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Available program formats: Online: AGS In class: AGS

Columbia College Associate in General Studies

Customize your learning experience with a general studies degree.

Expand your horizons with a two-year adventure in gathering knowledge

To plan this two-year degree, students and their advisors collaborate to choose courses. Students choose six courses from across the nine goal areas (ethical reasoning, civic engagement, creative thinking and experience, global awareness, environmental stewardship, human experience, communications competence, reasoning in natural science and reasoning in mathematical science). Then, working with an advisor, students select additional courses from across the College based on their interest.

Upon graduation, students will have demonstrated that they have the skills and knowledge needed for employment in industries ranging from education to hospitality to business.

Choose courses from these goal areas:

  • Effective communication strategies
  • Ethical decision making
  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Mathematical and scientific thinking

Keep your long-term goals in mind when planning this degree

An Associate in General Studies degree demonstrates that you have the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in the 21st century – and that you have the self-discipline and organizational abilities to succeed in the workplace. Because you have determined the focus of your studies, you can tailor your education to your long-term career goals.

Having a two-year college degree is beneficial to employment in many industries. It also prepares you for continued education, such as a bachelor’s degree.

Bachelor's vs. Associate: What's the difference?

Associate degree programs focus primarily on general education and can typically be completed in two years. Graduates are prepared to either enter the workforce or transition into a bachelor's program. Bachelor's degree programs provide advanced study in a specific subject area and can increase career opportunities.

Columbia College Global offers traditional classroom instruction for many courses at nationwide locations. Students at nationwide locations are expected to engage with multiple learning methods, including online and virtual while completing their degree. Columbia College offers on-campus programs with traditional classroom instruction at the Residential Campus in Columbia, Missouri.

Cutout portrait of Ann Schempler teaching in the General Studies Associate program.

Dr. Ann Schlemper

" Many [students] come into a lot of our developmental math courses ... thinking 'I hate math' or 'I've never been good at math. I'm never going to understand math' and then for them all of a sudden a light comes on and they are able to say 'oh, I can do this' and that's what keeps me teaching. "

Read about Ann
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Find your path

Submit this form to get information about applying to Columbia College.

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Questions about admissions? Call the main line.

Main line: (573) 875-8700

Want to know more about our programs? Contact the department.

Department phone: 573-875-7625
Office: STC 207

Your degree starts here Take these courses

Available program formats

  • Core requirements 27-31 credit hours
  • Total degree requirements 60 credit hours

Some courses you may take