Bachelor of General Studies

“Every day and everywhere I go, the principles I learned in my classes have sustained me and guided me. I have embraced these lessons and applied them at work, church, and my community.”

BYU Independent Study

All the courses needed to complete BGS degree requirements are offered by BYU Independent Study.

How to Contact BYU Independent Study

Website: elearn.byu.edu
Email: indstudy@byu.edu
Phone: 801–422–2868 or
1–800–914–8931 (toll free)
Address: BYU Independent Study
120 Morris Center
Provo, UT 84602
Office Hours: Monday–Friday
8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. (mountain time)

How Do BYU Independent Study Courses Work?

Independent Study courses are designed to be equivalent in content and credit hours to the courses taught on campus, and usually are taught by the same instructors. Courses vary from teacher to teacher just as they do on campus. However, while on–campus classes involve lectures and class discussions, Independent Study courses present the information primarily through reading and writing assignments.

Upon enrolling in a course, you will receive access to the course materials. Most courses also have required textbooks, and some require other supplemental materials. Each course is divided into multiple lessons with clearly defined objectives. Lessons include reading, writing assignments, other learning activities, and quizzes. Most lessons conclude with an instructor–graded or computer–graded (Speedback) assignment. Courses may have midcourse and/or final exams that must be administered in an approved testing center or by an approved proctor. The description of each course indicates the number of lessons, assignments, and exams required; further information about each course is available in the Independent Study online catalog.

Similar to on–campus classes, Independent Study courses are designed to require about 45 to 50 hours of work per credit hour. Thus you should expect to spend about 150 hours to complete a three–credit course. However, if you are familiar with the subject, you may be able to complete the assignments more quickly; or if you need a little more time to grasp more difficult concepts, you have the flexibility to take more time to review materials and complete assignments.

Independent Study offers free tutoring services for courses in English, management communication, history, geography, government, philosophy, science, and statistics. Students in math courses may use BYU’s Math Lab for tutoring.

Important Note: The BYU Independent Study Office handles all matters dealing with Independent Study course enrollments: enrolling you in courses and sending course materials, processing lessons, facilitating questions to your instructors, handling course transfers and refunds, sending exams, posting grades to transcripts, etc. Contact that office directly for help with your individual Independent Study courses. Contact the Bachelor of General Studies office for any matters relating to your degree program.

Course Completion Time Limits

Most Independent Study courses are not semester based, so you can register for courses at any time during the year. You are given up to one year to complete most courses, allowing you to work at your own pace. However, you will need to work faster than that to complete all your BGS degree requirements within the eight–year degree deadline. You should allow a minimum of one week per credit hour.

In the BGS program, we recommend that you enroll in one or two classes at a time. Since you are allowed to complete courses as quickly as your study time allows, you can focus on just one or two courses at a time and then enroll in subsequent courses. This also spreads out the tuition costs. By enrolling in two courses at once, you have some variety in your study and also can be working on another class while awaiting instructor feedback or exams for the other class.

How Do I Register For a Course?

You may register for a course anytime during the year by enrolling online or by phone (see information above).