Message from the Dean

Dean Natalie McKnight

Dean Natalie McKnight

What should I study? How can I discover what I want to do with my life? What doors will my college degree open for me when I graduate? Students typically ask themselves these questions when making the important and challenging decision about where to go to college. It is also typical for students to ask how they can get the most out of their college experience.

The College of General Studies (CGS) is uniquely designed to help students productively explore these questions while making the most of their college years. Our two-year, interdisciplinary, team-taught program guides students in developing a strong understanding of the Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences and Rhetoric so they can make informed decisions about their future careers while learning what an educated adult should know.  Because students register onto teams of about 80 who share the same faculty and advisor, professors can make interdisciplinary connections with the other classes the students are taking, so the courses reinforce one another, and students learn the important strategy of drawing from numerous perspectives and disciplines when making decisions and problem solving. The team structure also allows students to get to know one another and their faculty and advisor very quickly so they have a strong social and intellectual community throughout their first two years. Our courses are taught by full-time faculty with PhDs (we do not use teaching assistants or adjuncts), so our students have the benefit of studying with professors whose main focus is them. And the advisors are full-time professionals with Master’s degrees and higher in Counseling, Psychology, Social Work and other relevant areas. At CGS we offer all the advantages of a small, private, liberal arts college within Boston University, one of the best research universities in the country.

Our alumni repeatedly tell us that CGS’s interdisciplinary team approach has enabled them to flourish in their professional lives in the fields of business, medicine, law, education, communications, the entertainment industry, and other fields. Many of our alumni return to CGS to speak to current and prospective students about the advantages of CGS, and our faculty, advisors, administrators, alumni and students are happy to speak with you about the benefits of beginning your university education at the College of General Studies. I encourage you to visit the college or contact us for more information.







Natalie McKnight

Dean and Professor of Humanities


Bio: Natalie McKnight has a BA in English and Drama from Washington College, a Masters in The Writing Seminars from The Johns Hopkins University, and a PhD in English and American Literature from the University of Delaware. She chaired the Humanities Division at CGS for 14 years and served as Associate Dean and Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning for two years. A scholar of Victorian culture, she has published three books on Victorian fiction (Idiots, Madmen and Other Prisoners in Dickens; Suffering Mothers in Mid-Victorian Novels; and Fathers in Victorian Fiction), and she is Co-Editor of Dickens Studies Annual.