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Associate of Arts in General Studies

Aug. 21, 2024

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Choose Any Career You Want

WVU Potomac State College’s online Associate of Arts in General Studies allows you to achieve the goal of earning a degree, whether that degree alone allows you to advance professionally or is a milestone on the way to a bachelor’s and possibly a master’s degree. While pursuing this degree you will acquire in-demand skills in writing, critical thinking and communication. You can tailor the elective courses within the degree to match your personal and professional interests. Now, more than ever, employers are looking to distinguish between job applicants. An associate’s degree in General Studies will give you the foundation for many career paths and can speed up your professional advancement in many fields.

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Program Details

The online Associate of Arts in General Studies degree offered by Potomac State College of WVU is an affordable pathway to your first 60 credits – or all your general education (GEF) requirements – and it can lead to any career you want.

The degree encourages you to explore, discover and develop your special aptitudes and interests and to reach beyond your own perceived limitations.

You will acquire the knowledge, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, teamwork and social skills needed to support your immediate educational goals and life-long learning and are ever important in a world characterized by quick change and ever-evolving technology and ideas. These are valuable skills for professional advancement whether you are already in the workplace, or if you are just starting your educational journey.

You may also choose to obtain the Associate of Arts in General Studies to help you advance professionally in your career. You can use it as a starting point before you declare another major or move into a four-year program after completing the two-year degree.

The Associate of Arts degree is specifically designed for transfer to baccalaureate degree programs at WVU, but the undergraduate course work could also transfer to degree programs at other four-year institutions.

The degree can be the foundation for a four-year degree in a specific major or for the WVU Multidisciplinary Studies degree, which enables students to earn a bachelor’s degree by following an individualized course of study based on their own academic interests and goals.

Students in the Associate of Arts degree program must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours of required and elective courses. You may use credits earned at other institutions and the 12 hours of electives can also be used toward a minor of your choice.

More information on the recommended sequence of courses may be found in the Advisement Sheet.

Download Advisement Sheet Find an Admissions Counselor

Associate of Arts in General Studies Admission Requirements

Potomac State has a rolling admissions policy, which means that you should receive our decision within a few weeks after we receive your application and required materials. We recommend that you apply as early as possible. Students can be admitted in the fall, spring or summer terms.


Bradley Brandon
Admissions Counselor
(304) 788-6860

To apply to Potomac State College as a first-time freshman, please complete the following steps:

  1. Send official transcripts of your previous high school work to Potomac State College. Also send official transcripts of any college work you have completed.
    Send transcripts to:
    Office of Enrollment Services
    WVU Potomac State College
    75 Arnold Street
    Keyser, WV 26726
    Order through Parchment
    For questions, please contact us at:
    (304) 788-6820
    Toll Free: 1-800-262-7332
  2. ACT and SAT scores are used to determine scholarship awards and for placement in math and/or English classes. Although they are not required, if you have taken the ACT and/or SAT, you are encouraged to send the scores to Potomac State College. SAT school code: 5539; ACT school code: 4529; TOEFL code: 5539. Note: If you do not submit these scores, you may be required to take a math and/or English placement test.
Students Who Have Taken the TASC, GED or HiSET

For students who have taken the TASC, GED or HiSET after their anticipated high school graduation date, please submit the WVU Potomac State College application for admission and contact the State Department of Education to request that scores be mailed to the Office of Enrollment Services. Score requirements:

  • Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) - score of 500 on each of the five subtest categories
  • General Equivalency Degree (GED) - average standard score of 2250 (450) or above
  • HiSET exam - minimum score of 45

Scholarship Eligibility

To learn more about scholarship availability and eligibility requirements, visit Scholarships.

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Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

Financial aid is available. Students are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine their eligibility for federal and state funds as well as scholarships. WVU’s FAFSA Code is 003827.

The tuition rate per credit hour listed above is for the 2024-2025 academic year. Tuition and fees increase beginning in the fall term of each academic year.

Tuition and fees are usually not the only educational expenses you may have while pursuing a degree. You may have other costs such as books, supplies and living expenses. Please see the Estimate Costs and Aid webpage for how to estimate and plan for other potential expenses.

Your Future in General Studies

This major serves a three-fold function: (1) to provide an opportunity to examine the general areas of higher education and assist in choosing a major field of concentration; (2) to serve as a program that, through appropriate elective courses, can be adapted for the specific requirements of any four-year college to which a student transfers; and (3) to provide a career curriculum for a student who does not plan to continue in a four-year program.

The Benefits of Choosing Our Program

Upon successful completion of the A.A. degree, General Studies majors will have completed all general education program requirements. The GEF works to fulfill the University’s goals of (1) creating well-rounded students with a broad base of skills and knowledge, (2) linking together the courses that students take at WVU, and (3) instilling in students a permanent connection to learning and education, giving them the skills to learn what they need outside a formal educational environment. The GEF strives to help students be thoughtful participants in a democratic society, and to achieve the intellectual integration and awareness they will need to adapt to changes and meet challenges in their personal, social, and professional lives.

Career Outlook for AA in General Studies

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment in the following occupations from 2021-2031 is expected to grow much faster than average.

  • Diagnostic medical sonographers
  • Health information technologists and medical registrars
  • Medical equipment repair
  • Various assistant positions (occupational, paralegal, physical, etc.)

Please use this link to view a list of courses that meet each GEF requirement.

NOTE: Some major requirements will fulfill specific GEF requirements. Please see the curriculum requirements listed below for details on which GEFs you will need to select.

General Education Foundations

Course Title Credit Hours
F1 - Composition & Rhetoric
ENGL 101 & ENGL 102 / or ENGL 103
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research / Accelerated Academic Writing 3-6
F2A/F2B - Science & Technology 4-6
F3 - Math & Quantitative Reasoning 3-4
F4 - Society & Connections 3
F5 - Human Inquiry & the Past 3
F6 - The Arts & Creativity 3
F7 - Global Studies & Diversity 3
F8 - Focus (may be satisfied by completion of a minor, double major, or dual degree) 9

Total Hours: 31-37

Please note that not all of the GEF courses are offered at all campuses. Students should consult with their advisor or academic department regarding the GEF course offerings available at their campus.

Curriculum Requirements

Course Title Credit Hours
GEF Requirements 28
ENGL 101 & ENGL 102 Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research (GEF 1) 6
WVUE 191 First Year Seminar 1
Electives 25

Total Hours: 60

Frequently Asked Questions

What will I be able to do after earning this degree?

The General Education Foundations (GEF) provides students with academic and intellectual breadth to appreciate the broad context of their actions, their choices, and their world, beyond their major field(s) of study. WVU aims to help students build the foundational skills and knowledge necessary to reason clearly, communicate effectively, think critically, and contribute to society.

Is an associate degree in General Studies worth it?

Ultimately, the worth of an associate degree in general studies will depend on your individual goals and aspirations. It's important to carefully evaluate your own circumstances and consider how this degree aligns with your long-term objectives before deciding.

How long will it take to complete an associate degree in General Studies?

The time it takes to complete an associate's degree can vary depending on several factors, including the specific program, the number of credits required, and whether you are attending full-time or part-time. On average, however, it typically takes about two years of full-time study to complete an associate's degree.

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