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Twin Cities Campus

Bachelor of Individualized Studies B.I.S.

CLA Dean's Office
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Baccalaureate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2024
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 120
  • Required credits within the major: 50
  • Degree: Bachelor of Individualized Studies
The BIS provides flexibility in a student's degree program by allowing him or her to focus coursework on three areas, one of which may consist of courses outside CLA. The areas do not have to be related to each other, but the program proposal must explain how the areas of study connect to the student's overall educational goals. Working closely with a BIS advisor, students develop a written proposal and course list. The proposal must be approved by a committee and three faculty or department advisors with expertise in the areas of concentration. Some departments and colleges have prerequisite or required courses for concentrations based in those departments and colleges in their BIS program. For specific information on proposal procedures and on department and college guidelines, see the Individualized Degree Programs website:
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
For certain concentrations, prerequisite courses must be completed before submitting a program proposal. For certain concentrations, a minimum overall GPA or a minimum tool course GPA is required before a student can submit a program proposal. Students can declare the degree after attending an information session (held two to three times a week) and preparing a preliminary course list. Students are not approved for the degree until they have submitted a program proposal (the submission deadline is once per semester) and the proposal has been approved by a committee and faculty or department advisors. See a BIS advisor for more information.
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
General Requirements
All students in baccalaureate degree programs are required to complete general University and college requirements including writing and liberal education courses. For more information about University-wide requirements, see the liberal education requirements. Required courses for the major, minor or certificate in which a student receives a D grade (with or without plus or minus) do not count toward the major, minor or certificate (including transfer courses).
Program Requirements
Students are required to complete 4 semester(s) of any second language. with a grade of C-, or better, or S, or demonstrate proficiency in the language(s) as defined by the department or college.
Students must complete at least 50 approved credits at or above 3xxx, distributed among the three concentrations. The concentrations may be departmental or thematic in composition, and each must include at least 15 credits. Up to 21 credits in the program may be from outside CLA. Students must have their program approved by a committee and three faculty or department advisors. At least 20 credits in the major must be completed after the program has been approved. No more than 12 credits of directed study may be applied toward the program. Students are required to complete an analytic paper in one of their CLA areas of concentration. All incoming CLA first-year (freshmen) must complete the First-Year Experience course sequence. All incoming CLA first-year (freshmen) students earning a BA, BS, or BIS degree must complete the second-year career management course CLA 3002. All students must complete a capstone in at least one CLA major. The requirements for double majors completing the capstone in a different CLA major will be clearly stated. Students must also complete all major requirements in both majors to allow the additional capstone to be waived. Student completing an addition degree must complete the capstone in each degree area.
Concentration Area Courses
Take 50 or more credit(s) from the following:
First Concentration Area
Take 15 or more credit(s) from the following:
· 3xxx or higher first concentration
· Second Concentration Area
Take 15 or more credit(s) from the following:
· 3xxx or higher second concentration
· Third Concentration Area
Take 15 or more credit(s) from the following:
· 3xxx or higher third concentration
Students must complete a substantial capstone paper or project in one of their areas of concentration. This capstone will rely in some way on a culmination of knowledge or skill acquired through the BIS. Papers and projects may vary widely in form, depending on a student's program. The capstone will be identified and approved at the time of program approval. The majority of students will do the capstone course required in one of their areas of concentration.
Students who do a dual degree or double major and choose to complete the CLA capstone requirement in their other major are still required to take the B.I.S. capstone.
Capstone Paper
Write a 2,500-word paper in conjunction with a CLA course in the B.I.S. program.
or Capstone Project
Complete an artistic or service-learning project. Talk to the B.I.S. advisor for more information.
or Honors Thesis
Completion of an honors thesis will count for honors students completing a B.I.S.
More program views..
View college catalog(s):
· College of Liberal Arts

View sample plan(s):
· Individualized Studies

View checkpoint chart:
· Bachelor of Individualized Studies B.I.S.
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