General Studies | Affordable path to 4-year degree
Associate of Science

General Studies

Earn a Degree

Program Overview

Program Overview

Earn a degree

  • Career-oriented students are prepared for beginning positions in a wide range of jobs and careers that involve strong critical thinking, analytical skills, and clear communication abilities. 
  • For students interested in pursuing a bachelors in
       biology, chemistry, communication, geology, languages, mathematics, philosophy, or physics,

      the requirements for NVCC's General Education allows students to transfer seamlessly to most four-year colleges and to successfully complete a bachelor's degree in these programs without loss of credit or time. Many CSCU Pathway Transfer Degrees are available for the above areas as study as well. Click on the program name to learn more about the area of study.

Earn a certificate 

Technical Communication certificate prepares and empowers you to be an effective communicator with the ability to write and speak about technical subjects to co-workers, management and customers. This certificate is focused on working adults who have a desire to improve their technical communication skills. A unique feature is the five-course duration, allowing the student to complete the program in a few semesters. Courses carry college credit and are offered in the evening for the convenience of working students.

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Explore Your Own Educational and Professional Pathways

General Studies offers students the opportunity to explore their own educational and professional pathways and discover the benefits of lifelong learning. Choose from a wide range of electives and your associate degree program to meet your needs. Each semester, you'll meet with program advisors who will assist you in course selection and keep you on track for graduation.

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Certificate Programs

The certificate in technical communication prepares and empowers you to be an effective communicator with the ability to write and speak about technical subjects to co-workers, management and customers. At almost every level of employment, business and industry are seeking employees who can communicate technical information to others. Most jobs call for writing skills to prepare correspondence, instructions, charts, graphs and proposals in order to explain, illustrate and convince. Workers also need to speak well enough to explain procedures, communicate with customers and to teach others.

This certificate is focused on working adults who have a desire to improve their technical communication skills. A unique feature is the five-course duration, allowing the student to complete the program in a few semesters. Courses carry college credit and are offered in the evening for the convenience of working students.

General Studies Areas of Study

Areas of Study You Can Further Pursue with an Associate Degree in General Studies

Whether you desire a rigorous background for a degree in the sciences, a foundation for healthcare careers or an excellent liberal arts education, our biology courses provide you with opportunities to learn in a student-centered environment.

You'll get hands-on laboratory and field experiences using investigation methods and experimental techniques that reflect the current state of biological science.

A CSCU Pathway Transfer Degree in Biology is available.

The field of chemistry is a central discipline in the understanding of natural phenomena and the creation of products useful to humanity. Chemists are at the forefront of exciting research in medicine and environmental technologies, such as fuel cells. It is because of this key role in emerging research that the employment prospects for chemists in the coming years are good. Students interested in immersing themselves in challenging problems at the forefront of science should consider majoring in chemistry.


A CSCU Pathway Transfer Degree in chemistry is available.

Communication as an academic field relates to all the ways we communicate.

"The field of communication focuses on how people use messages to generate meanings within and across various contexts, cultures, channels, and media. The field promotes the effective and ethical practice of human communication." (Natcom)

A CSCU Pathway Transfer Degree in Communications is available

Geology is the study of the Earth, the materials of which it is made, the structure of those materials, and the processes acting upon them. It includes the study of organisms that have inhabited our planet. An important part of geology is the study of how Earth’s materials, structures, processes and organisms have changed over time.

Geologists work to understand the history of our planet. The better they can understand Earth’s history the better they can foresee how events and processes of the past might influence the future.

An Environmental Science degree may be an area of interest for you as well.

You may be required as part of your degree program to study a modern language and if so, you're in luck!

Learning a language is fun and can provide a shared interest when you meet people from different cultures. Plus, learning a second language can increase your chances of finding a new job or getting a promotion.

If you're interested in pursuing a language during your bachelor's degree, you'll find a variety of languages to start with here at NVCC.


CSCU Pathway Transfer Degrees in French, Italian, and Spanish are available.




Do you have a knack for math? Maybe you love the victorious feeling of cracking a word problem or the challenge of solving quadratic functions and parametric equations. Whatever your arithmetic pleasure, there are a variety of courses at NVCC that can take you as far as you're ready to go.

Even if you only have to take math as part of your general requirements, you'll find that small class sizes, knowledgeable professors and variety of classes offered will help prepare you for your next career or educational step.

A CSCU Pathway Transfer Degree in mathematics is available.

The study of philosophy is concerned with the fundamental questions of being human.

    What is the nature of our relationship as human beings to the world and to one another?
    What is the nature of the physical universe?
    What is beauty? What is truth? Are human beings free to act? What is a moral decision? What is reality?

The study of philosophy nurtures intellectual curiosity through philosophical inquiry and encourages students to become thoughtful and reflective thinkers. The study of philosophy asks that students raise questions about truth, reality, and values—personal, cultural, and societal.

To think philosophically and analytically, students must learn to use basic, logical reasoning skills. The philosophy department at NVCC emphasizes the philosophical archetypes from the Pre-Socratics to the present in order to encourage the development of logical-reasoning and critical-thinking skills. The study of philosophy develops the ability to analyze various modes of discourse. Students develop the ability to identify and construct arguments. In addition, students are encouraged to develop personal philosophies in order to determine their own sense of truth and reality.

It is also an excellent background if you want to continue on to a four-year school or eventually earn a degree in law or public administration. Interested in the subject but not sure if you want to earn a degree? NVCC offers a number of philosophy courses to help you test the waters while earning flexible credit towards a bachelor's degree.

Briefly defined, physics is the science that tries to understand the laws of nature and the relationship between energy and matter.

It might be more appropriate, however, to define physics as a way of thinking rather than as a profession. The field of physics trains students to take a logical, problem-solving approach in whatever situations they might find themselves. Physics students explore concepts and methods of science that can be applied in many different professional areas and research topics.

Some of the better-known careers for physics majors include academic and industrial research, electronics, alternative energy development, communications or the vital area of medical physics. Physicists are in demand for their analytical skills in many financial, fund management and research roles, in law, as weather forecasters, computer programmers, and as physics and science teachers.

A CSCU Pathway Transfer Degree in physics is available.

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Academic & Transfer

Transfer options are available for students who choose this course of study.  Talk with your advisor.

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