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General Studies

An online general studies degree from Saint Louis University offers a broad base of knowledge you can use to continue your academic pursuits and professional interests. A degree in general studies gives you an appreciation for diverse perspectives, as well as analytical, communication and decision-making skills that can be applied in multiple industries and positions.

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Major in General Studies

SLU’s Bachelor of Arts in general studies requires 120 credit hours and can be completed entirely online. Offered at SLU’s School for Professional Studies, this degree is flexible enough to be pursued by working adults.

Courses explore moral and ethical development, leadership and service, communication and technology, diversity and inquiry. You’ll have the option to take 12 credit hours in a chosen concentration, and you’ll complete the program with a capstone course.

Curriculum and Program Details

Communication and Technology: 12 credits

  • CIS 1150: Concepts and Applications of Technology
  • CMMK 1210: Public Speaking in Organizational Life
  • ENGL 2005: Writing and Research Methods
  • ENGL 4005: Business and Professional Writing

History: 3 credits

  • HIST 1115: Origins of the Modern World to 1500 or HIST 1125: Origins of the Modern World 1500 to Present

Fine Arts and Literature: 6 credits

  • ARTH: Any Fine Arts Course
  • ENGL: Any Literature Course

Philosophy: 6 credits

  • PHIL 1055: Intro to Philosophy: Self and Reality or PHIL 1105: Intro to Philosophy: Critical Thinking
  • PHIL 2055: Ethics

Theology: 6 credits

  • THEO 1005: Theological Foundations
  • THEO: Any THEO course level 2000 or higher

Social Science: 6 credits
Take any two of the following. Courses must be in different disciplines.

  • POLS 1105: American Politics
  • PSYK 1010: General Psychology
  • PST 1900: Survey of Economics
  • SOC 1105: Introduction to Sociology

Natural Science and Quantitative Reasoning: 9 credits
Pick one science, one quantitative reasoning (and one from either discipline)

  • CIS 2850: Principles of Data Analysis
  • CIS 2700: Discrete Methods / Models

One of the above courses or a general elective must meet the requirement as a diversity course. Below are some examples of courses that count towards diversity. Contact your adviser for an updated list.

  • ENGL: 3335 World Literary Traditions III
  • ENGL: 3545 Literature of the African Diaspora
  • ENGL: 3565 Ethnic American Literature
  • HIST: 3825 Medieval Middle East
  • SOC: 1205 Introduction to Anthropology
  • SPR: 3800 Eastern Spirituality
  • SPR: 3840 Women, Religion and Spirituality
  • THEO: 3795 Studies in Non-Christian Religious Traditions

General Studies Major Courses: 39 credits
At least 24 hours must be at the 3000 and 4000 level and at least 6 hours of courses must be taken in each of the following areas:

  • Any two fine arts and literature courses
  • Any two science and technology courses
  • Any two history courses
  • Any two philosophy and theology courses

Capstone: 3 credits

Concentration (optional): 12 credits

General Electives: 18-30 credits

Total credit hours for a B.A. in General Studies: 120-132


A bachelor's degree in general studies covers the basics of a university education. It also shows employers that you can start something and finish it, have a thirst for knowledge, and can be trained in a variety of tasks.

For many professional careers, a bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite for even applying for a job — a bachelor's degree in general studies fulfills that requirement. And some graduates have used their general studies program degree as a stepping stone to continuing education.

  • Jenny Agnew, Ph.D.
  • Kyle Crews, Ph.D.
  • Elise B. Aasgaard, Ph. D.
  • Jessica Baker, M.A.
  • Anbreen Bashir, Ph.D.
  • Alden Bass, Ph.D.
  • George K. Billings, S.T.D.
  • Debra Blanquart, M.A.
  • Craig Boyd, Ph.D.
  • Henry Brownlee Jr., Ph.D.
  • Rebecca Carron-Wood, Ph.D.
  • Paul Coutinho, S.J., Ph. D.
  • Scott Crothers, Ph. D.
  • Tom Dieckmann, M.A.
  • Joseph Dreyer, J.D.
  • Paul Dueren, M.S.W.
  • Mark Etling, Ph.D.
  • Tanya Griffin, M.A.
  • Amy Hall, M.A.
  • Robin Hanson, Ph.D.
  • Josh Hutchison, M.A.
  • Hadley Kombrink, M.A.
  • Matt Lary, M.A.
  • Kim Lintker, M.A.
  • Petruta Lipan, M.F.A., Ph.D.
  • Laurel Madison, Ph.D.
  • Rodney Malone, M.A.
  • Geoffrey Morrison, Ph.D.,emeritus
  • Robert Munshaw, M.A., M.Div.
  • John Ragsdale, Ph.D.
  • Ellen Rehg, Ph.D.
  • Amy Reidel, M.F.A.
  • Kelli Roberts, M.S.
  • Kyle Schenkewitz, Ph.D.
  • Nicholas Smith, M.A., M.Div.
  • Howard Wang, Ph.D.
Tuition and Fees

$640/ Credit Hour

$25.00 Technology Fee

View a List of Tuition and Fees for 2017-18

Learning Outcomes

1. Write in academic style, which includes making, organizing and supporting an argument.

2. Analyze and apply qualitative and/or quantitative information for decision-making and problem-solving.

3. Collaborate in a community of scholars to explore questions raised by the sciences and humanities.

4. Explain how civilizations, religious communities, nations or individuals can inform and be informed by values, ethics and spirituality.

5. Apply an interdisciplinary approach to a social justice issue.

Applicant Criteria

Students interested in studying general studies at SLU must apply directly to the School for Professional Studies. Applications are accepted and processed on a rolling basis. Students are encouraged to apply for admission at least one month before the beginning of the term in which they wish to enroll.

To be eligible for admission, School for Professional Studies students must be at least 22 years old (exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis). Students must have a high school diploma or a GED composite score of at least 2250, and have at least three years of work experience or the equivalent. Students must also successfully complete an admission meeting with a SPS admissions counselor.

transfer credit

Complete Your Degree

Finish your bachelor’s degree at SLU. Most of our students in the School for Professional Studies transfer credits from other institutions. We welcome up to 64 transfer credit hours from community colleges and up to 90 transfer credit hours from four-year accredited institutions.

In addition, a balanced associate’s degree may be accepted in lieu of the School for Professional Studies’ core requirements, with the exception of ENGL 2005.