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Golden Gate University

Liberal Studies, Associate of Arts

Put your dream school within reach and save over $20,000 on your path to a bachelor’s degree vs. the national 4-year average tuition. (Source: IES/NCES Digest 2021 Table 330.10)

Degree features

Approximate length

2 years

Designed to be affordable - 1/3 the national college tuition average. No surprise costs.

Course credit cost





Professional Certificate

College without limits

You don’t have to know your destination to get ahead. This 100% online, career-focused program is designed to help you develop transferable skills for any career and save money on your path to a bachelor’s degree. In 2 years, you’ll save over $20,000 compared to the national average for 4-year schools. (Source: NCES IPEDS, Student Financial Aid 2020-21)

This interdisciplinary program will give you a taste of (and knock out prerequisites for) a broad selection of popular college majors, from the sciences to the humanities. You’ll gain valuable skills in business, communication, analysis, and critical thinking that you can apply in any future career. Plus, within your first year, you’ll bank your progress and boost your resume with the professional certificate of your choice.

You’ll get everything you’ll need to succeed—and none of the nonsense of traditional college. No hidden fees. No boring Zoom lectures. No rigid schedules. Just the life-changing education you deserve.

Within 2 years, you’ll:

  • Earn an accredited associate degree from GGU

  • Earn your choice of professional certificate from top companies like Google, Meta, and Intuit

  • Earn 60 transferable credits from GGU

Golden Gate University


For over 120 years, GGU has been offering career-advancing degree programs, and is ranked as America's #1 School for Adult Learners (Source: Washington Monthly). As a nonprofit university, their goal is to make high-quality education available to everyone who wants it. Degrees+ graduates with a 2.5+ GPA are guaranteed acceptance into GGU bachelor's programs.

Degrees accredited by

WASC - Accrediting Commission for Schools

Degrees+ now enrolling for the January 2024 term

Priority deadline: October 24, 2023

Start my application

Built-in Professional Certificates

Develop career-building skills that you can put to work.

  • Career
    certificate by

    IT Automation with Python

    Learn how to use Python to automate common system administration tasks and apply automation at scale.

    $80,000+ Median pay for system administrators

    Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • Career
    certificate by

    Project Management

    Discover how to manage projects efficiently and effectively, using traditional and agile methods.

    $73,000+ Median salary in project management

    Source: Burning Glass

  • Career
    certificate by

    Sales Operations

    Learn the fundamentals of Customer Relationship Management and how to effectively leverage data through reports and dashboards.

    $72,000+ Average salary in sales operations

    Source: Glassdoor

  • Career
    certificate by

    UX Design

    Learn the foundations of UX design, including empathizing with users, building wireframes and prototypes, and conducting research to test your designs.

    $92,000+ Median salary in UX design

    Source: Burning Glass

  • Career
    certificate by

    Social Media Marketing

    Learn how to grow an engaging social community and run effective advertising across all the major social media platforms.

    $50,000+ Average salary in social media marketing

    Source: Glassdoor

  • Career
    certificate by

    IT Support

    Learn the foundations of networking and operating systems and how to solve problems using code.

    $52,000+ Median salary in IT support

    Source: Burning Glass

  • Career
    certificate by

    Data Analytics

    Learn job-ready skills that are in demand, like how to analyze and process data to gain key business insights.

    $74,000+ Median salary in data analytics jobs

    Source: Burning Glass

  • Career
    certificate by

    Sales Representative

    Learn how to generate and nurture leads, then analyze the effectiveness of your sales tactics and customer service with data reporting.

    $66,000+ Average salary for sales representative jobs

    Source: Glassdoor

  • Career
    certificate by

    Digital Marketing & E-Commerce

    Learn to manage digital marketing campaigns, attract and engage customers, and sell products online.

    $51,000+ Median salary in digital marketing and
    Source: Burning Glass

High quality. Low cost.

Institution Annual Cost Annual Cost with full Pell Grant* Professional certificate
Golden Gate University Degrees+ Powered by Outlier $6,370 $0 From top companies like Google
Arizona State University (ASU) Online $16,830 $9,435
Penn State World Campus $15,054 $7,659
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) $9,900 $2,505

Think you can’t afford college? Think again.

  • Low Tuition

    No surprises

    Maximize your aid and benefits with all-inclusive tuition that’s over 50% less than the national college average.


    Professional Cert: $399/credit

  • Transfer credits

    Save time and money

    Transfer credits from up to 5 institutions for previous courses, military, or work experience. Level up in as little as 8 months when you transfer the maximum 45 credits.

    Up to 45 credits

  • Financial aid

    Grants and loans

    1 in 2 Americans qualify for Pell Grants large enough to fully fund their Degrees+ tuition.

    $0 cost to you

    if eligible for full Pell Grant funding

Learn more

Forget everything you know about online college.

  • Futuristic learning, today

    Experience cinematic on-demand lectures and interactive evidence-based learning tools (no textbooks) to help keep you moving forward.

    Learn on your own schedule, with lectures and course materials available 24/7, plus weeklong exam windows.

    We’ve hand-picked brilliant and approachable lecturers from top schools like MIT, NASA, and Harvard, so you know you’re getting the best education possible.

  • We’ve got your back

    Need support?

