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Complete Your Bachelor in Liberal Arts Degree Online

The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) degree is designed for adults who seek a flexible program that enables them to complete their undergraduate degree while balancing work and family commitments.  Rooted in the UVA liberal arts tradition, the BIS degree offers a broad interdisciplinary education that prepares students to advance in their current jobs, transition to a new career, or pursue graduate studies.  Regardless of their area of concentration, BIS students strengthen highly desirable skills in critical thinking, communication, problem solving, team work, analytical reasoning, and time management.  Students choose a concentration from options in business, technology, healthcare management, and the liberal arts.

Students enter BIS having completed a foundation of 45-60 credits transferable to UVA, including sufficient course work to satisfy the Liberal Studies Core admission requirements.  A total of 120 semester credits are required for the degree; at least 60 credits must be completed in UVA course work.  Our pre-admission advising team is ready to answer questions, provide feedback based upon a preliminary review of transcripts, and help recommend strategies for a strong application.  On average, working BIS students take two courses per semester and complete the degree in about three years.  However, the degree offers flexibility to those whose lives permit them to handle a heavier course load and complete the degree more quickly.  Ultimately, we care about student success and are happy to discuss individual circumstances. 

Set yourself apart with a degree from UVA, and become part of our family for life. Apply Now

Start DatesAugust and January
Estimated Cost

$29,280 (same in-state and out-of-state; based on 60 transfer credits at admission)

DurationVaries, 3-4 years on average

Flexible course load: Synchronous online (evening classes), Select Asynchronous and face-to-face classes

Next Application Deadline

May 15, 2021 for Fall 2021


A total of 120 credits are required to complete the BIS degree: at least 60 credits are completed at UVA and are combined with 45-60 transferable credits at admission from other regionally accredited institutions. 

On average, students take two courses a term, including the summer, and take three to four years to complete the degree. Many, however, are able to finish sooner or choose to move more slowly, taking up to seven years. Here is a sample of what a typical plan might look like, given satisfactory progress to degree and no leaves of absence. 

Required Seminars

Liberal Studies Seminars 

Liberal Studies Seminars provide students with opportunities to develop a set of core skills early in the BIS program. All first-term BIS students are required to take ISLS 3000 Transformations: Reading, Thinking, and Communicating in the Liberal Arts, which addresses academic writing, critical thinking, and research fundamentals. Students also take one more ISLS, and then two ISINs for all concentrations.

6 Credits

ISLS 3000 

Conduct of Inquiry Seminars 

Conduct of Inquiry Seminars build upon the skills developed in the Liberal Studies Seminars and introduce students to analytical and research fundamentals in various disciplines.

6 Credits

ISIN 4510 - Social Sciences focus
ISIN 4520 - Humanities focus

Note: These seminars must be completed within the first four consecutive terms of BIS matriculation with a grade of C or better. At least one 3000-level Liberal Studies Seminar must be completed with a C or better before enrolling in one at the 4000-level. 


Individualized Concentration
With permission of the BIS Director and with guidance of an academic advisor,  a student may propose a concentration comprised of 18 credits of upper-level UVA courses tailored to his/her academic interests. 

Capstone Project

6 credits
The required Capstone Project is a two-semester, two-course process providing students with an opportunity to integrate academic accomplishments and professional interests. The project builds on the student’s course work, research, and writing skills, as well as on current professional involvement and/or aspirations. 

Capstone I is a three-credit course that provides students an opportunity to strengthen their analytical and critical thinking skills while exploring further the process of basic research and project design.  Over the course of the semester, students will develop a proposal for their Capstone Project. 

Successful completion of Capstone I with a grade of C or better and an approved proposal are required prior to registering for Capstone II. Learn about the Capstone Project.

Elective Courses

18-39 Credits (depending on concentration and credits at admission)
In consultation with their advisors, students in all concentrations will distribute their degree hours beyond the Liberal Studies Seminars, Conduct of Inquiry courses, Concentrations, and Capstone Project in courses that will complement their academic, professional, and personal goals. 


60-75 Credits (depending on credits at admission)

The information contained on this web site is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. 



 Synchronous online (evening classes), Select Asynchronous and face-to-face classes

On average, students take two courses per term, including the summer, and take three to four years to complete the degree. Many are able to finish sooner, or some students choose to move more slowly, taking up to seven years.
admission requirements

Fall Entry: May 15
Spring Entry: Nov 1

  • High school diploma, or equivalent
  • 45-60 transferable credits that satisfy
    the Liberal Studies Core requirements

Admission Details

$29,280 (same in-state and out-of-state; based on 60 transfer credits at admission)

  • Students have access to financial aid,
    scholarships, and payment plans
Tuition and Financial Aid Details
* Additional fees may apply, including course materials. Tuition rates adjusted annually.
our value
  • Undergraduate study designed around the lives and schedules of working adults

  • Concentrations in areas such as technology, healthcare management, business, and the liberal arts

  • Have your unofficial transcripts reviewed by a pre-admission advisor

* The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements.

Faculty Spotlight

I want my students to realize that good writing just doesn’t happen. You have to work at it.
A photograph of Charlotte Matthews

Charlotte Matthews


Charlotte Matthews is a well-regarded poet with three full-length poetry collections to her name. Also an associate professor in the BIS program, she delivers rigorous instruction in writing and revision while encouraging students to develop their own voice. In 2018, Charlotte received the Adelle F. Robertson Award, the school’s highest honor, for sustained excellence in providing new knowledge, instruction, and public service to the people, organizations, and institutions served by the University.

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It is extremely energizing to teach adult students, especially the highly motivated students in our program.
A photograph of Stephen Levine

Stephen Levine


Stephen is an associate professor in BIS, and also serves as the program director. He has been teaching courses on U.S. cultural history since 2006, and, in addition to his work as an instructor, strives to increase access and flexibility at UVA to help adult learners reach their academic goals. Under his leadership, students are now able to complete the BIS degree entirely online.

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Student Spotlight

It was very important to me to set an example for my three children. And earning my degree was a source of personal satisfaction.
A photograph of Marisela Perez

Marisela Perez


As a part-time student and working mother of three, Marisela took advantage of flexible learning opportunities and employer reimbursement to earn her bachelor’s from SCPS. After completing her associate’s degree at a local community college, she enrolled in the BIS program part-time. She completed her degree online after relocating from Charlottesville to California, and now works as an accounting manager for Tri-Dim, who sponsored her SCPS studies.

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I'm in a managerial position now. An SCPS degree provided the foundation for advancing in my career.
A photograph of Clifton Jones

Clifton Jones


When Clifton began his academic career at UVA, it was as a biomedical engineering student in the rigorous Engineering School. Three years in, however, he realized that this field was not for him. He left Charlottesville to enter the workforce, and started applying his talents at a youth arts organization in Washington, DC. Now returning to UVA as a BIS student, Clifton is completing his undergraduate degree in his true area of interest, and is collecting skills that will help him advance his creative career.

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At orientation, everyone was kind and supportive, and they make you feel welcomed as a UVA student. You get all the services you would expect from a university like this. It is amazing.
A photograph of Jesús Pino

Jesús Pino


Jesús came to SCPS by way of his home city of Córdoba, where he developed a passion for photography as the co-founder of a bimonthly arts and culture magazine. When he relocated to the United States for his wife’s job, he decided to advance his photography and advertising career with an undergraduate degree. Now a bachelor’s student at BIS, he’s making connections, developing expertise, and gaining experience in pursuit of his dream job.

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