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Degree Overview: Associate of General Education (A.G.E.) Degree

Majors Overview February 3, 2014

Students are expected to stay within college guidelines when selecting courses, but they are not required to choose a specific concentration for their coursework. Students can use these programs for career improvement, self-enrichment, or preparation for four-year degree programs.

Associate of General Education (A.G.E.)

Students who want a broad knowledge of various subjects such as science, history and English would benefit by enrolling in the Associate of General Education (AGE) degree program. Coursework is not restricted to training students in a single area of knowledge but is devised to impart broad general knowledge to students and increase their potential of completing a four-year postsecondary degree program. Program criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.


Coursework in an Associate of General Education degree program has dual goals: students are allowed to pursue their academic interests and goals while simultaneously broadening their general knowledge. The registrar’s office may have to approve the chosen courses of every student while the degree program is still in an incipient stage.

Although AGE coursework required to be completed by them is devised to be open-ended, students are commonly provided guidance in considering various topics relevant to a broad approach to education. Often, coursework in these programs includes such requirements as the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. Courses may include topic areas such as:

•English composition
•Computer science
•Public speaking
•Music appreciation
•Art history
•Life science

Job and Wage Info

Students may wish to continue their education beyond the Associate of General Education degree program by enrolling in a 4-year degree program. Alternately, students may seek to enter the workforce in various fields immediately on completion of the associate’s degree. In 2007, associate’s degree graduates in the workforce earned an average annual wage exceeding by about $10,000 that earned by high school graduates.

Continuing Education Choices

Students may choose to transfer credits earned in a two-year associate’s degree program to a four-year institution to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program. However, not all AGE degree programs allow such transfer of credits though they may permit the transfer of specific course credits. Before deciding on such transfers, students should consult with the registrars of the institutions in which they are enrolled as well as those of the schools to which they wish to transfer to. Students can devise their own general education curriculum while enrolled in a four-year AGE degree program.

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