Active Duty Military Student with her Advisor, Larry Pickett.

Bachelor of Arts in General Studies and Military 

WIU's Bachelor of Arts in General Studies (BGS) program is a regionally accredited program through the Higher Learning Commission. We are a member of the DoD Service Members Opportunity College (SOC) Degree Network System and a signatory of the DoD's Educational Partnership MOU.

Some of the significant benefits of the program to Active Duty, National Guard, Reserve, & Veteran Service Members and their families include:

  • Student-designed learning
  • Program moves with you if you change locations
  • No WIU enrollment required until ready to take WIU classes
  • No time requirement in which to complete the degree
  • Online courses charged at WIU's in-state tuition rate
  • Only 30 hours required from WIU
  • No time limit on acceptance of transfer credits
  • Minors possible (though not required)
  • A limited number of optional minors can also be completed fully ONLINE
  • Numerous ways to earn credit toward degree:
    • WIU or Transfer from a regionally accredited academic institution – online or on campus
    • ACE accredited military training
    • ACE accredited non-collegiate training
    • CLEP/DANTES proficiency exams

Admission Policy for Veterans and Service Members

Current Active Duty Military, Reservists and Veterans may apply to the BGS program and have the $30 application fee waived by providing a statement of service from their Commanding Officer or a copy of their DD-214. Upon WIU enrollment, there is a non-refundable, one-time fee of $15 to cover transcript review and processing.

Credit for Military Training

Veterans who have served one full calendar year (or more) full-time active duty and received an honorable discharge may be awarded 8 semester credit hours toward their degree. The 8 semester credit hours include 2 semester credit hours Personal Health Promotion (HE 120), 4 semester credit hours Military Science elective, and 2 semester credit hours Kinesiology elective.

Veterans who may be eligible to receive 8 semester credit hours must present a Member 4 copy of their DD-214 to the BGS office at

Veterans in the National Guard or Reserves with less than one year of continuous active service may be awarded 4 semester hours toward their degree.

The 4 semester hours include:

  • 2 semester credit hours Personal Health Promotion (HE 120)
  • 1 semester credit hour Military Science elective, and
  • 1 semester credit hour Kinesiology elective.

A Member 4 copy of the DD- 214 must be submitted to the BGS office at

Credit for Specialized Military Training

Veterans or reservists may be eligible to receive additional transfer credit for specialized military training. Unofficial copies or transcripts printed from the Internet cannot be accepted. Information describing how to obtain an official AARTS, SMART, CCAF, or Coast Guard transcript is available at the Veterans Resource Center.

An official transcript of military training must be submitted to the BGS office to receive this credit. You may have the transcript sent to WIU electronically (if possible) or a paper copy mailed directly to us at:

General Studies Degree Program
Western Illinois University
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455

Proficiency Examinations

CLEP and DSST proficiency exams are free to Active Duty Military, Drilling Reservists and National Guard members. These exams can be used to complete several General Education requirements and provide some Upper Division (300 level) credits.

Veterans who are eligible or using any of their GI Bill® benefits can also take these tests at any location and submit their receipts to the VA for full reimbursement. GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at

Air University-Associate to  Baccalaureate Completion
(AU-ABC) Program

Western Illinois University is a proud partner of the Air University-Associate to Baccalaureate Completion (AU-ABC) Program. Western provides general education courses that meet CCAF requirements in an online format: anytime, anywhere availability

Airmen currently completing their CCAF degree are encouraged to contact Western Illinois University as early in their programs of study as possible so as to insure maximum award of transfer credit for courses completed at CCAF.

Veterans Resource Center

WIU offers a fully staffed Veterans Resource Center that can assist students both on and off-campus. The Veterans Resource Center is committed to assisting those who served or are currently serving in the U.S. military, and their family members. In collaboration with an array of University departments and community organizations, the center provides coordinated services and resources in a one-stop location to ensure that all military service members are afforded the greatest opportunities for success.

Veterans and service members receive individualized assistance in completing request forms such as educational and military transcripts; and applications for the:

  • G.I. Bill
  • Illinois Veterans Grant
  • Illinois National Guard Grant
  • Illinois MIA/POW Scholarship
  • Federal Tuition Assistance
  • Federal Student Aid programs 

Additional services may include help with periods of military activation and deployment; obtaining appropriate housing accommodations; requesting military records; and acquiring community living information, outreach services, and health benefits.

Register with the Western Illinois University Veterans Resource Center if you are a veteran or service member. We want to make sure that we provide you with important university services, programs, and updates.

Wright Residence
333 N. Ward Street
Macomb, IL 61455

Phone: (309) 298-3505
Fax: (309) 298-3509


Contact Info

For more information, please contact the Macomb campus BGS office location.

Phone: (309) 298-1929


Veterans Resource Center


BGS Graduate Testimonial

"As a student transitioning out of the military, I was initially a marketing major with plans to apply to the MBA program after completing my undergraduate degree. While in the military I received a year's worth of college level credits prior to starting at WIU. Only a small portion of those credits could be used toward my marketing degree.

By transitioning into the BGS program, I was able to apply nearly all of my credits received from the military. The BGS program allowed me to obtain my Bachelor of Arts Degree in three years taking the undergraduate prerequisites for the Master of Business Administration and left me with enough military benefits to fully cover the financial cost of my Master's Degree as well as my Bachelor of Arts in General Studies.

I would recommend this program to any student who is either new to WIU or looking to change their major as this program can be tailored to meet nearly all educational goals while establishing a strong foundation for a successful career."

~ Nick Whittington