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What is BYU’s Bachelor of General Studies Program?

Brigham Young University’s Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) program offers former BYU students who have been away from the university for some time and are not able to return to BYU an opportunity to finish at home what they started at BYU. Applicants must have already completed at least 30 credit hours at the BYU campus in Provo as admitted day students. They must abide by the BYU Honor Code and receive an annual ecclesiastical endorsement. See Admission Requirements and About BYU Ecclesiastical Endorsements. This program is not available to current BYU students who have fewer than 90 credits (exam credit excluded).

The bachelor of general studies degree is designed to help former BYU students use as much as possible of their previously earned credit. It uses the same BYU curriculum offered on campus and requires the same general education, religious education, and campus residency as on–campus degrees. However, up to 90 of the required 120 credits can be earned through BYU Independent Study. The major is general studies, with an emphasis in one of six areas of study. The emphasis adds a measure of specialization and can be completed in one of the following areas:

  • American Studies
  • English
  • Family Life
  • History (Family History Track)
  • History (History Track)
  • Management
  • Psychology
"92% of BGS graduates say the overall quality of the program was very good or excellent."

Students may pursue only one emphasis and do not have the option of creating custom–made areas of study. However, within the number of general electives available, students can use credit previously earned in a former major or choose to take courses in a particular concentration.

The BGS is a fully accredited bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and thus is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Students enroll in this program for a variety of reasons. Some desire a sense of accomplishment—to complete a degree they began years ago. Others are looking for career advancement or to eventually pursue a postgraduate degree.