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Bachelor of General Studies

What is the BGS degree?

The Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) degree is an undergraduate degree specifically for adult learners who have delayed or interrupted their studies, or for whom their original major is no longer appropriate.

Thus, a student is required to have at least 75 earned credit hours with a overall GPA of 2.0 or higher and complete general studies, math and English composition before a BGS major can be declared.

The BGS degree is designed to be multidisciplinary and have maximum flexibility to suit the needs of the widest variety of students.

The BGS will allow you to build a custom concentration out of two minors, rather than a single content focus while meeting all bachelor's degree requirements.

Your path to a bachelor’s degree will be built around your unique college credit history, and, if applicable, incorporate transfer credits and past major-specific work.

Please speak to an advisor to develop a degree path based on your unique college credit history.

Online Completion

Minors that are offered entirely online:

  • applied computer technology
  • business
  • criminal justice
  • economics
  • health informatics and information management
  • psychology

Most general education courses are also online.

Degree Requirements

Students receiving the BGS degree are subject to the following degree requirements:

  • Completion of a minimum of 124 credits, including 45 from a senior college (100 level and above)
  • Completion of a minimum of 30 credits in upper level coursework with at least 15 credits earned at Missouri Western
  • Earn 30 of the last 45 credit hours at Missouri Western
  • Participation in departmental and campus wide assessment efforts
  • Earn an overall GPA of at least a 2.0 and a GPA of at least 2.0 in each concentration

Concentration Areas

The BGS degree consists of two concentrations:

  • The first concentration must be an existing Missouri Western minor.
  • The second concentration must be either an existing Missouri Western minor or a custom concentration modeled after a major or minor degree program at a regionally accredited institution.
  • The second concentration must contain a minimum of 18 hours of courses that do not duplicate courses in the first concentration.
  • One of the concentrations must have a credit bearing applied learning component.
  • A minimum 2.0 GPA is required in each concentration and no more than 2 Ds are allowed in both concentrations combined.

Custom concentrations:

  • Must contain a minimum of 9 hours 300 level or above.
  • Students should work closely with a faculty advisor in ensuring that a custom concentration represents a coherent curriculum.
  • Custom concentrations require the approval of the area dean, and the curriculum must be detailed on the BGS Custom Concentration Form and submitted with the Major Declaration Form.


Can I do two minors within the same discipline (e.g., Theatre & Cinema; Speech Communication & Speech and Theatre; Computer Information Systems & Applied Computer Technology; Musical Theatre & Music Technology; Recreation Sport Management & Athletic Coaching)?
Yes, two minors from the same discipline can be used for the BGS. If particular courses are in both minors, they can only be used once. Each minor/concentration must include a minimum of 18 unique credit hours. Additional hours for the second minor will need to be approved by the chair to substitute for the courses already used in the first minor.
Can an applied learning course be used for both the applied learning requirement and for a requirement within the minor?
Yes. Often one of the courses in the minor will be used to fulfill the applied learning requirement.
Do a certain number of MWSU hours need to be used for each minor?
No. While Missouri Western graduates must earn at least 30 of their last 45 hours at Missouri Western, and while at least 15 upper division hours must be earned at Missouri Western, transfer courses may be used for the BGS minors. It would be theoretically possible (although HIGHLY unlikely) for a student to have both minors consist fully of transfer hours. Department chairs may determine that a particular number of hours within the minor must be earned at Missouri Western.
Is there a limit on how old coursework can be and still be applicable to degrees?
Yes and No. College credit more than 10 years old cannot be used to fulfill minor requirements unless approved by the relevant department chair. General education credits more than 10 years old may be used to fulfill general education requirements.