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General Studies - B.G.S.

COLLEGE: College of Arts and Sciences

DEPARTMENT: 105 Bowman Hall
Tel: 330-672-2062
DESCRIPTION: The Bachelor of General Studies is a non-major degree that provides maximum freedom for students who wish to take an interdisciplinary and creative approach to the design of an educational program while maintaining a focus on career or professional goals. It is an individualized program in which students, rather than a faculty department, undertake the responsibility for the research and design of their program. Students choose a minimum of three academic departments in which to select courses and develop a rationale for the way in which these courses are supportive of their career goals.

Since the B.G.S. degree is designed by students to meet their individual academic and career goals, the career opportunities are limitless.

Students who wish to become candidates for the B.G.S. must make a special application to the College of Arts and Sciences. Students should begin the process for evaluation and program review at or near the time they achieve junior standing. The formal application must be submitted by application deadlines prior to the term before students begin the last 30 credit hours of academic work. July 1 is the application deadline for program approval for the fall term; November 1 is the application deadline for program approval for the spring term; and April 1 is the application deadline for program approval for the summer term.

To be admitted to candidacy for the B.G.S. degree, follow the guidelines listed below:

  1. Visit the college office, 105 Bowman Hall, for an initial conference with a B.G.S. advisor. This conference may include or be followed by an evaluation of course credit and further advising as appropriate. Students may be required to produce evidence of consultation with the Office of Career Services in order to develop an appropriate course plan to meet educational and/or career objectives.
  2. The following application steps must be completed: (1) application form, including date of expected graduation; (2) program rationale; and (3) proposed program plan, to the College of Arts and Sciences, requesting admission to the B.G.S. degree program. The rationale should state the interdisciplinary focus of the program design; reasons for seeking the degree; expectations concerning the usefulness of the degree for employment or for further education; acknowledgement of the nontraditional nature of the degree, recognition that the degree falls outside the pattern of standard degrees; and a statement declaring full responsibility for one’s B.G.S. program.
  • Submit a proposed program plan of study, consisting of minimum three academic departments, of which a minimum of one must be housed in the College of Arts and Sciences (e.g., history, theatre and sociology) from which courses will be selected. Maximum 30 credit hours from the College of Business Administration may be counted toward stated degree requirements. The program plan will provide a formula of academic departments from which courses are selected to meet remaining requirements (e.g., 9 credit hours history + 6 credit hours theatre + 12 credit hours sociology + 3 credit hours electives). The plan must include remaining Kent Core and diversity and writing-intensive course requirements. In planning the proposed program of study, allowance should be made for the total number of credit hours and the total number of upper-division hours needed to complete the degree. A maximum of 6 credit hours of electives—courses to meet hourly totals but not bound by an academic department classification—may be permitted as part of the program plan formula. Not every course is suitable for the B.G.S. program. The B.G.S. advisor will inform students which courses are not available.
  • However, regardless of remaining total and upper-division requirements, the program plan MUST include a minimum of 12 upper-division semester credit hours and a minimum total of 30 semester credit hours.
  • Courses taken as part of the B.G.S. program plan are excluded from the Pass/Fail grading option
  1. When the proposed program of study and rationale have been approved by the college, complete a Change of Program form in the college office. The signing of this form completes admission to the program
The Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.) requires a total of 121 semester hours of successfully completed credits. In addition, 42 of those 121 credit hours must be at the upper-division (30000-40000) level. Students must complete the degree with minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA.

Students pursuing the B.G.S. must complete the university’s Kent Core and diversity and writing-intensive course requirements as described in this Catalog.

(1) Minimum 3 semester credit hours in mathematics, logic or computer science; and (2) minimum one laboratory science within the 6-credit-hour basic sciences Kent Core category. Courses taken to satisfy the social sciences must be taken in at least two curricular areas (e.g., ANTH, ECON, etc.). Courses taken to satisfy the Kent Core should be carefully chosen to fit in with the overall B.G.S. program. University and college requirements apply to this degree.

All of the limitations on the applicability of credit described in this Catalog  apply to the B.G.S. These limitations affect applied and nontraditional coursework, applied music and music ensembles, native languages other than English, physical education activity courses and ROTC courses.

No more than 24 semester credit hours in any one department may be counted toward the 121 credit hours required for graduation. When two or more disciplines are housed in one department (such as French and Spanish), they may be counted separately.

Students who already have completed the course or hour requirement for another major may not be admitted to the B.G.S. program unless given special permission by the College of Arts and Sciences. Students who already have earned a baccalaureate degree are not eligible to pursue the B.G.S. degree.No credit will be allowed for duplication of courses. 

No credit will be allowed for duplication of certain series of courses as stated elsewhere in this Catalog.
ADVISING: Because the B.G.S. is a nontraditional degree program, it is essential that students pursuing this degree plan their programs with care. Careful planning demands close consultation with advisors in the college
office and with faculty advisors in the departments where the student plans to concentrate coursework, as well as with advisors in Career Services to research potential educational and career goals. Extensive
advising is especially important for students who plan to pursue advanced studies after completing the B.G.S. degree.

Students pursuing the B.G.S. degree are officially advised in the college office. All decisions regarding students’ program plans are made in the college office, including approval of any alteration in the departmental formulas provided in the original program plan.

All changes must be requested in writing at least six weeks prior to course registration and must include a revised program rationale.

Not every course is suitable for the B.G.S. program. The B.G.S. advisor will inform students which courses are not available.

STUDY ABROAD/AWAY OPPORTUNITIES: There are many study abroad/away opportunities, for more information contact the Office of International Affairs.
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