WIU has offered the BGS degree since 1972.  This degree was developed to allow mature adults with career and family responsibilities to earn bachelor’s degrees in a manner compatible with their educational needs and lifestyles although in recent years more and more traditional on campus students have migrated to our degree due to its extreme flexibility. The degree requires no campus attendance; it also does not designate a major.  We understand that a non-majored degree will not serve all adults’ needs (i.e., those seeking teacher certification), but we consider this an important feature of the program because it allows BGS students a great deal of flexibility in their course choices.  Students are also allowed up to three minors which can add some depth and concentration to their studies.  The degree program averages about 1500 students and has approximately 7,200 graduates.

This degree was developed in the early 1970s and was originally named the Board of Governors BA degree because it was designed not by a single university, but by the State of Illinois Board of Governors system to be offered by each of the five universities within that system.  When the Board of Governors system was eliminated in the mid-1990s, each university took responsibility for the degree program being offered from its campus.  To signify this change some universities chose to change the name of the degree.  Because the board that is responsible for governing WIU is named the “Board of Trustees”, the name of the WIU degree was changed to the Board of Trustees BA.  In 2010 the name was again changed — to BA in General Studies (BGS) —  to more accurately reflect the nature of the degree.

Please check out our website for more information, our application and additional useful information for current students:  Western/BGS


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