Best Online General Studies Degree Programs

A general studies degree gives students a broad foundation for future studies or work. Earn a bachelor's degree online from a top-ranked school.

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Updated January 31, 2022

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If you pursue an online bachelor's in general studies, you can personalize the curriculum to match your academic interests and career goals. This degree is a valuable option for new college students and working professionals alike. The following guide can help you find a general studies program that suits your needs; it details common course requirements, concentrations, and admission criteria.

This guide also covers entry-level career opportunities, advancement options, and answers to frequently asked questions for those looking to pursue an online bachelor's in general studies.

www.bestcolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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What Are the Best General Studies Programs? Here Are Our Top 10:

#1 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
#2 Brigham Young University - Idaho Rexburg, ID
#3 Minot State University Minot, ND
#4 Trine University Fort Wayne, IN
#5 Oklahoma State University Stillwater, OK
#6 Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX
#7 University of Mary Bismarck, ND
#8 University of Louisiana at Lafayette Lafayette, LA
#9 University of Nebraska at Omaha Omaha, NE
#10 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND

Related Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Bachelor's in general studies programs offer broad degree plans that allow you to choose from diverse majors, minors, and electives. Career options differ based on the courses you select. By emphasizing business competencies, for example, students gain the knowledge and experience needed to work as human resource specialists, purchasing agents, or personal financial advisors.

Information technology offers another viable industry for general studies graduates. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that IT and computer occupations will grow by 12% from 2018-2028, which is more than double the growth rate of the average occupation in the U.S.

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Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in General Studies Programs

Best Online Bachelor's in General Studies Programs

  1. University of Central Florida
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $13016

    UCF delivers more than 80 online programs through the Canvas platform. Options include a fully remote bachelor of integrative general studies that enables students to expand their career opportunities by designing a degree that caters to their specific interests and goals. UCF graduates have gone on to succeed as technical writers, marketing specialists, and software designers.

    Designed for working professionals, this online bachelor's in general studies program requires candidates to complete at least 75 credits of coursework before formally declaring their major. Students work with an academic advisor to select high-impact courses and practicum experiences. They round out their undergraduate education with a senior seminar and culminating project.

    UCF has fall, spring, and summer entry dates. The average incoming first-year student boasts an average 4.15 GPA and 29 ACT score.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Bachelor of Integrative General Studies
    School Status: Public
    Tuition: $179/credit in-state; $716/credit out-of-state
    Credit Requirements: 120 credits
    Program Length: 4 years

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

    Contact

    Phone: 407-823-0144
    Email: bigs@ucf.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  2. Brigham Young University - Idaho
    Location

    Rexburg, ID

    Tuition

    $7555

    Based in Rexburg, BYU-Idaho offers affordable and career-focused remote degrees through its Pathway Worldwide platform. Distance learners can enroll in a fully online bachelor of science in professional studies program. Through a flexible curriculum, students develop the skills needed to act as ethical leaders and effective communicators in their field.

    The degree plan consists of 38-39 credits of general education courses. Unlike other online bachelor's in general studies candidates, BYU-Idaho students complete three specialized certificates as part of their self-designed major. Diverse options include agribusiness, business administration, computer programming, and human services. Students can also obtain teaching skills through the TESOL track, preparing for education careers abroad.

    BYU-Idaho maintains three entry dates each year. Online students may access federal funding and private scholarships. Courses span 14 weeks and include team-building and self-assessment elements.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies
    School Status: Private
    Tuition: $125/credit
    Credit Requirements: 120 credits
    Program Length: 4 years

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online
    Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: 2.0 minimum
    Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

    Contact

    Phone: (855) 994-6721
    Email: pathwaysupport@byui.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  3. Minot State University
    Location

    Minot, ND

    Tuition

    $10153

    MSU powers its distance education with Blackboard, offering fully online certificates and degrees. The undergraduate catalog contains a bachelor of general studies for students who prefer flexible course options over the strict requirements of a traditional academic program. Working with a personal academic advisor, candidates identify their educational objectives and create an interdisciplinary curriculum.

    This online bachelor's in general studies program enables students to pick from over 100 areas of study. Options include multimedia studies, entrepreneurship, and broadcasting and professional communications. Candidates may also take classes to prepare for pre-professional training in fields like dentistry and physical therapy.

