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Best 20 General Studies Degree Programs in 2021

August 13, 2021 | Staff Writers

General Studies Degree
Degree Finder
BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

A General Studies Degree can be a good choice for students unsure about their future careers. It gives students the ability to craft a program that suits their needs while providing a general education. It can also be a good choice for students who have earned college credits in the past and want to use them to earn a degree quickly.

There are a number of programs offering a Bachelor of General Studies, and this is your guide to them. The schools included in this list runs the gamut from selective, high-tuition schools to small community colleges. We’ve ranked the best schools below, using tuition costs and undergrad graduation rates as ranking criteria. See our methodologies section at the end of this page for more details.

Best 20 General Studies Degree Programs

1

College of Saint Mary

  • Omaha, Nebraska
  • Graduation Rate: 73%

Located in Omaha, Nebraska, College of Saint Mary had a total score of 11 (graduation rate score: 6 tuition score: 5).

Undergraduate enrollment at College of Saint Mary is 810. The graduation rate is 73 percent, with 80 percent of students returning after the first year.

Tuition at the College of Saint Mary is approximately $7,056 for two 12-credit hour semesters for out-of-state residents. See full tuition costs details at the College of Saint Mary tuition page.

Median debt after graduation ranges from $11,587 – $28,816 and the post-graduation salary avarages $61,700. See the full College of Saint Mary Department of Education Scorecard.

School Overview

Founded: 1923
Type: Public, 4-Year
Total Score: 11
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2

University of Northern Iowa

  • Cedar Falls, Iowa
  • Graduation Rate: 65%

Located in Cedar Falls, Iowa, the University of Northern Iowa had a total score of 12 (graduation rate score: 3 tuition score: 9).

Undergraduate enrollment at the University of Northern Iowa is 9,391. The graduation rate is 65 percent, with 83 percent of students returning after the first year.

Tuition at the University of Northern Iowa is approximately $10,611.50 for two 12-credit hour semesters for out-of-state residents. See full tuition costs details at the University of Northern Iowa tuition page.

Median debt after graduation ranges from $15,300 – $27,000 and the post-graduation salary range is 20,300 – $61,000. See the full University of Northern Iowa Department of Education Scorecard.

School Overview

Founded: 1876
Type: Public, 4-Year
Total Score: 12
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3

University of South Florida

  • Tampa, Florida
  • Graduation Rate: 69%

Located in Tampa, Florida, the University of South Florida had a total score of 14 (graduation rate score: 2 tuition score: 12).

Undergraduate enrollment at the University of South Florida is 31,321. The graduation rate is 69 percent, with 91 percent of students returning after the first year.

Tuition at the University of South Florida is approximately $13,800 for two 12-credit hour semesters for out-of-state residents. See full tuition costs details at the University of South Florida tuition page.

Median debt after graduation ranges from $13,000 – $27,797 and the post-graduation salary range is $20,300 – $62,000. See the full University of South Florida Department of Education Scorecard.

School Overview

Founded: 1956
Type: Public, 4-Year
Total Score: 14
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4

Lee College

  • Baytown, Texas
  • Graduation Rate: 43%

Located in Baytown, Texas, Lee College had a total score of 15 (graduation rate score: 11 tuition score: 4).

Undergraduate enrollment at Lee College is 7,643. The graduation rate is 43 percent.

Tuition at Lee College is approximately $6,984 for two 12-credit hour semesters for out-of-state residents. See full tuition costs details on the Lee College tuition page.

Median debt after graduation ranges from $8,900 – $11,367 and the post-graduation salary range is $60,200 – $77,300. See the full Lee College Department of Education Scorecard.

School Overview

Founded: 1934
Type: Community College, Certificate
Total Score: 15
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5

University of Central Oklahoma

  • Edmond, Oklahoma
  • Graduation Rate: 36%

Located in Edmond, Oklahoma, the University of Central Oklahoma had a total score of 15 (graduation rate score: 12 tuition score: 3).

Undergraduate enrollment at the University of Central Oklahoma is 13,118. The graduation rate is 36 percent, with 64 percent of students returning after the first year.

Tuition at the University of Central Oklahoma is approximately $5,348 for two 12-credit hour semesters for out-of-state residents. See full tuition costs details at the University of Central Oklahoma tuition page.

