Program Overview

Black Hills State University offers a Bachelor’s degree in General Studies. This degree is a flexible option to help students complete their Bachelor’s degree. Courses can be taken on campus or online. Students will choose courses from three emphasis areas along with the general education requirements for a total of 120 credits. The Bachelor of General Studies is designed for students returning to college after an absence and who have already earned significant college credit; it is not designed for first year students.

Students must take 41 credit hours in general education courses and also chose 15 credit hours from three separate emphasis areas. Emphasis areas include Allied Health, Business, Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Social Science, Science, Engineering and Mathematics, Technology, Wellness.  A total of 31 credit hours of elective courses must be taken, and 3 credit hours in a capstone course. At least 32 credits toward the degree must be at the upper-division level.

The Capstone Course is an integrative approach in which students demonstrate that they are knowledgeable in their three areas of emphasis and have achieved college level competencies in communication, critical analysis, problem solving, and synthesis. This is done through a culminating project or portfolio. In addition to the capstone course, students are required to perform satisfactorily on the Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) examination.

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    Program Details

    Degree Level: Bachelor

    Delivery Format: 100% Online

    Accelerated Degree:

    Accreditation & Licensing

    North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

    School Overview

    Black Hills State University is a four-year, public institution of higher education, located on a 123-acre campus in Spearfish, South Dakota. Founded in 1883 when South Dakota was still a territory, the university opened as Dakota Territorial Normal School. Through the twentieth century, the school continued to evolve and expand educational opportunities, and in the 1990s, officially became recognized as Black Hills State University. The twenty-first century’s vision of BHSU is to “be recognized as an innovative, high-quality University in the Black Hills region, the state, the nation, and the world,” and the university is committed to: scholarship; student-centeredness; educational excellence and lifelong learning; integrity; inclusiveness; and innovation and change.

    Students attending Black Hills can pursue undergraduate fields of study, including associate’s and bachelor's degrees, in business, technology, behavioral sciences, natural sciences, social sciences, mathematics, arts, humanities, and education. Graduate programs offer master’s and certificate options in fields, such as business administration, education, and leadership. Along with a wide range of individual online courses, Black Hills State University supports online master’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, certificates and endorsements. Through BHSU Educational Outreach, students can access distance education resources and support.


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