The September Program of Study

The College of General Studies is an interdisciplinary, general education, core curriculum program. Students must complete the two-year core curriculum to be eligible to continue into the junior year. Upon completion of the program, students will have earned a minimum of 40 credit hours within the core curriculum, and a minimum of 24 elective credit hours in the other undergraduate degree programs at Boston University, for a total minimum of 64 credits. Completion of these credits places students halfway through the 128-credit graduation requirement for nearly most of the baccalaureate degree programs within Boston University. For more information, see the College’s Academic Progress & Graduation policy.

Required core courses include two writing courses in the first year and two natural science courses in the second year. To complete the College of General Studies core curriculum, students select at least three additional CGS humanities courses and at least three additional CGS social sciences courses. For more information, see the College of General Studies Programs page.

The following outline is a guide to the course of study undertaken by students in the College of General Studies September Program. 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.

Rhetoric (required)

  • Freshman year
    • CGS RH 101 English Composition: Argument & Critical Thinking (4 cr)
    • CGS RH 102 English Composition & Research (4 cr)

Humanities (students select at least three CGS HU courses to fulfill the requirement)

  • Freshman year
    • CGS HU 101 Traditions in the Humanities: The Ancient World Through the Renaissance (4 cr)
    • CGS HU 102 Breaks with Tradition: The Enlightenment to the Present (4 cr)
  • Sophomore year
    • CGS HU 201 Plato to Nietzsche (4 cr)
    • CGS HU 202 History of 20th-Century Ethical Philosophy and Applied Ethics (4 cr)

Social Sciences (students select at least three CGS SS courses to fulfill the requirement)

  • Freshman year
    • CGS SS 101 How Societies Work: An Introduction to the Social Sciences (4 cr)
    • CGS SS 102 Modernization: Politics, Economics, and Culture (4 cr)
  • Sophomore year
    • CGS SS 201 Social Change and Modernization in the Non-Western World: Russia and China (4 cr)
    • CGS SS 202 America’s Response to Aggression and Revolution: US Foreign Policy Since the 1930s (4 cr)

Natural Sciences (required)

  • Sophomore year
    • CGS NS 201 Biology I (4 cr)
    • CGS NS 202 Human Ecology/Global Ecology (4 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. Students must submit the Internship Supervisor Verification Form (ISVF) to CGS Student Services, Room 211.