The Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS) degree program is designed for adults whose life and/or experiences may require a non-traditional approach to completing their degree. The program is intended for students who may have graduated from high school six or more years ago, may have legal dependents other than a spouse, may be financially self-supporting, may be a military veteran, and/or may have significant life or professional experience that translates into academic knowledge that can contribute to the completion of the Bachelor’s degree.
How BLS is Different
Unlike a traditional baccalaureate degree, the BLS degree offers greater flexibility in the timetable leading to graduation because it does not require full-time study, extended residence at the University, or foreign language study (unless a student majors in a foreign language or International Affairs).
Ninety (90) semester hours of transfer credit may be used to fulfill the requirements of the BLS degree. These credits may include a maximum of 30 credits earned through CLEP exams, a maximum of 30 credits earned through a life/work portfolio submission, and a maximum of 30 credits earned through ACE military credit.
BLS students may choose to major in any one of the more than 30 majors available in the College of Arts and Sciences or may create a self-designed, interdisciplinary major (subject to the approval of the Bachelor of Liberal Studies Committee). BLS students may also select the exclusive Leadership and Management major, only open to BLS students.
The BLS degree requires a minimum of 120 semester hours, distributed in three categories: general education requirements, major program of study, and electives. Students must also take courses listed as Writing Intensive and Speaking Intensive. A grade-point average (GPA) of 2.00 on all work at the University of Mary Washington is also required, with no more than six (6) credits in physical education courses counting toward the degree.
Students who have registered for classes in the BA/BS program at UMW within the past calendar year and who have completed more than 30 credits at the University are not eligible to enroll in the BLS program.