Indiana Universityoffers state’s first on-line bachelor’s degree

August 30, 2002

IU offers state’s first on-line bachelor’s degree

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University has become the first Indiana institution of higher education to offer a four-year bachelor’s degree entirely online.

Students worldwide are now able to complete all 120 hours of course work leading to the IU School of Continuing Studies’ Bachelor of General Studies online using their computer, e-mail and the World Wide Web. General studies students pursue an interdisciplinary plan of study in the arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences and mathematics and natural sciences.

Providing an online bachelor’s degree represents a major breakthrough for higher education in the state of Indiana, says School of Continuing Studies Dean Jeremy Dunning. “More than 85 percent of U.S. college students will be online this year,” he notes, “and enrollments in online higher education courses are estimated to reach 2.23 million.”

Online study has many advantages, says Dunning. “Students in online SCS courses access all their lessons and assignments in one place through a secure, personalized Web site. All lesson submissions and communications take place online, eliminating the delays sometimes experienced with postal mail. In addition, student assignments are graded entirely online by the instructor. Many of the courses feature interactive activities ranging from online quizzes and multimedia exercises to full-blown virtual tours and field trips.”

Kathi Lyle is a general studies degree student in Rowlett, Texas. Now just 14 hours from earning her bachelor’s degree, she recently completed her first online course. Having taken all her other courses in a pen-and-paper format, she signed up for the online course, she says, because she is eager to finish her degree. “I wanted to see if I could cut a little time off the start-to-finish time frame.”

Lyle’s experience in the course was positive. “I thoroughly enjoyed the instant quality of the sign-up process. I received instructions and books almost immediately and was ready to go the same day they arrived. I also enjoyed the color photograph and biographical information I found on the instructor. I absolutely loved the ability to check my grades online. I especially enjoyed the format provided for the instructor to place comments.

“If I had to start on my degree from scratch,” continues Lyle, “I would do it entirely online. The online format is interactive and dynamic, and it helps engage and encourage the student. There are so many new tools online, whether it’s the complete text of a Shakespeare play or access to scholarly journals, artworks or music — all at 4:00 in the morning if that is what you need.”

Courses leading to the online Bachelor of General Studies are approved by their respective Indiana University academic departments and are taught by departmentally approved faculty and instructors. Current offerings include courses in anthropology, business, classical studies, communication and culture, comparative literature, computer science, criminal justice, economics, English, fine arts, geography, geological sciences, history, philosophy, political science, religious studies and sociology.

“We will consistently build our inventory of online courses over the coming months,” says Dunning, “giving degree students the broadest possible range of courses to choose from.”

For more information about the online Bachelor of General Studies, call 800-334-1011, send e-mail to, or visit the SCS Web site at

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