Associate of General Studies (AGS)

The purpose of the Associate of General Studies (AGS) degree is to provide students an opportunity to pursue a broad general education during the two years at a community college. It is intended as a flexible program for the student who is not pursuing a specified curriculum in the lower division transfer or career technical areas. The AGS degree may, in addition to including the number of hours in the divisional areas as listed below, include courses in lower division collegiate transfer and career technical education. Because of the flexibility and broad approach of this degree, a student may find that it may not fulfill all of the requirements of full junior standing when transferred to a four-year institution.

This flexible degree option enables a student to complete an associate’s degree that is tailored to the general education requirements of the transfer school. Students must exercise caution in using the AGS option, as the degree does not guarantee transferability of courses completed. Educational planning for the AGS should be done with the help of an advisor.

Graduation Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 90 credit hours of specified courses with a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or better. Twenty-four (24) credits must be completed at Southwestern before the degree is awarded. In addition to the General Education Requirements and the Distribution Requirements, students must complete enough elective courses to reach a total of 90 credits for the degree. All courses must be numbered 100 or above to counts toward an AGS degree.

Students must complete the graduation application process one term prior to the term of completion (e.g., spring term graduates must apply during winter term).

General Education Requirements


Eight (8) credits of writing are required, so choose two (2) courses from below. Information Literacy will be included in the writing requirement:

WR121ZComposition I4
WR122ZComposition II4
or WR227Z Technical Writing


One (1) course in speech:

COMM100ZIntroduction to Communication4
COMM111ZPublic Speaking4
COMM218ZInterpersonal Communication4
COMM219Small Group Discussion4


One (1) course of college-level mathematics from MTH105Z Math in Society or higher, excluding MTH211 Fundamentals of Elementary Mathematics I.

Health, Wellness, and Fitness

Three (3) credits of PE185 sport/activity or choose one (1) three-credit course from HE250 Personal Health or PE231 Wellness for Life.

Distribution Requirements

Arts and Letters

Three (3) courses from:

Note:  A second-year foreign language may be included, but not a first-year foreign language.

ART115Basic Design I Intro to Elements of Art and Principles of Design4
ART116Basic Design II, Color Theory4
ART117Basic Design III, Intro to 3D Desgn4
ART131Introduction to Drawing I3
ART132Introduction to Drawing II3
ART133Introduction to Drawing III3
ART191Beginning Sculpture3
ART192Beginning Sculpture3
ART204History of Western Art: Introduction to Art History3
ART205History of Western Art: Introduction to Art History3
ART206History of Western Art: Introduction to Art History3
ART244Bronze Casting3
ART253Ceramics I3
ART256Ceramics II3
ART281Painting I Beginning3
ART282Painting II Beginning3
ART283Painting III Beginning3
ART284Painting I Intermediate3
ART285Painting II Intermediate3
ART286Painting III Intermediate3
ASL2012nd Yr American Sign Language I4
ASL2022nd Yr American Sign Language II4
ASL2032nd Yr American Sign Language III4
COMM100ZIntroduction to Communication4
COMM111ZPublic Speaking4
COMM218ZInterpersonal Communication4
COMM219Small Group Discussion4
COMM220Gender And Communication4
ENG104ZIntroduction To Literature: Fiction4
ENG105ZIntroduction To Literature: Drama4
ENG106ZIntroduction To Literature: Poetry4
ENG107World Literature3
ENG108World Literature3
ENG109World Literature3
ENG204Survey of English Literature3
ENG205Survey of English Literature3
ENG206Survey of English Literature3
ENG253Survey of American Literature3
ENG254Survey of American Literature3
ENG255Survey of American Literature3
HUM204World Mythology & Religion3
HUM205World Mythology & Religion3
HUM206World Mythology & Religion3
MUS101Music Fundamentals3
MUS111Music Theory I3
MUS112Music Theory II3
MUS113Music Theory III3
MUS201Intro to Music and its Literature3
MUS202Intro to Music and its Literature3
MUS203Intro to Music and its Literature3
MUS205Intro to Jazz History3
MUS206Intro to History of Rock and Roll3
MUS211Advanced Music Theory I3
MUS212Advanced Music Theory II3
MUS213Advanced Music Theory III3
PHL101Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophical Problems3
PHL103Intro to Logic and Critical Thnkg3
SPAN201Second Year Spanish4
SPAN202Second Year Spanish4
SPAN203Second Year Spanish4
WR241Imaginative Creative Writing Fiction3
WR242Imaginative Writing Poetry3
WR243Imaginative Writing Explorations3
TA141Acting I3
TA142Acting II3
TA143Acting Iii3

