Bachelor of General Studies • West Plains

What is the Bachelor of General Studies (BGS)?

The Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) is an interdisciplinary degree program designed for students with broad interests and capabilities who are not able to complete a traditional major. 

The Bachelor of General Studies is administered by Interdisciplinary Studies through the Provost's Office. Applications are reviewed by the Faculty Senate Council on General Education and Interdisciplinary Programs, along with the Associate Provost of Student Development and Public Affairs. 

How is a BGS different than an individualized major?

A faculty committee is not required and students don't have to integrate multiple areas into a program. 


  • Former students: In the past ten years approximately 4800 students with 90 or more credit hours have left MSU without degrees. With a BGS, former students who chose to explore different academic areas can obtain an alternative degree. 
  • Current students: The BGS provides more options to current students who are not well-served by the traditional system. Its alternative structure maintains and ensures the quality of an undergraduate experience and education. 

Admission Requirements

  • 75 college credit hours completed
  • An essay summarizing educational background and personal benefits of a BGS degree. 

Program Requirements

Students must choose either two or three departments of study to complete a total of 45 credit hours. 

  • Two departments of study - 21 hours; 24 hours
  • Three departments of study - 15 hours in each department

Other requirements include:

  • Complete all General Education, graduation, constitutional study, GPA, university exit exam, and residence requirements. 
  • Fulfill the Public Affairs capstone requirement in one of the chosen departments of study.
  • Complete all BGS courses in the major with a C or better.
  • 18 of the 45 hours must be upper division courses. 
  • 9 hours must be at or above the 400 level. 

Jamie Schweiger, Academic Advisor, 417-836-5258 or email
University Hall, Room 109