Bachelor of General Studies

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This article is about the degree. For other meanings, see the disambiguation page: General Studies.

A Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) is an undergraduate degree offered by many colleges and universities in the Western world. The history of the general studies concept is coeval with that of the medieval European university (where it existed under the formal Latin designation Stadium general).

The BGS offers students the ability to design a unique degree plan while meeting their academic institution's general requirements. This flexibility allows students to complete a bachelor's degree that offers an element of individualism absent in many other degrees specific to a particular discipline. A BGS holds the same value as other degrees in liberal arts or sciences and is often referred to as an "interdisciplinary" degree which allows students to build strong arguments based on information from a broad range of topics.

In the United States hundreds of colleges and universities offer BGS programs. Students typically can choose from concentrations in a variety of areas. Examples include the University of Connecticut,[1] University of Miami,[2] California University of Management and Technology (CALMAT), University of Nebraska at Omaha,[3] and Charter Oak State College which offers a BGS degree with a wide variety of concentration options.[4]

Despite its name, Columbia University School of General Studies does not offer a Bachelor of General Studies. It does, however, offer more than 70 majors and concentrations, and graduates receive a Bachelor of Arts degree. Students at GS must complete both a major and core requirements to receive a bachelor's degree. Individually-designed majors are also available. Students may also wish to pursue a second major or concentration, which is optional and provides students the opportunity to develop in-depth knowledge in a secondary field. Most academic departments offer both a major and a concentration. A few areas of study are offered exclusively as concentrations.[5]