Median debt after graduation ranges from $13,500 – $30,584 and the post-graduation salary range is $18,000 – $58,800. See the full University of Central Oklahoma Department of Education Scorecard.

School Overview

Founded: 1890
Type: Public, 4-Year
Total Score: 15
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6

National University

  • San Diego, California
  • Graduation Rate: 36%

Located in La Jolla, California, National University had a total score of 16 (graduation rate score: 15 tuition score: 1).

Undergraduate enrollment at National University is 7,097. The graduation rate is 36 percent, with 67 percent of students returning after the first year.

Tuition at National University is approximately $3,330 for two 12-credit hour semesters for out-of-state residents. See full tuition costs details at the National University tuition page.

Median debt after graduation ranges from $14,000 – $39,952 and the post-graduation salary range is $33,400 – $81,100. See the full National University Department of Education Scorecard.

School Overview

Founded: 1971
Type: Private, 4-Year
Total Score: 16
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7

Eastern Illinois University

  • Charleston, Illinois
  • Graduation Rate: 57%

Located in Charleston, Illinois, Eastern Illinois University had a total score of 19 (graduation rate score: 4 tuition score: 15).

Undergraduate enrollment at Eastern Illinois University is 4,631. The graduation rate is 57 percent, with 72 percent of students returning after the first year.

Tuition at Eastern Illinois University is approximately $24,530 for two 12-credit hour semesters for out-of-state residents. See full tuition costs details at the Eastern Illinois University tuition page.

Median debt after graduation ranges from $17,397 – $27,875 and the post-graduation salary range is $24,300 – $51,300. See the full Eastern Illinois University Department of Education Scorecard.

School Overview

Founded: 1895
Type: Public, 4-Year
Total Score: 19
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8

Southeastern Louisiana University

  • Hammond, Louisiana
  • Graduation Rate: 38%

Located in Hammond, Louisiana, Southeastern Louisiana University had a total score of 21 (graduation rate score: 13 tuition score: 8).

Undergraduate enrollment at Southeastern Louisiana University is 10,994. The graduation rate is 38 percent, with 67 percent of students returning after the first year.

Tuition at Southeastern Louisiana University is approximately $10,601.50 for two 12-credit hour semesters for out-of-state residents. See full tuition costs details at the Southeastern Louisiana University tuition page.

Median debt after graduation ranges from $16,525 – $27,000 and the post-graduation salary range is $21,500 – $59,800. See the full Southeastern Louisiana University Department of Education Scorecard.

School Overview

Founded: 1925
Type: Public, 4-Year
Total Score: 21
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9

The University of North Dakota

  • Grand Forks, North Dakota
  • Graduation Rate: 55%

Located in Grand Forks, North Dakota, the University of North Dakota had a total score of 21 (graduation rate score: 8 tuition score: 13).

Undergraduate enrollment at the University of North Dakota is 9,910. The graduation rate is 55 percent, with 80 percent of students returning after the first year.

Tuition at the University of North Dakota is approximately $14,546.88 for two 12-credit hour semesters for out-of-state residents. See full tuition costs details at the University of North Dakota tuition page.

Median debt after graduation ranges from $15,875 – $29,000 and the post-graduation salary range is $28,200 – $73,300. See the full University of North Dakota Department of Education Scorecard.

School Overview

Founded: 1883
Type: Public, 4-Year
Total Score: 21
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10

University of Connecticut

  • Mansfield, Connecticut
  • Graduation Rate: 82%

Located in Storrs, Connecticut, UConn had a total score of 21 (graduation rate score: 1 tuition score: 20).

Undergraduate enrollment at UConn is 18,830. UConn’s graduation rate is 82 percent, with 92 percent of students returning after the first year.

Tuition at UConn is approximately $53,760 for two 12-credit hour semesters for out-of-state residents. See full tuition costs details at the UConn tuition page.

Median debt after graduation ranges from $12,000 – $27,000 and the post-graduation salary range is $18,400 – $74,500. See the full UConn Department of Education Scorecard.

School Overview

Founded: 1881
Type: Public, 4-Year
Total Score: 21
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11

College at the Mainland

  • Texas City, Texas
  • Graduation Rate: 22%

Located in Texas City, Texas, College at the Mainland had a total score of 22 (graduation rate score: 20 tuition score: 2).

