GED
  • Submit official transcripts from all previously attended colleges, if any
  • Submit a resume

*Note: Transcripts are official only if sent directly to the Office of Admissions from the registrar of the institution attended.

Program Outline

60 credit hours total. All courses are three credit hours offered in 8 week, fully online format.

  • ICON 200 - Intro to Virtual Franciscan Education
    • iConnect is a course that connects students to the university, the community, and Catholic and Franciscan spiritual and intellectual traditions. Through an exploration of the university’s Franciscan Values and its liberal arts tradition, students will become connected to the university’s unique mission and values while sharpening skills that will ease the transition to college-level study.
  • ENGL 101 - Rhetoric and Composition
    • Principles and techniques of expository writing, and the fundamentals of grammar, usage, mechanics and style are reviewed in preparation of writing documented research papers.
  • COMM 121 - Fundamentals of Public Communication 
    • Fundamental concepts and skills for effective public speaking, including the preparation and delivery of informative, persuasive, entertainment and group presentations, will be covered.
  • MATH 122 - College Algebra 
    • Solve and graph linear, rational, irrational and quadratic equations, systems of equations, while solving real-life problems and learning operations with exponents and polynomials.
  • THEO 106 - Prayer and Worship
    • Explore the fundamentals of Christian prayer and worship. Biblical, psychological, historical and liturgical bases for prayer and ritual; prayer traditions, seasons and spaces; and celebrations of Word and sacrament will be emphasized.
  • BUS 200 - Business and Professional Communication
    • Focus on oral and written communication with attention to settings often encountered in business and the professions. Elements of writing professionally, use of presentation software, voicemail and email use will be covered.
  • HIST 106 - US History II
    • This course provides a general introduction to the political, social, economic, cultural and intellectual development of the United States, from 1865 to present.
  • SOCI 101 - Introduction to Sociology
    • Theoretical paradigms, methods of inquiry and analytical tools of sociology will be introduced while students develop the critical thinking skills necessary to actualize the sociological imagination.
  • ART 105 - Introduction to Visual Arts
    • Key concepts about visual arts will be introduced and art from diverse cultures will be studied in order to develop visual and cultural literacy.
  • SCIE 235 - Energy: Science and Sustainability
    • Provides a scientific basis for successful energy practices that range from household applications to the larger world view of national energy needs. Students will develop skills and vocabulary that will enable them to critique, from a scientific perspective, the many possible energy alternatives. Hands-on activities will be used to further develop understanding. Topics will include global users and suppliers of energy, application to home energy efficiency, and large scale energy production including comparisons of traditional and non-traditional sources: solar, wind, nuclear, carbon-based and others.
  • CHEM 101 - Introductory Chemistry
    • A focus on the basics of chemistry, the language, formulas, equations, and fundamental theories. Applications and examples of chemistry “in action” demonstrated. No credit awarded toward a science degree.
  • ENGL 153 - Introduction to Literature
    • Study literature by genres including short story, poetry, drama and the novel, while learning the principles of criticism. Writers from various countries will be featured.
  • BUS 240 - Personal Finance
    • Survey investment principles, portfolio construction, security valuation and financial markets, and examine the definition of investment objectives and the likely risks and gains associated with security investments.
  • SOCI 135 - Introduction to Race and Ethnicity
    • This course introduces students to the sociological study of race and ethnicity, especially in the US. Examine ethnic and racial stratification, related inequalities, and how ethnic and racial groups are imagined, constructed, identified and represented.
  • POLI 102 - American Government and Politics
    • This course provides an introduction to American government and politics with an emphasis on constitutionalism, political parties, interest groups, elections, policy processes and issues, and problems in contemporary government.
  • SCIE 291 - Concepts of Science
    • Explore science and its way of knowing. Original writings of scientists who have contributed to the central theories of astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, geology and nuclear physics are studied.
  • RELI 210 - Religions East and West 
    • Nature and dynamics of religion and its expressions. Study of major eastern and western religions in their history, beliefs, practices, and impact.
  • PSYC 121 - General Psychology 
    • Principles and methods in hte field of psychology, including differences, personality, behavior, disorders and therapy, psyiological and psychological effects of drugs, measurement, learning and motivation.
  • HUMN 263 - Death and Dying
    • Examines current attitudes toward death and dying. Explores the impact of cultural differences on death and dying. Presents the ethical principles involved in problem solving moral issues for patients, families and healthcare professionals. Analyzes current ethical dilemmas related to death and dying. Explores spiritual support for the dying patient and the patient’s family. Examines how different Christian and non-Christian religions view death and the afterlife. Investigates interdisciplinary care by caregivers.

Graduation Requirements

The following requirements must be completed to graduate with an Associate of Arts in General Studies from USF:

  • A cumulative GPA of 2.0
  • Courses specified in the program of study, either by USF coursework or transfer of equivalent credits

Contact Us

If you have questions about getting started in our online Associate of Arts in General Studies program, please let us know by contacting admissions.