Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies Degree Program
The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) degree program is tailored to adults who wish to pursue an undergraduate degree through part-time study. Approved in 1999 by the Board of Visitors and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the BIS program makes it possible for students with earned college credits to complete undergraduate degrees. The BIS program offers a challenging and intellectually stimulating curriculum with evening and weekend courses drawn from those already offered at the University or approved by University faculty specifically for this degree program. The program maintains a full course schedule in the summer as well as during the fall and spring terms.
The interdisciplinary curriculum of the BIS program includes upper-level courses in academic fields that bring together both the range of learning implied by a liberal arts degree and the depth of knowledge associated with study at an advanced undergraduate level. The program emphasizes critical thinking, clear articulation of ideas, and the habits of individual and collective learning that develop and sustain life-long learners. Interdisciplinary liberal studies seminars unique to the program are required of all students. Students will pursue an academic concentration within the degree program and must complete a proseminar and a capstone project to synthesize their educational and professional experiences and demonstrate the depth and breadth of their educational experience. Students have seven years (twenty-two terms or semesters to include fall, spring, and summer) after admission to the program to complete all requirements for the BIS degree.
BIS students are governed by the student-run Honor System and the Standards of Conduct described in Chapter 5 of the University Record, subject to revision from time to time by authorized University offices. Implementing policies and procedures can be obtained from the University Honor Committee and the University Judiciary Committee. Academic policies and regulations of the BIS program are under the aegis of a Faculty Advisory Committee, the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, and the BIS director. To learn more about this undergraduate degree program, or to obtain application information, individuals should contact:
BIS Degree Program
University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies
106 Midmont Lane
P.O. Box 400764
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4764
The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree program is intended for adults who graduated from high school not less than four years prior to enrollment, have earned sixty transferable semester credit hours from regionally accredited colleges or universities, and are prepared to enter a rigorous program of study. Half of the transfer credits should satisfy the general education guidelines of the Liberal Studies Core. Applicants must complete a formal application for admission and be in good academic and social standing at the institution they attended most recently. They also must have earned at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average there. Additionally applicants must be in good financial standing at the University of Virginia. Prospective students apply to the BIS program rather than to the Office of Undergraduate Admission, and official transcripts must be directed to the BIS office. Before submitting the application, prospective students must meet with a BIS admissions advisor. Applications for summer, fall, and spring are due, respectively, by April 1, July 15, and December 1. Applicants will be notified of admission decisions by mail. Applicants who are denied admission may reactivate their applications for a period of two calendar years without paying an additional application fee. Students who have been denied admission to another undergraduate program at UVA must wait one year before applying to the BIS program.
Transfer of Credit Credits eligible for transfer must have been earned with at least a "C" grade (2.0 or better) and in courses comparable in content and rigor to those offered at the University of Virginia. Credits earned in a pass/fail grading system will only be eligible for transfer if certification is provided that the student earned at least a "C" average. Only credits transfer; grades do not transfer..
Students receive no more, and may receive fewer, than the number of credits earned at the host institutions. No more than 60 semester credit hours, or half the number of credits required for graduation, transfer from a combination of approved testing programs (Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate) and course credits. Credits must have been earned at a degree-granting institution of higher education that has been fully accredited by one of the six regional accrediting agencies or at an institution that is a "Recognized Candidate for Accreditation." Quarter and trimester hours are converted to semester hours. The general University policy on accepting credits from foreign institutions will apply. No transfer credit is granted for College Level Examination Placement credits, life experience credits, correspondence credit, or military education credits. Credit for Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate testing is awarded according to guidelines used in the College of Arts and Sciences. Transfer credit is generally not granted for credit passed elsewhere by re-examination.
Courses required for an academic concentration do not typically transfer to the BIS degree, but may with permission of the appropriate BIS faculty. Additional elective courses from the concentration must then be taken in the BIS degree program to replace the hours that have transferred from another institution. No more than two required courses may be replaced with transfer credits.
