General studies: Online bachelor’s degree
Bachelor of general studies (BGS)
Courses for this program are 100 percent online: no campus visits are required.
Your degree requires 120 credit hours, which may include transfer credits from other regionally accredited institutions.
The courses you take will include:
- MU general education requirements;
- College of Arts and Science Degree Requirements, including:
- Arts & Science Foundation Requirements
- Basic Skills (foreign language not required for BGS degree)
- Breadth of Study
- Depth of Study
- 45 credit hours of course work in the general studies major, including the capstone, and electives as needed.
The number of credits you need to take will depend on the type of previous credit earned and the institutions' accreditation and transfer equivalencies. The admissions office will determine your transfer credit once they receive your official transcripts and application. Visit the University of Missouri Course Equivalency site to determine credit equivalencies from courses taken at other Missouri institutions.
Sample plan of study
See a sample bachelor of general studies “Semester Plan” of study. Personal degree plans will be developed with your academic adviser.
General studies major (components), minimum 45 credit hours
- Three fields of study, each including a minimum of 15 credit hours of course work, make up the core of the components.
- You may select component courses from any department or program at MU (if the department permits), but at least 18 credit hours must be composed of courses from an A&S department.
- Of the 15 credit hours required for each component, 6 credit hours in each must be numbered 3000 or higher. While you may bring in upper-level transfer course work, a minimum of 12 credit hours of MU course work numbered 3000 level or above is required in the three components.
- If you are a transfer student, you may construct one component solely with courses taken at other institutions. Where appropriate, the requirement of 3000-level work in this one component may be waived, but in such cases, you must include 9 credit hours of MU course work at the 3000 level or above in each of your two remaining components.
- No grades below C- will be accepted in the major.
- No more than 6 credit hours of special projects or directed readings may be included in any one component; the combined total for such work is limited to 12 credit hours.
- You must complete an approved 3-credit-hour capstone course in one of the component areas.
Any courses ordinarily accepted by the College of Arts and Science may be applied toward the minimum of 120 credit hours required for graduation.
The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States.
How to apply
If you have less than 24 hours of applicable college-level course work, you may apply to the online bachelor of general studies program as a freshman. If you have 24 or more credit hours of applicable college-level course work, you may apply as a transfer student.
Fulfill the admission requirements:
- For freshmen:
- Earned the minimum test score on the ACT or SAT.
- Completed 17 specific high school courses with good grades.
- For a list of test scores and high school courses, review the Freshman Admission Requirements.
- For transfer students:
- Completed at least 24 credit hours of applicable college course work, including the equivalent of MATH 1100 or ENGLSH 1000 with a grade of C- or better.
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 in your college course work.
- If English is not your native language, please submit a TOEFL score of at least 79 (internet-based test), an IELTS score of at least 6.5, a Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of at least 59 or a Cambridge C1 Advanced score of at least 195.
- Slightly different requirements apply if you transfer from within the UM System or already have an associate of arts degree from a regionally accredited Missouri community college. Please see the full list of requirements at the link under Step 3 below.
Gather your papers
In the online application, you will need to supply:
- Your name and contact information
- Citizenship, residency and visa information (if applicable)
- Names and locations of previous college or high school and dates you attended
If you are applying as a transfer student, you also will need to contact all your previous colleges or universities to request they send your official transcripts to
- Office of Admissions
- University of Missouri
- 230 Jesse Hall
- Columbia, MO 65211
Complete the online application
You can check admission requirements, transfer equivalencies and financial aid opportunities within the application.
Ask us about this program
This program is administered by the Office of Multidisciplinary Degrees.