General Studies Degree
A general studies degree is a degree that covers a broad range of basic college classes covering that which is usually, the arts, mathematics, and sciences. This program of study allows students to pursue careers in a number of fields without specializing in one particular college education field. With this option, students may work on their education while making decisions about other fields of study or disciplines of study, allowing them to transfer credits at a later date. Students will also be required to take elective courses with general studies degrees, and some colleges require that individuals also add certain emphasis with honors courses, such as a specific science or technology, to their course loads.
Most programs of this nature have a wide range of general college subjects that have been mastered and these subjects are generally subjects in the arts and humanities, math and various sciences and social sciences. While most honors courses require credits from each of these subjects, a general studies degree will be a degree that is earned by credits accumulated in these subjects. When a student is not sure of what direction they desire that their careers or lives take, getting started towards general studies degrees allow them to get started on their education and even have a learning path planned. Later, if a student decides on a specific field or honor's degree, the student can easily transfer their credits to another program or plan.
With some colleges that offer students a general education diploma, some honors work is required. Students may have the option of obtaining a general studies degree in science or history. Other disciplines are available as well. With this option, the student is required to take courses in the field of chosen study, but for only a minimum of credits. This can help a student experience the discipline, and get a feel for their future choices. Most four- year education plans that offer general studies degrees will take less college credit hours than honor's degrees. There are some programs that can be completed at an associate, or two year, level.
Before deciding on what degree or field of study to pursue, a student should be sure and speak with academic counselors. It is vital to research what credits and work are required for each field of interest. If someone is unsure and seeking several options, then investigating the school of choice's general studies degrees options can provide some insight. A general studies degree can offer good jobs, a great education, and personal growth. Making the decision to pursue this or another program can be difficult, so it is important to seek God's guidance. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1). God will provide answers to make the choice much easier for a student.
A general degree is usually an Associate of General Studies that is offered by colleges and junior colleges to those who wish to enter a non-specified program or to get a broad base of education. With most schools offering general degrees, it usually requires fewer credit hours than specified or honor degrees. Obtaining one might be a good option for anyone who is unsure of the direction they wish to take with their education and careers, allowing ample time to gain an education and discover their interests. This may be awarded from colleges or learning institutions with credits that are specified towards a specific discipline of study.
There is a certain amount of general education required from most colleges and universities. These studies can cover a broad range of subjects from science to language arts. These credits then are applied to most degrees offered, and students spend much of the first two years of school in these studies. However, there is a general degree course of study, that is available to those who have not yet specified a field or who are not wanting to yet determine a course of study. These educational options can allow a student to get the basic education needed, and transfer credit to a chosen major at a later date when a specific discipline for study is decided upon.
Some general programs will allow for credits to be added that come from a variety of disciplines that can count towards a field of study, should the student decide to specify a course of study and obtain it later. Other colleges may require that certain professional or technical credits be added to a general course of study. Most colleges will require less credit hours to complete this option than a bachelor's honors degree program requires. Some junior colleges offer an Associates in general degrees and some colleges offer a four year program for a general degree program.
If a student is not sure of the direction they want their education to take them, then investigating this option could be recommended. In most cases, credit hours will transfer to an honors program or to a major course of study. However, it is always up to a student to determine what credit can and will transfer into the programs they foresee in their futures. Students wanting to investigate general degrees should meet and discuss their plans with academic counselors first, to ensure that they are on the best possible course for completing their education. "Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding" (Proverbs 2:5-6).
Liberal Arts DegreeLiberal arts degrees are the product of an evolved collegiate system that started its revolution in the mid-19th century, and which have become a popular choice for college students today desiring a well-rounded education. The original structure of early colleges focused on the ancient and classical languages and mathematics as the core education for students of a higher education. The liberal arts degree of today has made its way past the rigid structure of that sole importance on languages, mathematics and religion, which fulfilled the triune needs of the antiquated system.
The need to expand the breadth of knowledge offered within colleges became evident when the Morrill Act of 1862 was passed. This federal land grant set aside plots of land in each state for the purpose of building colleges teaching the sciences of agriculture and mechanics along with the classical arts. The old-school system did not see this advent of that liberal arts degree education as a serious threat to their traditional security nor did they expect it to last. However these "A&M" institutions were granted additional federal funds to keep them afloat until their enrollment numbers began to rise.
By the 1890's, the university became another option to the traditional college. The programs to attain liberal arts degrees were more broadly defined to include other courses of study that strayed more so from the classical and primarily religious philosophical intents of the college, and the technical nature of the "A&M's." The liberal arts degree proposed by universities was intended to develop students into more well-rounded men with character able to provide social service response to their communities. With their new education, the evolving students of the late 19th century were able to discover an education that proved of interest to them instead of the strictly religious studies of the colleges.
The timespan of 1880 thru 1917, called the "Age of the University," saw the commencement of such universities as Princeton and Bucknell, both of which promoted their acceptance of these programs as their goal. As policies began to tighten, and higher education became subject to being approved by a governing body, colleges embraced the hope to eliminate the degree by the structured approval system. However, they experienced a backlash when those same policies began to ask the college institution system to reduce its program to a two-year system. For them, this meant the universities were handed the means to control graduate level studies in their format of liberal arts degrees.
Today's program offers a broad base of education that can include religion and mathematics, but also has expanded to include medicine, music and art, literature studies, communications, management, accounting, human relations and sociology, business, recreation, teaching, and many other options of study. The modern liberal arts degree promotes an open mind to new ideas and innovations and stresses the attainment of job skills that are immediately usable. They are seen as pathways to opportunity of service to others instead of hallowed halls of tradition to one's own benefit. "Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning" (Proverbs 9:9).
A postgraduate degree is defined as achieving a level of academic expertise that is above and beyond that of a graduate or otherwise known as master degree; it is commonly referred to as a maters or doctoral degree. Postgraduate degrees are offered in almost any field of study imaginable. They can be obtained through a traditional college classroom setting or via online or home correspondence study. Completing a masters or doctoral program signifies that an expert level of knowledge in a particular area has been achieved, giving the individual a advantage in the industry. Those completing doctoral programs are commonly referred to as doctors or have the initials PHD after their name. College professors are frequently required to have earned postgraduate degrees prior to instructing at an institution of higher education.
Salaries are usually significantly increased for those who hold one or more advanced degrees. Employers are impressed by this advanced level of education, although caution should be taken because a job opportunity may be lost due to perceived over qualification. A common question about obtaining postgraduate degrees is whether or not the prospective student must have a bachelor and master degree prior to enrolling in a postgraduate degree program. The answer is a surprising no. Some doctoral students are not lower level degree graduates, but some institutions do require these degrees for admission into a doctoral program.
Over a third of postgraduate university students do not have degrees, yet are enrolled in postgraduate degree program fields as unique as management and environmental studies, business administration and paralegal studies. Many of these entrants have a third way of obtaining the qualifications to earn a diploma. This is common among growing professions such as nursing, where many are opting to convert experience or continuing education credits acquired in hospital-based training to university-level credentials. Some postgraduate degrees specify that those with a 'degree or equivalent' will be considered.
Christians that are contemplating earning an advanced degree from a seminary school also have a tremendous amount of options available. While enrollment qualifications are much stricter in seminary school by requiring a specific amount of community service hours, a record of tithing, and an interview with the pastor of a church that has been attended for a minimum number of years, a great deal of knowledge can be gained from attending a postgraduate seminary school. Christians interested in serving their community and their congregation, if called by God to pursue their education to this advanced level of education, can truly benefit from obtaining an advanced degree in any given subject area. "A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength" (Proverbs 24:5).