In addition to being offered on Northern State University’s main campus (Aberdeen, SD), this major is also available online and at Huron Community Campus.
The Bachelor of General Studies degree is designed for students who have accumulated significant credits (at least 60) and want to complete a bachelor’s degree, yet for whatever reason are no longer interested in completing a degree in their original program of study. In addition to the standard system general education core and the NSU institutional graduation requirements, students complete three 15-credit emphasis areas instead of a major. The program allows a high degree of flexibility in course selection from a variety of disciplines.
Subject areas from the South Dakota Board of Regents system included in each emphasis area are as follows (excluding some courses):
- Allied Health: BIOL, CHEM, HLTH, MICR, PHGY
- Business: ACCT, BADM, ECON, MIS
- Education: ARTE, ECE, EDER, EDFN, ELED, ELRN, EPSY, INED, LIBM, SEED, SPED
- Fine Arts: ART, ARTD, ARTH, MUAP, MUEN, MUS, THEA
- Humanities: ARAB, ART, ARTH, ENGL, FREN, GER, GREE, HUM, LAKL, LATI, LING, MCOM, MFL, MUS, PHIL, REL, RUSS, SPAN, SPCM, THEA
- Social Science: ANTH, CJUS, ECON, GEOG, GLST, HDFS, HIST, POLS, PSYC, SOC, SS, WMST
- Science, Engineering and Mathematics: A&S, BIOL, CHEM, ESCI, GEOG, GEOL, MATH, PHGY, PHYS, PS, STAT
- Technology: CSC, ELRN, MIS
- Wellness: AT, HLTH, HPE, PE
The degree culminates with a capstone course, which serves to synthesize the chosen emphasis areas. In this course, students will demonstrate they are knowledgeable in their three emphasis areas and that they have achieved college-level competencies in communication, critical analysis, problem solving, and synthesis. The capstone course must be taken from NSU.
Minors may be added but courses used for minor may not also be used in emphasis areas. A minimum of 32 credits must be upper level. Required gpa is 2.0. Residency requirements apply.
Students who complete the BGS degree will be eligible to apply for positions for which a bachelor’s degree is required. While the degree does not prepare students for entry into licensed professions such as K-12 teaching, nursing, or engineering, students will be able to select courses that support other career plans. Graduates will also be eligible for admission to graduate programs that require a bachelor’s degree. Courses taken for other programs or selected to complete the BGS may provide the background needed for graduate programs.
For information on becoming a active NSU student contact Admissions, SC 213, (605) 626-2544. For information on how completed courses apply to this program, contact the Registrar, DH 103 (605) 626-2012 or Justin Bartel, General Studies Advisor at (605) 626-7900.
Student Learning Outcomes
- A systematic process of exploring issues, objects or works through the collection and analysis of evidence that results in informed conclusions or judgments. Analysis is the process of breaking complex topics or issues into parts to gain a better understanding of them. General Studies students will demonstrate the ability to understand and discuss data/information in topics of their interest (e.g., allied health, business, education, fine arts, humanities, social sciences, engineering and math, technology and/or wellness). (Cross-curricular Skill: Inquiry and Analysis)
- A habit of mind characterized by the comprehensive exploration of issues, ideas, artifacts, and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion. Both the capacity to combine or synthesize existing ideas, images, or expertise in original ways and the experience of thinking, reacting, and working in an imaginative way characterized by a high degree of innovation, divergent thinking, and risk taking. General Studies students will demonstrate this through effective oral and written communication in their field of interest. (Cross-curricular Skill: Critical and Creative Thinking)
- The ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively and responsibly use and convey that information to address the need or problem at hand. General Studies students will demonstrate this by identifying appropriate sources and analyzing and interpreting data in their field of interest. (Cross-curricular Skill: Information Literacy)
- Developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values, and motivation that make a difference in the civic life of communities and promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes.Engagement encompasses the actions wherein individuals participate in activities of personal and public concern that are both individually life enriching and socially beneficial to the community. (Cross-curricular Skill: Civic Knowledge and Engagement)
- Cognitive, affective and behavioral skills that support effective and appropriate interaction in a variety of cultural contexts.General Studies students will understand the diversity and complexity of the human experiences through study of the arts and humanities. (Cross-curricular Skill: Intercultural Knowledge)