Credits earned in courses taken at other institutions while the student is enrolled in the BIS program are only eligible for transfer if the student completes the appropriate paperwork and receives permission to transfer the credits before enrolling in the course(s).
Provisional Admission All students who are accepted into the BIS program are provisional status students. Provisional status students have four consecutive terms after admission in which to complete successfully:
- the computer competency requirement (see below);
- two liberal studies seminars: one critical issues seminar and one analytical skills seminar (see below under "Curriculum");
- two other BIS/BIS-approved UVa courses;
- any concentration prerequisite, core requirement, or credit hours missing upon admission.
Courses outlined in items 2-4 above must be completed with at least a "C" grade (2.0 or better). In addition, students who enroll in more than four BIS courses during provisional status must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0.
Upon satisfying these requirements, students become regular status students. Provisional status students who do not satisfy these requirements within four terms may be required to leave the program. A student who is asked to withdraw from the program may petition, after one year, for reinstatement of provisional admission. Students awarded regular status will be subject to the regulations governing satisfactory academic progress outlined in subsequent sections.
The Liberal Studies Core The Liberal Studies Core demonstrates that students have studied a broad range of academic disciplines and are prepared for study at a more advanced level. Transfer credits must satisfy the following liberal studies guidelines:
English Composition: at least six semester credit hours of college composition.
Humanities: at least six semester credit hours earned in art history, selected architectural history courses, classics, literature, drama, film studies, fine arts, music (exclusive of performance), philosophy, political theory, religious studies, or western or eastern civilization or similar courses.
Social Sciences: at least six semester credit hours earned in anthropology, economics, government and foreign affairs (except political theory), history (exclusive of western, eastern, or other civilization courses, which are considered humanities courses), psychology, or sociology.
Math and/or Natural Science: at least twelve semester credit hours earned in math, astronomy, biology, chemistry, environmental science, or physics. Only courses comparable to those that satisfy an area requirement for the College of Arts and Sciences satisfy the Core; for example, precalculus may transfer but will not satisfy the area requirement.
Computer Competency Requirement Students who enter the BIS degree program should have an understanding of computing as a tool for communication and should demonstrate a degree of proficiency in basic computing skills that will support their academic work. The competency requirement may be satisfied by one of three options: a grade of B or better in IST 117 offered by the Virginia Community College System; a grade of "pass" in the non-credit Introduction to Computing class offered by the Charlottesville Center of SCSP; or passing the BIS take-home computer competency examination. Students are expected to satisfy the competency requirement as part of the admission process. Anyone who is admitted to the program having not satisfied the requirement must do so by the end of the second semester after BIS matriculation.
Demonstrating Success in BIS To continue in the program, all BIS students must 1) maintain good financial and social standing at the University and 2) complete the following academic requirements by the end of the fourth semester after BIS matriculation:
- Four courses (a minimum of 12 credit hours) each with a grade of C (2.0) or better, to include one critical issues seminar, one analytical skills seminar, and two other BIS/BIS-approved UVA courses;
- Cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on all UVA course work (including courses completed prior to BIS matriculation);
- A detailed concentration proposal if pursuing an Individualized Concentration (due by the time student completes 12 credits in the BIS program);
- A minimum of 72 total credits toward the BIS degree (including transfer credits);
- Any credit hours or liberal studies core requirement missing upon BIS admission (note: any concentration prerequisite missing at the time of admission must be satisfied by the end of the second semester after BIS matriculation).
Students who are unable to satisfy these requirements by the end of the fourth semester after BIS matriculation may be required to leave the program. A student who is asked to withdraw from the program may, after waiting one full year, petition to re-apply.
Academic Regulations and Option
In addition to University-wide policies and procedures, the following academic requirements and options apply to students in the BIS program. Students who have questions about any such policies should contact the BIS office.
Add/Drop Regulations Students may add courses until the published deadline for the term, which is approximately two weeks from the day classes begin. The add deadline is also the last day to change the grading option for courses. Students may drop courses without penalty until the published drop deadline, which is usually two days before the add deadline. Students who withdraw from all courses after the term has begun will be charged tuition for the term on a prorated scale.
