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Difference between College of General Studies and other colleges

LaureateLaureate Posts: 6Registered User New Member
edited February 2009 in Boston University
My biggest question is:

What is the difference between the prerequisites you take at the CGS compared to CAS? What is the biggest difference for the first two years? Especially if your major only takes two years.
Post edited by Laureate on

Replies to: Difference between College of General Studies and other colleges

  • ud2006ud2006 Posts: 97Registered User Junior Member
    what do you mean if your major only takes 2 years?

    i'm not that familiar with CGS but from what I understand you take all general requirements in the first two years (math, science, etc...) and you're allowed to take one class in CAS, COM etc... each semester after freshman year. You can look all this up on the CGS website too and i'm sure there are other posts about CGS as well. Then after your two years in CGS you "graduate" from CGS and can enter into any other school at BU. Because you basically took only general classes in CGS, most of your liberal arts requirements at whatever school you enter should be fulfilled.

    for example, in COM, in addition to your major classes you need to have 2 math/science, 4 english, 2 history, 1 multicultural, etc... your CGS classes would fulfill most of those.

    All in all, CGS is basically for students who BU feels should go to the school but aren't quite as ready as the other students they accepted.
  • superwomansuperwoman Posts: 751Registered User Member
    I went to take a class there for one day & I love it; I think its better to go to cgs if you want a smooth transition into college life. The way the students collaberate especially since the people you are in the same grade as are taking the same classes as you. Its a better way of organizing yourself for the first two years but I think it's amazing! You get to meet so many people and bond as a class; it's beautiful! But that's just me, the best thing to do is to call the admissions office and ask if you can go and spend a day there with one of the students & sit in a class. It helps you to weed out where you would like to go or not; in terms of BU. :) Good luck!
  • rhapsody in bluerhapsody in blue Posts: 37Registered User Junior Member
    CGS is mostly liberal arts and humanities courses. The biggest difference IS the freshman & sophomore period, after which you pick an academic path and complete the rest of your intended major there. Over the CGS years, you generally have 3 required CGS classes and an elective per semester which should be used to take a class towards one's degree requirement in another college. The 4th semester concludes with a team "Capstone" project, and classes end in late March/early April if I remember correctly.

    In terms of the workload--it only accelerates the transition into college inasmuch as you will get pounded with an unreasonable amount of work, coupled with hand-holding. I don't mean to take the wind out of your sails, but none of my friends like it. They feel that the work isn't a good preparation for transition into other schools, and the majority of students are not serious about academics.

    Just my $0.02, however.
  • diontechristmasdiontechristmas Posts: 2,891Registered User Senior Member
    In terms of the workload--it only accelerates the transition into college inasmuch as you will get pounded with an unreasonable amount of work, coupled with hand-holding. I don't mean to take the wind out of your sails, but none of my friends like it. They feel that the work isn't a good preparation for transition into other schools, and the majority of students are not serious about academics.

    That's pretty much spot-on, but there really isn't any hand holding. It's honestly a horrendous program, and a complete waste of money.
  • BUBaileyBUBailey Posts: 651Registered User Member
    Ehhh it's all relative. I have some friends who really do love it. I even know some people who requested to be in it because they didn't know what they wanted to major in and CGS gave them a taste of everything. And I would argue that some CAS students aren't serious about academics either. That's not CGS...that's college. There are some very smart students in CGS; there are some pretty questionable students in the other colleges. You'll never figure out the formula, so the stereotypes are kind of pointless. Best to just make the most of it, whatever happens.
  • katieriley1289katieriley1289 Posts: 5Registered User New Member
    CGS is a two year program, mainly for people who do not get into another program at BU but still want to attend BU in hopes of transferring into another program after two years. CGS is basically like high school, from what I've heard. You do a lot of work that is, no offense to CGS people, kind of dumbed down.

    If you want to be able to choose the things you study but aren't necessarily sure what you want to major in, apply to CAS. You can dabble in many subjects without being constricted to curriculum that is decided for you.

    I know many bright people who were fooled into applying straight to CGS because they thought it would be great because they were undecided. They aren't too pleased with their decisions after taking the classes.

    If you are only offered admittance to CGS, then don't fret. It's a two-year program and afterward you can transfer into CAS or COM or whatever school you choose.
  • diontechristmasdiontechristmas Posts: 2,891Registered User Senior Member
    CGS is basically like high school, from what I've heard. You do a lot of work that is, no offense to CGS people, kind of dumbed down.

    Absolutely untrue. It's like, well, college. The work is hardly 'dumbed down'. It's actually pretty difficult, as I said. You shouldn't talk about stuff you know nothing about.

    That being said, as I said before, it's a terrible program.
  • katieriley1289katieriley1289 Posts: 5Registered User New Member
    I guess what I mean by "high school" is a LOT of work for no particular reason. I went to private college prep high school. I worked harder in high school than I ever have in my life. Papers, tests, projects, and readings were much more frequent in high school. So in that sense we agree, CGS is a lot of work and it's difficult.

    My point was that if you go to CGS, you do a LOT more work for not more benefit. You don't control what you study, and you do a lot more work than if you were in CAS taking a similar class.

    Most college classes expect you to do a lot on your own time without much structure. CGS is very structured, similar to most high school classes.
  • BUBaileyBUBailey Posts: 651Registered User Member
    Again, though, different strokes for different folks. A lot of my friends love the smaller class sizes and the opportunity to interact with the same group of people.

    You sort of control what you study in other colleges, but there are still requirements you have to fulfill. So CGS gets those all out of the way. And honestly, it's not a bad thing not to pick all those classes. To fulfill divisional requirements, I picked a few random classes in Math, Science etc. I remember almost nothing from them. My CGS friends read a ton of the classics, learned things for every branch of science, and did a way more comprehensive research project than I've ever done.

    Doing a lot more work isn't necessarily bad either. Yes, perhaps there is more hoop-jumping in CGS...but some people need that for a transition into college. And if repetition is what helps you learn, I'd say that's a benefit.
  • diontechristmasdiontechristmas Posts: 2,891Registered User Senior Member
    And most of what they did was painstakingly meaningless.
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