Feb 29, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

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


The B.G.S. program requires no formal major; it is an interdisciplinary, liberally-structured program built around a general curriculum of courses offered or approved by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The general studies program is expected to appeal primarily to students with broad academic interests whose educational objectives do not include preparation for a specific professional career.

Admission


Students seeking admission to the B.G.S. program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences must have at least sophomore standing and must meet with the program director to declare the major.

The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at https://www.niu.edu/effectiveness/_files/outcomes/provost/general-studies-bgs.pdf

Requirements


To receive the Bachelor of General Studies degree, a student must satisfy all university graduation requirements except those of a major. All courses in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and any other courses specified on the B.G.S. Evaluation of Credit form which were taken at NIU will be used to calculate the minimum 2.00 GPA required for graduation.

The student who wishes to earn a degree through the general program must:

  • earn at least 85 semester hours of credit in courses offered or approved by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with at least 30 of these hours in upper-division courses and at least 50 of these hours earned at NIU or at other baccalaureate institutions.
  • successfully complete at least 15 semester hours in behavioral and social science courses. These include all courses offered by the Departments of Anthropology, Economics, Geography (except physical geography and meteorology courses), Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.
  • successfully complete at least 15 semester hours in life, mathematical, and physical science courses. These include all courses offered by the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Computer Science, Geology and Environmental Geosciences, Mathematical Sciences, and Physics, as well as courses in physical geography and meteorology. The course used to satisfy the foundational studies quantitative literacy requirement of the General Education Program will not count in this area, however. (See “General Education Requirements.”)
  • successfully complete 15 semester hours in humanities courses. These include all courses offered by the Departments of Communication, English, History, Philosophy, and World Languages and Cultures, except for ENGL 103, ENGL 203, ENGL 204, and COMS 100.
  • complete at least 30 semester hours after formal admission to the general program.

Students following this program may apply no more than 25 semester hours in any one department toward the 120 semester hours required for graduation. Students following this program must also complete at least 50 of the distributive studies hours (humanities, social sciences, sciences) at NIU or other baccalaureate institutions.

Students completing the Bachelor of General Studies program may apply for a minor within any college.

Courses used to fulfill area requirements for the university’s General Education Program may also be used to meet requirements in the second, third, and fourth areas above.

Salzburg College B.G.S. Program


NIU and Salzburg College (Austria) have an agreement whereby Salzburg students earn a Bachelor of General Studies degree after satisfactorily completing the degree requirements and all NIU graduation requirements.

Salzburg students pursuing the B.G.S. degree must apply for admission to NIU per the normal procedure. All program participants must meet the requirements established by NIU and will be subject to all academic and student regulations, policies, and procedures when enrolled in NIU courses.

NIU assesses and accepts as appropriate baccalaureate course work completed at Salzburg College or another institution of higher learning that is regionally accredited, or an international institution accredited by an equivalent agency or government.

Salzburg College students must complete 30 credit hours of NIU course work per the residency requirement. The Salzburg College B.G.S. Capstone course ILAS 395 counts for up to 6 credit hours toward the residency requirement.