Social Sciences

Three (3) courses from:

ANTH201Physical Anthropology and Evolution3
ANTH202Introduction to Archaeology3
ANTH203Language and Culture3
ANTH221Intro to Cultural Anthropology3
ANTH222Cultural Anthropology II3
ANTH223Cultural Anthropology III3
ANTH224Intro to Medical Anthropology3
ANTH230Native North Americans: Oregon3
ANTH231Native North Americans: PNW3
ANTH232Native North Americans3
CJ101Intro to Criminology4
ED169Overview of Student Special Needs3
ED258Multicultural Education3
GEOG105Cultural Geography3
HDFS140Contemporary American Families3
HDFS222Understanding Families: Supporting Diversity Disability and Risk3
HDFS229Child Development PreK - Adolescent3
HDFS247Child Development 0-83
HST101History of Western Civilization3
HST102History of Western Civilization3
HST103History of Western Civilization3
HST104History of the Middle East3
HST195History of the Vietnam War3
HST201History of the United States3
HST202History of the United States3
HST203History of the United States3
HST240Hist of Oregon and the South Coast3
PS201American Government: Political Institutions3
PS202American Government: Policy Issues3
PS203Local Politics and Government3
PS205International Relations: US Foreign Policy in the 20th Century3
PSY100Introduction to Psychology4
PSY201ZGeneral Psychology4
PSY202ZGeneral Psychology4
PSY203General Psychology3
PSY216Social Psychology3
PSY228Introduction to Social Science Research3
PSY231Human Sexuality3
PSY237Life Span Development3
PSY239Introduction to Abnormal Psychology3
SOC204Introduction to Sociology3
SOC205Social Institutions and Change3
SOC206Social Problems and Issues3
SOC208Sociology of Sport3
SOC210Marriage and Family3
SOC213Racial and Ethnic Relations3
SOC218Sociology of Gender3

Science/Mathematics/Computer Science

Select three (3) courses with a minimum of two (2) laboratory courses in biological or physical science:

Laboratory Courses

BI101General Biology4
BI102General Biology4
BI103General Biology4
BI142Habitats: Marine Biology4
BI201Introductory Biology4
BI202Introductory Biology4
BI203Introductory Biology4
BI231Human Anatomy and Physiology I4
BI232Human Anatomy and Physiology II4
BI233Human Anatomy and Physiology III4
CHEM221General Chemistry I5
CHEM222General Chemistry II5
CHEM223General Chemistry III5
ENV235Introduction to Soil Science4
G201Physical Geology I4
G202Physical Geology II4
G203Historical Geology4
GS104Physical Science4
GS105Physical Science4
GS106Introduction to Earth Science4
NR260Watershed Processes4
PH201General Physics I: Mechanics5
PH202General Physics II: Heat, Waves, Relativity5
PH203Gen Physics III: Elect & Magnetism5
PH211General Physics with Calculus I5
PH212General Physics with Calculus II5
PH213General Physics with Calculus III5

