Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.)

Why Study General Studies at NIU?

The Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.) program can be completed as a traditional four-year major. It can also be completed as a degree completion program, if you have at least 60 credit hours of college-level coursework. If this is the case, you'll apply to NIU as a transfer student.

The program features an interdisciplinary curriculum that is flexible and customizable. You can take courses full or part time, online or face to face at our DeKalb campus, allowing you to balance work and family life while earning your degree.

The B.G.S. curriculum is wide-ranging and adaptable to your interests and goals. You can choose classes from across the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in the behavioral and social sciences; mathematical, life and physical sciences; and humanities. Along with your degree, you will receive a broad-based education that includes critical thinking and communication skills, cultural awareness and the ethical values that employers value.

Careers with a General Studies Degree

The B.G.S. degree harnesses technology for challenging and rewarding education whether you're preparing to enter the job market, graduate or pre-professional schools or changing careers. Our graduates have gone to graduate school, medical school and law school. They have found careers in a wide variety of fields including but not limited to human resources, sales, education and the service industry.


Your courses will be led by the same award-winning faculty teaching in the departments housed within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. There’s a good chance you will take a course from a noted scholar, Presidential Research Professor, Presidential Teaching Professor or an Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching recipient.

Student Experience

This programs gives you the freedom to select courses that interest you in a format (on-campus, blended online or online) that best suits your needs. You will receive individualized advising to ensure that the courses you are interested in will meet the program and graduation requirements.

We encourage you to work at your own pace. Some students are part-time, taking a course or two at a time. Other students, such as those pursuing this degree on our main campus in a traditional format, are full-time, taking 12-15 hours a semester.

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