BGS versus BIS

The Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) and Bachelor of Individualized Studies (BIS) degree programs have some things in common. They are both programs that lead to a degree outside of a traditional, existing major––programs in which students have control (within some constraints) over the courses they combine to define their degree program. They are also both overseen by the director of Interdisciplinary Studies and the Interdisciplinary Studies Advisory Council. There are, however, some fundamental differences.

The BGS program requires a certain amount of upper-level course work, but outside of that there are no constraints on the courses that students take. The BIS program requires students to take a certain number of credits from either two or three different disciplines.

The BGS program does not require that students gain approval of the combination of courses they use for their degree. The BIS program requires that a student’s Academic Plan be approved, with at least a certain number of credits remaining to be completed. Thus, while a decision to graduate with a BGS degree can be made toward the end of a student’s undergraduate program, pursuit of a BIS degree is more intentional, and that decision must be made earlier.

If you have questions about which program is right for you, please contact the director of Interdisciplinary Studies (Dr. John Webster) or speak with someone from the Interdisciplinary Studies Advisory Council.