If you have interests in a wide range of subjects and topics, you may want to consider choosing from the various online general studies degrees available.
With this versatile degree, you have the opportunity to fully customize the courses that you take, giving you the freedom to design a program that covers a broad spectrum of disciplines and provides you with an edge in the modern workforce.
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Online degree programs have become a popular choice for a variety of adult students. From high school graduates juggling a new job to experienced professionals looking for advanced training, online degrees are an excellent way to create a flexible educational plan to balance your busy life.
Online Bachelor’s in General Studies Degrees
Not only does an online bachelor’s in general studies provide you with a wealth of marketable skills, but it can also demonstrate to future employers that you have a diverse knowledge base and are highly trainable in a variety of disciplines.
While earning your online bachelor’s degree in general studies, you have the opportunity to delve deeper into the subjects that most interest you. After completion of the program, you can expect to have achieved the following advanced skills:
- Ability to analyze and synthesize knowledge across a variety of disciplines
- Advanced skills in research, writing, and presentation
- Understanding a wide range of perspectives and terminology
- In-depth critical thinking and communication skills
During the course of your degree program, you will likely take classes including the following:
- Business management
- English language and literature
- Social science
- Humanities and culture
Through advanced courses in the sciences, mathematics, and humanities, an online bachelor’s degree in general studies sets the stage for you to take your career goals to the next level.
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By choosing an online bachelor program, you also award yourself flexibility. Online programs are designed to help you achieve your educational goals from anywhere with an Internet connection. You can log on and do your coursework without having to physically attend your chosen college.
Online programs allow you to keep up with your daily responsibilities while working toward your career goals.
Common Online Bachelor Degree in General Studies Specializations
While general studies degrees provide students with a well-rounded curriculum of courses that can prepare them for a variety of career paths, many schools ask students to take a certain number of courses or credits in a specialized concentration.
These specializations can vary from school to school but often include topics such as:
- Communications: This specialization can help students learn how to effectively communicate and connect with in many professional settings.
- Computer Science: Students have the opportunity to dive deeper into current technology, including programming, design, as well as information technology, and support.
- Human Resources: This specialization provides students with skills in hiring and maintaining a workforce, including compliance factors, training, and maintaining job satisfaction.
- Health Service Administration: Students who hope to work in health care management and administration may choose this specialization to help expose them to laws, regulations, and procedures.
- Finance: For those interested in the financial side of the business, including budgeting, purchasing, supply chain, and sourcing resources, this specialization can provide information that’s important to professionals in many fields.
You may wish to review the specializations offered by each school before applying.
General Studies Careers and Salaries
A degree in general studies prepares you for a variety of entry-level occupations across a number of different industries. From business and marketing to anthropology and communications, the options seem nearly endless once you have graduated with your online general studies degree.
Below we have put together a sample of popular careers that you may wish to pursue after graduating from a general studies program, along with their annual median salaries according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Market Research Analysts||$63,920|
|Human Resources Specialists||$62,290|
|Social Science Research Assistants||$49,720|
When pursuing a career in general studies, the average salaries can vary greatly depending upon your educational skillset and experience within your chosen industry. Please keep in mind that some employers look for a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to be considered for a few of these positions.
There are options for certificate, associate’s, and bachelor’s level online degrees in general studies. If students wish to continue on to a graduate degree program, they are typically required to choose a specific area of specialization. Earning your online general studies degree allows you to pursue a variety of career paths in fields that include business, administration, sales, communication, and more.
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For example, business and financial occupations are expected to experience a growth of 7% over the next 10 years. Additionally, careers in media and communication are expected to grow by 6% within this same time frame.
View a list of the top 40 General Studies careers to compare jobs and salaries in this field.
Bachelor of General Studies Online Curriculum & Courses
The curriculum offered to each general studies major may vary, depending on the school each student chooses. Though the course offerings may be different at each school, some common options include:
- Speech and Oral Communication: In this course, students can prepare for speaking with and in front of a variety of audiences.
- Fundamental Mathematics for Professionals: This course provides students with math skills that can be helpful in many career settings.
- Composition and Written Communication: Students can practice their skills in creating reports, documentation, and electronic communications for clients, customers, and colleagues alike.
- History and Humanity: General studies students can gain insight into the global history and sociological trends in courses such as this.
- Introduction to Economics for Professionals: This course provides an introduction to economics, which can be helpful in a variety of career fields.
- Computer Fundamentals: In this course, students will learn about common programs and operating systems that can benefit them in many different roles.
- Behavioral Science and Business: Those who aspire to work in Human Resources or management roles may benefit from learning about different types of behaviors in a professional setting.
