Academic Catalogs

Associate Degree

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

Golden West College awards the Associate of Arts (AA) and the Associate of Science (AS) Degree to students who have met all the requirements 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.

  1. General Education: Students may choose to complete one of the following options to satisfy general education requirements for the degree: 
    1. Completion of a minimum of 18 units as listed under the GWC AA General Education requirements
    2. Completion of a minimum of 39 units of CSU General Education requirements.  Students who complete this pattern are also eligible to receive the Certificate of Achievement in CSU General Education Breadth.
    3. Completion of a minimum of 34 (UC) or 37 (CSU) units of Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) requirements.  Students who complete this pattern are also eligible to receive the Certificate of Achievement in IGETC.

Students should consult a GWC counselor in order to select the best pathway to meet their educational goals.  For students who intend to transfer, the choice of general education will be specific to both their major and transfer institution.

  1. Major or Area of Emphasis
    A major or area of emphasis is designed to gain competency and knowledge in a particular field or subject area. Majors and areas of emphasis can be found in the catalog under the Career and Academic Pathway section. 
  2. Diversity Requirement (GWC AA/AS only)
    Courses that meet this requirement are designated in the general education pattern with an asterisk (*) and may concurrently meet the general education or major/emphasis requirements. 
  3. Unit and Grade Requirement
    60-degree applicable units must be completed to earn the Associate Degree with a 2.0 grade point average in all coursework completed. At least 12 units must be completed at Golden West College. Units earned at a regionally accredited college or university may be applied to the unit total. 
  4. Mathematics competency.
    1. Mathematics assessment / multiple-measures placement recommendation of Mathematics G100 (Liberal Arts Mathematics) or higher. *NOTE: Self Placement does not satisfy this requirement for graduation.
    2. Completion of Intermediate Algebra in high school with a grade of “C” or better.  
    3. Completion of one college course in mathematics with a grade of “C” or better at the Math G030, G040, or G080 level or higher.
    4. A score of 3 or better on AP Statistics, AP Calculus AB, Calculus BC, or a score of 50 or better on CLEP College Algebra, College Algebra – Trigonometry, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, or Calculus exam, or a score of 4 on IB Mathematics HL.

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 www.goldenwestcollege.edu for a listing of required courses for each Area of Emphasis or Major.