    Your personal Advisor will help you stay on track. 1:1 tutoring is included with all math and writing courses, and instructors will make themselves available for regular office hours to discuss anything on your mind. Plus, each course includes discussion channels for classmates to ask and answer questions, discuss the material, and network.

  • Everyone learns differently

    So we built evidence-based tools to support all kinds of learners:

    • Adjustable playback speed: Speed up or slow down lectures like your favorite podcast app.

    • Searchable transcripts: Search for a word or topic and jump right to that chapter.

    • Mastery grading: Take quizzes up to 5 times and pick your best score.

    • Guided notes: We’ve pre-taken lecture notes so you can focus on the lecturer, not your notepad, but we’ve left a few key details blank. (It’s proven to help you retain what you learn.)

Key Courses

  • College Writing I

    1st term

    College Writing I

    Unlock the power of words.
  • Intro to Psychology

    1st term

    Intro to Psychology

    The science of the mind.

  • Intro to Sociology

    4th term

    Intro to Sociology

    Explore the fabric of society.
  • Intro to Microeconomics

    4th term

    Intro to Microeconomics

    Why small choices have big impact.
  • Intro to Astronomy

    4th term

    Intro to Astronomy

    Our universe, explored.

  • Intro to Philosophy

    5th term

    Intro to Philosophy

    The big questions, examined.
Request info

Learn from the best

  • “I became a teacher because at some point I was a student and I had teachers who changed my life. They taught me that ideas matter and that I could find my voice and could make a mark.”

    John Kaag, Ph.D.

    Also teaches at UMass Lowell

    College Writing I, Intro to Philosophy

  • “The thing I really love about being a sociology professor is that I see sociology around me all the time. Getting to live in the world that I study, it's really thrilling to me.”

    Shamus Khan, Ph.D.

    Also teaches at Princeton University

    Intro to Sociology

  • “I think astronomy can teach us a lot about who we are as people and what our place not only in the larger universe is, but our relation to each other as well.“

    Michelle Thaller


    Intro to Astronomy

Frequently asked questions

  • Yes, we’re serious about seriously affordable education. That’s why Degrees+ is purposefully priced at just $6,370/year, which is well below the full Pell Grant of $7,395. With tuition this low, it opens up 3 paths to fully funded college:

    1. Federal financial aid (including Pell Grants available to those who qualify—1 in 2 Americans do)

    2. Employer education benefits (including Guild and Amazon Career Choice)

    3. Military education benefits (including the GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program)

    If you’re eligible for any of these benefits, you could earn your degree through Degrees+ and pay $0 out of pocket.

    Plus, Degrees+ tuition includes everything you need. No textbooks. No hidden fees. No nonsense. Because we believe the true cost of college should be transparent and planning for college should be simple.

    So far, we’ve saved our students millions of dollars in tuition fees. Let’s see how much we can save you!

  • Yes, you'll be able to complete courses anywhere in the universe with Wi-Fi and a laptop or desktop computer. (You can stream lectures in our iPhone app, but you'll need a computer to complete the rest of your courses.) Learn on your own schedule with streaming pre-recorded lectures and interactive course materials available 24/7, plus weeklong exam windows so you can choose the time that’s right for you.

  • All US students age 13 or older with a high school diploma or equivalent (GED, CHSPE) are eligible to apply, except for residents of: Alabama, Arkansas, D.C., Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, US Commonwealths (Puerto Rico, Upper Mariana Islands), and US Territories (Guam, American Samoa, US Virgin Islands). We also welcome international students (with TOEFL or equivalent).

    If you’re looking to develop valuable, transferable skills that you can apply to any future career, or save time and money on your path to a bachelor’s degree, this program is for you.

    Applying is simple: no SAT/ACT needed, and no interviews. Complete your application in just 15 minutes, and get a response in less than 2 weeks!

  • We’re all about flexibility. If you’ve got a need for speed, you can go from orientation to graduation in as little as 20 months full-time (with no breaks). If part-time study is more your speed, the program could take 2-4 years to complete. Our enrollment counselors can help you map out a schedule that meets your goals and fits your life. No matter what you choose, your advisor will help you stay on track to graduate by your goal date.

  • We have 3 terms a year (each 15 weeks long), starting in Spring, Summer, and Fall. Be sure to apply by the deadline for each term.

  • We make it easy for you to transfer credits, so you can pick up where you left off. Golden Gate University will accept up to 45 transfer credits to count toward the associate degree, including 12 credits for previous military service or work experience. Our enrollment counselors will help you track down your transcripts from up to 5 institutions and ensure you get the most transfer credits possible.

  • Yes, degrees from Golden Gate University are fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and nationally recognized by the US Department of Education.

    Accreditation matters! It shows that schools are providing high-quality learning and demonstrating continual self-improvement. And it means the credits you earn will have a higher level of acceptance at other schools across the US, so you have more options for the next step on your academic journey.

  • Absolutely. Every school approaches the transfer process a little differently, but rest assured, Outlier-earned college credits have successfully transferred to hundreds of institutions, including Harvard, NYU, and many more. No matter where you decide to go next, we’re here to advise you, advocate for you, and guide you through the entire process.

    If you'd like to continue at Golden Gate University, we make it even easier. With a Degrees+ GPA of 2.5 or higher, you're guaranteed acceptance into any GGU bachelor's degree program—and you’ll get a 30% tuition discount! Your close family will be eligible for a 20% discount on undergraduate and graduate degree programs too.