To enroll in courses restricted by permission of the instructor, a student must submit to the BIS director a course action form signed by the instructor.
Students are expected to ensure that their course enrollment record is correct; changes to course enrollment may be made by telephone, (434) 296-4747, or online, www.virginia.edu/registrar, before the published deadlines.
Advising Advising students about academic matters and student services is an important element of the BIS degree program. Upon entering the BIS program, a student is assigned a faculty advisor. Students are responsible for consulting with their faculty advisors each term before enrolling in courses. Students are blocked from registering from courses until they meet with their advisors, but they are still responsible for following the academic requirements of the program. It is the responsibility of the academic advisor to work closely with the student to plan the program of study, to monitor the student's progress, and to provide advice on matters pertaining to BIS academic policies and procedures.
The academic advisor will assist the student in identifying a faculty mentor to work with the student on the capstone project that is undertaken near the completion of the BIS degree program. A student who wishes to take a course for credit outside of the regular BIS curriculum or who wishes to take a leave of absence from the program must consult with the academic advisor before obtaining permission from the BIS director.
Students should consult with BIS staff regarding matters pertaining to student services.
Auditing A student enrolled in the BIS program may audit BIS program courses with the permission of the course instructor. Courses taken on an audit basis have the AU recorded in the grade column of the student's academic record. Because audited courses earn no credits or grade points, they are not applicable to the BIS degree. The course instructor is the sole determinant of whether a student can take the course on an audit basis. The approved BIS tuition and fee rates apply to audited courses. Audited courses do not apply toward minimum or maximum credit hours when calculating course loads.
Course Load BIS students must register for a minimum of three credit hours per term. A BIS student may not enroll in more than nine credit hours per term without permission of his or her advisor. Students who fail to earn a semester GPA of at least 2.0 or who are on academic warning will not be allowed to enroll in more than nine credits the following semester.
Students who plan to apply for financial aid may find that they need to carry a minimumum of six credit hours per term in order to be eligible for some aid programs. These students should contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine what the specific requirements are for the various types of aid they wish to receive.
Credit/No Credit Option Students may choose a credit/no credit (CR/NC) grading option up until the add deadline for courses. Instructors have the right to prohibit students from taking courses on a CR/NC basis. The three required liberal studies seminars, concentration courses, the proseminar All courses taken to meet regular status requirements, liberal studies seminars, concentration courses, and the capstone project must be graded and may not be taken CR/NC. BIS students may take no more than one course per term on a CR/NC basis, and a maximum of nine credit hours may be taken on a CR/NC basis during a student's tenure in the BIS program.
Grade Changes No grade may be changed after it has been submitted to the university registrar without the approval of the dean. The dean is not authorized by the faculty to change a grade submitted to the university registrar except when an instructor certifies that, because of an error in calculation or transcription, an incorrect grade has been submitted.
Incompletes Circumstances beyond a student's control may arise that necessitate his or her requesting an incomplete (IN). In these cases, the transcript records "IN" to indicate that the course grade is being withheld until the student completes all course requirements. The student must initiate the request for an IN, and the instructor must agree. The request must be made in a timely manner such that the professor has time to inform the student of the decision prior to the final exam for the course. The Request for an Incomplete Grade Form (available from the BIS office) must be completed and signed by both the student and instructor prior to the first day of class for the following semester and will be kept on file in the BIS office.The student must complete all course requirements and deliver the completed work to the instructor before the instructor's imposed deadline (to be no later than the end of the next term), at which time the instructor replaces the IN with a letter grade. If the work is not completed, the IN becomes an F. A degree will not be awarded while an incomplete remains on the transcript.
A student may not request an incomplete in an attempt to raise his or her grade.
Independent Study BIS students who wish to receive degree credit for an independent study must submit, with a faculty member's endorsement, a proposed plan of study to include a course syllabus. A maximum of 3.0 semester credits of independent study after matriculation to the program may be counted toward the BIS degree.
