Students studying in Sioux Falls.

General Studies

Earn an associate degree or complete a bachelor's degree with a flexible program that prepares you to start a career or take your current job to the next level.

Why Study General Studies?

As a student in the general studies degree program, you will explore a broad range of courses that will prepare you to pursue a bachelor's degree in the future or to complete a four-year undergraduate degree that you have already started. A 60-credit associate of art degree in general studies meets general education requirements for a baccalaureate degree at any South Dakota public university and can be completed in-person or online. Students who already have 60 credits of undergraduate work and wish to complete their bachelor's degree in general studies must complete a separate application process. This completion degree is especially well-suited for a student who is returning to college after starting, but not finishing, a four-year undergraduate degree.

Begin on your college pathway or complete the journey you already started as a student in the general studies degree program at USD.

Degrees & Offerings

General Studies (A.A.)

  Vermillion Main Campus, Sioux Falls and Online

This program advances participants’ general knowledge beyond high school and meets general education requirements for a baccalaureate degree at any South Dakota public university. Students will also complete 36 credit hours in elective courses. Students intending to seek a bachelor’s degree after earning an associate degree are encouraged to choose electives that will fulfill bachelor’s degree, major, and/or minor requirements.

General Studies (B.G.S.)

  Vermillion Main Campus, Sioux Falls and Online

This flexible degree program is designed to serve the needs of individuals who have earned numerous credits but have not completed their degrees. Students work with an advisor to determine course equivalencies and to develop an appropriate degree completion plan. Students earning a B.G.S. complete all general education requirements (30 hours), 15 credit hours of coursework in each of three emphasis areas and a capstone course specific to the B.G.S. degree program. Majors and minors are not available within the B.G.S., and eligibility is limited to students who have completed at least 60 credit hours. A separate application process is required.

Program Details





Known for Excellence

With qualities like small class sizes, specialized programs and incredible student opportunities, USD is not your typical university. What makes us unique is what makes your education exceptional.

Faculty & Staff

Get to know the faculty and staff in the College of Arts & Sciences.
Bio Image for Faculty Member John Dudley

John Dudley

Dean-Col of A&S


American Literature
Literary Naturalism
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jessica Messersmith

Jessica Messersmith

Associate Dean College of Arts & Sciences


Cochlear Implants
Pediatric Audiology
Bio Image for Faculty Member Katherine Price

Katherine Price

Assistant Dean College of Arts & Sciences
Bio Image for Faculty Member Karen Bumsted

Karen Bumsted

Program Assistant II
Bio Image for Faculty Member Lara Carlson McGoey

Lara Carlson McGoey

Program Assistant I
Bio Image for Faculty Member John Volbrecht

John Volbrecht

Financial Manager

Surprisingly Affordable

USD offers low tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students, as well as scholarships, financial aid and employment opportunities to help make your education even more affordable.

Undergraduate Tuition & Costs

Learn more about tuition and fees for undergraduate students and see how your out-of-pocket costs at USD compare to those at other colleges and universities. Visit the Undergraduate Tuition & Costs Detailed page for program specific costs and fees. 

Financial Aid

Navigating options for how to pay for college can be challenging, but you are not alone. The Office of Financial Aid will work with you and your family to explore how you can make your college education even more affordable.


USD awards nearly $9.5 million in scholarships each year. View our scholarships to see which ones you may qualify for and how you can apply.

Student success story

Success story Jessica Boutch smiling.
The staff, students and educators in Sioux Falls have given me support, guidance and help when needed. This has enabled me to be successful in my college education. Sioux Falls has been my home since I was three years old. When I started the associates of arts in general studies degree, I was a junior in high school and the option to move was not viable. This allowed me to stay close to family and start the journey of furthering my education.

Jessica Boutch

B.S. Medical Biology '21
A.A. General Studies, '19
Sioux Falls, SD

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