Illinois State University
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University Studies

You recognize the importance of a degree. We recognize that your situation may be unique. While traditional majors are the best option for most students, some students find they have explored a major or several majors and discovered those options are not a good fit for them late in their academic career.

If that sounds like your situation and you are currently a senior at Illinois State University in good academic standing, you may wish to consider applying for the University Studies major and working toward the next a graduate headed toward a career.

Applying for the University Studies Major

Before you begin, please be aware that you must have a minimum of a 2.0 Illinois State University GPA to apply. Only students in academic good standing are eligible for admission to the University Studies major.

The University Studies major offers three options.

  • Specialized Studies (30 hours from one department/school, including at least 9 300-level hours)
  • General Studies (36 hours, with 18 hours from each of two disciplines, including at least 9 300-level hours)
  • Liberal Studies (36 hours, including at least 9 300-level hours, bridging academic disciplines)

Please review these options on the University Studies Major section of the Undergraduate Catalog for additional information. You may only apply for one option during each review period.

Please note: The major in University Studies does not prepare a student for a specific professional career or graduate field, nor does it satisfy the requirements for Teacher Certification. Because of its general nature, this program will probably require graduates to convince prospective employers or graduate schools that the students’ degree preparation will enable them to succeed in a particular job or educational endeavor.

Preparing to Complete the Application

After you have selected the option you would like to pursue, you will need to complete the application form online. To assist you in completing the form, please:

  1. Think about why you wish to pursue this major, and why it is an appropriate choice for you.
  2. Pick up an Academic Progress Summary at Moulton 107; you must show a photo ID. It will list all of the courses you have completed or are enrolled in, including department, course number, and grade for those completed. You will need this information as you complete your proposed Plan of Study.
  3. If you do not have a catalog, pick up an Undergraduate Catalog at Moulton 107. It will provide you with information about pre-requisites for courses and when courses are typically offered.

Completing the Application

You will apply through under the "Academics" tab. Once you enter your PIN number, select "Apply to my Major." On the pull down menu, select "University College" and then on the next menu select the appropriate option: General Studies, Specialized Studies, or Liberal Studies. It is essential that you use the Plan of Study form that you download from the website.


The University Studies Major Admission Committee reviews application forms 3 times yearly. Applications received by the following deadlines will be reviewed by approximately two weeks after the deadline: March 1st, July 1st, and October 1st. The committee will review applications based on accuracy and clarity of the application, grade point average, grade trends, as well as the practicality and viability of the plan of study.

Students will be notified of decisions via e-mail. In some cases, students may be asked to modify their plans of study if they wish to be admitted. Students not admitted should contact their current academic advisor to discuss alternative plans.

Apply through

Applications are now available through the Apply to a Major/Minor application under the "Academics" tab in

Commencement Ceremony

All University Studies majors will graduate with the College of Education. Please see the Commencement website for details.

Illinois State University

University College
Normal, Il 61790-4060
Phone: (309) 438-3217

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