Intra-University Transfer BIS students seeking to transfer into any other undergraduate degree program at the University must, in consultation with the BIS director, complete the appropriate transfer application. The student's entire academic record may be considered by the Intra-University Transfer Committee in the decision to approve the application.
Leaves of Absence A student who wishes to take a one-term leave of absence must consult with the academic advisor prior to notifying the BIS director. During the period of leave, the student does not receive a student ID card or University e-mail privileges.
BIS candidates who wish to take a leave of absence for a second consecutive term should follow the process outlined above; however, the request must be approved by the BIS director. Students on approved leaves of absence are not required to apply for readmission to the BIS program prior to their return but should notify the BIS director of their intended return at least 30 days before the published date of final registration for that term.
Minimum Grades The following courses must be completed with a grade of C or better: one critical issues seminar, one analytical skills seminar, and any other two BIS or BIS-approved UVA courses by the end of the fourth term after BIS matriculation; the proseminar; and the capstone project. Courses taken to meet the concentration requirements must be completed with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.
Non-BIS Courses Students enrolled in the BIS program normally will complete their degree requirements by taking BIS courses. A BIS student may be granted permission to take a course in another school of the University and have that course count toward BIS degree requirements. Students must obtain advance approval to take a non-BIS course from their academic advisor and then notify the BIS director. Students seeking to enroll in courses offered by the Curry School of Education also must secure permission of the instructor. If advance approval is not obtained, non-BIS courses may not be applied toward the degree requirements. Students pursuing the Individualized Concentration in Education may take up to twenty-four credits of non-BIS UVA courses for the concentration (300 level and above) and up to nine credits of non-BIS UVA courses for degree electives after enrolling in the BIS program. All other BIS students may apply a maximum of eighteen credits of non-BIS UVA courses to the BIS degree after enrolling in the program.
Readmission Students who do not enroll at the University for more than two terms, and who are not on an approved leave of absence, may be required to apply for readmission. Application for readmission must be made to the BIS director at least 30 days in advance of the next University registration period. Students should include with their applications a statement that (1) addresses their readiness to return to the program in light of any serious difficulties during their most recent enrollment (e.g., financial, medical, or personal hardship) and (2) outlines those courses that the students will take over the remaining terms to qualify for a degree.
Students who have been placed on suspension by the BIS program, or who have been asked to withdraw, may petition to the BIS director and the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies for readmission to the BIS program after one academic year. These students should follow steps 1 and 2 outlined above.
Repeated Courses Two essentially identical courses, whether under the same course number or not, may not both be counted for degree credit. If a course is passed and repeated, only the first grade received is entered in the computation of the grade point average and counts toward the 120 credits required for graduation, although the repeated course and its grade do appear on the student's transcript. If a course is failed and then repeated, both courses and grades appear on the transcript and are computed in the grade point average.
Requests for Exceptions and Appeals Students who believe they should be exempted from prerequisite courses or other BIS requirements or regulations may petition for an exception to the BIS director and to the BIS Faculty Advisory Committee after they have consulted with their academic advisor.
Academic Grievance Procedure A student enrolled in the BIS program who has a grievance with a faculty member, the BIS Program director, the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, or the Vice President and Provost of the University is invited to discuss the grievance in the following manner:
- Concerns related to a faculty member that cannot be resolved by the two parties should be discussed with the BIS director.
- If the concern relates to the director, the student should file a grievance with the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
- If the concern relates to the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, the student should file a grievance with the Vice President and Provost.
- If the concern relates to the Vice President and Provost, the student should present appropriate documentation in writing to the President of the University.
Satisfactory Academic Performance Students admitted to the BIS program are expected to complete all degree requirements within seven years (i.e., twenty-two terms including fall, spring, and summer) of matriculation into the program. Leaves of absence and suspensions do not change the requirement to complete all degree requirements within these parameters. All BIS students are expected to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the degree. To that end, each student's academic standing is reviewed at the conclusion of each semester.
