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General Studies

Bachelor of General Studies degree

If you want to complete a degree that specifically meets your academic or career goals, or if you want to apply credit and/or learning acquired in different settings toward a degree, then consider the UFV Bachelor of General Studies degree.

The Bachelor of General Studies provides a flexible degree structure for students who wish to create an individualized, cross-disciplinary program of studies that best suits their goals. Some students who currently are enrolled in the program include:

• students who are diversifying to acquire a broad educational background;
• students who intend to become elementary school teachers;
• students whose educational or career interests have changed or who changed institutions partway through their programs;
• students whose main interest lies in a subject area in which UFV does not offer a major;
• students who want to do a sizeable portion of their courses online;
• students who have created a specialized thematic focus to their studies;
• students who are combining minors in a customized way.

All Bachelor of General Studies students are expected to gain a broad general educational background and so are required to complete some course work selected from a variety of disciplines (i.e. breadth requirements). In addition to satisfying the breadth requirements, students also select courses (i.e. electives) that lead to a General option or a Thematic option.

General option

The general option allows students to earn their degree by including the courses used to satisfy the breadth requirements plus 45 credits of upper-level courses, and their appropriate prerequisites. Students may choose to incorporate one or more minors as part of their degree, but there is no requirement to do so.


The following list of minors is available to students in the Bachelor of General Studies degree program. Please refer to the relevant section of the UFV calendar for the specific requirements for each minor.

• Anthropology
• Applied Ethical and Political Philosophy
• Biology
• Business
• Chemistry
• Computer Information Systems
• Computing Science
• Criminal Justice
• Economics
• English
• French
• Geography
• History
• Kinesiology
• Latin American Studies
• Mathematics
• Mathematics and Statistics
• Media and Communication Studies
• Physics
• Sociology
• Theatre
• Visual Arts

Thematic option

The thematic option allows students to create a program of study from a variety of disciplines but with a common theme (for example, international studies, gender studies, social policy, or advertising). One such example is the Bachelor of General Studies — Aviation theme.

Students selecting a thematic option will plan and submit a proposed “thematic area” prepared with the assistance of the program advisor. The plan must include courses that satisfy the breadth requirements plus 45 credits of upper-level study of which 24 credits are in the thematic area. This plan must be approved by a committee of faculty, drawn together because of their expertise in the student’s proposed thematic area.

Police option

The Bachelor of General Studies (Police option) degree is designed primarily for police officers who seek to begin or complete a baccalaureate degree. Students can concentrate on criminal investigations or leadership, an option which allows greater flexibility in building an individualized career path. Another important feature is that the program recognizes selected in-service courses that have been re-written to meet both operational and academic standards. The program is also flexible in that students can elect to take courses from other institutions, either traditional, online, or distance education. Although the program is the result of a joint educational initiative between UFV’s Criminology and Criminal Justice department and the RCMP Pacific Regional Training Centre, plans are in place to offer the program to municipal police officers employed in British Columbia, and eventually to all peace officers in (and outside) Canada.

Co-operative Education option

The Co-operative Education option provides students with the opportunity to acquire paid, career-related work experience in conjunction with their studies in the Bachelor of General Studies degree program. See the Co-operative Education section for more details.

Entrance requirements

Students must have 30 post-secondary credits of which nine must be university-level credits, including three credits of English composition or other writing courses (see program requirements, below). Please note a minimum of 2.0 GPA is required for entry into the degree program.

For the purposes of this degree, post-secondary credits will be interpreted as credits that are transcripted by UFV as 100-level or higher.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition may form an integral part of the BGS degree. It is assumed that students will apply to the degree with many diverse types of learning in their background, including both formal (transcripted) and informal.

For further details about the recognition of informal learning for credit, please see Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition.

Students are required to complete a minimum of 30 credits in UFV courses, including at least 15 upper-level credits. Provided those requirements are met, up to 50 percent of credits required for the degree may be met through recognition of non-formal credit through the PLAR process (including course challenges). Total transfer credit and prior learning credit must not exceed 90 credits.

When to apply

Applications are accepted for entrance to the Fall, Winter, and Summer semesters. For application deadlines, see Specific intake application process.

How to apply

Submit the application fee along with your UFV application for admission form to the Admissions and Records (A&R) office. Application forms are available from any A&R or Student Services office.

Additional documents required for a complete application:
• Official transcripts (or interim transcripts) from all post-secondary institutions you have attended showing grade/course achievement as per entrance requirements.
• A completed “Proposed Plan of Study” form.

The supplemental form, “Proposed Plan of Study,” is available from the program advisor. This form outlines how you plan to meet the graduation requirements. It can be prepared with the help of the Bachelor of General studies program advisor.

You will be advised of an admission decision and, if accepted, will be provided with registration information. A deposit is required when you register. The deposit will be applied to the tuition fees. Final payment of all course fees is due at the end of the second week of class.

Basis for admission decision

Applicants who meet the entrance requirements will be admitted in order of their application date. This date is set when an application, all required documentation, and the application fee have been submitted.

Program requirements

The Bachelor of General Studies requires completion of 120 credits with a minimum grade point average of 2.0. At least 30 credits must be completed at UFV, of which at least 15 must be upper-level credits. The 120 credits must incorporate the breadth requirements as well as include appropriate electives.

Breadth requirements

Graduates of the Bachelor of General Studies program are expected to have:

• effective written and oral communication skills
• effective team and interpersonal skills
• ability to think critically, problem solve, and apply mathematical and scientific reasoning
• an understanding of the scientific and natural world and the ability to use technology
• a sense of social responsibility and citizenship and an understanding of the global context in which we live and work
• an appreciation of the cultural and aesthetic world.

These breadth requirements can be satisfied by successfully completing courses from the list below. For more specific information and possible alternatives to the list, consult the BGS Advisor.

Any three credits of English composition or Communications writing courses chosen from:

• ENGL 105
• CMNS 125
• CMNS 155
• CMNS 251
• ENGL 210

Any six credits selected from:

• Adult Education
• Business
• Child and Youth Care
• Criminology
• Health Science
• Kinesiology
• Social Services, Human Services, Social Work

Any six credits chosen from:

• Mathematics and Statistics
• Philosophy
• Psychology

Any six credits chosen from:

• Agriculture
• Applied Business Technology
• Biology
• Chemistry
• Computer Information Systems
• Computing
• Geography
• Library Technology
• Physics

Any six credits chosen from:

• Anthropology
• Economics
• History
• Latin American Studies
• Media and Communication Studies
• Political Science
• Sociology

Any six credits chosen from:

• English Literature
• Literature in Translation
• Modern Language
• Theatre
• Visual Arts


A student’s choice of electives will depend on their goals, but must include at least 45 upper-level credits, with a minimum GPA of 2.0 on those credits.

Additional requirements for the Thematic option

In order to qualify for the BGS thematic option, students must develop and submit a proposed “thematic area” with the assistance of the program advisor. The “thematic area” will include 24 upper-level credits in the thematic area and should demonstrate an integrated, coherent, and in-depth knowledge in the thematic area.

The plan must be submitted to the program advisor and approved by a two-person faculty team selected for their expertise in the focus area. Students completing their approved thematic plans with a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the thematic courses and satisfying the BGS requirements will receive a Bachelor of General Studies degree with the thematic option identified on their transcripts.

Course listings

For complete details on courses see the course descriptions section.