General Studies (A.A.)

General Studies (A.A.)

general studies

Develop skills in problem-solving, communication and cognition — vital to a lifetime of learning and as a foundation for continued study in any bachelor's degree program

What is general studies?

Rather than focusing on a specific course of study, general studies provides students with a well-rounded set of core courses in a variety of areas. General studies provides breadth and flexibility, making it an ideal choice for students who want to explore their academic options.

Why choose general studies at UNH Manchester?

The A.A. in general studies at UNH Manchester allows you to tailor your academics to your specific interests by combining the foundations of a liberal arts education with a wide variety of elective courses. This program offers a foundation for continued study in any major while developing your problem-solving, communication and cognitive skills—all of which are vital to a lifetime of learning. This program fulfills the first two years of a baccalaureate program, preparing you to seamlessly transfer into a bachelor’s degree program at UNH Manchester should you choose to pursue one.

Potential career areas

  • Arts and humanities
  • Business
  • Education
  • Finance
  • Public service
  • Sales and marketing

Request Information


Curriculum & Requirements

The associate of arts in general studies offers students academic flexibility in a program that combines the foundations of a liberal arts education and elective courses that satisfy personal interests. The A.A. in general studies is the first two years of a baccalaureate program, and all 400-level courses transfer to and fulfill the University's Discovery requirements. Students who earn an A.A. in general studies have a foundation for continued study in any major while they develop problem-solving skills, cognitive skills, and learning techniques that are vital to a lifetime of learning. Many students begin their college study in the A.A. general studies program. Depending on personal interests and academic goals, students may choose to apply to a baccalaureate degree program prior to completion of the A.A. degree.

To graduate with an associate of arts degree in general studies, students must complete 64 credits, earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0, and fulfill two types of requirements: University Discovery Program and degree requirements. The program includes nine courses from the Discovery Program curriculum. Working with their advisors, students enhance their program of study with elective courses where they can explore their interests and possible baccalaureate degree majors. The last 16 hours of credit must be UNH courses completed following admission and matriculation, unless permission is granted to transfer part of this work from another institution.

Course Requirements

Discovery Foundations
Two writing-intensive courses, one of which must be:8
ENGL 401
First-Year Writing
One course in quantitative reasoning (must be completed within the first 32 credits)4
One Inquiry or Inquiry attribute course (must be completed within the first 25 credits)4
Discovery Categories
Two courses from two of the following categories (one must be a lab course):8
Biological Science
Physical Science
Environment, Technology, and Society
One course in Historical Perspectives4
One course in World Cultures or Fine and Performing Arts4
One course in Social Science4
One course in Humanities4
Completion of the Interdisciplinary Core Requirement (may also fill the Humanities category requirement)4
HUMA 411
Humanities I
or HUMA 412
Humanities II
Elective courses20
Total Credits64

For more information, contact the Office of Admissions at (603) 641-4150 or

Explore Program Details

The Engineering Access Program (EAP) is a cooperative effort of shared resources between UNH Manchester, NHTI and the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (CEPS) at UNH in Durham. EAP gives students a path to a UNH bachelor of science degree in physics or chemical, civil, electrical or mechanical engineering through a two-stage, articulated transfer process.

UNH Manchester students enter their freshman year as an 'undeclared' bachelor's degree candidate or an associate in arts in general studies candidate. During freshman year, most program requirements are completed at the Manchester campus, with potentially some courses at NHTI in Concord. Upon completing all freshman course requirements and satisfying required achievement standards, students can transfer to their desired CEPS program and complete their sophomore, junior and senior years at the university's Durham campus.