Bachelor's of General Science Graduates it's 1000th Student Spring 2021!


Academic Programs in Undergraduates Studies hosts the Bachelor of General Science (BGS) and Bachelor of Science in Applied Science (BSAS). These Baccalaureate programs are the only two offered outside of a campus Academic College. BGS and BSAS support post-traditional students in the pursuit and achieving their first bachelor’s degree.

Post-traditional students may have to balance life, work, and their education. The students who enter one of the degree programs are usually over 25 years old with the average age of 33. Post-traditional students have previously attended college and have decided to return to finish their bachelor’s degree. The BGS and BSAS programs offer primarily online programming, which meets the needs of students who are working full-time.

The degree programs accept students who have 60 credits and an associate degree.  The majority of program students, 84 percent, are post-traditional or adult returning students and 15 percent are internally from USF traditional students. A small number of the internal students are part of the Finish in Four initiative where students are encouraged to graduate on a timely basis.  The number of students graduating in these degree programs has increased each year with the 1000th student graduating in Spring 2021.

Business and Education are the most popular concentrations for the BGS degree. The BGS Education Concentration is an opportunity for an education major who does not pass the State Teaching Exam to still receive a degree. Many BSAS students have earned their associate degree in Criminal Justice and decide to continue their education by getting their bachelor’s degree.

Academic Programs has had a corporate partnership with TECO for the past eight years. This fall will start the fifth cohort of 16 TECO employees. The group of students will take two courses during the Fall and Spring semester and one course during the Summer for two years. All courses are held on the TECO corporate campus and include concierge advising. These students are professionals who have completed 60 credits and are looking to finish a degree for promotional purposes, usually in the concentration areas of Leadership or Change Management.

BGS is recognized as a highly successful and sought-after program. rated the BGS program as the Best Online Bachelor’s in General Studies in 2018. USF held the top spot, leading Harvard at number two.

Recently, USF has partnered with LEAP Tampa Bay, which runs Complete Tampa Bay, a program to recruit and advise students who started college but never finished a degree. In the last year, Complete Tampa Bay has sent over 30 students to USF to finish their degree.

In 2019 an 81-year-old BGS student completed his degree after returning to classes 50 years later. The graduate, Way Bandy, was recognized as USF’s oldest graduate for 2019. His advice was, “Take your time, stay ahead of your goal and promise yourself you’ll finish. Whatever motivates you to do it, do it. If I can do it, anybody can — and I promise that from the bottom of my heart.”