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.

Quick Facts

  Next Start Date: August 19, 2024

Ball State’s bachelor of general studies (BGS) degree completion program brings the classroom to you online. The asynchronous courses give you the flexibility to work on assignments during your lunch hour, at your children’s practices, after they’re asleep, or any times that are best for you. Just remember to complete your assignments before your deadlines. 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.

  • 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 many online minors. Choose from African American studies to criminal justice and criminology to sociology and more, all 100% online. The offerings allow you to focus your studies toward the career path you want.

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. 

Grants for College

Good news for Indiana adult students! The Indiana Commission for Higher Education is offering college grants for adults returning to college, or even beginning their educational journey. The Adult Student Grant awards up to $2,000 to help pay for your college expenses and is renewable. This grant is available to Indiana residents, aged 25 and older, who are enrolled or will be enrolled in an undergraduate program.* Review the requirements below and learn if you qualify for the Adult Student Grant.

Learn More about the Adult Student Grant

*Additional requirements are listed on the Indiana Commission for Higher Education Adult Student Grant website.

Meet Our Students

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.

Contact your program advisor to start developing your personal plan of study.

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:  

Tier 1 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.

  • ENG 103 Rhetoric and Writing (3 credits)
  • ENG 104 Composing Research (3 credits)
  • COMM 210 Fundamentals of Public Communication (3 credits)
  • MATH 125 Quantitative Reasoning (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)
  • FIN 101 Personal Finance for Fiscal Wellness (1 credit)
    or, FIN 110 Personal Finance (3 credits)
  • PFW 160 Physical 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)

Select one course from each category below.

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)
  • MUHI 139 Perspectives of Jazz (3 credits)
  • MUST 100 Fundamentals of Music Theory (3 credits)

Humanities: Select one course:

  • COH 100 Introduction to Health Consumerism (3 credits)
  • HIST 201 American History,1492-1876 (3 credits)
  • HIST 202 United States History, 1877 to the Present (3 credits)
  • JOUR 101 Media and Society (3 credits)
  • PHIL 100 Intro to Philosophy (3 credits)
  • RELS 160 Religion in Culture (3 credits) 
  • SP 102 Beginning Spanish 2 (4 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)
  • 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)
  • COMM 240 Intro to Interpersonal Communication (3 credits)
  • CJC 101 Intro to American Criminal Justice System (3 credits)
  • CJC 102 Intro to Criminology (3 credits)
  • CT 100 Future Technology Innovations (3 credits)
  • CT 115 Social Media Video Algorithms and Video Content Elements (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 Introduction to Psychological Science (3 credits)
  • SOC 100 Principles of Sociology (3 credits)
  • SOC 224 Family and Society (3 credits)
  • SOC 242 Social Problems (3 credits)
  • SOC 260 Social Interaction (3 credits)

One course is required from both categories.

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

  • COMM 322 Communication and Popular Culture (3 credits)
  • GCM 184 Graphics: Computer Applications (3 credits)
  • GCM 286 Graphics: Fundamentals of Photography (3 credits)  
  • HIST 310 Introduction to the History of Business in the United States (3 credits)
  • CT 112 Computer Applications for Design Solutions (3 credits)
  • MMP 100 Survey of the Music Industry (3 credits)
  • PHIL 202 Ethics (3 credits)—Can also be counted as a writing emphasis course
  • THEA 207 Design Awareness for the Non-Major (3 credits)

Natural and Social Sciences: Select one course.

  • ANTH 231 Cannibals, Warriors, and Princesses: Native Americans in Popular Culture (3 credits)
  • CJC 229 Decision-Making and Ethics in Criminal Justice (3 credits)
  • CJC 332 Victimology (3 credits)
  • CJC 333 Policing in Free and Diverse Society (3 credits)
  • CJC 350 Criminal Evidence and Procedure (3 credits)
  • ECON 202 Elementary Macroeconomics (3 credits)
  • ECYF 250 Family Relations (3 credits)
  • GEOG 265 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (3 credits)
  • GEOL 206 Oceans and Nations (3 credits)
  • HSC 180 Principles of Public Health (3 credits)
  • HSC 261  Health, Sexuality and family Life (3 credits)
  • SOC 235 Sociology of Gender (3 credits)
  • SOC 328 Globalization and the Social World (3 credits)
  • SOCW 325 Human Behavior and the Social Environment 2 (3 credits)
  • WGS 210 Intro to Women's and Gender Studies (3 credits)
  • WGS 220 International Women's Issues (3 credits)

The requirements for this will depend upon your individual course of study and needs.

Consult with your academic advisor when planning your senior year.

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

  • ISOM 249 Foundations of Business Communication (3 credits)
  • MUSE 265 Basic Music for Classroom Teachers (3 credits)
  • NEWS 105 Journalistic Storytelling: Introduction (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)
  • THEA 317 Pre-Modern Theatre History to 1700 (3 credits)

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?

An application and all required application materials must be received two weeks prior to the start of classes for a given term in order to be considered for admission to Ball State. Our semester start dates can be found in Ball State’s academic calendar.

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.


Students from Other States

Ball State is authorized by the U.S. Department of Education to accept online students from all U.S. states. However, if you are considering a program that leads to professional licensure, some states may have additional regulations. Review our state authorization website if you live outside of Indiana and contact us if you have questions.

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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