Academic Warning Students may be placed on academic warning, with a notation appearing on their transcripts, if they:
- Fail to earn a 1.8 for the semester;
- Fail to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0;
- Earn more than one grade below C- in any given semester;
- Earn a grade below D in any course during two consecutive semesters.
Students on academic warning are expected to meet with their academic advisors no later than the third week of the next term to discuss their plans to remedy their academic shortcoming(s). Students on academic warning who withdraw or take leaves of absence are eligible to return but do so on academic warning and are subject to suspension if they do not attain good standing within the first semester of their return.
Suspension Students are subject to suspension after two consecutive terms on academic warning. Students who have been suspended from the BIS program may apply for readmission after one calendar year. While on suspension, students may not earn credits to advance their progress toward the BIS degree. Readmission must be approved by the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. Application for readmission is made to the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at least 30 days before the next University registration period in which the student is eligible to reapply. Students should include with their applications a statement that (1) addresses their readiness to return to regular study (i.e., 3-9 hours per term) in light of any serious difficulties during their most recent enrollment (e.g., financial, medical, or personal hardship) and (2) outlines those courses that the students will take over the remaining terms to qualify for a degree. BIS candidates may petition the Dean for a waiver of the suspension, citing extenuating circumstances. Such appeals should be addressed to the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, P.O. Box 400764, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4764. Students who are readmitted after being on suspension must meet specified academic objectives.
Withdrawal The following policies govern withdrawal from the BIS Program as well as from individual courses:
Course Withdrawal With the instructor's permission, BIS students may withdraw from a fall or spring course with a grade of W for a period of eight weeks from the semester's (not the course's) first day of instruction. After this cutoff, students either must complete the course or, with the instructor's endorsement, submit a request for an incomplete. During the summer term, BIS students may withdraw from a course with a grade of W until the midpoint of the course. With an endorsement from the professor, the BIS director will consider a student's petition to withdraw from a course after the deadline because of compelling or highly unusual circumstances. Students who discontinue a course at any point without complying with the proper procedure may be subject to a failing grade.
Enforced Withdrawal The Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies may compel a student to withdraw from the BIS program for good cause. A student who is asked to withdraw from the program may petition the dean for readmission after one calendar year.
Medical Withdrawal A student may withdraw from the BIS program for reasons of health with the approval of the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies and BIS director.
Voluntary Withdrawal A BIS student who wishes to withdraw from the program must formally withdraw from the University. The student is encouraged to meet first with the academic advisor of record; the student must meet with the BIS director for an exit interview, fill out the appropriate paperwork, and turn in the University identification card. Leaving the program without following the requisite process results in the student's receiving a grade of F in all courses that he or she fails to complete. A student who withdraws from the University voluntarily has the notation "Withdrew [date]" recorded on his or her permanent academic record.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
A student enrolled in the BIS program, or a person applying to enter the BIS program, must inform the University of the need for academic accommodation due to a qualifying disability. Requests for accommodation should be supported by appropriate documentation of the relevant disability filed with the University Learning Needs and Evaluation Center. Requests for reasonable variation in degree requirements to accommodate a student's disability should be submitted in writing to the LNEC and will be subject to review by the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
Requests for accommodation should be supported by appropriate documentation of the relevant disability filed with the University Learning Needs and Evaluation Center. Personnel at the center are available to counsel the student or applicant in preparing his or her request for academic accommodations and to help him or her secure other necessary support services. A deaf or hearing-impaired student or applicant may dial (434) 243-5189 to receive telecommunications accessibility.
A student who has disabilities that may interfere with his or her performance in a course, or who requires special and reasonable accommodation in the conduct of the course, should inform the instructor of that fact at the beginning of the course. Any questions concerning the propriety of particular accommodations should be referred to the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies or to the assistant director of the Learning Needs and Evaluation Center (434) 243-5180 or (434) 243-5189.