    Beyond classroom instruction, faculty help students develop their professional network and engage in self-motivated research projects. Through the Air University Associate to Baccalaureate Cooperative, MSU also provides online academics specifically for enlisted Air Force personnel.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Bachelor of General Studies
    School Status: Public
    Tuition: $316/credit
    Credit Requirements: 120 credits
    Program Length: 4 years

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online or hybrid (online/on campus)
    Instruction Style: Synchronous and/or asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: Based on test scores
    Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

    Contact

    Phone: (701) 858-3265
    Email: heather.martin@minotstateu.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  4. Trine University
    Location

    Fort Wayne, IN

    Tuition

    $14712

    Trine maintains its flagship campus in Fort Wayne, Indiana, enrolling over 5,000 students annually. The institution also delivers online undergraduate and graduate programs through Moodle, including a bachelor of arts in general studies that comes with two degree options. Candidates may design their own major or pursue a pre-legal track.

    Online bachelor's in general studies students who opt for the self-designed degree plan take major coursework from three academic departments. They further individualize their curriculum with 29 elective credits. The program culminates with a senior capstone project.

    For pre-legal candidates, required classes include American constitutional development, state and local government, and argumentation/persuasion. Participants also learn about political psychology and complete undergraduate training with a legal capstone experience. Trine offers a variety of financial aid, including need-based grants and merit scholarships.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in General Studies
    School Status: Private
    Available Tracks: Self-designed major; pre-legal
    Tuition: $399/credit
    Credit Requirements: 120 credits
    Program Length: 4 years

    Delivery

    Format: Hybrid (online/on campus)
    Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

    Contact

    Phone: (260) 665-4100
    Email: admit@trine.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  5. Oklahoma State University
    Location

    Stillwater, OK

    Tuition

    $6707

    Located in Stillwater, OSU is a comprehensive public research institution that serves about 24,000 students every year. The institution facilitates 15 remote undergraduate programs, including a fully online bachelor of university studies that allows candidates to align their degree plan with distinct academic interests and career goals. OSU graduates are well-prepared to work in areas like management, government affairs, and professional training and development.

    Students pursuing this online bachelor's in general studies complete upper-division coursework from two or three concentration areas: 27 credits from two areas or 18 credits from three areas. Options include nursing, business administration, computer science, and early childcare and development.

    OSU funds scholarships for first-year and transfer students. The university also provides financial assistance to international candidates. Distance learners can access tutoring services and dedicated career guidance at no extra cost.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Bachelor of University Studies
    School Status: Public
    Available Concentrations: Multidisciplinary studies
    Tuition: $179/credit in-state; $696/credit out-of-state
    Credit Requirements: 120 credits
    Program Length: 4 years

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: Based on test scores
    Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

    Contact

    Phone: (405) 744-1000
    Email: brenda.dawes@okstate.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  6. Texas Tech University
    Location

    Lubbock, TX

    Tuition

    $15531

    TTU facilitates remote learning through Blackboard and offers over 80 online programs. Students can earn an interdisciplinary bachelor of general studies, preparing for distinct professional ambitions or a graduate-level education. Required coursework covers topics like advanced college rhetoric, American government, and Texas politics.

    Students work with a personal academic advisor to pick major classes from three concentration areas, two of which must come from the College of Arts and Sciences. Options include history, mathematics, and technical communication. Online bachelor's in general studies candidates may also pursue a health professions concentration, training to become nurses and physical therapists.

    TTU operates asynchronous classes that follow on-campus courses. Out-of-state students pay the same tuition rate as Texas residents if they pursue a fully online curriculum. The university provides ample financial aid opportunities, like merit scholarships for transfer applicants.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Bachelor of General Studies
    School Status: Public
    Tuition: $281/credit
    Credit Requirements: 120 credits
    Program Length: 4 years

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online
    Instruction Style: Synchronous and/or asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: 2.0 minimum
    Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

    Contact

    Phone: (806) 742-7227
    Email: elearning@ttu.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  7. University of Mary
    Location

    Bismarck, ND

    Tuition

    $17216

    Mary is based in Bismarck, North Dakota, and supports almost 4,000 students annually. The school delivers over 75 academic programs, including a fully online bachelor of science in general studies. Through a flexible curriculum, candidates gain a broad-based education applicable to careers in office management, retail sales, and executive assistance.

    Similar to other online bachelor's in general studies programs, this track helps students develop critical thinking and professional communication skills. Additional core classes include computer information systems, introduction to sociology, and U.S. history. With the guidance of an advisor, candidates choose major classes and electives that support their individual career objectives.

    As a degree completion pathway, this program requires applicants to possess at least 24 transferable credits. Students can also gain transfer credits for work experience, military training, and professional certification/licensure.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Bachelor of Science in University Studies
    School Status: Private
    Tuition: $450/credit
    Credit Requirements: 124 credits
    Program Length: 1-3 years (degree completion)

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: 2.0 minimum

    Contact

    Phone: (701) 355-8030
    Email: enroll@umary.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  8. University of Louisiana at Lafayette
    Location

    Lafayette, LA

    Tuition

    $11190

    UL Lafayette provides over 400 online and hybrid classes, as well as fully remote degrees and certificates. One such option is the school's bachelor of general studies. This degree completion pathway is designed for working professionals who want to obtain marketable skills for career advancement. Asynchronous, 14-week classes are offered during the fall, spring, and summer semesters, and students can also take advantage of winter intercessions.

