Earn a General Studies Degree Online
- $320/credit (120 credits)
- Transfer up to 90 credits
- 100% online instruction
- Finish your degree faster
- Dozens of concentrations available
- No application fee or SAT/ACT scores required
General Studies Degree Online Program Overview
Tailor your degree and earn it faster with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in General Studies degree online. This meaningful milestone can help you maximize already-earned credits and get a degree in the shortest amount of time – especially if you're already working in a field you love.
At Southern New Hampshire University, your general studies degree can give you a strong foundation of general education courses, including writing, humanities, history and science. You’ll also develop in-demand career skills like critical thinking and communication to gain an edge in the competitive job market.
Learn how to:
- View human culture and the world through multiple lenses
- Adapt communication for various audiences
- Analyze and assess the value of information
- Show empathy toward diverse cultures and perspectives
- Make ethical decisions to promote positive change
- Apply classroom learning to real world situations
With the help of your academic advisor, you’ll focus your online general studies degree on a concentration that aligns with your interests and career goals. Concentrations for a bachelor of general studies include information technology, business, communication, creative writing, psychology, sport management and so much more.
A general studies degree can prepare you for a range of job opportunities. The critical thinking and communication skills you gain with a bachelor of general studies can benefit many career paths. And having a 4-year degree can help you advance a career across many fields.
"More and more employers require a bachelor’s degree for eligibility for career advancement opportunities, and professionals with bachelor’s degrees are more likely to earn higher incomes,” said Priscilla Hobbs, SNHU’s associate dean of general education and interdisciplinary studies. “Because this degree lets you choose the concentration pathway that suits you, you have the opportunity to explore a variety of career options."
Earning an undergraduate degree can significantly boost your lifetime earnings and reduce your chances of unemployment. A general studies degree program can help you complete your degree – and reap these benefits – faster.
A bachelor’s degree could increase your median weekly earnings by about 67%, compared to working with only a high school diploma.1 In 2020, bachelor's degree holders also earned 48% more each week than workers who have completed some college courses but do not have a degree.1
Jobs for bachelor’s degree holders are growing. Jobs that require a 4-year degree are projected to grow 10% betweenthrough 2026 – faster than the national average.1
Bachelor’s degree holders also experienced lower rates of unemployment than workers with less education, at 5.5% in 2020. Workers with some college experience but no degree saw 8.3% unemployment in 2020, while the unemployment rate for workers with only a high school diploma was 9%.1
No matter what career goals you have, completing your bachelor's degree can help you get ahead.
Jon Galvin '16 said earning a bachelor's degree was key to his long-term career potential. Working without a degree had kept him from management positions and a higher salary during a 10-year career as a civilian in the computer industry. After returning to active duty in the military, Galvin said he knew that SNHU's general studies bachelor's degree program would allow him to complete his degree – and help him prepare for the next chapter.
"Now that I have that degree, the doors that are open are limitless," Galvin said.
A bachelor of general studies from SNHU can give you the skills you need to get started in entry-level and management positions across a broad range of industries.
"Before even completing my degree, I accepted a position as the head of park maintenance for my city," said Cody McKee '20. "My work experience played a large role in that, but I believe the fact that I was nearing completion of a bachelor's degree really set me apart. Subsequently, since completing my degree, I have seen a large uptick in recruiters reaching out to me from all over the country, and I have been offered positions at other municipalities and lawn and landscape firms."
With dozens of degree concentrations available, you can get the specialized training you need to explore careers in fast-growing fields like human services, human resources, marketing and more.
For example, jobs for social and human services assistants are projected to grow 17% through 2030 – much faster than the national average for all occupations.1 The need for human resource specialists is projected to see a 10% increase, and jobs for advertising, promotions and marketing managers are also projected to see a 10% increase through 2030.1
An online general studies degree can also prepare you to advance your education with one of SNHU’s many online master’s degree programs. By completing your undergraduate degree as quickly as possible, you can get started on a valuable master’s degree sooner.