Accuracy of Student Records
Students are responsible for the accuracy of their academic records. The Office of the University Registrar provides access to ISIS, the student information system, via the Internet (www.virginia.edu/registrar). Students may view their grades by connecting to ISIS or they may visit the Registrar's Office during business hours for a print-out of the semester grades. It is the student's responsibility to point out errors in the record and to do so in a timely manner
BIS students interested in applying for financial aid should file the federal Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the UVA Undergraduate Financial Aid Application. Minimum semester credit hour requirements for federal financial aid may be greater than those required by the degree program. Information about the FAFSA can be found at www.fafsa.ed.gov; information about the Office of Financial Aid is available at www.virginia.edu/financialaid or by calling (434) 982-6000.
New students entering the program must attend the BIS orientation prior to the beginning of classes. At this meeting students are provided with information about registration and student services, as well as academic advising.
Student Activities and Services
BIS students have full access to intramural and recreation activities and facilities, University Career Services, electronic mail, the Information Technology Center and its services, and other non-curricular activities.
To be awarded the BIS degree, students must present 120 semester credit hours, including 60 credit hours earned at the University of Virginia, and successfully complete the BIS curriculum, as outlined below in "Curriculum." At least 51 hours taken at the University must have been completed on a graded (A+ to D-) basis. Students must have earned a 2.0 cumulative grade point average on all work taken at the University. Students are subject to the degree and curricular requirements in effect for the term for which they were provisionally admitted to the BIS program.
Awards and Honors
Alpha Sigma Lambda The University of Virginia hosts the Beta Iota Sigma chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda, a national academic honor society for adult students. BIS students who have completed at least twenty-four credits at UVA since BIS matriculation with a cumulative grade point average of 3.4 or higher are eligible to be considered for membership in the society. The cumulative grade point average will be calculated at the conclusion of the fall semester, with induction occurring in the spring.
Final Honors Degrees with distinction, with high distinction, and with highest distinction are awarded to BIS students who have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.4, 3.6, and 3.8, respectively, on all UVA course work completed since matriculation into the BIS program.
The BIS curriculum has has five components: liberal studies seminars, including critical issues seminars and analytical skills seminars; a concentration; degree elective courses; a proseminar; and a capstone project.
Liberal Studies Seminars
Two types of liberal studies seminars comprise part of the curriculum of the BIS degree program: critical issues seminars and analytical skills seminars. Their collective purpose is to enhance students' ability to read and think critically about abstract ideas and complex social issues; to teach students how to make more persuasive and well-supported arguments in writing and in speech; to develop students' ability to solve problems in groups; and to ensure that students can employ both qualitative and quantitative reasoning. Students are required to complete successfully one of each type of seminar before moving to regular status; they then must complete successfully at least one more critical issues seminar before graduating with a BIS degree.
Analytical Skills Seminars take as their goal the critical analysis of information in both quantitative and qualitative forms and address such issues as variability in data, assessing risk, and using data to support an argument.
Critical Issues Seminars focus on ethics and effective decision-making in contemporary society. During the semester, an issue is addressed from multiple disciplines. The courses are also writing-intensive and students produce several short essays, at least one of which is revised.
Concentrations Students will indicate an intended concentration upon admission to the BIS program. Any prerequisites for the concentration must be successfully completed before the end of the second term after BIS matriculation. All courses taken to fulfill the concentration requirements must be completed with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0.
Degree Elective Courses outside the Concentration In consultation with their advisors, students will distribute their degree hours beyond the liberal studies seminars, the concentration, the proseminar, and the capstone project in courses that complement their academic, professional, and personal interests. These electives may be within or outside the student's area of concentration.
Proseminar The required 3-credit proseminar course provides students an opportunity to strengthen their analytical thinking and communication skills while exploring the process of research and project design. Students will apply what they learn to develop a thoughtful proposal for their individual capstone projects.
Capstone Project The required capstone project is the culminating academic activity of the BIS program and provides students with an opportunity to integrate academic accomplishments and professional interests in a research project. It builds upon students' course work, research, and writing in the program, as well as on current professional involvement and /or aspirations. Projects must be supervised by an approved faculty mentor. Students must successfully complete the proseminar before they may register for the 3-credit capstone project.
