No one needs to tell you how important it is to finish your bachelor’s degree. What you need is a do-able degree that considers your work schedule, your devotion to your family, and your social commitments to church or community.

Ball State’s bachelor of general studies (BGS) degree completion program brings the classroom to you online. You can work on assignments during your lunch hour, at your children’s practices, after they’re asleep, or any times that are best for you. Meanwhile, you complete a degree that will mean everything for your career goals. There are so many reasons why Ball State is a great option.


Contact the program advisor to start developing your personal plan of study.
  • You can customize your degree with two minors and extensive elective opportunities.

  • Ball State is not an “online university,” but a brick and mortar institution with nearly a century of history. You can earn the same degree that traditional students earn on campus.

  • Ball State is ranked and recognized nationally, including "best of"rankings for online bachelor’s degrees from U.S. News & World Report.

  • Professors for your online classes are the same innovative faculty who teach classes on our main Ball State campus.

  • Our BGS is offered in an online format that lets you work toward deadlines at your own pace. You log in to class on the particular times or days of the week that work best for your schedule.

  • Ball State accepts your transcripts from accredited schools, no matter how old they are—and courses you took may count toward your degree.

  • As a Ball State online student, you will have access to many of the same services available to students on campus.

  • Ball State University is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Although you earn a general studies degree, you can customize your degree to your career interests by taking two of ten possible minors.

Credits earned recently—or not so recently—from accredited colleges and universities may transfer to the BGS degree, including the minors. Military experience may also be considered for credit. If you are transferring credits from another school or have attended Ball State previously, you may be able to complete other minors.

Many online learners who are working full time do not know about or take advantage of employer tuition reimbursement programs.

What will make your Ball State bachelor's degree stand out from the rest is that it is coming from a competitively priced program from a well-respected, accredited university with many national rankings and recognitions. For instance, we were named one of the best universities in the Midwest for six consecutive years by The Princeton Review and were one of only 15 percent of universities named a Military Friendly School by GI Jobs. 

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Course Requirements

Ball State’s bachelor of general studies (BGS) requires you to fulfill at least 120 credits, all of which can be completed online. For a full list of required courses, see the course catalog.

View Catalog


As part of the online BGS degree, you will be required to choose two minors.

General Electives

Ball State offers a wide variety of elective courses online that will help you fulfill your 120 credit requirements for a bachelor of general studies degree.

Your academic advisor can help you choose the ones best to fine-tune your course plan with your career needs and personal interests. Contact our academic advisors for this program anytime.

University Core Curriculum

Your core curriculum classes are designed to give you the fundamentals of a well-rounded education needed to meet the broad responsibilities of citizenship in a free society. All Ball State students earning a bachelor's degree take core courses. Learn more about the Ball State core curriculum.

NOTE: The core courses in this section are available for online or main-campus students. However, there are core curriculum courses offered on the main campus that are not available online. Whether you are an online or main-campus student, you should work with your advisor to choose the courses best for you.

Core curriculum courses are divided as following:  

12 Required Credits
Select one course from each of the following arts, sciences, and humanities courses:

Fine Arts: Select one course:

  • DANC 100 Intro to Dance History (3 credits)
  • THEA 100 Intro to Theatre (3 credits)
  • AHS 100 Intro to Art (3 credits)
  • MUHI 100 Intro to Music (3 credits)
  • MUST 100 Fundamentals of Music Theory (3 credits)

Humanities: Select one course:

  • ANTH 111 Anthropology, Culture, Globalization (3 credits)
  • HIST 201 American History,1492-1876 (3 credits)
  • HIST 202 American History, 1877-Pres (3 credits)
  • PHIL 100 Intro to Philosophy (3 credits)
  • RELS 160 Intro to Religion in Culture (3 credits) 

Natural Sciences: Select one course:

  • ANTH 105 Introduction to Biological Anthropology (3 credits)
  • ASTR 100 Introduction Astronomy: A Study of the Solar System and Beyond (3 credits)
  • BIO 100 People and the Life Sciences (3 credits)
  • GEOG 101 Earth, Sea, and Sky: A Geographic View (3 credits)
  • GEOL 101 Planet Earth’s Geological Environment (3 credits)
  • HSC 160 Fundamentals of Human Health (3 credits)
  • NREM 101 Environment and Society (3 credits)
  • PHYC 110 General Physics 1 (4 credits)

Social Sciences: Select one course:

  • ANTH 101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (3 credits)
  • CJC 101 Intro to American Criminal Justice System (3 credits)
  • CJC 102 Intro to Criminology (3 credits)
  • ECON 116 Survey of Economic Ideas (3 credits)
  • ECON 201 Elementary Microeconomics (3 credits)
  • GEOG 150 Global Geography (3 credits)
  • POLS 130 American National Government (3 credits)
  • PSYS 100 General Psychology (3 credits)
  • SOC 100 Principles of Sociology (3 credits)
  • SOC 224 Family and Society (3 credits)
  • SOC 242 Social Problems (3 credits)
  • SOC 260 Society and the Individual (3 credits)

Next level: Tier 2 Domain Requirements

Tier 1 includes of the Ball State core curriculum includes the largest number of classes. These foundational courses include subjects you will need to be well-versed for the rest of your college courses and in life.

