Q & As

Is this program for me?
The program is designed for individuals who did not continue directly to higher education after high school and find that family, job and other responsibilities do not allow a full time program of study; have discontinued college or university programs and now wish to re-enter a degree program; or, have attained Associate degrees and wish to pursue a broader-based baccalaureate program.

The Bachelor of University Studies degree differs in two major respects from traditional B.A. and B.S. degrees. First, it is only through the Division of Lifelong Learning and available on a part-time basis. Second, each student, in consultation with a B.U.S. advisor, will design a program leading to specific educational goals, but not necessarily within any one department, division, school or college. This degree is designed to be flexible and adaptable to the needs of the individual student.

The B.U.S. is an appropriate alternative for those who do not desire to commit to a single academic area in order to declare a major. With carefully designed study plan, a student may use the B.U.S. to pursue a number of academic interests in relative depth and to gain some exposure to other areas. Due to the flexibility of the program, the B.U.S. can provide the diversity many students will need to succeed in a variety of unanticipated career opportunities and unpredictable life situations. Most students in the B.U.S. program appreciate the diverse access to baccalaureate courses.

What can I do with a BUS degree?
The BUS degree can prepare the student for a number of situations. Students are encouraged to design their programs around predetermined interests. Some select independent studies (when appropriate) to further their knowledge in specific areas. The purpose of the degree is to complement the student’s interests and career goals.

Are there ways of identifying career interests?
All matriculated B.U.S. students may use the University of Maine’s Career Center to complete self interest and career inventories and meet with a career counselor. Students who are not matriculated may complete a self interest and career inventories offered through the Division of Lifelong Learning with general follow-up.

What are the degree requirements for a BUS degree?
The candidate must complete a minimum of 120 hours of academic credit including general education, approved by the University Studies advisor. A minimum of 30 hours of academic credit must be completed in courses at the 300 level or above. The last 30 hours of academic credit must be completed in courses at the University of Maine. A minimum 2.0 grade average and the completion of at least 120 hours of academic credit at “C” or better is required for graduation.

Do prior credits transfer?
Credits from other institutions of higher education may be transferred if they meet the following criteria: Credits may be transferred from institutions of higher education accredited by a regional accrediting association. Credits may be transferred from educational programs recognized by the colleges of the University of Maine as having academic validity. In addition, the applicant must arrange for official transcripts and catalogs to be forwarded from all previously attended colleges and universities. The evaluation of transcripts for academic work completed at institutions previously attended must be finalized at the time of admission.

What are the admissions requirements?
The applicant must be a high school graduate or the equivalent (e.g., GED). Prior to formal admission, the applicant must have completed at least 18 credit hours either at the University of Maine or through acceptable transfer credits from an accredited, post secondary institutions. These courses must represent several academic areas, be approved b a B.U.S. advisor and show a minimum grade point average of a “C” (2.0). Applicants are expected to participate in an interview with a B.U.S. advisor to discuss their goals, objective, and their programs of study. High school transcripts and previous college transcripts (if any) should be made available at this interview. Following the interview, and once the 18 credit hour requirement has been met, students will complete a University of Maine undergraduate admission application form as well as the individualized plan for pursuing the Bachelor of University Studies degree. Applications and guidelines for completing the plan are available through a B.U.S. advisor.

More Questions? Contact us at 581.3143 or universitystudies@maine.edu