Elective Courses outside the Concentration In consultation with their advisors, students will distribute their degree hours beyond the liberal studies seminars (9 hours minimum), the concentration (21-24 hours), and the capstone project (3 hours) in courses that complement their academic, professional, and personal interests. Students may thus select elective courses that earn 24-27 UVa credit hours in order to meet the 120 credit hours required for completion of the BIS degree. These electives may be inside or outside the student's area of concentration.
Mnemonics are alphabetical and indicate the degree requirement (liberal studies seminars: ISAS, ISCI; capstone project: ISCS) or concentration (ISBU, business; ISHU, humanities; ISIT, information technology; and ISSS, social sciences). BIS business (ISBU) and IT (ISIT) courses may be restricted by the instructor to only those students who are concentrating in the discipline and who have completed the appropriate prerequisite courses.
ISAS 301-399 - (3) (Y)
Analytical Skills Seminar
Develops quantitative reasoning skills by requiring students to gather and analyze data to formulate persuasive arguments. The seminars are topical (e.g., global warming, tax policy, assessing risk) and interdisciplinary, but their emphasis lies with understanding qualitative and quantitative analysis, including variability in data, recognizing uncertainty but making decisions in the face of it, and using data to support arguments.
ISBU 311 - (3) (SI)
Intermediate Accounting I
Prerequisite: COMM 202 or equivalent.
Comprehensive study of the key components of generally accepted accounting principles for asset valuation, preparing financial statements, and the basic account maintenance required for external reporting.
ISBU 312 - (3) (SI)
Intermediate Accounting II
Prerequisite: ISBU 311.
Continuation of ISBU 311. Emphasizes accounting for stockholders' equity and earnings per share and for a business organization's income taxes, pensions, leases, and debt and equity investments.
ISBU/ISIT 320 - (3) (SI)
Business Software Development
A hands-on introduction to developing software applications for business. Explores relevant programming principles, including object-oriented methods and basic data management.
ISBU/ISIT 325 - (3) (SI)
Prerequisite: CS 120 and STAT 112 or equivalents or instructor permission.
Studies the principles and methods business analysts and managers use to assess the various areas of a business organization, including accounting, finance, information systems, operations, and personnel. Focuses on the role of statistical models, data analysis, and information systems in decision-making.
ISBU/ISIT 326 - (3) (SI)
Business Information Systems
Overview of basic operations management using an information processing systems approach. Emphasizes the role of information technology and information systems within all areas of business. Focuses on a process-oriented view of the organization and building process modeling skills.
ISBU 327 - (3) (SI)
Students will learn to understand basic investment principles including the risks and rewards of securities, the power of compounding and the significance of global capital markets. Corporate finance, investments, and financial institutions will be covered in this course and several cases will be used to augment the theoretical material.
ISBU 341 - (3) (SI)
Surveys the American legal system and principles of constitutional, criminal, and tort law, emphasizing legal issues related to contracts, agency, corporations, and partnerships.
ISBU 351 - (3) (SI)
Fundamentals of Marketing
Prerequisite: ECON 201, 202, or equivalents, or instructor permission.v
Introduction to marketing principles and activities in both profit and non-profit enterprises, from the conception of goods and services to their consumption. Participants study consumer behavior as well as ethical, environmental, and international issues in marketing.
ISBU 361 - (3) (SI)
Studies the basic theories and research related to the practices of contemporary organizational behavior. Emphasizes the interpersonal skills that promote individual, group, and organizational effectiveness. Class activities are interactive and include experiential exercises, case analyses, and collaborative learning.
ISBU 371 - (3) (SI)
Prerequisite: ISBU concentration prerequisites or instructor permission.
Principles and practices of business finance focusing on managerial decision-making in financial policy. Topics include capital structure, types of securities and their use in raising funds, risk, valuation, and allocating resources for investment.
ISBU/ISIT 381 - (3) (IR)
Uses philosophical ethics as a framework for investigating moral dilemmas in contemporary business. Case study method used.
