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Frequently Asked Questions

The Bachelor of University Studies (B.U.S.) program provides students with the flexibility of creating an individualized major in an area not otherwise available at the University. Students must design, propose, and complete the degree under the guidance of Ed Barbanell, director of the B.U.S. program, and the supervision of a tenure-track faculty member (faculty advisor). The proposal for the major is expected to have a thematic focus and to be academically rigorous. The program of study will include an interdisciplinary set of courses that are appropriate to the theme of the major and requires the completion of a senior project designed by the student and faculty advisor. The senior project is usually presented as a thesis but may take other forms such as a visual work of art or a computer program.
Many students who pursue a Bachelor of University Studies degree go on to graduate school such as PhD programs, masters programs, medical school, dental school, law school, and others. There is also significant opportunity for employment in professions closely related to the student's major-emphasis area.
There are several ways to choose a faculty advisor who will work to help you achieve your goals. The faculty member must be a tenure-track professor (associate professor, assistant professor, or full professor). Think about the classes that have played a role in your major-emphasis decision. Try approaching the professors that taught those classes. It is preferable that you choose a faculty member who knows you well to ensure a solid recommendation and commitment to your pursuit of a B.U.S. degree. You may also speak to the director of the B.U.S. program to obtain a list of faculty members that have previously sponsored degrees similar to yours.
The committee is looking for a comprehensive, coherent, thematic proposal with a rigorous and interdisciplinary curriculum. The student, along with the faculty advisor, must demonstrate a thorough understanding of and commitment to a B.U.S. degree. The committee is interested in the student's motivation to pursue the degree along with the student's future personal and professional goals.
The proposal must be submitted at least two weeks prior to each committee meeting. The committee meets twice a semester, although usually not during the summer. View the proposal deadlines on the Deadlines webpage.
The student graduates within the faculty advisor's academic college. For example, if the student's faculty advisor is from the department of psychology, the student will graduate within the College of Behavioral Sciences, which encompasses many departments, including the department of psychology.
Yes. All B.U.S. students are still dictated by the University general education requirements, including American institutions, intellectual explorations, writing, and quantitative reasoning requirements. The student must also satisfy the bachelor degree requirements including the diversity requirement, upper-division communication/writing requirements, as well as the quantitative intensive or language requirements, depending on whether the student is pursuing a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree.
Contact Ed Barbanell with further questions or for more information regarding the B.U.S. program.
Last Updated: 11/8/17