General Studies

BGS Online Information Session


If you are ready to declare BGS as your major, here is a closer look at the degree requirements and structure of the degree.  You must complete the advisement form at the end of the session before meeting with an advisor to declare BGS as your major.
Before completing the form, be sure to visit the General Studies Home and the General Studies Themes pages to learn the basics of BGS and consider which themes best fit your interests and/or courses you have already completed.

The following information session is for transfer and prospective UA students. If you are a current UA student, please log onto eSMS and complete the information session there.

BGS Degree Structure

General Education

  • English 6 units
  • Math 3 units
  • Tier One 18 units
  • Tier Two 12 units*
  • Diversity Emphasis  0-3 units**
  • 1st and 2nd semester language (or equivalent proficiency)  8-10 units***

*Up to 6 units of Tier Two courses may also apply toward the major requirements.
**This requirement may be filled by a designated Tier One or Tier Two course, or by a designated course taken in the student’s major or minor.
***The number of units will vary depending on the language studied.

Total Units in General Education:  47-49 units


General Studies (BGS) Major

A 2.00 GPA in the BGS major is required.

  • Concentration Requirements:  27 units
    Students must select at least three courses, for a total of nine units per Concentration, from three of the seven Themes.
    (Theme descriptions are on the next page.)
  • Emphasis Requirement:  27 units
    Students must select one Theme for the Emphasis.
    (This Theme can be the same as one of the selected Concentration Themes.)
  • Senior Capstone Requirement : 1 unit
  • Total Units in the General Studies Major:  55 units
    At least 36 units out of the 55 units in the major must be upper-division (300-499) courses.
  • Total Number of Units Required for a UA Degree:  120 units
    At least 42 units out of the 120 units must be upper-division (300-499) courses.


BGS majors must select one of the following themes for their Emphasis and three of the following themes for their Concentrations.

  • Arts, Media and Entertainment: Develop skills in criticism and evaluation of art forms, an understanding of the processes by which art and creativity are communicated, and an academic knowledge of promotion and marketing in the performing arts.
  • Economy and Industry: Study business perspectives from a variety of disciplinary fields, and understand the role of economy and industry in society.
  • Global and Intercultural Understanding: Understand the customs, cultures, practices, contributions, and struggles of peoples around the globe.
  • Science, Technology, Health and Society: Examine and evaluate the world from a scientific perspective, either through a multidisciplinary approach or a more in-depth study within one of the science and technology disciplines.
  • Social Behavior and Human Understanding: Learn about differences and similarities between and among individuals in different economic, political, religious, cultural, ethnic, and social groups.
  • Sports and Society: Explore the diversity of experiences and perspectives in the sports industry and broader economic, political, religious, cultural, ethnic, and social systems that apply to the world of sports.
  • Study of the U.S. and the American Experience (only available as a concentration): Explore the diversity of experiences and perspectives in the United States, developing skills in effective writing, critical analysis, research, and the ability to think about problems in multiple ways using multiple theories and methods.

Information for Your Advisor

You must complete this information session by filling in all of the fields below in advance of your advising appointment. If you haven't competed this form, you will be asked to reschedule your appointment.

Which Concentrations are you considering?
(Three Themes, nine units each)

Below each Theme, please list any courses you have already completed that you think fit into your Concentration.

Which Emphasis are you considering?
(One Theme, 27 units)

Please list any courses you have already completed that you think fit into your Focus Cluster.

Career Planning for BGS Students

The Career Services Office (Student Union 411) is an excellent resource for finding career-related experiences and opportunities. Here are some links to help you think about how to market the skills and knowledge you attain through a General Studies degree:

Potential career areas, sample employers, and salary ranges, and more
(Start with the "Degrees Offered" tab and explore by BGS theme)


Below, list three ways in which you plan to support your Bachelor of General Studies degree with Career Planning.

Once you have submitted your information session, please log onto eSMS to set up an appointment with an academic advisor to formally declare the major or discuss it in more detail.