Undergraduate enrollment at College at the Mainland is 3,248. The graduation rate is 22 percent, with 64 percent of students returning after the first year.

Tuition at College at the Mainland is approximately $3,873 for two 12-credit hour semesters for out-of-state residents. See full tuition costs details at the College at the Mainland tuition page.

Median debt after graduation ranges from $7,123 – $9,297 and the post-graduation salary range is $28,300 – $77,100. See the full College at the Mainland Department of Education Scorecard.

School Overview

Founded: 1966
Type: Community College, 2-Year
Total Score: 22
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12

Webster University

  • Webster Groves, Missouri
  • Graduation Rate: 75%

Located in Webster Groves, Missouri, Webster University’s General Studies degree is housed in the College of Arts and Sciences and offers students the possibility to include studies from almost every department at Webster throughout all the schools and colleges. They prize their flexibility in serving each student’s personal degree goals.

Undergraduate enrollment at Webster University is 2,958. The graduation rate is 75 percent, with 78 percent of students returning after the first year. Tuition at Webster University is approximately $28,500 for two 12-credit hour semesters for out-of-state residents. See full tuition costs details on the Webster University tuition page. Median debt after graduation ranges from $21,250 – $27,125 and the post-graduation salary range is $19,800 – $54,600. See the full Webster University Department of Education Scorecard.

Webster University had a total score of 22 (graduation rate score: 5 tuition score: 17).

School Overview

Founded: 1915
Type: Private, 4-Year
Total Score: 22
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13

Garrett College

  • McHenry, Maryland
  • Graduation Rate: 28%

Located in McHenry, Maryland, Garrett College had a total score of 23 (graduation rate score: 17 tuition score: 6).

Undergraduate enrollment at Garrett College is 525. The graduation rate is 28 percent, with 55 percent of students returning after the first year.

Tuition at Garrett College is approximately $8,040 for two 12-credit hour semesters for out-of-state residents. See full tuition costs details at the Garrett College tuition page.

Median debt after graduation is $11,754 and the post-graduation salary is $16,800. See the full Garrett College Department of Education Scorecard.

School Overview

Founded: 1966
Type: Community College, 2-Year
Total Score: 23
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14

The University of Idaho

  • Moscow, Idaho
  • Graduation Rate: 56%

Located in Moscow, Idaho, the University of Idaho had a total score of 23 (graduation rate score: 7 tuition score: 16).

Undergraduate enrollment at the University of Idaho is 7,528. The graduation rate is 56 percent, with 81 percent of students returning after the first year.

Tuition at the University of Idaho is approximately $27,540 for two 12-credit hour semesters for out-of-state residents. See full tuition costs details at the University of Idaho tuition page.

Median debt after graduation ranges from $15,000 – $28,774 and the post-graduation salary range is $16,200 – $70,600. See the full University of Idaho Department of Education Scorecard.

School Overview

Founded: 1889
Type: Public, 4-Year
Total Score: 23
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15

The University of South Dakota

  • Vermillion, South Dakota
  • Graduation Rate: 53%

Located in Vermillion, South Dakota, the University of South Dakota had a total score of 23 (graduation rate score: 9 tuition score: 14).

Undergraduate enrollment at the University of South Dakota is 6,228. The graduation rate is 53 percent, with 75 percent of students returning after the first year.

Tuition at the University of South Dakota is approximately $22,039 for two 12-credit hour semesters for out-of-state residents. See full tuition costs details at the University of South Dakota tuition page.

Median debt after graduation ranges from $21,000 – $27,812 and the post-graduation salary range is $23,900 – $55,900. See the full University of South Dakota Department of Education Scorecard.

School Overview

Founded: 1862
Type: Public, 4-Year
Total Score: 23
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16

Austin Peay State University

  • Clarksville, Tennessee
  • Graduation Rate: 39%

Located in Clarksville, Tennessee, Austin Peay State University had a total score of 24 (graduation rate score: 14 tuition score: 10).

Undergraduate enrollment at Austin Peay State University is 9,064. The graduation rate is 39 percent, with 68 percent of students returning after the first year.

