Associate of Arts in General Business (Competency-Based)

Colleges and universities traditionally award credit for classroom hours attended, conferring degrees based on students’ completion of a certain set of courses for a given number of credit hours.  The focus of a competency-based program is on the mastery of student learning outcomes – what they know and can do – rather than on how many hours, semesters, or years a student spends in school.  A competency-based program allows students to demonstrate through assessments that they have acquired the set of competencies (levels of knowledge, skill, or ability) required for a particular degree.  Some students may have acquired much of the knowledge and many of the skills and abilities necessary for a degree through their life or previous work experience. University of Massachusetts Global’s competency-based Associate of Arts in General Business program allows students to prove their competency through assessments thereby reducing the time needed to earn a degree.

This competency-based program of study is designed to introduce students to a broad range of subjects including oral and written communication, quantitative literacy, creative and critical thinking. Fundamentals of management, leadership, economics, information technology, and marketing are integrated into the requirements of this degree as well, giving students a solid preparation for further undergraduate study at the bachelor’s level and for the baseline needs and expectations of entry and mid-level management positions in today’s corporate environment.   The program’s outcomes emphasize key intellectual skills which transcend disciplinary boundaries and which are essential for the successful college undergraduate.

The quality focus of this degree program requires students to demonstrate mastery of all competencies required for the competency-based Associate of Arts in General Business degree program. Students with leadership and management experience who are self-motivated, goal oriented, and excel at working independently are ideal candidates for the competency-based Associate of Arts in General Business degree program.


The Associate of Arts in General Business prepares students for career opportunities and advancement in a dynamic business environment.

Program Learning Outcomes
  • Written Fluency: Compose written arguments that are coherent, grammatically correct, and rhetorically aware.
  • Quantitative Literacy: Explain how calculations and symbolic operations are used in interpreting social and economic trends.
  • Communication Fluency: Deliver an effective presentation for a given audience.
  • Information Literacy: Cite appropriate and scholarly resources to address a research question.
  • Technology: Understand technology to effectively support decision making in business.
  • Consumer Behavior: Describe the principles and best practices of consumer behavior fundamentals.
  • Marketing:  Describe the principles of marketing as it applies to consumers and business.

Degree Requirements

  1. LBSC 100 Student Success Strategies: Develop a personalized student success plan by applying relevant resources and strategies.

Completion of LBSC 100 is required prior to the seventh month of competency coursework for students admitted without a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher for courses from regionally accredited institutions, and/or without twelve (12) or more transferable credits. Completion of LBSC 100 is required prior to graduation for all other students.  In addition, all students are encouraged to complete the optional ORIC 100 orientation competency prior to their seventh month of competency coursework.

2. The AA in General Business consists of three major domains:

I.  Foundation Knowledge and Skills

II.  Business Core

III. General Business Emphasis

I. Domain: Foundation Knowledge and Skills

The Foundation Knowledge and Skills Domain provides the liberal arts tradition and the intellectual foundation that enables students to expand their perspectives beyond the focus of a major. University of Massachusetts Global graduates will be flexible, creative, articulate, and prepared for active and life-long participation in the knowledge-based world of 21st century. 

Subdomain: Communications

COMC 410 Interpersonal Communication

Understand the skills required to interact effectively with others.

COMC 101 Oral Communications

Deliver a well-organized oral presentation using delivery techniques and supporting materials appropriate for the audience.

ENGC 103 Written Communications, Level A

Identify and apply key components of effective writing skills and APA.

ENGC 104 Written Communications, Level B

Compose written arguments that are coherent, grammatically correct, and rhetorically aware.

Subdomain: Quantitative Reasoning

MATC 103 Quantitative Literacy, Level A

Explain accurate calculations and symbolic operations used to interpret social and economic trends.

Subdomain: Information Literacy

LBSC 320  Information Literacy, Level A (Cannot be satisfied in transfer)

Evaluate and cite various information resources to understand ethical research practices.

LBSC 321 Information Literacy, Level B (Cannot be satisfied in transfer)

Apply academic research practices to complete an academic research project. 

Subdomain: Humanities

PHLC 110 Creative and Critical Thinking

Develop a creative solution to a historical, social, ethnic, economic, technological, and/or geographic problem.

HUMC 110 Disciplinary Relationships

Analyze relationships between disciplines such as history, literature, religion, philosophy, and the fine arts.

HUMC 115 Human Experience

Analyze the ways in which the human experience is influenced by historical social, ethnic, economic, technological, and/or geographic contexts.

Subdomain: Natural Sciences

NSCC 111 Principles and Concepts, Level A

Understand the Scientific Method as a process and master the fundamental principles, concepts, and methods of biology.

NSCC 112 Principles and Concepts, Level B

Master the fundamental principles, concepts, and methods of chemistry and environmental science.

NSCC 115 Methods and Applications

Apply the principles, concepts, and methods of the natural sciences.

Subdomain: Social Sciences

SOSC 110 Behavior and Cognition

Evaluate individual, organizational, and social behavior.

SOSC 115 Social Systems

Using a social systems perspective, investigate global problems and develop possible solutions.

II. Domain:  Business Core

The Business Core Requirements at University of Massachusetts Global provides a business foundation that enables students to expand their perspectives across various functional business areas.

CSCC 200 Fundamentals of Information Technology

Develop an understanding of information technology fundamentals.

MKTC 301 Fundamentals of Marketing

Develop an understanding of marketing fundamentals.

MKTC 305 Fundamentals of Consumer Behavior

Demonstrate an understanding of consumer behavior fundamentals e.g., demographics and purchasing behavior) and promotional practices.

MGTC 301 Fundamentals of Management

Demonstrate an understanding of management theory and practice.

III. Domain:  General Business Emphasis

The purpose of the General Business electives is to provide students with a broad business education without an in-depth study in one discipline. This program provides students with a broad business education that allows the freedom to take coursework in multiple business disciplines. The General Business emphasis consists of 9 equivalent credits of electives from any of the business disciplines.