Feb 26, 2024  
2015-2016 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2015-2016 Undergraduate Bulletin [Archived Catalog]

General Studies (B.G.S.)

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Program: B.G.S.
General Studies

Kettler Hall 144 ~ 260-481-6828 ~ ipfw.edu/dcs/gsdp

The student learning outcomes for the degree are as follows:

  • Speak and write precisely, clearly, and persuasively.
  • Formulate arguments in a variety of contexts.
  • Assess their own arguments and compare and evaluate them with the arguments of others.
  • Understand the nature and diversity of individuals, organizations, cultures, and societies.
  • Demonstrate understanding of scholarly approaches to such abiding questions as the meaning of life, the role of the arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and sciences and mathematics in understanding what being human means, and the limits of knowledge.
  • Apply their knowledge in written, oral communication, or technical competencies.
  • Gather, evaluate, select, organize, and synthesize material in order to complete a research or creative project.
  • Apply the knowledge gained across interdisciplinary boundaries.

General Studies offers a wide variety of personalized degree options to students. They may individually tailor their programs to combine a substantial core of courses basic to a traditional university education and study in career-related areas. Within the flexible framework of degree requirements, students may design an undergraduate program that can more readily meet their career and personal-development goals. Students will be encouraged and assisted in developing a unique academic program complementing their individual interests, abilities, and intellectual and practical concerns.

Students make take advantage of the wide variety of daytime, evening, weekend, and online classes at IPFW. Students may also earn credit by examination, and in some cases earn credit for significant, documentable self-acquired competencies when the learning outcomes have been comparable to those of university-level work. Consideration is given to all previously earned college credit from other accredited institutions. The Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.) program may also be tailored to the needs of those unable to study on campus during regularly scheduled periods. The degree may be completed online.

The Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.) includes courses in broad categories called required areas of learning (listed below) and elective credit that students may earn in any IPFW program. The required areas of learning provide broad exposure to the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, while the electives permit students to explore areas of interest, receive credit for prior university-level experiential learning, and tailor the degree to their individual needs. In each plan of study, students must demonstrate competency in each of the following areas: written communication (two courses), oral communication, mathematics, computer literacy, and a diversity course. After students are admitted to a general studies degree program, students will develop a plan of study to meet their objectives. An advisor will provide assistance in this effort. 

To earn a B.G.S., students must complete the following requirements:

IPFW General Education Requirements Credits: 33

See Part 2 General Education Requirements for approved courses 

General Studies Degree Requirements


 3 Credits, COM 11400 Required

Computer Literacy

See General Studies Academic advisor for list of approved courses


Diversity Course

 See General Studies Academic Advisor for list of approved courses

English Writing

 6 Credits; ENG W131 Required, other English Writing may be picked from approved courses below


3 Credits, Choose one class from the following approved courses or see academic advisor for additional approved courses

Required Areas of Learning

Arts and Humanities Credits: 0-6

(depending upon course selection for general education)


  Afro-American Studies     Foreign Language
  Classical Studies     History
  Communication    Journalism
  Comparative Literature    Music
  Dance    Philosophy
  English (except R150 and W130)    Religous Studies
  Film    Theatre
  Fine Arts   Visual Communication and Design


Science and Mathematics Credits: 3-6

(depending upon course selection for general education)

  • ANTH B200 and E445 (only)
  • Astronomy
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science (includes BUS K 201, K211, K212, K213, K214, K215, and K216)
  • ECON E270 (only)
  • Entomology
  • Forestry and Natural Resources
  • GEOG G107, G109, G315 (only)
  • Geology
  • Horticulture
  • Mathematics (except 109, 113)
  • Physics
  • PPOL K300 or SPEA K300 (only)
  • PSY 12000, 20100, 31000, 31100, 31400, 32900, and 41600 (only)
  • SOC S351 (only)
  • Statistics


Social and Behavior Sciences Credits: 6-9

(depending upon course selection for general education)

  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Linguistics
  • Political Science
  • PPOL J101 (only)
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • WOST W210 (only)

Required Core and Concentration (Major) Credits: 54

  • 12 credits in each required area of learning, including courses from at least two departments in each area Credits: 36
  • 18 credits in one of the three required areas of learning Credits: 18

General Elective Courses Credits: 66

In consultation with an advisor, you are urged to concentrate electives in related departments (15 credits in arts and sciences are required).


Students must complete at least 20 of these credits after admission to the General Studies program. At least one semester must be completed as an IU student. No more than 21 credits in a single arts and sciences department/subject area or 30 credits in a single professional school area may be counted.  A minimum of 30 credits must be taken at the 300–400 level. At least 32 credits must be taken within the IU system or as a Purdue student at IPFW.  No more than 30 credits toward the BGS may be awarded for successful completion of external exams such as CLEP or self-acquired competency.  Students admitted to the BGS program as of Fall 2008 or subsequent semesters may not apply more than 64 credits total from a community college toward the completion of the requirements for the BGS degree.

Total Credits: 120

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