    Students pursuing an online bachelor's in general studies have access to the full catalog of courses from which to build their curriculum. To help students navigate the plethora of options, the university offers three degree paths, including arts/humanities and behavioral science. Learners can also pursue an applied sciences track, taking classes in environmental science, health informatics, and engineering.

    Applicants must possess at least 45 college-level credits. Distance learners typically qualify for grants and loans.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Bachelor of General Studies
    School Status: Public
    Available Concentrations: Arts and humanities; behavioral science; applied sciences
    Tuition: $5,587/15 credits in-state; $12,451/15 credits out-of-state
    Credit Requirements: 120 credits
    Program Length: 2-3 years (degree completion)

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: 1.5 minimum for UL Lafayette re-entry; 2.25 minimum for transfer students

    Contact

    Phone: (337) 482-5555
    Email: online@louisiana.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  9. University of Nebraska at Omaha
    Location

    Omaha, NE

    Tuition

    $12105

    UNO opened its doors in 1908 to a class of 26 students. Today, about 16,000 learners pursue their credentials at UNO, many of whom earn their degrees entirely online. Distance options include the school's bachelor of multidisciplinary studies. The curriculum of this program allows candidates to personalize their education by picking courses from over 40 areas of study.

    Concentrations include art, engineering physics, and media communication. Students can also pursue an emergency management track, developing the program planning and resource allocation skills needed to work for local and state government agencies. Additionally, the online bachelor's in general studies program offers a sustainability concentration for learners interested in urban planning and conservation careers.

    Applicants may earn up to 65 credits based on previous work and life experiences. Online students may apply for grants, scholarships, and federal loans.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies
    School Status: Public
    Available Concentrations: More than 40 options available
    Tuition: $285/credit in-state; $440/credit out-of-state
    Credit Requirements: 120 credits
    Program Length: 4 years

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

    Contact

    Phone: (402) 554-2370
    Email: unodcs@unomaha.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  10. University of North Dakota
    Location

    Grand Forks, ND

    Tuition

    $15374

    UND is a comprehensive public institution that enrolls about 13,500 students in over 250 programs. The school's catalog includes an online bachelor of general studies that is well suited for returning learners. Candidates can pursue a fully remote curriculum or create a hybrid learning experience by taking some classes at the Grand Forks campus.

    While completing the essential studies requirements, students strengthen skills related to oral communication, quantitative reasoning, and critical inquiry and analysis. Learners work with an advisor to pick major classes in disciplines like the humanities and natural sciences. This online bachelor's in general studies program ends with an integrative capstone seminar.

    UND accepts applications on a rolling basis. Prospective students must have minimum ACT/SAT scores that scale with their cumulative GPA. Candidates over the age of 25 and those who possess 24 or more transferable credits do not need to submit standardized test results.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Bachelor of General Studies
    School Status: Public
    Tuition: $356/credit in-state; $399/credit Minnesota residents; $534/credit out-of-state
    Credit Requirements: 120 credits
    Program Length: 4 years

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online or hybrid (online/on campus)
    Instruction Style: Synchronous and/or asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: 2.75 minimum
    Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

    Contact

    Phone: (800) 225-5863
    Email: admissions@und.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Online Bachelor's in General Studies Program Overview

By pursuing an online bachelor's in general studies, students strengthen core skills in liberal arts areas like communication, physical sciences, social sciences, and mathematics. Coursework comprises a minimum of 120 credits. Conventional bachelor's programs typically take four years to complete, but you can speed up your graduation timeline by enrolling in an accelerated or degree completion track (if you already have some college experience).

Credit distribution varies based on specific program goals. Higher education institutions that offer a self-designed major option typically divide the curriculum into general education and major classes selected from 2-3 academic departments. Elective work rounds out the degree plan and allows enrollees to take additional coursework in their major or take on a complementary minor.

You can expect to complete required classes in advanced college rhetoric, American government, and introduction to psychology. Some schools allow learners to gain practical experience by engaging in internship and practicum experiences. Degree work typically culminates with a capstone experience in the form of a senior seminar or research project.

Common Bachelor's in General Studies Degree Courses

English Composition

This core class helps learners develop critical thinking and written communication skills. Topics include expository writing, academic research, and business communication. Through class discussion, enrollees develop an understanding of rhetorical functions and composing processes for many contexts and audiences.

