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Bill Poteet

Bachelor of General Studies `17

In 1973, Bill Poteet had to leave the University of Missouri due to a family emergency. Determined to fulfill his dream, Bill came back to Mizzou and earned his Bachelor of General Studies in 2017.

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Delivery of this program is 100 percent online: no campus visits are required.

Successful completion requires 120 credit hours of course work, including at least 30 credit hours in Arts and Science (A&S) foundation courses; 45 in the general studies major, including the capstone; and electives. You may include transfer credits from other regionally accredited institutions.

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.

MU general education and basic skills requirements

Common MU equivalents are listed below.

  • MATH 1100 College Algebra or equivalent* (3 credit hours). Pre-, basic or intermediate algebra is not equivalent.
  • ENGLSH 1000 Exposition and Argumentation or equivalent* (3 credit hours). Typically known as Composition II at other institutions.
  • Writing intensive courses* (6 credit hours). Two approved MU writing intensive courses that have ENGLSH 1000 as a prerequisite. One of these must be 3000 level or higher and within your major field of study.
  • Math reasoning course* (3 credit hours). One approved math reasoning proficiency course that has College Algebra as a prerequisite (e.g., STAT 1200, STAT 1300, CHEM 1320, PHYSCS 1210, FINPLN 2183, ESC_PS 4170).
  • State law constitution requirement (e.g., HIST 1100 or 1200, POL_SC 1100, HIST 2210).

* You must complete these courses with a grade of C- or better.

A&S foundation courses (minimum 30 credit hours)

Breadth of study

  • 9 credit hours of biological, physical and mathematical sciences, including two of the three areas; and one biological or physical science lab course.
  • 9 credit hours from course work in behavioral sciences and social sciences, including one course in each area.
  • 9 credit hours from humanities and fine arts courses. Must include work from at least two different areas.
  • 3 additional hours from any of the above categories.
  • You may use only one non-A&S course in each of these four categories:
    • Biological, physical and mathematical sciences
    • Behavioral sciences
    • Social sciences
    • Humanities and fine arts

Depth of study

  • 9 credit hours (three courses) of these foundation courses must be at the 2000 level or above.
  • One 3-credit-hour course at the 2000 level or above must be taken through MU.
  • One 2000-level or above course may be an approved non-A&S course.
  • Depth-of-study courses must be in a minimum of two of the following four categories:
    • Biological, physical and mathematical sciences
    • Behavioral sciences
    • Social sciences
    • Humanities and fine arts
  • Note The courses you use to satisfy the foundation (breadth and depth of study) requirements may not be used to satisfy BGS major requirements below.

    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.

    State authorization

    States require that the University of Missouri be authorized to deliver university-level distance/online education to their residents. Each state handles this process differently.

    Please see our state authorization page.

    How to apply

    You may apply to the online bachelor of general studies program as a transfer student if you have at least 24 credit hours of course work from a regionally accredited college or university.

    You also may apply as a freshman, but we do not advise you do so. To apply as a freshman, please follow the freshman admission process.

    If you have 24 applicable credit hours, please follow the steps below.

    1. Fulfill the transfer admission requirements:

      • 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 transfer college course work. If you are transferring from an MU System school (UMSL, S&T, UMKC) the minimum cumulative GPA is 2.0.
      • If English is not your native language, please submit a TOEFL score of at least 80 (internet-based test) or an IELTS score of at least 6.5.
      • Please see the full list of requirements at the link under Step 3 below.
    2. Gather your papers

    3. 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

      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
    4. Complete the online application

    5. You can check admission requirements, transfer equivalencies and financial aid opportunities within the application.

      Apply Here

    Ask us about this program

    For information about academic issues or course content, please contact

    This program is administered by the Office of Multidisciplinary Degrees.