- Biology for Non-Majors: Core classes for the general studies major often include introductory courses in natural or physical sciences.
- Business Basics: This course introduces topics such as economics, finance, and accounting.
- Principles of Marketing: In this course, students will learn about different types of marketing opportunities, as well as various methodologies and philosophies.
An online degree in general studies can provide many opportunities for exploration, so the courses you choose may differ depending on your future plans.
How to Choose an Online Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies Program
With the popularity of online schools, there are now many options available to earn an online degree in general studies. So, how do you choose?
Below, you will find information on important aspects of online schooling that you should consider before committing to a college or university.
- Accreditation: Accreditation is an essential aspect of a reputable online accounting degree program. Check to see if your chosen school is accredited.
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: Even in online education, a professor will have difficulty providing individualized support to students if class sizes are too large. To help ensure your success, don’t hesitate to ask your prospective school some specific questions about student ratios in the general studies courses that you plan on taking.
- Academic Advising and Student Services: In addition to quality course offerings, the top online colleges offer a support network to their distance-learning students through academic advising and student services.
- Cost: The cost of each program is also an important factor as you may be on a strict budget. Compare various programs to see which one fits your budget.
- Degrees Offered: Be sure to check with each school you are considering to ensure they offer your chosen degree program. Also, compare the various programs’ coursework to ensure the coursework fits with your desired career goals.
To pick the best school for you, it is important to do your research into factors that go beyond the degree programs that the school offers.
Individual schools will have their own admissions requirements, so it’s a good idea to check out each school’s application process in detail.
Some of the more common admissions requirements for those who are interested in pursuing a general studies major include:
- SAT or ACT Scores (only some schools require them)
- Letters of Recommendation
- Prior Educational History and Transcripts
- Personal Statement
Additional essays or interviews may also be part of the admissions process. You may wish to reach out to an admissions counselor for more details on each school’s specific admissions requirements.
Online General Studies Degrees Accreditation
Accreditation is the voluntary review process that a postsecondary institution undergoes to ensure that its curriculum and educational offerings meet high-quality standards. By choosing an accredited school, you show your prospective employers that you obtained a degree from a reputable school.
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The U.S. Department of Education recognizes several regional accrediting agencies that review institutions across the United States. For a full list of reputable accrediting agencies, you can check out the U.S. Department of Education’s website.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Many students are interested in assistance paying for their online general studies degrees. For some students, the first step is to complete the FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is the first step in applying for need-based federal financial assistance, but other options are also available.
You may wish to research scholarship opportunities through the school you choose as well as outside parties. There are many available scholarships that aren’t connected to academic or athletic performance. You may also find support in your community, through local scholarships or grant programs that help students from your area achieve their higher education dreams. Your employer may also provide educational assistance or tuition reimbursement.
What is a General Studies Degree?
A general studies degree is an opportunity to gain knowledge about a combination of many different topics. As a general studies major, you’ll take courses in areas such as social science, including psychology or sociology, or behavioral science. You’ll likely take courses in math and science, such as biology, chemistry, or physics.
You’ll also gain greater tools for your professional life, including how to communicate with various parties, current technological solutions, and basic business skills. You’ll likely choose a specialization on which to focus your studies in order to meet your career goals.
Is General Studies a Good Major?
Yes, general studies is a good major for many undergraduate students. General studies degrees provide students with a well-rounded education in a variety of fields, which can prepare them for a variety of potential career opportunities.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, having a bachelor’s degree can be beneficial in numerous professional fields. Whether you are interested in a particular career path or using your education as an opportunity to explore a variety of areas and topics, getting your general education degree online can provide you with skills that are helpful for many future goals.
What Can You Do With a General Studies Degree?
Earning your general education degree online can be the first step down a variety of professional paths. Individuals who have earned their bachelor’s degree in general studies may be qualified for a variety of roles, from sales manager to management analyst.
Depending on the specialization you choose during your studies, you may wish to pursue an opportunity in a marketing or communications role, in health administration or education, or a variety of operational roles. You may also wish to continue your education to fine-tune some of the skills learned in pursuit of your general studies degree.
Should I Get a General Studies Online Degree?
There are many reasons that students choose to enroll in an online general studies program. Whether you simply need the flexibility of being able to log in to your courses at untraditional times or you want to experience a variety of disciplines before settling on a major, an online program in general studies is an excellent choice to further your education.
Taking general studies courses online comes with many advantages to postsecondary students, including:
- Ability to continue pursuing full-time employment while in school
- Extensive options for online course offerings across a variety of disciplines
- Ability to work at a faster pace than traditional schooling
- Interactive, virtual experiences to enhance your education
- Option to transfer General Studies credits to other degree programs
If you have a number of different interests and a thirst for knowledge, then an online general studies program is a great way to jumpstart your educational journey.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Bachelors Degree in General Studies Online?
