Former students who left BYU without a degree but who have already completed at least 30 hours as admitted undergraduate students on campus are given a second chance to complete their degree through the Bachelor of General Studies program. Students enroll in individual courses through Independent Study, Evening Classes, and the BYU Salt Lake Center as well as on campus during spring and summer terms.
The degrees are awarded by BYU academic colleges, which also approve the curriculum. The major is general studies with a 30-credit emphasis in one of the following study areas: American studies, English, family history, family life, history, management, and psychology.
The Bachelor of General Studies office provides recruitment, admissions, academic advisement, retention, motivation, graduation, and other assistance to students. At the end of the 2011–12 academic year, 1,300 formally admitted students were enrolled in the program (88% female and, on average, 45 years old), and 1,272 have graduated since the program began.
Feedback gathered from BGS graduates confirms that the degree provides a quality learning experience and fulfills the Aims of a BYU Education. In a 2011 survey of graduates, 96% were satisfied to very satisfied with their overall experience in the program. At the same time, 92% rated the overall quality of the program as very good to excellent, and 97% indicated they had mostly or fully achieved their goals.