18 Required Credit Hours

  • ENG 103 Rhetoric and Writing (3 credits)
  • ENG 104 Composing Research (3 credits)
  • COMM 210 Fundamentals of Public Communication (3 credits)
  • MATH 125 Mathematics and Its Applications (3 credits)
  • HIST 150 The West in the World (3 credits)
    or,  HIST 151 World Civilization 1 (3 credits) and HIST 152 World Civilization 2 (3 credits)
  • FCS 135 Financial Literacy (1 credit)
  • PFW 160 Individualized Fitness and Wellness (2 credits)

Business Administration Majors

Instead of Math 125, you are required to take the following two math courses:

  • MATH 111 Pre-Calculus Algebra (3 credits)
  • MATH 132 Brief Calculus (3 credits)

Next level: Tier 1 Domain Requirements

6 Required Credits
One course required from each of these 2 categories:

Fine Arts, Design, and Humanities: Select one course:

  • CAP 200 Fundamentals of Design Thinking (3 credits)
  • HIST 198 Studies in Non-Western Civilizations (3 credits)   
  • HIST 310 Introduction to the History of Business in the United States (3 credits)
  • HIST 370 Foundations of Asian Civilizations (3 credits)—Can also be counted as a writing emphasis course
  • MMP 100 Survey of the Music Industry (3 credits)
  • PHIL 202 Ethics (3 credits)—Can also be counted as a writing emphasis course
  • TGRA 184 Computer Applications in Graphic Arts (3 credits)
  • TGRA 286 Digital Photography 1 (3 credits)

Natural and Social Sciences: Select one course.

  • ANTH 231 Introduction to Native American Studies (3 credits)
  • CJC 311 Race, Ethnic, and Gender Issues in Criminal Justice (3 credits)
  • CJC 329 Decision Making and Ethics in Criminal Justice (3 credits)
  • ECON 202 Elementary Macroeconomics (3 credits)
  • FCSFC 250 Family Relations (3 credits)
  • GEOG 265 Introduction to Geographical Information Systems (3 credits)
  • GEOL 206 Oceans and Nations (3 credits)
  • HSC 180 Principles of Community Health (3 credits)
  • HSC 261  Health, Sexuality and family Life (3 credits)
  • SOC 328 Global and Social World (3 credits)
  • SOCW 230 Human Behavior and the Social Environment 1 (3 credits)
  • WGS 210 Intro to Women's and Gender Studies (3 credits)
  • WGS 220 International Women's Issues (3 credits)

Next level: Tier 3 Capstone Course or Experience

Number of Credits to Be Determined
The requirements for this will vary with your individual course of study and needs. Consult with your academic advisor when planning your senior year.

3 Required Credits
All Ball State students are required to take a course that is writing intensive. You may choose from:

  • HIST 370 Foundations of Asian Civilization (3 credits)—Can also be counted as a Tier 2 course
  • ISOM 249 Foundations of Business Requirement (3 credits)
  • MUSE 265 Music Basics for the Classroom (3 credits)
  • PHIL 202 Ethics (3 credits)—Can also be counted as a Tier 2 course
  • SOCW 250 Human Behavior and the Social Environment 1 (3 credits)

One of the requirements of a Ball State bachelor’s degree is taking the writing proficiency exam.

You’ll take it when you are about halfway through your degree program—after you’ve earned 60 credits and before you’ve reached 90 credits.

You will want to know how online students register and take the test. And, learn more about the Writing Proficiency Program, a university-wide mission.

Credits Through Exams

You may also gain college credit through exams such as the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and Ball State departmental exams. Or, you may qualify for credits for military service.

Ready to Apply?

Whether you are transferring credits in from another university or have never taken college courses anytime or anywhere before now, we invite you to learn about Ball State's admission requirements and how to apply to this program. Admission requirements vary with how far along you are in your education.

Application Deadlines

This program has rolling admissions—which means you can apply any time. Your advisor will help you determine which semester you can start registering for courses.

Please plan for at least 3-4 weeks for staff from your previous schools to send official transcripts to Ball State. We will review as soon as we receive all your application materials.


Admission to Ball State is selective, and we carefully evaluate all application on an individual basis. Applying for admission is easy. Use our convenient, comprehensive, and secure online application.


Students from Other States

Ball State is authorized to accept online students from all U.S. states. However, certain states have regulations regarding licensing programs in nursing and education. Learn more about state authorizations for non-Indiana students.

Want to Learn More

Do you have questions about this program or online learning? We’re here to help! You may request more information using our online form, or feel free to reach out directly to one of our staff.

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