Earning your master's degree can boost your career growth and salary potential even further. Workers with a master’s degree earned a median weekly salary of $1,545 in 2020 – nearly 20% higher than bachelor’s degree holders. The same year, master's degree holders saw only 4.1% unemployment rates.1
Start Your Journey Toward an Online General Studies Degree
Why SNHU for Your General Studies Degree
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation, plus financial aid for those who qualify. We also make it easy to transfer to SNHU by accepting up to 90 credits from your previous institution.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 100,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), a regional accreditor, which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, SNHU has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
- “Most Innovative” regional university honors from U.S. News & World Report each year since 2015
- A $1 million grant from Google.org to explore soft skills assessments for high-need youth
- Recognition as a 2017 Digital Learning Innovator by the Online Learning Consortium
At Southern New Hampshire University, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 200,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate the field. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
As an online student, there's still plenty of opportunity for you to interact with your peers and get involved with the SNHU community.
96.5% of students would recommend SNHU.2 Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Part of our mission to expand access to quality higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. That’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials.
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 6 (8-week) undergraduate terms.
How to Apply
Simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options, answer all your questions and walk you through the application process. Start by:
- Completing a free undergraduate application
- Providing previous institutions attended – so SNHU can retrieve transcripts for you at no cost
Test scores are not required as part of your application.
Courses & Curriculum
SNHU's general studies degree online provides a solid foundation of critical thinking and other career skills that can give you a competitive edge.
The curriculum offers a broad base of liberal arts coursework that can be customized to your previous college experience and interests. In the general studies program, you'll be on the fast track to a valuable 4-year degree.
"The (general studies) program is designed to help busy students finish their degrees,” said Priscilla Hobbs, SNHU’s associate dean of general education and interdisciplinary studies. “If you have earned credits from other institutions and experiences, but have yet to earn your degree, this program lets you leverage those credits toward a degree that will open opportunities toward achieving your professional goals."
A general studies degree at SNHU includes 120 course credits. Requirements include 42 general education credits, 12 credits in a concentration of your choice, a 3-credit degree planning course and 63 elective course credits.
SNHU’s generous transfer policy accepts up to 90 transfer credits toward an online bachelor’s degree program. This means you could take as few as 5 terms – or 10 courses – to complete your degree.
"I was able to transfer in 90 credit hours from other universities and complete my degree in a year," said Cody McKee '20.
Not only did McKee save time – he gained a much more enriching learning experience. "I have been enrolled in 3 other universities prior to my time at SNHU," McKee said. "I feel like I actually learned more in SNHU classes than any of the other institutions I attended. The discussion posts and essays really required you to know the material you were studying and dive into it in a way that I never felt like I had to before."
The general studies bachelor's degree program kicks off with a degree planning course. This course helps you establish goals and outline your coursework so you have a clear path to graduation.
General education courses are designed to give you in-demand skills that employers want and lay the groundwork for lifelong learning. In these courses, you'll explore a broad range of educational topics, including:
- English composition
- Social sciences
- Natural sciences
The courses you take for your general studies degree concentration depend on your career goals and interests.
"There are several concentration options that you may choose, each focused on the essential skills desired by employers across the spectrum," Hobbs said. "These skills may be oriented toward a discipline, such as accounting or psychology, or toward a valuable skill, such as leadership or creative problem-solving. With the variety of options, you can choose the path that works best for you and your goals."
The concentration options can be explored in more detail during the degree planning course at the start of your program. Your academic advisor is also available to support you through the process of choosing a concentration.
Kaylee Castillo '21 chose to pursue the human resources concentration.
"I wanted to study this program to gain knowledge pertaining to the human resources field," she said. "I was attracted to the organizational leadership courses like Human Resource Management, Employee and Labor Relations, and Total Rewards."Cody McKee '20 studied a concentration that could open up doors for him.
"I chose a concentration in environmental science," he said. "I have worked in lawn and landscape my entire life, and I was looking to find a path that would help me branch off of that into a role in conservation and land management."
You can customize your general studies degree even further with your elective courses. Electives give you the flexibility to dive deeper into your chosen concentration. You can also use your electives to explore another area of interest. If you’ve completed college coursework in the past, electives make it easy to transfer past credits to your SNHU degree.
Throughout your degree program, SNHU's student support team can help you stay on track with your studies and get you to graduation – and a career – faster.
Our admission team tries to make sure you don’t miss out on any transfer credit opportunities so you can complete your degree program as quickly as possible. Your academic advisor can offer guidance and support throughout your degree program. And SNHU’s career advising team can help you land an internship to strengthen your degree learning.
