Students seeking an interdisciplinary degree that would prepare them for a number of different careers might be interested in an online general studies bachelor's degree. As the name implies, there isn't necessarily one specific subject general studies majors study. Rather, they gain knowledge in a variety of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences fields. This can ultimately prepare them for many different careers and graduate programs in professional fields like education, law, government, healthcare, real estate, and social service.
Why a Bachelor’s Degree?
There are many reasons why students pursue online general studies degree programs. They might need a bachelor’s to qualify for professional certification or to advance in their career. They might have an associate degree. They may be a few credits shy of their bachelor’s. They might be planning on earning a master’s or going to a professional school. A bachelor’s in general studies can help lay the foundation for any of these career and personal goals.
Inside a General Studies Bachelor’s Degree Program
Bachelor’s programs take about four years to complete, though this may be longer or shorter depending on the student’s prior education and work experience. During a general studies program, also sometimes called liberal studies, students can expect to take courses in a variety of disciplines, including business, computer science, criminal justice, English, foreign language, history, math, fine arts, natural sciences, and social sciences. They may also have the opportunity to specialize in a particular field or tailor the program to fit their needs or interests.
Students can expect to take writing- and research-intensive courses during a bachelor’s in general studies. Assignments, lectures, and communication between professors and students can be completed online through an online learning platform like Blackboard. Depending on the course, lectures may be live or available online for viewing on the student’s own time.
What’s Next for General Studies Bachelor’s Degree Holders?
Graduates of general studies bachelor’s degrees have cultivated a breadth of knowledge in the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities fields. This can lend itself to any number of entry-level positions, especially those where communication and problem-solving skills are needed, such as in the education, government, or business sectors. Those already in the field may be able to leverage their degree for a promotion or pay raise.
Graduates would also be prepared for continued study in a graduate program of professional field. Potential areas include education, law, government, business, computer science, public health, social work, library science, or management. This is a common path for graduates. At the Indiana University South Bend, for example, more than 80% of its Bachelor of General Studies alumni go to graduate or professional school.