What Is Required to Finish My BYU Degree Through the BGS Program?

Once formally admitted to the Bachelor of General Studies program, you will have up to eight years in which to graduate. To ensure you are meeting graduation requirements, you will complete courses from your graduation plan, which is mapped out and approved during your first course (STDEV 100).

To earn a bachelor of general studies degree, you must complete the following requirements:

  • A minimum of 120 semester hours of earned credit, which breaks down as follows:

    STDEV 100 Independent Study course 1 hour
    University core–
       General education
       Religious education
    30 to 70 hours
    14 hours
    Emphasis requirements 30 hours
    STDEV 490 Independent Study course 2 hours
    General electives 3 to 43 hours
  • At least 30 credit hours (exam credit excluded) earned in residency on the BYU campus in Provo as an admitted day student (completed before BGS admission).
  • A minimum of 30 credit hours of upper–division credit (300– and 400–level courses), including at least 15 in the emphasis.

The following policies also apply:

  • A minimum of 10 hours in the emphasis must be enrolled in and completed through BYU after formal admission to the BGS program.
  • All courses taken after application to BGS must be BYU courses.
  • Students must earn a minimum 2.0 BYU grade point average, a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average, and a minimum 2.0 emphasis grade point average (2.25 in management emphasis).
  • The program must be completed in eight years or less.

Student Development 100 (StDev 100) Independent Study Course
In addition to introducing you to the Aims of a BYU Education, this Independent Study course sets the foundation for the BGS capstone experience and helps you get back into the college experience. You will learn test–taking strategies and also identify the type of learner you are. You will be taught ways to adapt to teachers and learning situations that employ other learning methods, including this distance education setting. You will brush up on study skills and learn how to manage your life to make time in your already busy schedule to devote to completing your degree. Another critical element of this course is to help you determine exactly which classes you must take to complete your BGS degree requirements. You will prepare a graduation plan that, when approved, will be your guide to completing your BGS degree. This course must be taken through BYU Independent Study. The version sometimes offered on campus differs in content.

University Core Requirements
The bachelor of general studies degree requires the same university core requirements as all other BYU degrees. The university core consists of both general education and religious education requirements.

Emphasis Requirements
Each student must choose one of six areas of study. The emphasis adds a measure of specialization and can be completed in one of the following areas: American studies, English, family life, history (family history track), history (history track), management, or psychology. Emphasis requirements include 30 credit hours in your chosen area.

Student Development 490 (STDEV 490) Independent Study Course
STDEV 490 is the BGS capstone course, completed as the last course in the program. The purpose of the capstone experience is to help you integrate your learning in the emphasis and to help you synthesize and reflect on your entire BGS experience in light of the Aims of a BYU Education and the expected BGS learning outcomes.

Diplomas are awarded in April, June, August, and December. BGS students are encouraged to participate in the commencement ceremonies held in April and August. As a BGS student, you will take part in the convocation of the college that houses your emphasis (Humanities, Marriott School, or Family, Home, and Social Sciences).