Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies

Director:  Tammy Vargas Warner

The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (B.I.S.) is a 118 credit program designed for adults who have been away from high school for three or more years. It is a good choice both for people who have never been to college and for students who attended college in the past but did not complete a degree. For the latter, the B.I.S. program makes it possible to apply their previous educational experience toward a degree program. The admission process should begin with an interview with a B.I.S. advisor in the Providence Campus’s Admission and Advising Office.

B.I.S. students are encouraged to take one or more College Level Examinations Program (CLEP) tests to measure academic knowledge acquired through prior experience. Credits gained through these tests are applied to the B.I.S. degree requirements based on how they fit within a student’s individual degree plan.  Students should discuss CLEP and other alternative credits with the program advisor in advance. (See “CLEP Examination Program” in Advanced Standing.)

The B.I.S. program consists of the following required sections: 1) Degree Requirements 2) General Education, 3) Major Curriculum, and 4) General Electives.

Degree Requirements (25 credits) for the BIS program include the BIS 100 Pro Seminar, URI 101 Traditions and Transformations, BIS 390 Social Science Seminar, BIS 391 Natural Science Seminar, BIS 392 Humanities Seminar, and BIS 399 Senior Project.

Pro-Seminar for Returning Students (3 credits). This is the required entry course that introduces returning students to the college’s academic environment. The BIS 100 course helps students identify their scholastic strengths and interests, and assists adults in building the self-confidence to pursue a degree plan.

Traditions and Transformations (1 credit). URI 101B is a University-wide seminar to introduce new students to the academic culture of higher education and to significant issues that bear on the development of each student’s goals for the undergraduate years. Students enroll concurrently in URI 101B and the Pro-Seminar (BIS 100).

The BIS seminars (BIS 390,391,392) are a distinctive feature of the B.I.S. program. These three six-credit seminars are interdisciplinary in nature and enable students to integrate and synthesize their educational experiences. These seminars are normally begun when students have completed most of the courses required for their major.

Senior Project (3 credits). All B.I.S. students must complete BIS 399. This capstone experience for B.I.S. students provides a structure that enables the student to integrate knowledge and skills from coursework and related experiences with a research project or field experience. The project must be designed so that it allows the student to demonstrate the relationship of subject matter, theory, and practice. Students are required to meet with the B.I.S. director to plan a project proposal.

General Education Requirements (40 credits).   Each of the twelve outcomes (A1-D1) must be met by at least 3 credits.  A single course may meet more than one outcome, but cannot be double counted towards the 40 credit total.  At least one course must be a Grand Challenge (G designation).  No more than twelve credits used to meet general education may be from the same course code, with the exception of honors HPR courses, which may have more than 12 credits.  General education courses may also be used to meet requirements of the major or minor when appropriate. For complete details see the General Education and Learning Outcomes section of this catalog:

Major Curriculum (45 to 48 credits). B.I.S. students can choose from the following majors: applied communications, business institutions, health services administration, and human studies. These majors allow students to take courses in several disciplines to meet their educational goals in a nontraditional way. A major may be made up of a carefully prescribed set of courses or it may be flexible in its requirements, allowing students to work creatively with an advisor to design an individualized program that meets both the student’s needs and the general goals of the B.I.S. program.

Electives (5-8 credits). Electives permit students to complete the B.I.S. degree in a number of creative ways, through course work, internships, or previous but relevant educational experience.