The BGS degree is ideally suited for students who have specific areas of interest, who see in the flexibility of its degree structure a chance to explore new areas of learning, and who welcome the responsibility of planning their own undergraduate programs. There is considerable flexibility in course selection; this flexibility, however, carries with it the responsibility of careful course planning.
The BGS program is not designed for students who lack a specific educational purpose or direction. These students ultimately flounder in the freedom of the BGS program for lack of clarity or purpose.
Along with the advantages of the BGS program, however, there are some disadvantages for certain students. These should be carefully assessed by students who will need a considerable number of credits of lower-level course work, such as pre-medical or pre-dental students. Transfer students who elect the BGS program must be particularly careful in program planning. Very often students will transfer primarily lower-level credit and therefore are compelled to elect only upper-level (courses numbered 300 and above) course work at UM. In some cases, the upper-level work requires prerequisites of lower-level course work not already completed, thus requiring further lower-level work. A transfer student may not feel that he/she has enough "room" in the terms remaining to take much additional lower-level work and still graduate "on time." Therefore, transfer students who consider this option should work very closely with an academic advisor.
Students who are considering a BGS degree or who are actively pursuing one, should consult on a regular basis with their general advisor or one of the advisors who specialize in the BGS degree.
The BGS advisors can assist with questions of course interpretation, acceptance of transfer credit, academic planning and senior audit.
Such regular contact will assist in shaping this degree to reflect the desired skills, knowledge and experience which the student intends to combine in this non-traditional degree. It affords students the opportunity to carefully define their options and set their academic goals, as these goals relate to intellectual interests and career ambitions.