1. What is the BLS degree?

A: BLS stands for Bachelor of Liberal Studies, and it is a Bachelors Degree for adults who have delayed, or been delayed, in completing their Bachelor’s degree. Anyone who has earned college credits at one or more post-secondary institutions, and desires to complete a liberal arts and sciences degree, or to earn a second undergraduate degree in a different subject, is encouraged to apply for a BLS degree. The admission process, and the acceptance of transfer credits makes the BLS a different “program” at UMW.

  1. How do I know that I want a BLS degree rather than a BA or BS degree?

A: The BLS degree has a unique set of admissions criteria, and slightly different general education requirements than the BA/BS degree. It is designed to be more flexible in accepting transfer credits, does not require a foreign language, and does not have the experiential learning component. We allow students to bring in transfer credits for CLEP tests after matriculation, we offer credits for work/life portfolio projects, we accept military (ACE) credits, and credit-by-exam.

As a BLS student you can pursue any major offered by the university, as well as our own Leadership and Management major. This major was specially designed for our program, and offers evening courses in an 8 week format.

BLS students also have the option to work with our Program Director to create a special interdisciplinary major that will better meet their career goals. UMW also has a diverse selection of minors to compliment any major. 

  1. Can I switch to the BLS degree?

A: BA or BS students, who would have qualified for the BLS degree at the time of admittance, and who have earned less than 30 credit hours at UMW, may request to transfer to BLS degree by reapplying for Admission. Contact your academic advisor, or Sarah Lindberg in Admissions if you are interested in changing programs.

  1. How many transfer credits may be accepted toward the BLS degree?

A: Up to 90 credits can be accepted.

    5. What is the maximum number of military credits accepted?

A: 30 ACE credits

  1. How are credits awarded for other experiential learning?

A: Students who wish to document college-level learning through life/work experiences may submit a portfolio for evaluation. Prior to submission of the portfolio, the student must complete the one-credit, pass/fail class BLST 101 Portfolio.

  1. How many credits are awarded for a portfolio submitted?

A: The usual range is 0 to 15 credits. In exceptional cases, with BLS Committee review and approval, 16- 30 credits may be awarded.

  1. After admission into the BLS degree program, is it possible to take a course at another post-secondary institution and receive additional transfer credit toward the BLS degree?

A: Yes; up to 90 transfer credits will be be applied toward your degree, if you have not reached that limit when you are accepted, you can continue to transfer credits into UMW. However, you must complete the proper form in order to have those credits applied to your record. Visit the Registrar’s webpage to download the “Permit to Study at Another Institution” form.

  1. What is the residency requirement for the BLS degree?

A: A minimum of 30 resident credits at University of Mary Washington is required. Students must have at least half their major credits satisfied by UMW courses, or 15 resident (UMW) credits in the Leadership and Management major, traditional major, or approved special major.

  1. When is the earliest that I may register for each academic session?

A: After your first term here, advance registration appointment dates and times are determined by credits earned toward the degree, and are posted on the Registrar’s website during March and October. Only currently enrolled BLS students, and students on approved leave of absence, are eligible for advance registration. If you miss advanced registration, available courses may be limited.

***Veterans receive priority advance registration, but you have to self-report. See Academic Services for more information.***

  1. Is the BLS degree approved for veterans benefits?

A: Yes; The BLS degree is fully approved for veterans benefits.

Prospective BLS students who have questions about veterans benefits prior to admission to UMW should contact the Veterans Inquiry Unit at 1-888-442-4551, a toll-free number, or consult the V.A. website.

Students admitted to the BLS degree program should address inquiries and requests for veterans benefits to Patricia Sarkuti, Transfer Credit Coordinator, Office of the Registrar, phone: 654-1063, e-mail: for the various required V. A. forms.

12. I have completed the requirements for my major, why can’t I graduate?

The BLS degree requires several things be accomplished before you can graduate, all these conditions must be met, or you will not be awarded a Bachelor of Liberal Studies Degree:

1. All General Education requirements must be complete

2. All intensive requirements must be complete

3. All major requirements must be complete AND you must have a 2.0 or higher GPA.

4. Overall you must have a 2.0 or higher GPA

5. You must have completed at least 120 credits.

6. You have completed the online degree application.

 If you have not satisfied one, or more, of these requirements you will not be able to graduate. You can check your completion status by running a degree evaluation in banner self-serve.