Non-Laboratory Courses

BI140Practical Ecology3
BI149Introduction to Human Genetics3
CHEM110Foundations of General, Organic, and Biochemistry4
CS160Introducton To Computer Science4
CS161Computer Science I4
CS162Computer Science II4
CS260Data Structures4
ENV110Introduction Environmental Science3
G221General Geology3
G246Geological Hazards And Natural Catastrophes3
MTH105ZMath in Society4
MTH111ZPrecalculus I: Functions4
MTH112ZPrecalculus II: Trigonometry4
MTH212Fundamentals of Elementary Mathematics II4
MTH213Fundamentals of Elementary Mathematics III4
MTH231Elements of Discrete Mathematics I4
MTH232Elements of Discrete Mathematics II4
MTH241Calculus for Bus and Soc Science I4
MTH242Calculus for Bus and Soc Science II4
MTH244Probability & Statistics II4
MTH251Calculus I Differential Calculus4
MTH252Calculus II Integral Calculus4
MTH253Calculus III Infinite Sequences And Series4
MTH254Vector Calculus I4
MTH255Vector Calculus II4
MTH256Differential Equations4
MTH260Matrix Methods and Linear Algebra4
MTH264Introduction to Matrix Algebra and Power Series4
STAT243ZElementary Statistics I4


  • Students may take any college-level course including career and technical education courses without limitation that would bring total credits to 90 credit hours.
  • A maximum of nine (9) credits of PE185 sport/activity courses may be applied toward an AGS degree.
  • Three (3) credits hours of PE185 may be granted toward an AGS degree for completion of military basic training.  A copy of the military transcript or DD-214 is required.
  • Courses numbered 199/299 will qualify as elective credit only.

Supportive Courses

Note: The College has determined that the following supportive courses may be necessary to assist students to successfully complete their program; they count as electives only.

CIS120Concepts of Computing4
CIS125WWord Processing Applications Microsoft3
HD100College Success and Survival3
HD102College Nuts and Bolts1
HD111Math Success2
HD112Study Skills3
HD113Stop Test Anxiety Now1
HD152Stress Management2
HD208Career/Life Plan3

A maximum number of 45 credits is allowed for basic, developmental, or supportive courses under federal financial aid guidelines.

Students graduating from Southwestern with a two-year degree are expected to have gained the knowledge, skills and attitudes (dispositions) and to demonstrate competency for the following institutional general learning outcomes:

Arts & Letters

  • Interpret and engage in the Arts & Letters, making use of the creative process to enrich the quality of life; and
  • Critically analyze values and ethics within a range of human experience and expression to engage more fully in local and global issues.


  • Use appropriate mathematics to solve problems; and
  • Recognize which mathematical concepts are applicable to a scenario, apply appropriate mathematics and technology in its analysis, and then accurately interpret, validate, and communicate the results.

Science or Computer Science

  • Gather, comprehend, and communicate scientific and technical information in order to explore ideas, models, and solutions and generate further questions;
  • Apply scientific and technical modes of inquiry, individually, and collaboratively, to critically evaluate existing or alternative explanations, solve problems, and make evidence-based decisions in an ethical manner; and
  • Assess the strengths and weaknesses of scientific studies and critically examine the influence of scientific and technical knowledge on human society and the environment.

Social Science

  • Apply analytical skills to social phenomena in order to understand human behavior; and
  • Apply knowledge and experience to foster personal growth and better appreciate the diverse social world in which we live. 

Speech/Oral Communication

  • Engage in ethical communication processes that accomplish goals;
  • Respond to the needs of diverse audiences and contexts; and
  • Build and manage relationships.


  • Read actively, think critically, and write purposefully and capably for academic and, in some cases, professional audiences;
  • Locate, evaluate, and ethically utilize information to communicate effectively; and
  • Demonstrate appropriate reasoning in response to complex issues.

Information Literacy

  • Formulate a problem statement;
  • Determine the nature and extent of the information needed to address the problem;
  • Access relevant information effectively and efficiently;
  • Evaluate information and its source critically; and
  • Understand many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information.