General Studies (A.A.)

Program Overview

This 60-credit program has been designed to provide both breadth and sufficient depth in the liberal arts at the associate degree (A.A.) level. Only 12 semester hours are allowed to be taken outside of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Students whose long-range goal is a bachelor’s degree should consult with an advisor in the College of Continuing Studies to determine the transferability of this program to one of the baccalaureate degrees offered by Rider.

Curriculum Overview

The flexible curriculum is designed to enable students to choose from a myriad of academic disciplines. Choosing an emphasis or concentrated area of study allows students to explore a specific discipline in depth.

Admissions Requirement

  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended with a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA

Degree Offered

  • A.A. in General Studies


Boris Vilic
Dean, College of Continuing Studies
Bart Luedeke Center

Program Website: A.A. in General Studies
Associated College: College of Continuing Studies

Liberal Studies Core
LIB 200Intro to Liberal Studies 13
Basic Core
CMP 120Expository Writing3
CMP 125Research Writing3
COM 104Speech Communication3
Quantitative Course Elective 23-4
Information technology 33
Areas of Knowledge
Historical Perspective6
Artistic and Intellectual Perspective6
Contemporary Perspective6
Natural World3-4
Students select a concentrated area of study from a liberal arts department. An appropriate introductory course from a department may be included. Students are encouraged to consult a CCS advisor to select an emphasis15
Free Electives
Free elective hours may be taken in any department, provided the student meets the requirements imposed by the department offering the course.6
Total Credits60-62

LIB 200 is waived for students who transfer 30 or more credits in Liberal Arts.


The quantitative skills requirement can be met by successfully completing one course in college-level mathematics or statistics. For students who don't transfer such a course to Rider, popular offerings include MTH 102 Finite MathematicsMSD 104 Intro to Quantitative MethodsMSD 105 Quantitative Methods for BusinessMSD 200 Statistical Methods IMSD 201 Statistical Methods II, POL 230 Methods of Political Analysis, PSY 105 Introduction to Research in Psychology, PSY 201 Statistics and Research Design, and other math courses approved by an advisor.


The information technology requirement may be fulfilled by completing CIS 185 Information Systems Essentials. Students who possess sufficient computer experience can gain credit for CIS 185 through assessment.

LIB 200 Intro to Liberal Studies 3 Credits

Introduces students to the various perspectives and methods of the disciplines in liberal studies: natural and social sciences, humanities, and the arts. Students learn the multifaceted questions and answers offered by each discipline. They study the historical development of the university and the rise and transformation of liberal studies disciplines.

CMP 120 Expository Writing 3 Credits

Students will increase their competence in the critical reading of challenging college-level texts that engage significant ideas and in writing effective essays that advance a clear and meaningful thesis while demonstrating understanding of those texts. The second of the department’s three-course composition sequence,

Prerequisite(s): SAT EBRW score greater than or equal to 550 and SAT or.

CMP 125 Research Writing 3 Credits

Introduces students to the process of library research and documented writing. Emphasis will be on the refinement of critical reading, thinking, and writing strategies applied to multiple sources and documented papers.

Prerequisite(s): CMP 120 or BHP 100.

COM 104 Speech Communication 3 Credits

Examines basic communication principles and strategies of public speaking. Various genres of oral communication are studied, with an emphasis on extemporaneous and impromptu forms of delivery. Students research, prepare, and deliver speeches that are then used as the focal point for the discussion of effective speaking and listening. A number of speeches are videotaped. Students who received credit for COM 104S may not take this course.