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General Studies, BGS - IU Northwest

Bachelor Of General Studies

US News and World Report - best bachelor's 2021

The Bachelor of General Studies provides a multidisciplinary course of study that fulfills traditional university requirements in liberal arts and sciences while enabling you to meet your specific goals. It is a fully accredited, broad-based liberal arts degree without a specific major.

As a student in the program, you to complete requirements in three learning areas: arts and humanities, science and mathematics, and social and behavioral sciences. In consultation with your academic advisor, you also complete electives that allow you to tailor your general studies degree to your individual needs. You receive a broad range of skills and knowledge that can further your current career and/or prepare you for professional programs or graduate school.

Your IU Online BGS prepares you for an infinite variety of careers.

Degree Requirements

To graduate with the BGS, you must complete a total of 120 credit hours.

Requirements are broken down as follows:

  • Arts and Humanities (minimum 12 credit hours) 
  • Math and Science (minimum 12 credit hours) 
  • Social/Behavioral Science (minimum 12 credit hours) 
  • Concentration (minimum of 18 additional credit hours in one of the preceding areas) 
  • Electives (minimum of 15 credits in Arts and Sciences and 51 credits of general electives 

You must demonstrate competency by taking classes in English composition, an intensive writing course, speech, mathematics, computer science, a science with a lab, a diversity course, and a General Studies capstone. At least 30 credit hours must be taken at the 300-400 level. You may earn up to three minors in such fields as biology, sociology, business administration, and health system administration.

The general studies degree program allows credit to be awarded through independent study, distance learning, credit-by-examination, self-acquired competency (credit by portfolio), and American Council on Education (ACE) recommended programs through the military. Through these features, the program provides the convenience, flexibility and individualized learning experience that will allow the student to complete their degree requirements.

Student Services

IU Online provides quick and easy access to tools, tips, and IU resources to help you succeed, including:  

  • Admissions: Personalized application support for the program that is right for you
  • Onboarding: An interactive orientation to online learning and all things IU
  • Student Financial Services: Tailored resources for financial aid and money management
  • Success Coaching: One-on-one support to reach your academic and personal goals
  • Math and Writing Support: Direct access to IU-trained math mentors and writing consultants
  • Career Services: Interactive tools and coaching to accelerate your career
  • Libraries and Research: Online access to IU library resources and research librarians
  • Technology: A full suite of software, collaboration tools, cloud storage, and training
  • 24/7 Contact Center: Real-time chat, email, and phone support direct from IU


To be accepted to this program, you must have:
  1. Admissions requirements vary.

NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states

To apply to this program:
  • Complete application for admission. 
  • Submit high school transcript or equivalent (applicants with fewer than 12 credit hours). 
  • International applicants may be asked for additional materials. 
  • Submit official transcripts to admit2@iun.edu or: 
         Office of Admissions
         Indiana University Northwest
         3400 Broadway
         Gary, IN 46410

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