|Why should I consider
the BIS degree program?
||The BIS degree program is designed to meet the
needs of the adult learner. Part-time study, evening courses,
excellent faculty, a challenging curriculum, individual faculty
advising, small class size, and a UVA degree – these are
just some of the reasons why students enroll in the BIS program.
In addition, our students have access to resources at the University
of Virginia that include extensive audio-visual library collections,
career counseling and job search support, individual e-mail
accounts and internet support. BIS students are proud to receive
their degree from the University of Virginia, one of the most
prestigious institutions of higher education in the United States.
|What degree will I earn?
||Students enrolled in the BIS program earn a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary
Studies degree from the University of Virginia. This interdisciplinary
degree draws upon an adult student's maturity and experience
to study topics from a cross-disciplinary perspective with special
emphasis on critical thinking and analysis. The BIS degree is
one of several undergraduate degrees awarded by UVA, and graduates
of the BIS program are entitled to the same privileges and opportunities
available to all students who have earned an undergraduate degree
from the University of Virginia.
|Will I fit in with other
||Yes! You will find that the BIS community is diverse and supportive.
There is no “typical” BIS student. Currently, students
range in age from the early 20s to mid 70s. They are just as
likely to be married as to be single and typically work full-time
outside the home in diverse fields such as computer programming,
fiscal management, library science, nursing, office administration,
education, consulting, food service and many others. Our students
find support from their faculty and peers as they meet the challenges
of balancing the demands of family, work, and school.
|Once I’m enrolled
in the program, how will I know how to plan my academic program?
||Each BIS student is assigned a faculty advisor who meets with
the student before spring, summer, and fall registration to
discuss course selection for the upcoming terms. Students also
are encouraged to contact their advisors at any other time for
assistance with their academic program. An on-line degree audit
tool called VISTAA allows students to check their progress toward
degree requirements at any time.
|Can I apply to the BIS
program if I already have a bachelor’s degree?
||The BIS program is open only to students who have not earned
a first bachelor’s degree. If you are thinking of changing
fields and therefore are considering a second undergraduate
degree, we would encourage you to explore graduate school options
as an alternative.
|Does BIS award transfer
credit for life/work experience or CLEP examinations?
||The University of Virginia does not participate in the College
Level Examination Program (CLEP), the College Proficiency Exam,
or the USAFI and DANTES programs of the United States Military
Forces, nor does it award transfer credit for life/work experience.
UVA does accept up to 12 transferable credits of foreign language
course work from the Defense Language Institute.
|Are my credits too old
to transfer? What if I have quarter credits?
The BIS program has no age limit for transfer of credits
with one exception: the program does not accept computer application
and programming courses that are more than five years old.
However, students who can demonstrate that they have kept
up with developments in computer applications through recent
work experience and/or additional training may petition to
have courses older than five years transfer to fulfill admission
Quarter credits are accepted for admission through a conversion
process. Generally, the transfer policy is to assign two-thirds
of the quarter credit for transfer. For example, a course
that earned three quarter credits will be assigned two semester
credits. A course cannot be awarded more credits by transfer
than were earned originally.
|Should I wait until I
have 60 credits to make an appointment with an admissions counselor?
||No! Although prospective students often have not completed
all of the admission requirements when they first inquire about
the program, we encourage them to make an appointment with a
BIS admissions counselor. During that meeting, students can
discuss their academic and personal goals and how the BIS program
can enable them to reach those goals. The counselor also will
review transcripts to make a preliminary evaluation of transfer
credits, recommend additional courses to fulfill the admissions
requirements, and help students map out a plan for completing
those courses. BIS counselors will continue to assist students
with course selection and the admission process as they prepare
to enter the program. This service is part of the individual
support BIS students receive both before and after enrolling
in the BIS program.
|Is financial aid available
to BIS students?
||Yes! BIS applicants who are seeking financial aid need to
submit the UVA Entering Undergraduate Financial Aid Application
to the UVA Student Financial Services Office (the form is included
in the application package and is available on-line at http://www.virginia.edu/financialaid/).
In addition, students must file the Free Application for Federal
Student Aid (FAFSA) that is available on the Internet at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
Staff at Student Financial Services can assist students with
the financial aid application process. Students must be enrolled
in at least six credit hours per semester to be eligible for
|What happens if circumstances
prevent me from enrolling in classes for the semester?
||Students who are on-track for completing the requirements
of their first four terms of enrollment and for graduation may
ask to take a Leave of Absence for a semester. In these circumstances,
a student must consult with his/her faculty advisor to discuss
the situation before notifying the BIS staff. Students who wish
to take more than one consecutive term off must seek permission
from the BIS Director. Due to the cycle of course offerings,
an absence from the program may delay a student’s intended
|Do BIS students participate
in the traditional UVA graduation ceremony held on the Lawn
||Yes! BIS students participate along side the graduates from
the other nine schools at the University in Final Exercises.
In fact, President Casteen mentioned the inaugural BIS graduates
by name in his remarks during the May 2002 graduation ceremony.