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General Studies


General studies programs provide instruction in general arts and sciences.

General studies programs teach people about various major fields. Students may major in general studies without choosing a more specific major.

General education programs include topics such as:

General studies programs are designed for students who want to attend college but do not feel ready to declare a major. Some schools require general studies majors to select a different major after two years. At many schools students may earn a degree in general studies.


Most community colleges offer associate degree programs in general studies. An associate degree program usually takes two years of full-time study.

Many colleges and universities offer a bachelor's degree in general studies. A bachelor’s degree usually takes four years of full-time study to complete.

See schools that offer this program.

Related Educational Programs

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate programs that lead to a master's or doctoral degree typically include:

Things to Know

Some programs offer specific career preparation that they supplement with core education requirements.

Others programs offer gradually advancing core education requirements, and allow students to develop an area of emphasis.

For most people, general studies are a good way to get oriented to college and explore other majors by completing general requirements first.


East Side Area

Big Bend Community College

Central Washington University

Walla Walla Community College (Clarkston)

Walla Walla University

Wenatchee Valley College

King-Snohomish Area

Bellevue College

Cascadia College

City University of Seattle

Columbia College - Naval Station Everett/Marysville

Edmonds Community College

Everett Community College

Everett Community College (East County Campus)

Highline College

North Seattle College

Northwest University

Seattle Pacific University

University of Washington - Seattle

Kitsap Area

Brandman University - Whidbey Island

Olympic College

Olympic College (Poulsbo Campus)

Spokane Area

Gonzaga University

Tacoma Area

Tacoma Community College

University of Washington - Tacoma

Vancouver Area

Clark College

West Side Area

Centralia College

Columbia College - Whidbey Island

Grays Harbor College

Lower Columbia College

Northwest Indian College

Olympic College (Shelton Campus)

Peninsula College

Skagit Valley College

South Puget Sound Community College

Western Washington University