Academic Catalogs

Associate Degree

Associate in Arts (AA) and Associate in Science (AS) Degrees

Associate Degrees are commonly conferred by community colleges. This degree is awarded at Golden West College to students who have satisfactorily completed a program of study with a specific major or area of emphasis and completed the application for graduation. The associate degree is normally completed in two years and has one of two major purposes. Either the program of study prepares the individual for transfer to a four-year college or university or the program of study is intended to prepare the student for immediate employment. The requirements for the associate degree include the specific courses in the major or area of emphasis and courses comprising the general education or breadth requirement.

The Major or Area of Emphasis required for an AA/AS Degree focuses on a student’s desire to obtain a degree or to transfer to a four-year institution. A minimum of 18 units of coursework in a focused area is required for a Major and a minimum of 18 units of generalized coursework in an area is required for an Area of Emphasis. Either of these, completed along with the General Education Requirements and a minimum of 12 units in residence at GWC meets the AA Degree requirements. All Majors and Areas of Emphasis offered by Golden West College go through the State approval process.

Major and Area of Emphasis Student Learning Outcomes: Demonstrate skills, abilities, and knowledge in a particular area of aptitude or study.

Major and Area of Emphasis Requirements: Minimum of 18 units of study with all coursework for the Major or Area of Emphasis being completed with a grade of “C” or better.

Major and Area of Emphasis Courses: See a GWC counselor or the GWC website at for a listing of required courses for each Area of Emphasis or Major.