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Applied Studies Option

Both the Applied Studies Option and the Individualized Studies Option of the BGS program require completion of at least 124 credit hours, of which

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Program Requirements
Individualized Studies Option
USI Core Curriculum
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  • at least 30 credit hours must be at the 300/400 (junior/senior) level
  • at least 30 credit hours must be from USI 
  • at least 21 credit hours must be completed after admission to the BGS program 

    Applied Studies Requirements

  • University Core Curriculum - 50 hours
  • Applied Studies block credit - up to 45 hours
  • Occupational Internship - up to 6 hours
  • Interdisciplinary Concentration* - 30 hours
  • Electives as needed to reach 124-hour requirement for degree completion

*The Interdisciplinary Concentrations are Information Technology Studies.

    Block Credit

Students who hold a technical certificate or an associate degree from an accredited institution may be awarded up to 45 hours of block credit toward the BGS.  Course work toward an incomplete technical certificate or AAS will be evaluated on an individual basis.

    Credit by Examination

BGS students have two opportunities to receive course credit based upon previously acquired but undocumented knowledge. The first is through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), a nationally recognized testing system that awards credit for passing 90-minute exams in specific subject areas. For more information on college credit through CLEP, visit

The second way to earn college credit for previous knowledge is through departmental exams at USI. Each school and academic department establishes guidelines for when and how coursework may be waived based upon a student's ability to demonstrate competency via exams, portfolios, etc. If you believe you may be able to qualify for credit via departmental exams please discuss your interest with your BGS advisor. 

    Available upper-level courses recommended for BGS program
available each fall and spring via distance education

GENS 498 Personal & Professional Development (3 credit hours).  This capstone course satisfies the University Core Curriculum's Category D: Synthesis for students pursuing the Bachelor of General Studies.  Others may enroll for elective credit.  This course is an interdisciplinary study of adult human development and self.  Theories of psychosocial, cognitive, moral, and faith development are examined and compared with the student's personal history and career development in the form of a professional portfolio and a thematic autobiography.  The assigned Applied Research Project draws from the student's critical thinking and information processing skills in identifying a contemporary problem in an organization, gathering pertinent information for analysis, and choosing an appropriate solution.  Prerequisites:  PSY 201, senior standing, and consent of instructor

GENS 490 General Studies Internship (1-6 credit hours) is designed to recognize the value of experiential learning activities and work experience relevant to the individual's program.  Each student, as directed by a faculty member, and with consultation from the Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) director, will develop a project that demonstrates the integration of prior educational and work experience with University coursework into a unified and meaningful whole.   The number of hours of credit to be awarded will be determined by the faculty member, but may not exceed six.  Credit will be awarded only after the student has been admitted to the BGS program.

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