The time it takes to earn your online degree in general studies can differ depending on the school’s program format and your own enrollment. Students who attend full-time at a school with a traditional 16-week semester are typically able to complete a bachelor’s degree in four years.
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It is possible to earn your degree more quickly if you select a school that follows an 8-week semester schedule and you remain enrolled year-round. Additionally, part-time enrollment may extend the length of your studies.
What are the Highest Paying Jobs With a General Studies Degree?
General studies majors can choose from many different jobs, so the professional path you choose may vary from that of other students when it comes to pay rates.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the following professional roles offer some of the highest annual median pay:
- General Manager: $ 98,100
- Business Analyst: $93,000
- Software Consultant: $109,020
- Nonprofit Program Manager: $74,000
- Risk Management Specialist: $102,120
The courses you take while earning your general education degree online can help shape your future by preparing you with skills for these career paths and more.
What’s the Difference Between a Liberal Arts vs. General Studies Bachelor Degree?
These terms are often used interchangeably, but they can also have a specific meaning, depending on the school you select:
Those who pursue a Bachelor in Liberal Arts typically have a degree focused in:
- Social Sciences
A Bachelor in General Studies degree often includes courses on these topics as well as:
- STEM Fields
Take a look at the curriculum, including core classes, electives, and concentrations to determine which type of program may be right for your career dreams.
Is a Bachelors in General Studies Worth It?
Yes, a bachelors in general studies is worth it for many students. Getting your general education degree online has the potential to prepare you for many different future possibilities, from reaching your career goals to pursuing your educational dreams.
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With a curriculum that encourages enrollees to study many different topics, a general studies degree may be a great place to start for those who are unsure of their professional aspirations, or who want to continue their education in topics that will expand their horizons. A bachelors in general studies can help students work toward their personal and professional goals.
Universities Offering Online Bachelor in General Studies Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
A Bachelor of General Studies is available through Arkansas State University. The program is entirely online. Up to 90 credits of the 120 required credit hours may be transferred into the program. The program requires the choice of two areas of emphasis. Options commonly include Communications, Industrial Management, and Criminology. Courses are 7 weeks long.
Arkansas State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
U.S. News & World Report ranked Ball State University as one of the best schools in the country for online bachelor’s degrees. BSU offers a Bachelor of General Studies through its online degree completion program. Courses are conducted in an asynchronous format and follow a semester schedule. The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours.
Ball State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Drexel University offers a BS in General Studies. The program is available entirely online. Courses are typically offered in quarter semesters, with start dates in the fall, winter, spring, and summer. The degree can be customized through concentrations such as Business or Client Development and Customer Service. The program requires the completion of 180 quarter credits.
Drexel University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
A BA in General Studies is available through Eastern Kentucky University’s fully online program. The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours and allows up to 90 qualifying transfer credits. Courses are 8 weeks long, and there are several convenient start dates. Concentrations in Communication, Leadership and Management, and Safety and Security are available.
Eastern Kentucky University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Indiana State University offers a BA in General Studies. The program is fully online and is designed for applicants who have at least 75 qualifying transfer credits. The school has advisors available to help customize specific degree plans to various career goals. Courses are 8 or 16 weeks long, with start dates throughout the year.
Indiana State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
U.S. News & World Report named Indiana University – East among the best schools in the country to earn an online bachelor’s degree. The school offers a Bachelor’s in General Studies program with 3 concentrations: Arts and Humanities, Natural Science and Mathematics, and Social and Behavioral Science. The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours.
Indiana University – East is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
A Bachelor of General Studies is available through Louisiana State University. The program is fully online. Up to 75% of the 120 required credit hours may be transferred into the program. Various concentrations are available, including Applied Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Courses are taken in an accelerated format, with two start dates per semester.
Louisiana State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Maryville University offers a BA in General Studies with a concentration in Healthcare Studies. The program can be completed entirely online. Courses follow a semester schedule, and there are start dates in the fall, spring, and summer. The program may be completed in 4 years with full-time courses. Courses typically include Cultural Diversity in Health and Illness.
Maryville University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Missouri Baptist University offers a Bachelor of Professional Studies in General Studies. The program is fully online and is taught through a Christian worldview. The completion of 120 credit hours is required, and the school accepts up to 96 qualifying transfer credits. The school also offers the opportunity to earn credit for prior learning. Courses are taken in an accelerated format.