An internship is not required to earn a general studies degree. But it can give you a leg up when applying for jobs, particularly if you find an internship position that aligns with your degree concentration and career goals.
An internship can also further develop the career skills gained through your online general studies degree courses and help you apply them to real-world situations.
These skills include:
- Communication: Effectively share ideas and adapt a message to reach a variety of audiences.
- Collaboration: Build partnerships and work effectively with others to reach a common goal.
- Critical thinking: Analyze information and assess its value to make data-driven, ethical decisions.
- Problem-solving: Connect online learning to practical solutions for real-world problems.
Curriculum Requirements & Resources
- General education courses: All bachelor's students are required to take general education classes, if not obtained in prior coursework. Through these foundation, exploration and integration courses, students learn to think critically, creatively and collaboratively, giving you the edge employers are looking for.
- Technology resources: We provide cloud-based virtual environments in some courses to give you access to the technology you need for your degree – and your career. Learn more about our virtual environments.
- Earn math credits for what you already know: Save time and tuition with our Pathways to Math Success assessments. Depending on your scores, you could earn up to 12 math credits – the equivalent of 4 courses – toward your degree for less than $50 per assessment.
|View Full Curriculum in the Catalog|
|BA in General Studies|
|Courses May Include|
|BA in General Studies Online|
|IND 299||Strategies for Specialization Planning||Develop an academic plan of study in alignment with a selected specialization within the General Studies major. Establish a rationale for specialization selection reflective of previous education experience, interest, and background toward future career goals.|
|Total Credits: 120|
Minimum Hardware Requirements
PC (Windows OS)
Apple (Mac OS)
Currently supported operating system from Microsoft.
Currently supported operating system from Apple.
8GB or higher
8GB or higher
100GB or higher
100GB or higher
Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.
Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.
SNHU Purchase Programs
5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency
5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency
- Laptop or desktop? Whichever you choose depends on your personal preference and work style, though laptops tend to offer more flexibility.
- Note: Chromebooks (Chrome OS) and iPads (iOS) do not meet the minimum requirements for coursework at SNHU. These offer limited functionality and do not work with some course technologies. They are not acceptable as the only device you use for coursework. While these devices are convenient and may be used for some course functions, they cannot be your primary device. SNHU does, however, have an affordable laptop option that it recommends: Dell Latitude 3301 with Windows 10.
- Office 365 Pro Plus is available free of charge to all SNHU students and faculty. The Office suite will remain free while you are a student at SNHU. Upon graduation you may convert to a paid subscription if you wish. Terms subject to change at Microsoft's discretion. Review system requirements for Microsoft 365 plans for business, education and government.
- Antivirus software: Check with your ISP as they may offer antivirus software free of charge to subscribers.
Tuition & Fees
As a private, nonprofit university, we’re committed to making college more accessible by making it more affordable. That’s why we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation.
We also offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
|Online Undergraduate Programs||Per Course||Per Credit Hour||Annual Cost for 30 credits|
|Degree/Certificates (U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*||$675||$225||$6,750|
Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually. *Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.
Additional Costs No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I do with a degree in general studies?
Earning a bachelor of general studies can help you find a new career or advance in your current job. In a general studies degree program, you can gain career skills that are sought after by employers, including communication, critical thinking and problem-solving. And you’ll be able to tailor your learning toward subjects that align with your career goals.
Bachelor’s degrees are in high demand. Workers with bachelor’s degrees are more likely to earn more – and have lower rates of unemployment – than those without a 4-year degree.2
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,1 bachelor’s degree holders earned about $22,256 more per year than workers with some college experience but without a 4-year degree. Unemployment rates for workers with a bachelor’s degree were 5.5% in 2020, compared to 8.3% for workers with some college courses but no degree and 9% for workers without any college experience.
A general studies degree can also act as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. You can earn your undergraduate degree faster and move on to a more specialized online master's degree – boosting your salary and career prospects even more.
Master's degree holders earned a median weekly income of $1,545 in 2020 – nearly 20% more than bachelor's degree holders.1
Can you earn a general studies degree online?
Of course. Earning a general studies degree online means you’ll have 24/7 access to course materials. You can complete your coursework when it’s convenient for you, whether that's at noon or midnight.
SNHU's online general studies degree was designed for flexibility. Six 8-week terms each year mean you can earn your degree at your own pace, even while balancing a career and family obligations.
