Undergraduate Catalog

General Studies Degree

Director: Dr. Jeffrey W. Hancks
Office: Malpass Library 318
Telephone: (309) 298-1929
Fax: (309) 298-2791
Email: BGS@wiu.edu
Website: wiu.edu/bgs

Program Offerings and Locations:

  • Bachelor of Arts in General Studies: Macomb, Quad Cities, Online

Learning Outcomes

For student learning outcomes, please see wiu.edu/provost/learningoutcomes.

Honors Curriculum

Academically qualified students in this program are welcome to complete an honors curriculum in University Honors, Honors in the Major, or General Honors. All Honors students must complete the one-hour honors colloquium (G H 299). General Honors includes General Honors coursework. Honors in the Major includes honors work in the major. University Honors combines Honors in the Major and General Honors. View more information about honors curricula or visit the Centennial Honors College website at wiu.edu/honors.

Integrated Baccalaureate and Master’s Degree Programs

Three integrated baccalaureate and master’s degree programs are available for the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies: Master of Science in Education in Educational Studies (Language, Culture, and Education option), Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology, and Master of Arts in Public Safety Administration. An integrated degree program provides the opportunity for outstanding undergraduates to earn both degrees in five years. Please refer to the Graduate Studies catalog for details about the integrated program.

Program Information

Western Illinois University offers a unique online Bachelor of Arts degree program designed to provide non-traditional students an opportunity to earn an undergraduate degree in a manner compatible with their educational needs and lifestyles: The Bachelor of Arts in General Studies degree. This highly individualized and flexible program recognizes that adults may have attended a variety of educational institutions and accepts transfer of passing coursework taken at other regionally accredited colleges and universities. Students may apply for academic credit through the preparation of a prior learning portfolio, which documents specific college-level knowledge gained through nonacademic pursuits that can be related to WIU courses. Students may also receive academic credit through the use of various proficiency examinations and testing programs. Students can apply WIU coursework offered online or at the two campus locations toward the completion of their degree and the 30 semester hour residency requirement.

Admission Requirements

  1. Applicants who have attended other colleges or universities must:
    1. have a C average for all work attempted;
    2. be in good standing at last college or university attended; and
    3. have successfully completed 24 semester hours of coursework at a regionally accredited institution; or have had a scheduled high school graduation date at least five years ago.
  2. Applicants who do not meet the admission requirements identified in 1 above may be considered for admission if they have been separated from higher education institutions for five or more years.

Any former WIU student admitted to the degree program under option 2 above will continue under the last transcripted academic standing status (e.g., academic probation, academic warning). Applicants who do not meet the criteria identified in 1 or 2 above may appeal to the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies Advisory Committee for admission. Note : Students who have been academically suspended or dismissed from WIU must be readmitted to the University before seeking admission to the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies degree program.

Admission into the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies degree program does not guarantee admission into any other degree program at WIU.

Transfer Credit

All academic credit earned before admission to the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies degree program, regardless of when the credit was earned, may be transferred into the program provided that:

  1. The college or university was regionally accredited at the time the credit was earned.
  2. A grade of A, B, C, D, P, or S was earned.
  3. The credit could be applied at that institution to an associate or bachelor degree program.
  4. The course was not a repeated course.
  5. The course was not remedial or developmental.
  6. A “C” was earned for the equivalent of freshman composition.

Prior Learning Portfolio Credit

A maximum of 30 credit hours for portfolio assessment may be accepted toward credit for graduation. University faculty evaluate and recommend credit for the prior learning. Upon approval of the department chair and college dean, the academic credit awarded as a result of a portfolio evaluation will be entered on the WIU transcript.

Degree/Graduation Requirements

All students seeking the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies must successfully complete the requirements listed below.

  1. General Education: Satisfy the University General Education Curriculum—43 s.h. or the IAI Transferable General Education Core Curriculum Requirements listed below—37–38 s.h.
    Courses approved as equivalent to those in the IAI Transferable General Education Core Curriculum may be used ( itransfer.org ). Courses available in the WIU Arts and Sciences University General Education and Curriculum Requirements may also be used.

    IAI General Education Core Curriculum: 37–38 s.h.
    1. Communication: 9 s.h.
      3 courses, including a 2-course sequence in writing (6 s.h.) and 1 course (3 s.h.) in oral communication
    2. Mathematics: 3 s.h.
      1 course
    3. Physical and Life Sciences: 7–8 s.h.
      2 courses, with 1 course selected from the life sciences and 1 course from the physical sciences and including at least 1 laboratory course
    4. Humanities and Fine Arts: 9 s.h.
      3 courses, with at least 1 course selected from humanities and at least 1 course from the fine arts.
    5. Social and Behavioral Sciences: 9 s.h.
      3 courses, with courses selected from at least 2 disciplines
    No more than 2 courses from any 1 discipline can be used to fulfill General Education Core Curriculum Requirements.

    Students must earn a passing letter grade in each course used to fulfill requirements. A grade of C or better will be required for satisfactory completion of the Communication writing requirements.
  2. Grade Point Average (GPA): Earn a minimum overall GPA of 2.00 (C). See page 49 for information about computing GPA.
  3. Semester Hours: Earn a minimum of 120 semester hours. Of the 120 semester hour minimum:
    1. At least 40 must be earned from a senior (4-year) institution
    2. At least 40 must be earned in upper division (junior/senior) level courses from a senior (4-year) institution.
    3. At least 30 must be earned from WIU (at least 16 must be upper division).
  4. MATH Competency: Demonstrate ability to use baccalaureate-level skills in mathematics. (See University General Education Curriculum Requirements.)
  5. Writing Requirement: Successfully complete a Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) course OR a Bachelor of Arts in General Studies (BGS) online writing course*.
  6. Foreign Language/Global Issues: Fulfill the foreign language/global issues requirement for the degree program.#
  7. Graduation Application: File an application for graduation in the General Studies Degree Program by the following deadlines: Fall semester—July 15; Spring semester—November 15; Summer session—April 15.
  8. Financial Obligations: Clear all financial obligations to the University before proof of degree will be provided.

# The foreign language/global issues graduation requirement may be fulfilled by successfully completing one of the following: 1) a designated foreign language requirement [see Foreign Language/Global Issues Requirement]; 2) a General Education global issues course; 3) any major’s discipline-specific global issues course; or 4) an approved Study Abroad program.

* BGS online writing courses: BC&J 350, 351, 352; CS 320; ECON 351; ENG 380, 381; FS 484, 485; HIST 316; PHIL 300, 330; SOC 300, 360; UNIV 490; WS 355, 360.

Dual Program

A dual program in General Studies and Chiropractic is available for students in the General Studies program. Please see the Dual Programs section of this catalog (p. 346) for a detailed description of the program.