Oct 27, 2021  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Studies Major, B.G.S.

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Department Information

School of Continuing Studies & Academic Outreach
PO Box 70659
916 W. Maple St.
Phone: (423) 439-4223
Web Address: https://www.etsu.edu/academicaffairs/scs/degrees/undergradprograms.php

The School of Continuing Studies and Academic Outreach offers the Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.) to provide students an alternative to traditional degree programs. A learner-centered program, the BGS allows students to develop an individualized program of study specifically tailored to their learning needs.

The BGS program allows students the freedom to pursue a program of study across disciplinary boundaries that suits their academic, professional, and personal interests. Each student develops an Individual Learning Plan in consultation with the academic advisor; this program of study includes ETSU General Education requirements, thematically related elective credits, and previous college-level work to meet ETSU graduation requirements. The BGS program is well-suited for students who can work independently and whose work-life situations require more flexible program requirements and the availability of online, evening, and hybrid-format courses, especially those who have earned significant amounts of college credit in the past and often from multiple institutions. BGS students are encouraged to apply for college credit from non-traditional sources such as prior work experience or military training through means such as CLEP, departmental challenge examinations, or a prior-learning credit portfolio for course-equivalency credit. Students enrolled in the BGS program may not double-major at ETSU.

Admission Requirements:

  1. A student must be admitted to the university through the Office of Admissions.
  2. Once accepted, the student must apply for admission to the BGS program through the School of Continuing Studies and Academic Outreach and meet these requirements.
    1. Students must be at least 21 and have earned fewer than 100 semester credits. (Students may appeal to the department chair, Cross-Disciplinary Studies, for exceptions to this policy.)
    2. The student must complete the Cross-Disciplinary Studies application.
    3. The student must write a brief essay that includes academic goals and objectives and the reason the B.G.S. program is appropriate.
    4. The student must interview with the B.G.S. advisor. The student must show evidence of ability to do highly independent work. Students better served by traditional academic programs will be referred to those programs.
  3. Transfer credit is accepted only from accredited institutions.

Degree Requirements: 120 credits

General Education 41-42 credits
Major Total Requirement 79 credits
      Major Core    (10 credits)
      Electives    (69 credits)
TOTAL 120 credits

Suggested Four-Year Program of Study: BGSD-BGS  

Upper Division Requirement: 34 credits of the student’s total program must be upper division (3000/4000 levels).

General Education Requirements  

These requirements include earning 41-42 credits in Communication, Humanities and Fine Arts, Social and Behavior Sciences, History, Natural Sciences and Mathematics categories.

Total Requirements for General Studies Major: 79 credits

Major Field Core: 10 credits

Free Electives: 69 credits

No Minor Required

Additional Information

Click here to view Degree and Graduation Requirements  for all ETSU students.

CSCI 1100  or Proficiency exam: Must be completed to meet Bachelor’s Degree Requirements. 

Most minors range from 18-24 credits. Those few minors with more than 24 credits may affect the number of free electives allowed.

Individual Learning Plan (ILP)

Students’ Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) are developed in consultation with the academic advisor when they enter the BGS program. Each ILP includes prior college credit and credit for CLEP and other examinations, prior learning portfolio equivalency credit, and other forms of prior learning credit endorsed by the American Council on Education, plus planned new coursework to meet ETSU graduation requirements. BGS majors may earn no more than 25 percent of their total degree credits from the ETSU College of Business and Technology.

The Prior Learning/Experiential Learning Portfolio

The prior learning portfolio is an option available only to students in the Bachelor of General Studies and Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies that allows them the opportunity to earn credit for college-level learning that has taken place outside the traditional college classroom. In consultation with the advisor, students prepare a prior learning portfolio, which is submitted to the advisor to appraise form and content. Final approval is made by the appropriate departmental faculty. Credit may be awarded only for prior learning that directly equates with specific ETSU courses.

If a student transfers from the majors listed above to another major, credits earned through the prior-learning portfolio cannot be applied to the new major. No more than 25 percent of the degree may be earned through the prior learning portfolio process. In a 120 credit program, this limit is 30 credits. Credit earned through the prior learning portfolio is ungraded and does not impact the student’s grade point average. Portfolio credit does not count as ETSU residence credit.

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