Academic Catalogs

Cosmetology, Associate in Arts Degree

Banner code: 2_AA_COSM
Financial aid: Eligible 

The general Cosmetology program consists of a minimum of 1600 hours of training to provide entry level skills to students who desire a career in the cosmetology profession. Students will develop expertise in the science and techniques of hair, skin makeup and lab experience in cosmetology.

Upon completion, the student is eligible to take the California State Board examination to become a Licensed Cosmetologist.

Students in this program must maintain a minimum grade of C (2.0 GPA) in all courses in order to advance to the next level in the program. In addition to the 1600 hours, the student will include general education requirements to receive the Associate in Arts degree.

The program is offered as a full-time, day-only program. Students attend classes Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Student attendance is mandatory.

English-speaking and comprehension skills are critical to success as well as safety in this program. Students with inadequate English proficiency may be dropped from the program until adequate proficiency is achieved.

The Cosmetology Department has established standards of conduct and personal grooming. Additionally, there are attendance policies that must be adhered to by all students enrolling in the program. For further information regarding requirements, contact the Cosmetology Office.

State law requires that students be at least seventeen years of age and have a valid social security number or an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) when applying for the California State Board examination.

Material Costs

The Cosmetology Department Office will provide information about the required uniform, shoes and material fee which covers the cost of the cosmetology kit. Kits must be purchased with cash, money order or cashier check only. No credit cards or personal checks accepted.

Students with Previous Hours in Cosmetology Option

Students with previous hours completed in another cosmetology program MUST provide proof of training of the completed hours to the Cosmetology Office upon acceptance to the program. Students will be required to enroll in Level 1 and must maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher in all Cosmetology courses before moving to the next level. Transfer hours are not to exceed 450 hours and will not be added to hours earned in the GWC Cosmetology Program until the student completes all required hours and operations in Level IV. Transfer students are not eligible to pre-apply.

Potential careers students may enter upon completion are as follows:

  • Beauty Salon
  • Self-employed Cosmetologist
  • Personal Care Services
  • Resorts
  • Cruise Ships
  • Nursing Homes and Retirement Communities
  • Military Bases
  • Public Institutions
  • Hospitals
  • Prisons
  • Educational Instructors
  • Beauty Salon Managers/Directors
  • Beauty Salon Owners
  • Trichologist
  • Celebrity Hairdresser
  • Sales Hair/Wig Products
  • Video/Television
  • Film Print Commercial Photo Shoots
  • Distributors and
  • many other Entrepreneurial avenues.

Program Level Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Perform, practice, and demonstrate all areas of cosmetology while observing the safety and sanitation rules set forth by the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.
  2. Pass the written and practical California State Board of Cosmetology Licensure Examinations.
  3. Demonstrate the skills necessary to build and maintain an ongoing clientele in the cosmetology salon environment and industry.
  4. Use good moral conduct and good work ethics within the cosmetology industry.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of cosmetology industry requirements regarding resumes, hiring, and keeping records of business transactions.

Associate Degree Graduation Requirements

(See GWC website for the most up-to-date information on Associate Degree Requirements.)

  1. Completion of General Education Requirements by one of the following methods:
    1. Completion of a minimum of 18 units as listed under Areas A through E, including the Cultural Diversity Requirement.
    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.
  2. Completion of a Major or Area of Emphasis—a minimum of 18 units.
  3. Completion of additional elective units to a total of 60 units.
  4. 2.0 overall Grade Point Average at GWC and 2.0 overall Grade Point Average for all colleges attended.
  5. At least 12 units completed at GWC.

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.

Course Title Units
Required Courses
COSM G021Cosmetology, Level I10.5
COSM G022Cosmetology, Level II10.5
COSM G023Cosmetology, Level III9.5
COSM G024Cosmetology, Level IV8
COSM G025Cosmetology, Level V8
Major Total46.5
GE Pattern (Local, CSU GE-Breadth, or IGETC)18-39
Total Units60