Bachelor of General Studies Degree

The Division of Continuing Studies administers the BGS degree, which has been conferred on more than 21,000 candidates since its inception in 1950. The BGS degree grew out of the realization that working adults seeking college degrees have different needs than traditional college students.

What Makes the BGS Unique?

The BGS degree is geared toward the unique circumstances and needs of the adult student. The BGS:

  • Affords maximum flexibility of course selection. Students may choose courses to meet individual career requirements, build programs of maximum academic strength in preparation for graduate study, or satisfy personal interests.
  • Includes liberal “credit by examination” provisions enabling students to establish degree credit for acquired knowledge.
  • Features comprehensive credit-granting policies for formal learning experiences obtained outside of the college classroom (military service schools; hospital diploma programs for nurses and radiologic technicians; and professional programs in banking and insurance are examples).
  • Features liberal acceptance of credits from any regionally accredited postsecondary institution.
  • Offers an academic amnesty policy. This policy gives adult students who compiled poor collegiate records in earlier years from the University of Nebraska system a second chance by allowing them to “start over”.
  • Recognizes the geographic mobility of adult students by its innovative residency policy.

Allows students to complete degree requirements of the catalogue under which they entered the Division of Continuing Studies, allowing interruption of studies for personal reasons without facing changes in degree requirements.

Distance Education/Online Degrees

The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) provides access and opportunity for individuals who cannot attend on-campus classes. Traveling to campus to further educational goals is not always possible. With the help of technology, the opportunity to maintain commitments while earning a degree exists. The online BGS degree program provides maximum flexibility and a versatile educational background. Online options include concentrations in general administration, information assurance, management information systems, and nonprofit administration. A low-residency concentration in library science is also available. The most flexible online option is a BGS degree in General Studies.

DCS Academic Advisers

DCS academic advisers are available day and evening to students through every step of their academic career. Advisers can answer initial questions in regard to the suitability of the BGS, can help map course choices and customize learning experiences, and can help in all steps along the way to earning a BGS degree. Visit our Web site,, to schedule an advising appointment or call 402-554-2370 for on-campus advising appointments. Offutt Air Force Base personnel can call 402-595-2371 to schedule an appointment on the base.

Admissions Requirements for the Division of Continuing Studies

Special policies have been developed to assist adult students in the DCS application process. The following policies apply:

  • Students must be 21 years of age to be admitted to Continuing Studies.
  • Students need to submit a high school transcript but are NOT required to submit scores from the ACT or SAT.
  • Transfer students are welcome. Submit official transcripts for each college or university attended. College level courses completed with a “C-“or better are accepted from regionally accredited colleges and universities. A maximum of 64 semester hours will be accepted from two-year schools. NOTE: Active duty military personnel may be admitted prior to reaching age 21. However, military students under 21 are required to submit high school transcripts and either an ACT or SAT score. See a DCS adviser for details.

High School Requirements

Adults who have not completed high school must complete the high school equivalency examinations (GED). For information about the GED and GED test preparation, contact a high school principal.

Structuring the BGS Degree

Selecting the courses for a BGS degree is both a self-directed activity and a cooperative effort with a DCS academic adviser. The degree’s structure encourages students to choose specific courses for maximum career and personal interests. While freedom of choice is stressed, this by no means implies an absence of guidelines. Scheduling an appointment with a DCS adviser is highly important before enrolling in the BGS program. Advisers will discuss educational needs and help determine the particular courses needed for a student’s personalized curriculum. When structuring a program of study, BGS students should consider the requirements necessary to fulfill the equivalent of a B.A. or B.S. degree (administered by other UNO colleges), as well as the entrance requirements for graduate programs. Another excellent source of guidance includes faculty who specialize in the student’s chosen area of concentration or area of emphasis.

Requirements for the Bachelor of General Studies Degree

To earn the BGS degree, students must:

  • Successfully complete 120 credit hours;
  • Complete a minimum of 24 of the final 48 credit hours as graded credit earned at UNO;
  • Earn at least 30 credit hours from upper division courses (junior-senior level, numbered 3000 or higher);
  • Have a minimum overall grade point average of 2.0 (“C”) earned within the University of Nebraska system;
  • Earn a grade of “C-” or above in all English composition classes; and
  • Earn a grade of “C-” or above in all courses used in an area of concentration (Option I) or in an area of emphasis (Option II).

BGS General Education Core

Two options exist for pursuing the BGS degree. Both options require a general education academic core of 41 credit hours and provide for a substantial number of elective credits.

Fundamental Academic Skills

English Composition (9 credit hours )

The first 6 hours of the English composition requirement may be satisfied via one of the following: (1) placing above the academic level of English Composition 1150 and 1160 on the English Diagnostic Examination (EPPE); (2) successfully completing English 1150-1160 with a grade of “C-” or above; or (3) transferring six credit hours from another accredited institution with a grade of “C-” or above. Consult a DCS academic adviser for a list of acceptable courses to fulfill the remaining three hours.

Mathematics (3 credit hours )

MATH 1310 or equivalent must be completed to satisfy the 3 hour mathematics portion of this requirement

Public Speaking (3)

SPCH 1110, 2120 or equivalent is required.

Distribution Requirements

Social Science (9 credit hours )

No more than 6 hours may be applied from any social science department. Consult a DCS academic adviser for a list of acceptable courses.

Humanities (9 credit hours )

No more than 6 may be taken in any onehumanities area. Consult a DCS academic adviser for a list of acceptable courses.

Natural & Physical Sciences (8 credit hours )

Students must complete 8 credit hours of course work representing at least two different disciplines in this category with at least one laboratory course. Consult a DCS academic adviser for a list of acceptable courses.


Cultural Diversity (6 credit hours )

A minimum of 6 credit hours must be taken in cultural diversity courses that can be used to satisfy other requirements as well. Three hours of this requirement must be a U.S. Diversity course, the other three hours must be a Global Diversity course. Consult a DCS academic adviser for a list of acceptable courses.