Message from the Dean

Natalie McKnight Headshot
Natalie McKnight, Dean of the College of General Studies

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? How can I build the skills employers are looking for? How can I get the most out of my college experience?

Students ask these questions when they’re debating where to go to college, and the College of General Studies (CGS) is uniquely designed to help them find answers. Our two-year, integrated, interdisciplinary program fulfills most BU Hub general education requirements while giving students a strong understanding of the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and rhetoric. Students build the broad base of learning they need to solve problems, think critically and creatively, and take on any challenge in any career they choose.

Because students register onto teams of about 80 students who share the same three faculty members, professors are able to reinforce themes and draw interdisciplinary connections between courses, teaching students to make connections between disciplines and apply that knowledge to solve real-world problems. The team system helps students get to know one another and their faculty 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, graders, or adjuncts), so our students have the benefit of studying with professors focusing solely on them. Academic advisors—all full-time professionals with master’s degrees and higher in counseling, psychology, social work, higher education, and other relevant areas—provide one-on-one guidance to help students chart their academic path. 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

About Dean McKnight

Natalie McKnight has a BA in English and drama from Washington College, a MA in The Writing Seminars from 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.