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Bachelor of General Studies

Pictured | Arthur Kelley | General Studies, Arts and Humanities / Minor in African American Studies | South Bend, Indiana (hometown)
Volunteer Activity | Gentlemen and Scholars


Bachelor of General Studies

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About the Bachelor of General Studies

Students earn General Studies degrees for both personal enrichment and professional advancement. General Studies alumni are employed in most fields including business, education, public administration, sales, and social service. Twenty-five percent have earned graduate degrees in such fields as business administration, counseling, education, law, medicine, ministry, and social work.


Academic Advising

College policy on academic advising requires that students meet with their academic advisor at least once each year, and in some departments, prior to each semester's enrollment. Advising holds are reset following advising appointments. Students with a declared major are usually advised in their academic unit. To determine who your advisor is and how to contact them, see One.IU.


Degree Requirements (120 cr.)

Students receiving the Bachelor of General Studies must complete 120 total credit hours including:


  • 30 minimum credit hours at the 300– or 400–level required
  • 30 minimum IU South Bend credit hours required
  • 30 maximum credits may be awarded for successful completion of external exams such as AP, CLEP, DSST and Regents College. Additional credits may be earned with successful completion of university exams as approved by IU South Bend.  Additional credits may also be granted for successful completion of exams and training documented from military service and from accredited licensure examinations as approved by the American Council on Education (ACE); or The National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS). Please note that credits awarded based on external exams or training programs are considered transfer credit.
  • 90 maximum credit hours accepted in transfer from other colleges and universities, to include no more than 60 from junior and/or community colleges
  • 2.0 minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA)
  • A key objective of the Bachelor of General Studies degree is to ensure a broad-based, multidisciplinary education. Therefore, a maximum of 24 credit hours in any single Arts and Sciences discipline and a maximum of 30 credits hours in any one of the professional schools of the university may be applied to the Bachelor of General Studies.

Additional Bachelor of General Studies Requirements
  • GNST-G 203 Introduction to General Studies | Prerequisite: Admission to General Studies or program consent. Must be completed either prior to or within the first 12 credit hours after admission to the Bachelor of General Studies degree program. Minimum grade of C (2.0) or higher is required. 
  • Intensive Writing | Writing clear English is one of the defining characteristics of a liberal arts graduate. Complete one class from the approved course list for CLAS Intensive Writing. This course may be taken any time after completing ENG-W 131 with a grade of C or higher. Minimum grade of C- or higher is required.
  • GNST-G 400 Senior Capstone Seminar | Must be completed during the final semester prior to graduation. This course gives students the opportunity to assess their degree in the light of university degree requirements and their personal and professional goals. Minimum grade of C (2.0) or higher is required. 

Arts and Sciences Foundation (69 cr.)

The Arts and Sciences Foundation requires completing credits in:

  • the three foundational areas (Arts and Humanities; Science and Mathematics; and Social and Behavioral Sciences)
  • a concentration in the student’s foundational area of choice
  • arts and sciences electives.

A minimum grade of C- is required for all credits in areas A, B, C, and the concentration.
A minimum grade point average of 2.0 is required for the 30 credits in the foundational area of concentration.

The credits in the three foundational areas (A, B, and C) must be completed in at least two separate disciplines within each foundational area.

The distribution of Arts and Sciences disciplines into areas A, B, C, and D is determined by the specific discipline and its correlating subject code. For example, History (HIST) is a discipline used to fulfill Area A. Arts and Humanities; and Biology (BIOL) is a discipline used to fulfill Area B. Science and Mathematics. See the assigned distribution of disciplines under each area A, B, C, and D as follows:

A. Arts and Humanities (12 cr.)

African American Studies (AFAM: A150) | American Studies (AMST) | Art History (AHST) | Classical Studies (CLAS) | Communication and Culture (CMCL) | Comparative Literature (CMLT) | English (ENG) [ENG-W must be W131 or higher] | Fine Arts (FINA) | Folklore (FOLK) | History (HIST) | History and Philosophy of Science (HPSC) | Integrated New Media Studies (INMS) | Philosophy (PHIL) | Religious Studies (REL) | Speech (SPCH) | Telecommunications (TEL) | Theatre and Dance (THTR) | Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS: B260, B342, H260, L207, P394, W201) | World Languages (EALC, FREN, GER, SPAN, etc.)

Courses that meet the following General Education requirements:

  • Common Core | Arts, Aesthetics and Creativity (A190, A390, A399)
  • Common Core | Literary and Intellectual Traditions (T190, T390)
B. Science and Mathematics (12 cr.)

Anatomy (ANAT) | Astronomy (AST) | Biology (BIOL) | Chemistry (CHEM) | Computer Science (CSCI) | Geology (GEOL) | Informatics (INFO: I101, 201, I210, I211, I450, I451) | Mathematics (MATH) [MATH-M 108 or higher level] | Microbiology (MICR) | Physics (PHYS) | Physiology (PHSL) | Plant Sciences (PLSC) | Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS: N200) | Zoology (ZOOL)

Courses that meet the following General Education requirements:

  • Common Core | The Natural World (N190, N390)
  • Computer Literacy
  • Quantitative Reasoning
C. Social and Behavioral Sciences (12 cr.)

Anthropology (ANTH) | Criminal Justice (CJUS) | Economics (ECON) | Geography (GEOG) | Informatics (INFO: I202) | Political Science (POLS) | Psychology (PSY) | Sociology (SOC) | Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS: E391, P391, P460, S310, S338, S349, S410, W201, W240, W301)

Courses that meet the following General Education requirements:

  • Common Core | Human Behavior and Social Institutions (B190, B399)

Concentration Area (18 cr.)

Concentration area courses must be earned in at least two separate disciplines in one of the three foundational areas A, B, or C.


D. Arts and Sciences Electives (15 cr.)

Arts and Sciences electives may be earned in any of the three foundational areas, A, B, or C or additional Arts and Sciences disciplines as follows:

African American Studies (AFAM courses not used above) | Cognitive Science (COGS) | College of Arts and Sciences (COAS) | General Studies (GNST) | Gerontology (GERN) | Honors (HON) | International Studies (INTL) | Sustainability (SUST) | Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS courses not used above)


E. General Electives (51 cr.)

Certain courses offered by professional schools (as listed below) may be used in areas A, B, C, or D depending on course content and as specifically noted above, under each of those areas.

General electives may be selected from the disciplines of areas A, B, C, or D, or from any of the professional schools of the university as follows:

Allied Health (AHLT) | Applied Health Science (AHSC) | Business (BUS, BUSE) | Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) | Continuing Studies (SCS) | Dental Hygiene (DAED, DAST, DHYG) | Education (EDUC) | Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) | Health Sciences (HSC) | Informatics (INFO) | Journalism (JOUR) | Labor Studies (LSTU) | Library and Information Science (ILS, SLIS) | Mass Communications (MASS) | Military Science (MIL) | Music (MUS) | Nursing (NURS) | Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) | Purdue Polytechnic  (CGT, CNIT, ECET, ENGT, IT, MET, MFET, TECH, TLI) | Purdue School of Supervision (OLS) | Social Work (SWK) | Speech Language Pathology (SLHS) | Undistributed (UNDI)

Academic Bulletins

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2021-2022 Campus Bulletin
2020-2021 Campus Bulletin
2019-2020 Campus Bulletin
2018-2019 Campus Bulletin
2017-2018 Campus Bulletin
2016-2017 Campus Bulletin
2015-2016 Campus Bulletin
2014-2015 Campus Bulletin

Please be aware that the PDF is formatted from the webpages; some pages may be out of order.