General Degree Requirements

Associate In Arts Degree & Associate In Science Degree

The awarding of an Associate Degree is intended to represent more than an accumulation of units. It is to symbolize a successful attempt on the part of the College to lead students through patterns of learning experiences designed to develop individual capabilities and insights.

Among these are the ability to think and to communicate clearly and effectively both orally and in writing; to use mathematics; to understand the modes of inquiry of the major disciplines; be aware of other cultures and times; to achieve insights gained through experience in thinking about ethical problems; and to develop the capacity for self-understanding. In addition to these accomplishments, the student shall possess sufficient depth in some field of knowledge to contribute to lifetime interest.

Central to an Associate Degree, General Education is designed to introduce students to the variety of means through which people comprehend the modern world. It reflects the conviction of colleges that those who receive their degrees must possess in common certain basic principles, concepts and methodologies both unique to and shared by the various disciplines. College educated persons must be able to use this knowledge when evaluating and appreciating the physical environment, the culture and the society in which they live. Most importantly, General Education should lead to better self-understanding.

Graduation from Skyline College with the Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree requires the completion of at least 60 units, including requirements A through F as outlined on the following pages. Substitutions and waivers for degree requirements may be authorized by petition to the appropriate Division Dean. An application for the degree must be filed in the Office of Admissions and Records within the last two semesters of attendance (refer to calendar for the college year for deadline dates).

Philosophy Of General Education

The General Education Program at Skyline College provides a scope and depth of learning that empowers students to meet the work, life, and global citizenship challenges of the 21st century. The Program fosters and develops the essential knowledge, skills, and values students need to succeed in an interdependent world of daunting complexity and relentless change. It is the foundation of life-long learning. Students gain broad knowledge of science, cultures and society; a wide range of high-level intellectual and practical skills; a strong sense of ethical and social responsibility; and the ability to integrate and apply the knowledge, skills, and values acquired in general education to new settings and complex problems and challenges. The General Education Program values and prioritizes broad, diverse perspectives, cross-disciplinary learning, intellectual curiosity, critical and creative inquiry, and the importance of engaging big questions, both contemporary and enduring.

Graduation Requirements Student Catalog Rights

Graduation requirements are listed in the Catalog. Each Catalog covers an academic year that reflects enrollment beginning with the fall term and includes subsequent spring and summer terms. Having “catalog rights” means students are held to the graduation requirements listed in the catalog at the time enrollment begins. Students may choose to use catalog rights for any subsequent year of continuous enrollment. For Cañada College, College of San Mateo and Skyline College, catalog rights apply to enrollment in any of the San Mateo County Community College District colleges.

For the purpose of this policy, “continuous enrollment” means attending at least one term (fall, spring, summer) each academic year. Attendance is required through the fourth week of instruction for semester length classes or thirty percent (30%) of summer classes and semester classes that are shorter than the full semester.

Catalog rights gained at a college outside of the San Mateo County Community College District are not applicable at Cañada College, College of San Mateo or Skyline College.

Catalog rights cannot supersede any State or Federal regulation or requirement in effect at the time of graduation.


Please note:

  • Skyline College issues a new catalog every academic year. New programs may be introduced and course requirements for specific majors may change from one catalog to the next. 
  • Regardless of catalog rights, a course may be used to satisfy a general education requirement if it was approved for the general education area at the time the course was successfully completed and the course complies with Title V requirements.
  • Catalog rights do not apply to admissions requirements for programs that require a special application (ie. Anesthesia Technology, Automotive Technology, Barbering, Cosmetology, Esthetician, Respiratory Care (AS/BS), Surgical Technology)
  • Skyline College may authorize or request substitutions for discontinued courses.