The September Program of Study

Every student enrolled in the College is a fully matriculated Boston University degree candidate who, upon completion of the two-year program, will have earned a minimum of 48 credit hours within the core curriculum and 16 elective credit hours in the other undergraduate programs of the University, for a total of 64 credits. Completion of these credit hours places a student halfway through the 128-credit requirement for nearly all of the baccalaureate degree programs within the University. For information on continuation with a bachelor’s degree following the CGS program, see CGS’s Academic Progress & Continuation policy.

The general education program includes two years of study in social sciences and humanities, and one year of study in natural sciences and in rhetoric. Students must complete four elective courses totaling 16 credits. To fulfill this requirement, students choose from a variety of courses offered through the University’s undergraduate schools and colleges.

Program Outline

The following outline is a guide to the course of study undertaken by students in the College of General Studies September Program. Schools and colleges within the University and outside institutions may use this information in evaluating College of General Studies coursework for transfer credit. For more detailed course descriptions, consult the Courses section in this website.

Freshman Year

First Semester, 16 credits

  • CGS HU 101 Traditions in the Humanities: The Ancient World through the Renaissance Literature, with Film & Art History (4 cr)
  • CGS RH 101 English Composition: Argument and Critical Thinking (4 cr)
  • CGS SS 101 Introduction to Historical Sociology and the Social Sciences Anthropology, Sociology, Economics, and Social Psychology (4 cr)
  • Elective (4 cr)

Second Semester, 16–18 credits

  • CGS HU 102 Breaks with Tradition: The Enlightenment to the Present Literature, with Film & Art History (4 cr)
  • CGS RH 102 English Composition: Argument and Research (4 cr)
  • CGS SS 102 Social Change and Modernization in the Western World History (4 cr)
  • Elective (4–6 cr)

Sophomore Year

First Semester, 16 –18 credits

  • CGS HU 201 Plato to Nietzsche Philosophy, with Art, Film, and Literature (4 cr)
  • CGS NS 201 Scientific Paradigms and Contemporary Applications Cosmology, Evolution, Biological Chemistry, Genetics (4 cr)
  • CGS SS 201 Social Change and Modernization in the Non-Western World: China and Russia History, Political Theory (4 cr)
  • Elective (4–6 cr)

Second Semester, 16–18 credits

  • CGS HU 202 History of 20th-Century Ethical Philosophy and Applied Ethics Philosophy, with Art, Film, and Literature (4 cr)
  • CGS NS 202 Human and Global Ecology Climatology, Environmental Chemistry, Population Biology (4 cr)
  • CGS SS 202 America’s Response to Aggression and Revolution: U.S. Foreign Policy Since the 1930s Political Science, International Relations(4 cr)
  • Elective (4–6 cr)

Directed Study (Optional)

Directed Study is a College of General Studies course in which a student pursues independent research for academic credit under the guidance of a faculty member. A student who undertakes a Directed Study usually does so to explore in more depth areas covered broadly in courses, or to explore topics not ordinarily covered in the curriculum.

In most cases, students initiate the Directed Study, i.e., they have an idea for a course of study and they approach a CGS faculty member to work with them for Directed Study credit. In other cases, however, students may also request Directed Study credit for working with a CGS professor through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), a University-wide academic program that promotes Boston University undergraduates’ participation in faculty-mentored research projects across all disciplines.

Read the policy on Directed Study for full details.

Internships (Optional)

The College of General Studies offers students the opportunity to receive one credit for internships that require academic credit. Students will be billed for the credit, if applicable. (As always, if a CGS student does not have a 3.0 cumulative GPA or above and is registered for more than 18 credits, h/she will be billed for the overload credit.)

Credit will appear as course “CGS SS 200: Internship” on the transcript. CGS SS 200 does not fulfill a degree requirement at Boston University and does not count toward graduation.

CGS SS 200 is graded on a Pass/Fail basis, and does not affect GPA. A passing grade is assigned once the internship is complete. Student must submit the Internship Supervisor Verification Form (ISVF) to CGS Student Services, room 211.