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B.G.S. FAQs


How do I declare?
If you are a student in LSA you can meet with a Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.) advisor to declare—there are no prerequisites for declaring.

How do I make an appointment with a B.G.S. advisor?
Call 734.764.0332 or stop by 1255 Angell Hall to reserve an appointment with a B.G.S. advisor.  We want to help you make the most of your degree.

Are there prerequisites for the degree?
No, but some upper-level courses will require prerequisites to register or to be successful.

How do I know if B.G.S. is a good fit for me?
If you want to take the initiative to define your own program of study; you are open to different disciplines, methods, and vocabularies; and you are committed to investing the time to synthesize different perspectives, then B.G.S. is a good option. To learn more talk with a B.G.S. advisor.

Can I define a focus or theme in my B.G.S.?
Yes, in fact we encourage you to think intentionally about the intersections among your courses and to develop that focus. Most B.G.S. students who develop a theme draw on courses from 7–9 subjects. B.G.S. is NOT 20-20-20.

Can I take a course pass/fail ?
Yes. You may include up to 30 credits of non-graded coursework (c/nc, p/f) in a B.G.S.

What is the minimum grade for a course to count?
D-. Note that your cumulative and upper-level GPA must  average a 2.0 or higher.

Do I need to complete distribution?
No.

Do I need to complete the language requirement?
No.

Can I take non-LSA courses?
Yes. As with the A.B. and B.S. degrees you may include 20 non-LSA credits in your B.G.S. A maximum of 20 upper-level non-LSA credits may count toward the 60 upper-level credits. Put differently—you must have a minimum of 100 LSA credits and 40 upper-level LSA credits in a B.G.S.

Can I double major with B.G.S.?
No. One cannot do a major in a B.S. or A.B. with B.G.S.. This also precludes doing a second LSA degree with B.G.S.

Can I do a joint degree with B.G.S.?
Yes, if we have an arrangement with that School or College. Schedule an appointment with Jeff Harrold, a member of the Academic Standards Board and a B.G.S. advisor, to discuss your joint degree.

Can I do a minor with B.G.S.?
No, but many interdisciplinary minors can be models for potential courses to include in your B.G.S.

Can I do supplemental studies with B.G.S.?
Yes.  Note that you may overlap only one course between the 60 upper-level credits and the supplemental studies.

Can I complete an Honors option in B.G.S.?
No, but many B.G.S. students have researched and developed significant projects within independent studies as an alternate thesis.

Can I study abroad?
Yes. With the exception of elementary language, all U-M sponsored study abroad programs yield upper-level credit. If you plan to attend a non-U-M program talk with a B.G.S. advisor in advance to ensure that your coursework will count toward your degree as you hope.

Can I transfer credit toward a B.G.S. degree?
Absolutely! As long as you observe the College policies, transfer credit can meet B.G.S. upper-level requirements. Credit posted as 300-level or above departmental credit or as a specific course number (3XX or 4XX) may be included in the B.G.S. degree. If you plan to take credit out-of-residence meet with a B.G.S. advisor in advance to discuss your plans to ensure your coursework transfers as expected.

How can I get a course approved in advance?
Once you know that U-M will accept the transfer credit (hyperlink), meet with a B.G.S. advisor to confirm that the course will count toward your degree.

How can I educate others about my degree?
Be truthful and tell them that you are doing a self-designed, interdisciplinary degree requiring 60 upper-level credits. You may elaborate by explaining your theme or emphasis. On a resume clearly identify your interests. We recommend that you write, “Degree expected/conferred: Bachelor in General Studies, an interdisciplinary degree requiring 60 credits of upper-level work.  My areas of focus are Q, R,  and S with an emphasis in Y.”

Are there scholarship opportunities for B.G.S. students?
Yes. B.G.S. students may apply for LSA scholarships, and for the Blumenfeld Scholarship, which is specific for B.G.S. students.

Will B.G.S. prepare me for graduate school?
B.G.S. is excellent preparation for graduate study, particularly if you are applying to a program that values interdisciplinary problem-solving. If you plan to apply to a discipline-centered graduate program as a B.G.S. student you would want to take advantage of courses, faculty, and research opportunities relevant to your intended field.

What steps do I need to take to apply for graduation?
Just Do It! Go to Wolverine Access and log into Student Business to apply for graduation. We recommend that you apply before you register for your final semester. So if you plan to graduate in May 2018, apply in October 2017. This will initiate an audit which details your degree progress and any outstanding requirements. You do not need a release as you would for a major.