Bachelor of General Studies

Get your degree by applying credits you've already earned.

If you have at least 60 credit hours of college-level coursework, you can complete your bachelor's degree at NIU. The time-tested Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.) program is our oldest degree completion program. It features an interdisciplinary curriculum taught by accomplished faculty members. You'll also find it to be incredibly flexible and customizable. You can take courses full or part time, online or in the classroom, allowing you to balance work and family life while finishing 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; life, mathematical and physical sciences; and humanities.

When you graduate, you'll be ready to take your career to the next level. You'll also be well-prepared for graduate studies. Our B.G.S. graduates find success in a variety of fields, such as education, law enforcement, human resources, sales and the service industry.


Students must have at least sophomore standing and must file an application for admission to the program with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Forms can be obtained from the Advising Office of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 201 Zulauf Hall. Start dates coincide with the beginning of NIU spring, summer and fall semesters.

What Will I Study?

One of the advantages of this program is that the answer is: whatever interests you! While pursuing your bachelor of general studies degree, you will:
  • Earn at least 85 semester hours of credit in College of Liberal Arts and Sciences courses (or courses we approve of) with at least 30 of these hours in upper-division courses and at least 50 of these hours earned here or at other baccalaureate institutions.
  • Complete at least 15 semester hours in behavioral and social science courses
  • Complete at least 15 semester hours in life, mathematical and physical science courses.
  • Complete 15 semester hours in humanities courses.

Read more details about what is required in the course catalogOnce you have been accepted you will meet with the B.G.S. director for an evaluation of your credits and you will work together to select your courses.

How Much Does It Cost?

Estimate your tuition and fees with the NIU Planning and Cost Estimator.

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