General studies programs are designed for students interested in learning about different subjects in a single degree program, rather than focusing on one subject. Due to the specificity of Ph.D. programs, general studies programs are not available at the doctoral level. However, some schools offer bachelor's degree programs in general studies. Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) programs allow students to combine studies in multiple fields of interest, such as the humanities, natural sciences, liberal arts and mathematics.
In most cases, students need only a high school diploma to enroll in one of these programs. However, some BGS programs are designed for adult students who have previously earned college credit or completed an associate's degree program. The particular classes or associate's degree program completed don't necessarily need to be relevant to the chosen general studies coursework, but students must still have earned the required grade point average. In order to accommodate the schedules of working students, these programs are often offered online.
Bachelor's Degree Programs in General Studies
The curricula for most BGS programs require students to take several classes in each of the natural sciences, liberal arts, humanities and mathematics. Once students complete the core curriculum, they can choose electives in one or more areas of interest. In total, students are expected to complete 60 credit hours of electives prior to graduation. The following courses are usually available:
- Art history
- English literature
- World history
Popular Career Options
Graduates of these programs are prepared for entry-level positions in many industries, including the following:
- Health care
- Real estate
Job Growth and Salary Information
|Occupation||Job Growth Projection, 2012-2022||Mean Annual Salary (May 2015)|
|Real estate sales agents||3%*||$58,410*|
|Kindergarten and elementary school teachers||6%*||$54,510*|
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average projected job growth for all occupations from 2014-2024 is 7%.
Continuing Education Information
After earning a bachelor's degree in general studies, students may apply to a professional school, such as a law or nursing school, or pursue a master's degree in their field of interest.
To summarize, even though there are no doctoral programs in general studies, bachelor's degree programs in general studies provide foundational knowledge that can be useful in a wide variety of careers and future educational opportunities.