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What Is a General Studies Degree?

General Studies Classroom

General Studies is an academic field that does not focus on one specific course of study. Instead, a major in general studies provides students with a breadth of knowledge across disciplines and depth into specific areas of personal interest. General studies degree programs are designed to be well rounded. 

“General Studies is for the student who is not afraid to learn and experience a diverse array of subjects in order to become a well-rounded citizen of academe. A degree in General Studies will give you a comparative advantage over other students because you will be exposed to more than just one discipline, allowing for a more varied education and understanding of real world experiences.”

 — Joseph H. Hancock II, PhD, Associate Professor, Drexel University

Benefits of a General Studies Degree

The advantages of a general studies degree are diverse and meaningful to students looking to finish a degree. At Drexel’s Goodwin College, you can maximize transfer credits to make the most of prior learning and build an individualized program around your unique interests and goals. General Studies allows you to explore multiple areas of interest and prepares you for a variety of different job opportunities through specializations and minors. By earning a degree in general studies, you can apply your learning right away to your career or transition into a new field.

Many employers are seeking applicants with a diverse skillset. A degree in general studies allows you to combine a core of professional fundamentals with a broad selection of in-demand electives and minors that can be tailored to your pursuits. 

One of the main benefits of a general studies degree at Drexel is the one-on-one support you receive from advisors who are attuned to the needs of adult learners. You also gain the renowned career readiness that only a Drexel degree can provide. 

What is a Bachelor of Science in General Studies? 

Drexel’s BS in General Studies is a multidisciplinary degree that is designed for adult learners and traditional undergraduates seeking to explore academic and professional areas of interest. What sets a general studies degree apart from other majors is the flexibility of learning. After completing core general studies requirements, students build a curriculum through a combination of liberal studies, free electives and areas of specialization. Explore more on our curriculum page.

Drexel’s BS in General Studies is 180 credits and many students complete theirs online and part time — though full-time and on-campus options are available. Depending on how many credits a student transfers in and how many courses are taken each term, on average, students complete the degree within two to six years. 

The Goodwin College BS in General Studies provides:

  • A flexible path toward degree completion
  • Access to Drexel faculty through a wide range of degree-applicable course options
  • The ability to study a variety of subjects that have produced innovative ideas in multiple industries
  • Opportunity for continued enrollment and timely persistence to degree
  • Strong, developmental academic advising support

Who Should Take General Studies as a Major?

Drexel’s Bachelor of Science in General Studies welcomes students from a diverse range of personal, academic and professional backgrounds. The broad appeal and individualized nature of a degree in general studies makes it an ideal program for:

  • Adult learners with transferable academic, military or professional learning credit
  • Working professionals seeking academic flexibility
  • Transfer students from community colleges or other undergraduate programs
  • Individuals with multiple areas of interest seeking stackable credentials and specializations
  • Current undergraduates in search of a new major without wanting to lose progress toward their degree

Want to know more about what you can do with a BS in General Studies? Visit our Jobs & Careers page>