About CGS

For over sixty years, Boston University College of General Studies has been a leader in general education—a small liberal arts college providing a world-class general education in the heart of a large research university. The educational practices CGS pioneered and refined—interdisciplinary learning, the Capstone project, the use of e-Portfolios for rigorous assessment, and an emphasis on general education—have since been adopted as best practices in the field of higher education.


  • 1952: The College is founded with a focus on providing general education to World War II and Korean War veterans taking advantage of the GI Bill’s free tuition
  • 1966: The College moves from Copley Square to 871 Commonwealth Avenue, a building designed around CGS’ unique team system
  • 1977: The Capstone project becomes an integral part of the CGS curriculum
  • 1992: The College changes its name from the College of Basic Studies to the College of General Studies
  • 2011: CGS founds the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning to offer interdisciplinary and general education experiences to faculty, students, alumni, and educators around the world
  • 2013: CGS launches the Boston-London program, welcoming its first class of Boston-London students in January 2014

CGS Today

Today, CGS continues its legacy of interdisciplinary teaching and learning. Its two-year program fulfills most of the University’s BU Hub general education requirements, inspiring students to make connections among disciplines and to connect their knowledge to real-world problems. It continues to offer a challenging and comprehensive liberal arts foundation while guiding students on a unique pathway through BU, teaching them how to apply broad learning, how to think critically and creatively, and how to communicate effectively. With its unique first-year experience—a spring semester start date followed by a summer semester in London—CGS offers the only program at Boston University where study abroad is integrated into the first year of college.

Our faculty and leadership still pioneer best practices in interdisciplinary and general education around the globe. And our alumni continue to change the world in every industry and profession they choose—from entertainment to education to business to the medical fields.