Selecting a CGS Major, Minor, or Certificate

CGS Majors

The degree program, in addition to providing certain skills and a broad exposure to primary academic disciplines, also allows an opportunity to specialize in a particular field or major, providing the depth of experience essential for vocational competence or future study. CGS offers the following majors:

  • Administration of Justice*
  • Dental Hygiene (a BS degree completion program for certified dental hygienists)
  • Health Services (a BA or a BS degree completion program for allied health professionals)
  • Humanities**
  • Law, Criminal Justice, and Society (New Major available as of Spring 2021)
  • Legal Studies*
  • Media and Professional Communications
  • Natural Sciences
  • Public Service
  • Social Sciences**

* Last term to declare this major: Fall 2021.

**Admission suspended effective Fall 2020. This major is no longer accepting new students.

The major is a part of the 120 credits required for the degree and most majors require a minimum of 30 credits. An outline of each major is available on our Academic Porgrams page.

Double and Triple Majors and Credit Overlap

Students can declare a double or triple major, but will usually earn only one degree. If one major leads to the BA degree and another to the BS degree, students must decide when applying for graduation which degree they wish to receive. A maximum of 6 credits can overlap from one major to another.

Double Degrees

College of General Studies students may choose to pursue more than one undergraduate degree simultaneously, either within CGS (i.e., both a BA and a BS) or in another undergraduate school of the University. In general, earning two degrees requires a minimum of 150 credits and the completion of the curriculum requirements of both schools.

The College of General Studies (CGS) and the College of Business Administration (CBA) offer a Double Degree program in which students earn both the BA in Health Services through CGS and the BS in Business Administration (BSBA) through CBA. The double degree program is designed for students who are interested in the intersection of health care management and business administration.

Choosing a Major

In the student information system, PeopleSoft, the terms 'major' and 'plan' both represent the degree program that the student is planning and majoring in. Students who are undecided or unsure of what they want as their major can research CGS major requirements at and The Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences major requirements at

Students should consult with their advisor for more information concerning the courses required in the major and any prerequisite coursework necessary before entering the major. Students who need additional help choosing a major that matches their interests and career goals should contact the CGS Career Consultant. The CGS Career Consultant can discuss the student’s interests, current employment trends and job search; review internship opportunities; make suggestions for writing a resume, and administer interviewing skill-building workshops. More information concerning CGS Career Services is available on the CGS Career Services website.

CGS Minors

A minor provides an option for a student earning a degree to gain knowledge in an area other than their major. Students may earn minors in schools other than the school in which they are enrolled. However, the student must be admitted into the minor in the school that offers it. The minor is included on the graduation application and appears on the student‘s academic record and on the official transcript when the degree is awarded. Three departmental minors are offered in CGS and include Administration of Justice, Legal Studies, and Public Service.

Students must complete at least half of the minor at the University of Pittsburgh and earn a 2.0 or better GPA in minor courses. Learn more about CGS minors here.

Graduation note: If you are ONLY pursuing a CGS minor, you do not need to complete a CGS graduation application. List your CGS minor on your home school graduation application. CGS students, please list your non-CGS minors on your CGS graduation application. If pursuing a certificate in another school, complete a separate application with that school/program.

CGS Certificate Programs

Students looking to broaden their educational experience or seeking professional development may elect to enroll in an academic certificate program. Certificate programs offer a course concentration in a specific area of study and may partially fulfill the student‘s degree requirements. Students must be admitted into the certificate program through the school offering it. Students must take at least one half of the coursework for the certificate at the University of Pittsburgh and earn a 2.0 or better GPA in certificate courses.

* Please note that Leadership and all non-CGS certificates must be earned in conjunction with a degree.

CGS certificates–Accounting (Post-Baccalaureate); Communication; Community Health Assessment; Corporate/Community Relations; Digital Media; Information System Design; Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies; Leadership; Managing Health Systems Programs and Projects; National Preparedness and Homeland Security; Nonprofit Management; Writing; and Writing for the Professions. To enter the Accounting certificate, students must already have a bachelor‘s degree with at least a 2.75 GPA. Learn more about CGS certificates here.

Academic Internships

Internships are valuable learning experiences that allow you to gain practical, career-related skills outside of the classroom. You'll earn college credits while building your resume and meeting professional contacts.

College of General Studies students pursuing a major in Administration of Justice, Public Service, and Media and Professional Communications and a certificate in Nonprofit Management are required to participate in an internship; however, many students within the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences majors have found an internship to be very beneficial as well. Students have worked with local sports teams, museums and arts organizations, newspapers and magazines, and television and radio stations.

To learn more about CGS internship requirements visit the CGS Internship page.


If you are a CGS student and wish to change or add a second major, please contact CGS Advising directly and complete the CGS Program Change Form (PDF).

If you are a prospective CGS student or a student in another Pitt school, please visit CGS Admissions for application information.

Overlapping Courses Between Majors, Certificates, and Minors

This policy is effective for students who declare their CGS program(s)/plan(s) for Spring 2019 and beyond.

Overlapping Credits between CGS programs and programs in other schools

  • A maximum of two courses total can overlap between a CGS major or certificate and any additional major in another school.
  • No course overlaps are allowed between a CGS certificate and a certificate in another school.
  • No course overlaps are allowed between a CGS minor and another minor, certificate, or major outside of CGS.

Overlapping Credits between majors, certificates and minors within CGS

CGS minors and CGS majors

Courses used for a minor cannot overlap with courses used for a major, minor, or a certificate. Note: If a cross-listed course (e.g., ADMJ 1400/LEGLST1140 Introduction to Criminal Law) has been taken for the student’s major, it may not be double-counted towards the minor or vice versa. A cross-listed course in two different departments or programs is considered the same course.

CGS majors and CGS certificates

Students can overlap a maximum of six (6) credits between a CGS certificate and a CGS major and/or CGS certificate. The following exceptions apply: Students cannot receive a certificate in a program in which they are pursuing their major and/or area of concentration. These programs include:

  • Public Service BA (all three tracks: Public Administration, Nonprofit Management, and Self-Designed) and its related Nonprofit Management certificate.
  • Health Services BA (all tracks: Managing Health Services Programs and Projects, Community Health Assessment) and the two related Managing Health Services Programs and Projects, and Community Health Assessment certificates.
  • Media and Professional Communications BA:
    • Corporate and CommunityRelations track and its related Corporate and Community Relations certificate;
    • Writing for the Professions track and its related Writing for the Professions certificate;
    • Digital Media track and its related Digital Media certificate.
  • Note: Media and Professional Communications majors can pursue a certificate outside their area of concentration (major track), in which case they are only allowed to overlap core requirements between their major and a certificate.