Academic Catalogs

Esthetician, Associate in Arts Degree

Banner code: 2_AA_ESTH
Control number: 11440
Financial aid: Eligible 

The Esthetics Program consists of one-semester with a minimum of 600 hours of training to prepare the student for a career in skin care. The student will learn bone structure, chemistry of products, skin analysis, use of packs and masks, electric modalities, corrected makeup, and correct use of products. Upon completion, the student is eligible to take the California State Board examination to become a Licensed Esthetician. 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 600 hours, the student will include general education requirements to receive the Associate in Arts degree. The program offers 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 esthetician kit. Kits must be purchased with cash, money order or cashier check only. No credit cards or personal checks accepted.

Potential careers students may enter upon completion are as follows:

  • Esthetician
  • salon or day spa esthetician
  • medical aesthetician
  • makeup artistry
  • camouflage therapy
  • manufacturer’s representative
  • salesperson or sales manager
  • cosmetics buyer
  • esthetics writer or beauty editor
  • travel industry (cruise ships)
  • educator
  • skin care company owner
  • product development
  • mobile esthetician
  • state licensing inspector or examiner
  • and State Board member

Program Level Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Evaluate and assess the skin care regime for the client.
  2. Obtain basic knowledge and information to pass the State Board Examination thru continued assessment by instructors, by completing State Board assignments and procedures in the prescribed time and passing with a 75% or greater.
  3. Analyze, evaluate and demonstrate skills necessary for a successful career as an Esthetician, including proper hygiene and good grooming, professional ethics, customer relations and general salon management practices.

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 G071Esthetics - Level 110.5
COSM G072Esthetics - Level 210.5
Major Total21
GE Pattern (Local, CSU GE-Breadth, or IGETC)18-39
Total Units60

Recommended Program Sequence

These sequences are general course maps for students to finish all major and general education requirements for two-year completion of degrees, completion of short-term certificates, and/or fulfillment of transfer requirements. However, this may not be an appropriate path for all students.  The two-year sequence is based on English and Math placement and meeting other course prerequisites. Students are advised to meet with a GWC Counselor to review course selections and sequences to ensure that completion of this program will meet a student's transfer and career goals.

Year 1:

Course Title Units
Semester 1
COSM G071Esthetics - Level 110.5
COSM G072Esthetics - Level 210.5
Course Title Units
Semester 2
ENGL G100Freshman Composition ^4
Area E: Lifelong Understanding and Self-Development or Area A: English Language, Area B: Natural Sciences, Area C: Arts & Humanities, Area D: Social & Behavioral Sciences3
Elective coursework for a total of 6 units6

Year 2:

Course Title Units
Semester 3
Area C: Arts & Humanities course3
Area D: Social & Behavioral Sciences course3
Elective coursework for a total of 3 units3
Select one of the following or satisfy Math competency (completion of Algebra 2 in High School with a "C" or better):
MATH G030Intermediate Algebra4
MATH G040Accelerated Elementary and Intermediate Algebra5
MATH G080Pre-Statistics5
If Math competency is satisfied, take Elective coursework for a total of 3 units.3
Course Title Units
Semester 4
Area B: Natural Sciences course3
Cultural Diversity requirement #3
Elective coursework to reach a minimum of 60 units6-8
Total minimum units required60