Tuition at Austin Peay State University is approximately $12,264 for two 12-credit hour semesters for out-of-state residents. See full tuition costs details on the Austin Peay State University tuition page.

Median debt after graduation ranges from $15,301 – $32,274 and the post-graduation salary range is $17,000 – $59,800. See the full Austin Peay State University Department of Education Scorecard.

School Overview

Founded: 1927
Type: Public, 4-Year
Total Score: 24
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17

Massachusetts Bay Community College

  • Wellesley, Massachusetts
  • Graduation Rate: 24%

Located in Wellesley, Massachusetts, Massachusetts Bay Community College had a total score of 25 (graduation rate score: 18 tuition score: 7).

Undergraduate enrollment at Massachusetts Bay Community College is 6,963. The graduation rate is 24 percent, with 49 percent of students returning after the first year.

Tuition at Massachusetts Bay Community College is $224 per credit (in-state). For two 12-credit hour semesters, residents pay $5,376. See full tuition costs details on the Massachusetts Bay Community College tuition page.

Median debt after graduation ranges from $5,153 – $8,750 and the post-graduation salary range averages $47,300. The average associate degree graduate will increase their earnings by $12,400 each year compared to a worker with a high school diploma. See the full Massachusetts Bay Community College Department of Education Scorecard, and the recent Economic Impact report from Emsi.

School Overview

Founded: 1961
Type: Community College, 2-Year
Total Score: 25
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18

Arkansas State University

  • Jonesboro, Arkansas
  • Graduation Rate: 47%

Located in Jonesboro, Arkansas, Arkansas State University had a total score of 28 (graduation rate score: 10 tuition score: 18).

Undergraduate enrollment at Arkansas State University is 8,623. The graduation rate is 47 percent, with 75 percent of students returning after the first year.

Tuition at Arkansas State University is approximately $32,433 for two 12-credit hour semesters for out-of-state residents. See full tuition costs details at the Arkansas State University tuition page.

Median debt after graduation ranges from $11,319 – $28,250 and the post-graduation salary range is $18,500 – $58,200. See the full Arkansas State University Department of Education Scorecard.

School Overview

Founded: 1909
Type: Public, 4-Year
Total Score: 28
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19

Naugatuck Valley Community College

  • Waterbury, Connecticut
  • Graduation Rate: 24%

Located in Waterbury, Connecticut, Naugatuck Valley Community College had a total score of 30 (graduation rate score: 19 tuition score: 11).

Undergraduate enrollment at Naugatuck Valley Community College is 5,699. The graduation rate is 24 percent, with 59 percent of students returning after the first year.

Tuition at Naugatuck Valley Community College is approximately $13,468 for two 12-credit hour semesters for out-of-state residents. See full tuition costs details at the Naugatuck Valley Community College tuition page.

Median debt after graduation ranges from $3,754 – $8,000 and the post-graduation salary range is $23,800 – $62,100. See the full Naugatuck Valley Community College Department of Education Scorecard.

School Overview

Founded: 1962
Type: Community College, 2-Year
Total Score: 30
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20

University of Arkansas – Fort Smith

  • Fort Smith, Arkansas
  • Graduation Rate: 27%

Located in Fort Smith, Arkansas, the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith had a total score of 35 (graduation rate score: 16 tuition score: 19).

Undergraduate enrollment at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is 5,235. The graduation rate is 27 percent, with 65 percent of students returning after the first year.

Tuition at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is approximately $34,380 for two 12-credit hour semesters for out-of-state residents. See full tuition costs details at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith tuition page.

Median debt after graduation ranges from $6,625 – $20,098 and the post-graduation salary range is $20,600 – $60,300. See the full University of Arkansas – Fort Smith Department of Education Scorecard.

School Overview

Founded: 1928
Type: Public, 4-Year
Total Score: 35
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About our methodology

We used a weighted ranking model based on tuition and undergraduate graduation rates. Tuition costs were sourced from the school. Links to their tuition pages are available above and are based on a 12-credit course for out of state residents. Actual tuition costs may vary and are influenced by the number of credit hours, financial aid, state of residency, housing costs, etc. Graduation rates were sourced from the school’s profile on the Department of Education’s College Scorecard, links to that page are also included above.

For more programs check out our Associate in General Studies degree program

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