Bachelor of General Studies

What is the Bachelor of General Studies?

The Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) is an interdisciplinary degree program designed for students who, through several years of interdisciplinary and focused study, find that they will not be well served with a single major.

The Bachelors of General Studies is administered by Interdisciplinary Studies through the Provost’s Office. Applications are reviewed by the Faculty Senate Committee on General Education and Interdisciplinary Programs, along with the Associate Provost of Student Development and Public Affairs

Link to the official undergraduate catalog description is:


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How is a BGS different than an individualized major?

In the Bachelor of General Studies degree, students do not have to integrate multiple areas toward a specific professional or academic goal. Instead, their coursework may be varied in focus, but must clearly explain how the degree program would be personally beneficial in a way that the traditional degree (BA, BFA, BS, etc.) would not.

Additionally, BGS students do not have a faculty advisory committee but rather require a faculty or professional staff advocate who are willing to endorse their entrance into the BGS degree. If the student is a current student (or been out for less than one year) the advocate may come from one of the departments in their BGS degree plan. 


  • Former students. In the past ten years, approximately 4,800 students with 90 or more credit hours have left MSU without degrees. With a BGS, former students who chose to explore different academic areas can obtain an alternative degree.
  • Current students. For students with over 75 credits and interdisciplinary interest the BGS provides more options to current students who are not well-served by the traditional system. Its alternative structure maintains and ensures the quality of an undergraduate experience and education.

Application Requirements

  • 75 college credit hours completed

  • An essay summarizing:

    • Educational background

    • Explanation of how the BGS would be personally beneficial over a traditional degree.

Applications are reviewed and accepted or denied by the Faculty Senate Committee on General Education and Interdisciplinary Programs (currently this committee meets monthly September through May).

Program Requirements

Students must choose significant coursework from two or three departments of study to complete a total of 45 credit hours.

Two departments of study:

  • 21 hours in one department
  • 24 hours in second department

Three departments of study:

  • 15 hours in each department

Other requirements include:

  • 18 of the 45 hours must be upper division courses.
    • 9 hours must be at or above the 400 level.
  • Complete all BGS courses in the major with a C or better
  • Fulfill the Public Affairs capstone requirement in one of the chosen departments of study.
  • Complete all General Education, graduation (125 credit hours; 40 hours being 300 and above), constitutional study, GPA (2.0 General Education, 2.0 MSU cumulative, and 2.0 combined cumulative), university exit exam, and residence requirements (30 hours completed at MSU-Springfield campus; 20 of last 30 hours administered on this campus).

Contact Information

Call the Academic Advising Center at 417-836-5258, or email to setup an appointment with Amy Marie Aufdembrink or Kimmy Brake.