Principles of Statistics

Bachelor's in general studies programs usually require each enrollee to complete at least one math class. In principles of statistics, you learn to perform statistical computations and analyze vast data sets. Additional topics include probability concepts, rules of distribution, hypothesis tests, and measures of central tendency and variation.

Human Anatomy and Physiology

This survey course teaches you the function and structure of the human body, including the physiological process of the skeletal, nervous, and muscle systems. You will also examine how molecules form cellular organelles leading to the formation of the cell, tissue, and organs. Furthermore, the class provides an overview of genetics and inheritance.

Database Management

As an advanced course for students who pursue business or IT majors, database management covers practical and conceptual approaches to designing different data systems. You will delve into available database models and current industry standards for performance optimization and information security. Additional topics include Structured Query Language, IT decision-making, and data normalization.

Biological Aspects of Aging

This specialized class provides foundational training for future health professionals. Enrollees explore common and uncommon physical/physiological changes associated with aging, along with factors that contribute to the aging process. Additionally, you will analyze the various theories of aging; age-related pathologies; and dying, death, and grieving.

Related Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Online Bachelor's in General Studies Admission Requirements

GPA Minimum

Undergraduate programs commonly maintain a 2.0 GPA requirement for incoming first-year and transfer students. Competitive colleges and universities may ask for at least a 3.0 GPA. You may be able to bypass the GPA requirement by demonstrating stellar standardized test performance or possessing work experience.

SAT/ACT Scores

Online schools increasingly eschew standardized testing, opting for a more holistic student evaluation method that considers a candidate's background. However, many colleges still require you to submit ACT or SAT scores. Minimum requirements vary, so confirm these numbers with an advisor. Some institutions grant exemptions if you possess an exceptionally high GPA.

Transfer Credit

Although standard pathways do not usually require transfer credit, students pursuing degree completion tracks must have previous college experience. Additionally, universities may allow you to transfer up to 90 credits toward a baccalaureate degree plan. In addition to college-level coursework, you can gain transfer credits for work experience, military training, volunteering, and professional certification/licensure — as determined by an institution's prior learning assessment process.

Personal Statement

This document enables you to stand out from the applicant pool by detailing your academic history, career objectives, and research interests. Most schools ask for a 2-3-page statement that responds to a general prompt, while other institutions require you to submit short answers to a series of essay questions.

Recommendation Letters

Universities use references to gain a more intimate understanding of prospective students. You should expect to furnish 2-3 letters from teachers, mentors, former/current employers, and/or other individuals who can attest to your personal qualities and professional accomplishments. Colleges usually require written testimonies, but certain schools may prefer to contact your references directly by phone or a digital conference platform.

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Online Bachelor's in General Studies Career Paths

Online bachelor's in general studies programs allow you to tailor the curriculum to match your goals, so career paths vary among students. This flexibility makes general studies a good option for working professionals with specific career aspirations.

The lucrative IT field offers graduates meaningful work within a globally interconnected field. BLS projections indicate that software development and information security analysis positions will experience job growth rates of 21% and 32% from 2018-2028, respectively. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of general studies, these programs can also prepare you to pursue a law degree.

Related Careers

Frequently Asked Questions

What jobs can I get with a general studies bachelor's degree?

Job opportunities upon graduation depend on how you design your bachelor's in general studies degree plan. Working professionals may enroll in these programs to strengthen useful skills in program administration, strategic leadership, and data analysis. By pursuing a physical science major, like biology or chemistry, you can complete the prerequisite courses needed to earn a nursing degree.

Is a degree in general studies worth it?

Students should always clarify their academic and professional objectives before pursuing enrollment. They should also work closely with an academic advisor to ensure that degree requirements support their post-graduation endeavors.

What do you study in general studies?

Personalization is one of the cornerstones of a bachelor's in general studies program. You can focus on an area such as arts and humanities, behavioral science, applied science, or business and technology. Within these broad areas, you may further customize the curriculum by selecting appropriate majors and minors.

Can I teach with a bachelor's in general studies?

A general studies degree can prepare you for a master's program in teaching, which enables you to earn initial state certification to teach in K-12 schools. A master's degree can also open the doors to some postsecondary teaching jobs in community and technical colleges. To work as a tenure-track university professional, you usually need a doctoral degree.

How long is a general studies degree program?

A bachelor's in general studies typically requires four years to complete. However, you may be able to expedite graduation by enrolling in a year-round accelerated track that features five- or eight-week classes. If you possess transfer credits, degree completion options can also allow you to graduate faster.

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Looking for something else? Explore these other online degrees.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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