Bachelor of General Studies
Working adults who have accumulated significant credit hours and want to complete their degrees by crafting those credits into a cohesive degree can take advantage of a flexible program of study and scheduling. Students may complete their degree through any combination of on-campus, online, or hybrid (occasional in-person attendance required) courses.
BGS Program Requirements
All Bachelor’s degrees from ETSU require a minimum of 120 earned credits. All students must have an ETSU GPA of 2.0 and (if applicable) a transfer GPA of 2.0 to graduate from ETSU. All students within the Division of Cross-Disciplinary Studies must take a minimum of 12 credit hours as a declared BGS major in order to receive a degree from our division. All students earning a degree from ETSU are required to have earned a minimum of 30 credits from ETSU and a minimum of 50 credits from a 4-year institution. A student cannot graduate without having met all degree program requirements.
Learn more about program requirements and course sequence by visiting ETSU's Academic Catalog, here.
What is the Bachelor of General Studies?
The Bachelor of General Studies is an ETSU degree program designed to accommodate the needs of many types of students as they balance an academic career with other responsibilities. This program can serve the student working full-time while raising a family and the veteran/active military member seeking to earn a degree, as well as the traditional student interested in a program of study that crosses the disciplinary boundaries of traditional programs.
The BGS degree program enables students and their advisors to design a program of study that meets individual and professional needs and interests not served by traditional majors. Due to its flexible nature, the program appeals to students who have the ability to work more independently than is required in traditional degree programs. Students cite this flexibility as the main reason they enter the program, along with the ability to study themes and subjects across traditional disciplinary boundaries.
Who is the typical BGS student?
The BGS program is especially designed with the needs of working adult students in mind. Most have previously attended college. Traditional students who want to study subjects or themes that cross disciplinary lines (students with liberal arts/humanities/social sciences interests may find this particularly appealing) may also create their own path and design a degree to best prepare for their educational and career aspirations.
Can I specialize my studies?
Yes— you and your advisor can design a program of study that best serves your academic interests. You cannot duplicate other majors, but we recommend students complete one or more minors in order to give their program of study an interdisciplinary focus.
Why is it faster?
Most, if not all, of your previous college credit can be applied to the BGS. You may combine your existing credit with new courses to develop your program of study. Many adult students in particular benefit from the flexibility and convenience of online and evening class scheduling and other non-traditional means to earn credit hours.
For students who have earned an Associate’s degree or have a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics) background, adding some liberal arts-based courses can be useful in diversifying their educational portfolio.
What is the Program of Study?
Your Program of Study is the written summary of your coursework developed by you and your advisor. Together, you will chart the courses needed to meet ETSU graduation requirements and degree program requirements. Overall, you will earn 120 hours of total coursework. The plan may include your previous college credit. Your advisor will give you a copy of this written summary for future reference.
How can the BGS help working adult students?
Because of its flexibility, adult students can usually complete the BGS in less time than they could more traditional degrees, and BGS students are able to focus on the areas that truly meet their needs and interests. Some students are already gainfully employed in the job they want – they just need the degree to move up within the company. Others needs a background with specific focus on themes or issues that will prepare them for future goals.
The BGS degree program provides students with the ability to view issues from a variety of perspectives and provides a multifaceted approach to learning. Pairing diverse subjects translates into what employers are looking for: the ability to think critically and communicate. When students can look across disciplines and see connections, they are more creative. Additionally, this degree helps hone the skills of flexible thinking and adaptability – both of which often are included in “what employers are looking for” lists.
What minors do BGS students complete?
Popular minors include English, Management, Marketing, Psychology, and Allied Health, but students may complete any ETSU catalog minor.
What is required to get started in the BGS?
1. You must first apply and be accepted into ETSU. On the application, entify Cross-Disciplinary Studies interest as your major.
2. Complete an interview. The application process for these degrees includes an admissions interview designed to help students choose the best degree program for their objectives. The department will contact the applicant to schedule an interview online, in person, or by phone.
Be recommended for admission to the appropriate CDST degree.
3. After the interview the academic advisor makes a recommendation on admission to a CDST degree program or refers them to another department.
Can I go on to graduate school?
Yes. BGS graduates have entered graduate or professional school in a variety of programs such as education, law, pharmacy, business, physician’s assistant, and others.
Many times students will want to enter a graduate program in a field that does not require a specific undergraduate degree. For example, pharmacy school and dental school do not require a specific bachelor’s degree; rather, they require a specific set of prerequisite courses. The BGS allows students to take varied coursework in order to prepare for a post-baccalaureate degree.
Speak to an Advisor
Jo Anne Smith
Division of Cross-Disciplinary Studies
Nell Dossett Hall, Second Floor
339 S. Dossett Drive