General Studies

Program Details

Western Illinois University’s Bachelor of Arts in General Studies (BGS) degree program provides students with the opportunity to earn a regionally-accredited undergraduate non-majored degree that is affordable, flexible, and available fully online. The BGS degree program is a non-majored baccalaureate program which requires 120 semester hours, including 40 semester hours earned at the upper-division level. A minimum of 30 semester hours must be earned through Western. Due to flexible degree requirements, the BGS degree may be achieved completely online

Emphases of Study (Minors)

A personalized program of study is designed by the student in consultation with a BGS advisor. Minors are not required for BGS but may be possible within your degree plan. Academic requirements for minors are identified in the Western Illinois University Undergraduate Catalog at

The following online minors are determined each semester by college deans and academic program chairpersons.

  • Accountancy
  • Anthropology
  • Business
  • Computer Mediated Communication
  • Computer Science Microcomputer Applications
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Fire Administration
  • History
  • Industrial Technology
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Pre-MBA
  • Psychology
  • Recreation, Parks & Tourism Administration
  • Religion
  • Sociology
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Women’s Studies
Special Opportunities

Campus attendance is not required to finish your degree. Courses are offered online and at the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses.

All previous WIU credits count, no matter when they were earned, and up to 80 community college credits can be transferred in. Military and many other non-collegiate training credits are accepted.

Transfer Students

The BGS degree program has partnered with several Illinois and Iowa community colleges to allow community college students maximum transferability from all associate degree programs to Western’s BGS degree program

After College

Graduates have successfully used the BGS degree to gain entry-level jobs in a variety of business, industrial, government, and human services organizations. Most graduates are already involved in a career and need the academic credential for promotions or other career opportunities. A significant number of graduates continue to post-baccalaureate studies, resulting in graduate degrees or professional certifications. Some graduates earn the degree for personal reasons unrelated to a career or to pursuing advanced degrees.

Please refer to the undergraduate catalog for detailed program information and course requirements.

Because each student designs their own course of study within a framework guided by their advisor, required courses vary. Check with your advisor for details.


General Studies

Location: Horrabin Hall 6
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1929
Fax: (309) 298-2226

General Studies Website

School of Distance Learning, International Studies, and Outreach

Dr. Jeff Hancks, Executive Director
Phone: (309) 298-1929

School of Distance Learning, International Studies, and Outreach website

Outside of Horrabin Hall.