Academic Catalog

General Studies (B.G.S.)

The Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.) degree is a graduation pathway without a traditional academic major in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS).  The General Studies program seeks to accommodate students whose academic careers spanned many years, even decades, and who may have begun their academic careers in colleges, departments, and degree programs that no longer exist.  In such cases, General Studies enables the university to support and honor the work that students have done in the past, and may do upon their return, without certifying expertise in a specific field that may well have undergone considerable change since a student first started. Students cannot elect to join this program. Students must follow a secondary admissions process to be accepted to this program, and should contact their CLAS advisor for more information about how to apply. Students without a current CLAS advisor should contact the University Advising Center to speak to an advisor.

All General Studies admissions decisions are made by an admissions committee made up of advisors, faculty, and administrative staff in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Before applying to join the General Studies program, students must meet these minimum admissions requirements: 

  • The student holds senior-level standing at Wayne State 
  • The student faces a temporal problem (i.e., student stepped away from school; length of time away is at least 5 years) 
  • The student is in good academic standing, with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher 
  • The students has completed the vast majority of university general education requirements (if enrolled after 1985) 
  • The student has completed the vast majority of CLAS (college level) requirements 
  • The student must have completed at least 15 credits applicable to a CLAS-based or discontinued major 
  • The student has completed at least three college-level semesters and a minimum of 30 credits at Wayne State 
  • The student has completed at least 15 credits of intermediate level (3000- or above) coursework at Wayne State 
  • The student has advisor support for their application to the General Studies program  

Preference will be given to students who: (1) have a total number of earned credits that is at or near 120 semester credits (or, at or near 180 quarter system credits, if returning from before Fall 1980); (2) have non-academic factors that prevent completion of their current degree path (e.g., work, age, deployment, residential location, etc.); and (3) have no other feasible pathway to graduation. Students with majors from other colleges and schools at Wayne State University will be considered on a case by case basis. 

Application materials include an application form completed by the student’s advisor, and a personal statement from the student indicating how they meet the above minimum criteria for admission. 

Application deadlines for the General Studies Program

  • Fall term: August 1 
  • Winter term: November 1 
  • Spring/Summer term: April 1 

Inquiries can be addressed to the CLAS General Studies program at

Back to top