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Bachelor of University Studies

Students who are seeking a non-traditional, interdisciplinary education and wishing to tailor their own degree may do so by proposing a plan of study. Upon approval, this plan of study leads to a Bachelor of University Studies (B.U.S.) degree.

Students seeking the Bachelor of University Studies degree usually begin by visiting the Advising Resource Center and talking with an adviser about their long-range hopes and aspirations. The adviser will work with the student in preparing a statement of goals, a summary of previous education and experience, and a plan of study for the degree. After both have signed the proposal, it is forwarded to the Bachelor of University Studies Program Review Committee for approval. If the proposal is approved by the committee, it becomes a set of requirements for graduation. Each plan of study must meet the general education requirements and the graduation requirements of the university. The Bachelor of University Studies degree does not allow a designated major, instead a student will create an area or areas of emphasis that will help him or her attain post-graduation goals. Each area of emphasis must include a minimum of 12 credits of study with at least 6 of those credits being upper division credits. In addition to the emphasis area a student may choose to declare an academic minor that they feel will strengthen their plan of study. 

Degree Plan Proposal

The degree plan must be submitted to the B.U.S Program Review Committee by guideline due dates (October 1 for spring or summer graduation; February 1 for fall graduation). No fewer than 15 credits must be proposed (remain to be taken after approval) and included in the proposal. Students who submit proposals after the due date will not be considered for graduation the following semester. 

A program must include the following: at least 15 credits of study to be completed after approval; a total of no fewer than 120 credits (including credit for military experience, previous college work, etc.); 37 credits of junior- and senior-level courses (300-400 level); a cumulative grade-point average of 2.00 based on all work completed at NDSU; 60 credits from a four-year institution; and the residency requirement (36 credits must be completed at NDSU). Ordinarily, the last 30 credits must be resident credits. In addition, each program must fulfill the General Education requirements  including the Capstone Experience, Cultural Diversity and Global Perspectives categories, and have as a minimum the following:

Communications (C)12
Quantitative Reasoning (R)3
Science & Technology (S) (A laboratory course is included in this requirement.)10
Humanities & Fine Arts (A)6
Social & Behavioral Sciences (B)6
Wellness (W)2
Total Credits42

Approval of a student’s proposal means that the committee believes that the approved plan is the best educational program available to that student and that it is a baccalaureate-level program.

It is the policy of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences that students seeking a B.U.S. degree will, following approval of the B.U.S Proposal, be expected to make continual progress toward completion of their degree. Discontinuing enrollment for a period of two continuous academic years or more indicates lack of progress. The approved proposals of students who lack progress will no longer be considered valid for graduation with a B.U.S. degree. If these students choose to continue to seek a B.U.S. degree, it will be necessary to submit a new proposal for consideration by the committee.

In addition to the Bachelor of University Studies' continual progress policy, NDSU requires that any student who discontinues enrollment for more than one year is subject to completing the General Education requirements in effect at the time of re-entry.  B.U.S. proposals are subject to the NDSU baccalaureate degree requirements.

For further information, contact:

Advising Resource Center
112 Morrill Hall
NDSU Dept. 2800, P.O. Box 6050
North Dakota State University
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Telephone: 701-231-7014