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Bachelor of General Studies: Wikis

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This article is about the degree. For other meanings, see the disambiguation page: General Studies.

A Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) degree is an undergraduate degree, offered by many universities in the Western World. It is very similar to a Bachelor of Arts or Liberal Arts degree, although there are often fewer requirements for studies in humanities and social sciences. In many cases, the Bachelor of General Studies is offered as a degree program specifically for adult learners that have delayed or interrupted their studies, and typically offers matriculants the ability to design much of their own curriculum past that of the university's general requirements. This flexibility allows students to complete a bachelor degree without fulfilling the requirements of a major of any specific discipline. In effect, this degree holds the same value as other degrees in liberal arts but offers an element of individualism absent in many other degrees specific to a particular discipline. Often referred to as an "interdisciplinary" degree, the BGS allows students to build strong arguments based on information from a broad range of topics.

The history of the General Studies concept goes back thousands of years (studia generalia) but gained popularity within the United States during the 1980s and 90's. Universities such as Columbia University's School of General Studies have been offering the GS degree since 1947; it catered to the many GI's returning from World War II. In 1982, the University of Connecticut opened its doors to the "non-traditional" student population with its BGS program. In recent years, hundreds of colleges and universities have embraced their state’s adult and junior college graduates with similar programs, many of which offer themes or foci related to specific segments of industry. These degrees can usually be found in a university’s college, center, or school of Continuing Education.

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