MBU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
A Bachelor of General Studies is available through Northern Illinois University. Applicants are required to meet general education requirements before applying to the degree completion program. The program is fully online, and courses follow a semester schedule. The school offers an advisor to help create a schedule customized to specific career goals.
NIU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
South Dakota State University offers a Bachelor’s in General Studies. The degree completion program is fully online and is designed for adult learners with at least 60 credit hours. SD State offers over 30 ways to customize degrees. Typical requirements include 45 credit hours and a capstone project.
SDSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
A BA in General Studies is available through Southern New Hampshire University. The program is entirely online and is customizable with concentrations like Coding Basic, Entrepreneurship, and Criminal Justice. The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours and accepts up to 90 qualfiying transfer credits. Courses are 8 weeks long, with 6 yearly start dates.
SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Texas Tech University offers a Bachelor of General Studies through a fully online program. Courses are conducted in an asynchronous format. The program follows a semester schedule with two accelerated sessions during the summer. The school offers 3 concentrations to customize the degree program.
Texas Tech University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Trine University offers a BA in General Studies. The program is entirely online, and courses are offered in an asynchronous format. The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours and a capstone project. Various electives are available to help suit specific career plans. Courses are 8 weeks long, and there are several start dates offered each year.
Trine University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
A BS in General Studies is available through the University of Bridgeport. The fully online program is designed with adult learners’ busy schedules in mind. The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours, including 30 hours in a concentration and a capstone project. It also offers an Education minor for a teaching career path.
The University of Bridgeport is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
U.S. News & World Report named the University of Central Florida as one of the best schools in the country for online bachelor’s degrees. The school offers a Bachelor of Integrative General Studies that can be completed entirely online. Applicants must have at least 60 credit hours or an associate’s degree before applying. The program requires the completion of 120 total credits.
The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Central Oklahoma offers a Bachelor of General Studies through a fully online program. The curriculum includes studies in business, education, fine arts, liberal arts, math, and science. The program is designed for degree completion and may award credits for professional experience. Some courses are only 8 weeks long, while others are a full semester.
The University of Central Oklahoma is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Louisiana – Lafayette offers a Bachelor of General Studies that can be earned entirely online. The program commonly offers 6 concentrations, including Art, Natural Science, and Business Studies. The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours. Courses are 8 or 16 weeks long.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Louisville offers a BS in General Studies that can be completed entirely online. Applicants are required to have some college credits and must not have college enrollment in the past two years. The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours. The option to choose two minors allows for degrees to be customized toward career goals.
The University of Louisville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Maryland Global Campus offers a BS in General Studies. The program is fully online. The completion of 120 credit hours is required, and applicants may transfer in up to 90 qualifying credits. At least two minors can be chosen to support various career goals. The program also requires the completion of a capstone experience. Courses are taken in an accelerated format.
UMGC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The University of Missouri – Columbia features a Bachelor’s in General Studies. Courses are completed online, and the program requires the completion of 120 credit hours. The school accepts up to 60 qualifying transfer credits. Prospective students are required to have earned 45 qualifying credit hours before applying. There are three component areas available to customize degree programs.
The University of Missouri – Columbia is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Nebraska – Kearney offers a Bachelor of General Studies. The program is entirely online. Advisors are available to help in choosing courses for specific career plans. Concentrations offered typically include Social Sciences, Fine Arts, Humanities, and Professional Studies. The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours. On average, courses are 8 weeks long.
UNK is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
EDsmart named the University of North Dakota as one of the best schools in the nation for online bachelor’s degrees. The school offers a fully online Bachelor’s in General Studies. The program offers two formats. One follows a semester schedule with set due dates. The other is self-paced, with the average student taking 3 to 9 months per course.
The University of North Dakota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
The University of the Cumberlands offers the opportunity to earn a BA or a BS in General Studies. The program is fully online. Three minors are available to customize degrees to suit specific needs. Some minors available include Media Studies, Christian Studies, and STEM. The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours. Courses are also offered in accelerated half-terms.
The University of the Cumberlands is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Youngstown State University’s Bachelor of General Studies program offers coursework completely online. Applicants must have an associate’s degree before beginning the program. Most courses are offered in an asynchronous format with weekly deadlines. Courses are taken in 8 week terms with several start dates each year.
Youngstown State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Getting Your Bachelor in General Studies Degree Online
If you are contemplating options for advancing your education or your career, a bachelor in general studies degree can help you accomplish both.
Combining math, science, and technology with the skills that can help you succeed in a professional capacity, a general studies degree may be a helpful next step on your way toward achieving your dreams. With many specializations to choose from, you may be able to tailor your degree to help you meet your individual goals.
Take a look at some of these schools to determine which online general studies degree program might be the best fit for you.