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General Studies

If you are just beginning your college journey, the Associate of Arts in General Studies offers foundational coursework in communication, history, art, literature, mathematics, science and Bible. Each subject is taught in the context of a Christian worldview and faith and learning are integrated into every class.

Course of study

For those who have never attended college, you can anticipate earning your associate's degree in approximately 32 months by attending class just one night a week. Students with previous college or technical training often transfer in prior credits and may complete the program sooner. If you choose to continue your studies you will be eligible to move directly into one of Northwestern’s adult undergraduate degree completion programs.

The Associate of Arts in General Studies coursework below meets Northwestern’s general studies requirements for Written Communication (6 credits), Oral Communication (3 credits), Humanities (6 credits), Science & Mathematics (8 credits), Social Science (8 credits), Bible (14 credits) and Electives (15).

Associate of Arts Coursework (60 credits)
ANT2049 Anthropology (3)
ART1009 Art Appreciation (3)
BIA1009 Spiritual Living and Discipleship (2)
BIA2119 Bible Study Methods (2)
BIA2129 World Evangelism Theory and Methods (2)
BIB1009 Old Testament Studies (2)
BIB1019 New Testament Studies (2)
BIB2229 Jesus in the Gospels (4)
ECO2209 Concepts of Economics (3)
ENG1109 Composition (4)
ENG2209 Critical Thinking and Writing (2)
HIS1009 Issues and Problems in the History of the Western World (4)
LIT1109 Introduction to Literature (3)
MAT1009 Liberal Arts Mathematics (4)
PHI2009 Survey of Philosophy (3)
PSY1009 General Psychology (4)
SCI1029 Environmental Science (4)
SOC1039 Sociology (4)
SPE1079 Public Speaking and Communication Fundamentals (3)
STS1019 Adult Learner Success Strategies (2)

For course descriptions see the Graduate & Continuing Education Catalog. Courses subject to change.

Print resources

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General Studies
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You won't regret it


Julie started her Northwestern adult undergraduate experience in her 40s. She had only two college credits to bring into the program and was essentially starting from scratch. She’ll earn her Associate of Arts in General Studies in December 2013 and has greatly enjoyed her experience.

“They truly care about you and want you to succeed,” Julie said of her Northwestern professors.” If you ask for help, they will help.” She encourages anyone thinking about going back to school, “Don’t let any one thing become the fear or the block that stops you from doing this. Just do it. You won’t regret it.”

Is a General Studies degree for you?

If you have zero or few college credits, taking the first step toward your college degree is a great move. An associate's degree in general studies will provide a broad base of knowledge and excellent preparation for you to continue in a specifc area of study that interests you.

Meet our General Studies faculty: