Bachelor of Arts in General Studies

Bachelor of Arts in General Studies Flexible Online Degree Option.

A flexible degree option that can be earned online, The WIU Bachelor of Arts in General Studies (BGS) degree program, formerly the Board of Trustees Bachelor of Arts, was developed in 1972 to provide an opportunity for individuals to earn a regionally accredited undergraduate degree in a manner compatible with the their educational needs and lifestyles. The BGS degree is a highly individualized, flexible, non-majored undergraduate degree which may be completed fully online by students who are place-bound due to work and/or family responsibilities; on-campus; or a combination of both formats. Since its inception, over 8,400 individuals have graduated from the degree program.

Key Benefits

  • Flexible, non-majored student designed curriculum
  • Only 40 hours must come from a 4-year institution
  • Only 30 hours must be taken through WIU
  • WIU enrollment not required immediately upon admission
  • Acceptance of ACE evaluated and recommended credit from non-collegiate and military training
  • Acceptance of proficiency exam credit

Fits Your Life

  • 4 year tuition freeze for continuous enrollment
  • No time limit to complete your degree
  • No time limit on transfer credit

Online Options

  • BGS Degree can be completed fully ONLINE
  • A limited number of optional minors can also be completed fully ONLINE
  • In-state tuition rate for online courses
  • No campus attendance required

Is this degree right for you?

If you are you looking for a degree with the highest academic accreditation from a public state university that:

  • Allows you flexibility to meet your own personal educational objectives on your own time-frame in the best cost effective manner for you personally.
  • Accepts a variety of transfer credit from regionally accredited educational institutions  and efficiently applies them to your baccalaureate degree.

Please note: if your goals require a specialized degree or certification such as is needed to become a doctor, nurse, certified public school teacher or certified public accountant, etc., consult with an academic advisor prior to completing an application for admission.  Students with baccalaureate degrees from regionally accredited colleges or universities may not be admitted to the WIU Bachelor of Arts in General Studies degree program.

Read what our students say >>>


The mission of the General Studies Degree Program is to assist each student to design, implement, and complete a focused and comprehensive plan of study leading to a bachelor's degree that meets the student's personal and professional educational goals.


The Bachelor of Arts in General Studies degree program will serve as the gateway for Western Illinois University to extend flexible online academic educational opportunities at a distance.

International Partner

If you are an international student in East Asia and are interested in learning more about studying at Western Illinois University or the Bachelors of Arts in General Studies, we invite you to contact our international partner, Immersive Education Academy. 

Advisors will provide you with further information about Western Illinois University degree programs and help you with any application and enrollment questions you may have.

Points of Purple Pride

  Best Online Colleges Military Friendly School NC-SARA Best for Vets



  Apply Now to BGS


Contact Info

To contact degree program staff in Macomb;

  • Phone: (309) 298-1929
  • FAX: (309) 298-2226
  • Email:

In the Quad Cities;

Phone: (309) 762-9481

For Gmail Users: 

/bachelor_of_arts_in_general_studies/staff.pcf Image 

For Non-Gmail Users: 

  Download BGS Brochure (pdf)


Donate to BGS Make A Contribution


Like us on



Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson

"I have had real interviews and success because my degree is valid and employers know about WIU's great educational offerings".  (continue reading)