Bachelor of General Studies
- This article is about the degree. For other meanings, see the disambiguation page: General Studies.
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
A bachelor of general studies (BGS) degree is an undergraduate degree, offered by many universities in the Western world. The BGS degree typically offers matriculants the ability to design much of their own curriculum past that of the university's general requirements. This flexibility allows students to complete a bachelor degree without fulfilling the requirements of a major of any specific discipline. In effect, this degree holds the same value as other degrees in liberal arts or sciences but offers an element of individualism absent in many other degrees specific to a particular discipline. Often referred to as an "interdisciplinary" degree, the BGS allows students to build strong arguments based on information from a broad range of topics.
The history of the general studies concept is coeval with that of the mediæval European university (where it existed under the formal Latin designation studia generalia) but gained popularity within the United States during the 1980s and '90s, especially among recruited athletes. In 1982, the University of Connecticut opened its doors to the "non-traditional" student population with its BGS program. In recent years, hundreds of colleges and universities have started similar programs, many of which offer themes or foci related to specific segments of industry. For example, California University of Management and Technology (CALMAT) offers a BGS degree which integrates management and technology in order to serve the special needs of high-tech companies in Silicon Valley. These degrees can usually be found in a university’s college, center, or school of continuing education.
Contrary to what its name may suggest, the Columbia University School of General Studies does not grant BGS degrees, but grants the same degrees as Columbia College or Columbia's School of Engineering and Applied Science.