General studies

University of Missouri-Columbia
Bachelor of general studies
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Bachelor of general studies

Engineer your own degree program and unleash your potential with an online bachelor of general studies from the University of Missouri (Mizzou).

You might have tried a few majors — but haven’t quite found the right fit. You may have also spent some time in college but decided to take a break. As a returning student, you don’t want to start right from the beginning. Whatever your background, you have specific aspirations for your studies and career and aren’t looking to compromise. In all cases, the online bachelor of general studies welcomes your drive, curiosity and innovation while providing a streamlined, flexible pathway forward toward your goals.

Top-ranked programs

Mizzou's online bachelor's programs ranked among the nation's finest in U.S. News & World Report 2024.

Quick facts

Official name

Bachelor of general studies


University of Missouri-Columbia

Program type

Bachelor's degree

Academic home

College of Arts & Science

Delivery mode

100% online


Higher Learning Commission

Transfer credit hours


Transfer estimated cost


*This cost is for illustrative purposes only. Your hours and costs will differ, depending on your transfer hours, your course choices and your academic progress. See more about tuition and financial aid.

Why earn an online bachelor of general studies?

When you envision a defined objective, get there on your own terms. Overseen by the Office of Individualized Degrees, the online bachelor of general studies suits independent, motivated individuals interested in crafting a more personalized education plan. At the same time, the structure makes the most of what you’ve already earned, helping you complete your bachelor’s degree sooner and with fewer redundant courses.

Students opting to enter the online bachelor of general studies degree program must have already taken at least three semesters of course work totaling a minimum of 45 credit hours. Working with an advisor, you’ll develop a plan of study involving three components reflecting undergraduate majors and departments at Mizzou.

Wherever you see yourself long term, the online bachelor of general studies gives you a broad-reaching edge:

  • Gain a unique, cross-disciplinary perspective bringing together three distinct subject areas.
  • Strengthen written and oral communication, analytical, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Take ownership of your studies by designing a multidisciplinary degree precisely to your academic interests and career aspirations. 
  • Access a number of career paths through a customizable, adaptable bachelor’s degree, be it entering a new field or advancing in your current workplace.
  • Complete your bachelor’s on your schedule without prolonging the process or beginning an entirely new area of study.
  • Apply already-earned credits to fulfill general education requirements and some of your component courses. 
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Career prospects

Across a range of fields, employers seek effective communicators, problem solvers and critical thinkers — all transferable skills you’ll acquire through the online bachelor of general studies. As well, this flexible degree program prepares you to take initiative, lead others and highlights your motivation and creativity. Through this versatile foundation and your component courses, a number of career pathways are open to online bachelor of general studies students. 

Furthermore, an increasing number of jobs require a bachelor’s degree to get in the door or move up to a role with more responsibilities. The bachelor of general studies not only supplies you with this key credential but cultivates essential soft skills and sets you up to enter a graduate or professional program.


Burning Glass Technologies. 2021. Salary numbers and employment growth numbers are based on models that consider advertised job posting salary, Bureau of Labor Statistics data and other proprietary and public sources of information for multiple occupations.
employment growth
Burning Glass Technologies. 2021. Salary numbers and employment growth numbers are based on models that consider advertised job posting salary, Bureau of Labor Statistics data and other proprietary and public sources of information for multiple occupations.
median salary

Program structure

Students starting the online bachelor of general studies program prepare to earn a total of 120 credit hours: your major involves 45 credit hours, and the remainder includes Mizzou’s general education requirements and the College of Arts and Science’s foundation courses. Compared to the online bachelor of arts in interdisciplinary studies, students enroll in fewer foundation social/behavioral sciences and humanities subjects and aren’t required to take a foreign language.

Within this flexible format, you’ll base your major around three component areas. Each component involves at least 15 credit hours and is made up of courses from a single department or around a particular theme. At least six credit hours for each component must include 3000-level or higher courses.

Should you decide to transfer credits, you’re first advised to do a preliminary degree audit against the program’s requirements. Then, you have the option of transferring courses to fulfill one component, just as long as the remaining two component areas involve at least nine credit hours of 3000-level or higher courses.

The bachelor of general studies is 100% online: no on-campus courses are required. Online courses have varying lengths. Semester courses are eight or 16 weeks in length and start and end on specific dates. Self-paced courses let you enroll anytime and work at your own pace within a six-month timeframe.

Learn more about structuring your degree and transferring credits

Core course work covers

The online bachelor of general studies is structured as follows:

  • General education requirements
  • Three components
  • Electives
  • Capstone and/or internship


100% online

Calendar system


Typical program length


Typical course load

Varies if full time or part time


The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States.

Faculty spotlight

Angie Hull, PhD

Angela Hull teaches policy processes and nonprofit management in the master of public administration and public administration undergraduate programs. Dr. Hull has been the University of Missouri's (Mizzou) program director of individualized degrees since 2022. She has a doctorate in policy studies and a master’s of public administration from Mizzou. She was previously executive director of the Association for Education Finance and Policy where she contributed to annual Missouri school finance policy briefs. She worked in education associations, including state government relations for school boards and teacher groups. Her policy and research consultant work included school district grant evaluations and policy research on teacher preparation, certification, compensation and pensions, and early childhood systems development. She has been a CLASS® certified observer of an i3 evaluation with the American Institutes for Research and executive director of Missouri’s Coordinating Board for Early Childhood.

Angela Hull, PhD
Associate Teaching Professor Harry S Truman School of Government & Public Affairs Program Director, IDS/BGS

Nicole Monnier has taught a range of courses at the University of Missouri since 2000 from elementary Russian to graduate seminars. A common thread through Dr. Monnier's courses is the intersection of literature, culture and history. Increasingly, courses are also geared toward promoting undergraduate and graduate student career readiness, so students graduate with demonstrable skills in critical thinking and problem-solving, oral and written communications and intercultural fluency.

Her primary area of specialization is mid-19th-century Russian prose and criticism. In recent years, she has shifted to the late end of the 19th century and the works of Anton Chekhov in particular. Some of her courses include Totalitarianism and Culture, The Sense of an Ending: Anton Chekhov in the 21st Century, and Arts & Science Internship.

Nicole Monnier, PhD
Professor and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, College of Arts & Science

As the online general studies and interdisciplinary studies advisor, Joe Franklin understands the needs of transfer students and non-traditional students when crafting individual degree plans catered to professional and academic interests. He was formerly an advisor at State Fair Community College in Sedalia, Missouri. Advising is his second profession; he previously worked in IT for nearly 20 years before switching careers in 2018.

Joseph Franklin
Academic Advisor, College of Arts & Science

Learn more about this program

This program is administered by the College of Arts & Science