"Online study has been a great fit for me," said Kaylee Castillo '21. "I can sit down during my most productive time of the day and work on my assignments. I was a bit nervous about my ability to work in unstructured timelines, but I have been thriving in this type of learning environment."
Academic advisors can ensure you make the most of any prior education and professional experience. Their guidance can help you earn your bachelor’s degree in the shortest amount of time possible.
As an online student, you’ll still have access to networking opportunities and learning services. Online student services include online clubs, tutoring, writing help and career counseling.
What does a general studies degree mean?
With a general studies degree, you can explore a variety of courses and apply them to a bachelor’s degree. General studies courses include history, natural and social sciences, technology and humanities.
A general studies degree is particularly helpful for students who have already completed some college coursework and want to finish their degree. You can focus your degree on an area of concentration that interests you and aligns with your chosen career path.
With a general studies degree, you can gain career skills and a broad base of education. You can apply your learning to advance your career or start a new one.
"For students to be adequately prepared to do well in their chosen career, they need to have not only the rigor of an academic education but also an applied, relevant and practical curriculum that focuses on the development of these core skills," said Anthony Siciliano, SNHU’s associate vice president of general education programs.
Is general studies the same as liberal arts?
A general studies degree is a type of liberal arts degree and can be viewed as an extension of the common associate degree in liberal arts. Liberal arts defines a number of university majors, usually focused on the literature, humanities and social sciences. Liberal arts subjects aim to provide general knowledge on a subject, rather than technical skills.
With a bachelor of general studies degree online, you’ll gain a broad base of liberal arts education, exploring social sciences, natural sciences, history and humanities.
Your general education courses can also help you develop key career skills that are in high demand across many industries. You'll develop communication, critical thinking and problem solving skills that you can apply to any career.
How long does a general studies degree take?
It depends. A bachelor’s degree typically takes about 4 years to complete. But a general studies degree can be a faster path to graduation, particularly if you’ve already completed some college courses.
“The general studies degree is designed to help students achieve their goal of a degree without having to start over because they transferred universities,” said Priscilla Hobbs, associate dean of general education and interdisciplinary studies at Southern New Hampshire University.
The bachelor of general studies was designed to help you leverage past college credits and earn a degree. SNHU accepts up to 90 transfer credits toward a bachelor’s program. This means you could take as few as 10 courses, or 5 terms, to get your degree.
"I was attracted to the general studies program because it utilized most of the credits I have collected throughout the years," said Kaylee Castillo '21. "It allowed me to not only take classes related to my desired job, but it also allowed me to move up my graduation date."
Our admission team tries make sure no transfer credits are left behind. And your academic advisor offers guidance and support throughout your degree program to get you to graduation faster.
What are general studies courses?
In an online bachelor of general studies program, courses include general education classes, elective classes and classes to help you earn a concentration in one area of study.
To earn a general studies degree at SNHU, you’ll need to complete 42 credits of core general education courses. These courses are the foundation for your learning and cover everything from writing and humanities to mathematics, history and science.
General studies courses also include a 12-credit area of concentration that aligns with your coursework and your goals. Concentrations include information technology, business, communication, creative writing, psychology, sport management and more.
A bachelor of general studies also includes 63 credits of free electives. You can explore the topics that interest you and best serve your career goals. Elective courses also make it easy to apply prior college credits to your degree.
A degree planning course at the start of your general studies bachelor degree can help you develop an academic plan of study, choose a concentration and ensure your learning aligns with your career goals.
Your general studies degree courses can give you the skills – and the confidence – you need to start or advance a career.
"It has given me a sense of appreciation, a sense of belonging and at the same time it has challenged me a lot," said general studies graduate Hermanisha Neptune '16. "Things that I was unsure of, if I was unsure about myself, having my education actually took all that stuff away."
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.
Sources & Citations (1, 2)
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, on the Internet, at:
- https://www.bls.gov/emp/chart-unemployment-earnings-education.htm (viewed Oct. 1, 2021)
- https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2018/article/bachelors-degree-outlook.htm (viewed Oct. 1, 2021)
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-and-human-service-assistants.htm (viewed Oct. 1, 2021)
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/human-resources-specialists.htm (viewed Oct. 1, 2021)
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm (viewed Oct. 1, 2021)
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
2According to over 9,200 SNHU online students in survey responses from the fall of 2019.