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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
* 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.
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more