ISBU 384 - (3) (SI)
Prerequisite: ISBU concentration prerequisites or instructor permission.
An introduction to the practice and theory of international business. Consideration given to global trade and economic integration theory; the major instruments and procedures needed for management and operation of an international business; modes of international market entry and foreign direct investment; strategies appropriate to managing an international business; global environmental issues; and the importance of culture and ethics in international business.
ISBU 463 - (3) (SI)
Human Resource Management
Prerequisite: ISBU 361 or instructor permission.
Study of human resource management and its role in meeting company objectives; examines essentials of job analysis, recruitment and selection, training and development, performance, compensation, and employee and labor relations. Discussion of contemporary legal pressures and issues relative to a global workforce.
ISBU 467/ISIT 467 - (3) (SI)
Organizational Change and Development
This course is designed to equip anyone who has a role to play in organizational change - employees and associates at all levels, supervisors and managers, information technology consultants, and a variety of organizational stakeholders - with the basic tools required to analyze change and its consequences.
ISBU 468 - (3) (SI)
Prerequisite: ISBU concentration prerequisites or instructor permission.
Explores the process of creating and managing new ventures. Study of financing for initial capital and early growth of the enterprise; legal and tax issues associated with a new business; how to identify opportunity areas; and the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.
ISBU 485 - (3) (SI)
Prerequisite: ISBU concentration prerequisites or instructor permission.
Examines the basic elements, processes, and techniques of strategic planning. Focuses on the development of the student's decision-making abilities as a manager and calls upon the student to synthesize material learned across the concentration. Case studies, interactive classes, and business simulations are used to develop student's managerial skills.
ISBU 499 - (1-3) (IR)
In exceptional circumstances and with the endorsement of an approved faculty member and the BIS director, a student may undertake a rigorous program of independent study in business designed to explore a subject not currently being taught or to expand upon regular offerings.
ISCI 301-399 - (3) (S, SS)
Critical Issues Seminar
A multidisciplinary themed course that focuses on an ethical issue. Through discussion, extensive writing, and presentations, students use academic argument as a basis for exploring effective decision-making in contemporary society. Topics have included: Punishment and Forgiveness; Nationalism and National Identity; Issues in Global Business; Global Warming as a Scientific, Public Policy, and Moral Issue; Critical Issues in American Foreign Policy; Political Violence in Democracies.
ISCS 400 - (3) (SI)
For students within two terms of graduation. Students design, develop, produce, and evaluate a semester-long project (e.g., significant research paper, case study, work of literature) that synthesizes their educational experiences, professional work, and vocation. Done individually or in teams and supervised by a faculty mentor; prospectus for the project must be approved by the curriculum committee.
ISCP 400 - (3) (SI)
Prerequisite: grade of C or better in ISPS 399.
Students design, develop, produce, and evaluate a semester-long project that synthesizes their educational experiences and professional interests. Done individually or occasionally in teams and supervised by a faculty mentor; proposal for the project must be approved before students may register for this course.
ISHU 301 - (3) (SI)
Humanities Survey I
The first half of a two-term survey designed to introduce students to dominant humanistic traditions of Eastern and Western civilizations. Addresses topics in philosophy, art, literature, religion, and cultural history. Part one covers the period from early recorded history to the dawn of the modern age. Can be taken after ISHU 302.
ISHU 302 - (3) (SI)
Humanities Survey II
The second half of a two-term survey designed to introduce students to dominant humanistic traditions of Eastern and Western civilizations. Addresses topics in philosophy, art, literature, religion, and cultural history. Part two covers the period from the late European Renaissance to the twenty-first century. Can be taken before ISHU 302.
ISHU 303 - (3) (IR)
The Tragic and the Demonic
Students will address issues of evil in the more specific context of the tragic and the demonic. The tragic will be explored through the genre of tragedy, which reveals the intertwining of guilt, innocence, accountability, and divine malice. Emphasis will be placed on close readings of philosophical, theological, and literary texts.
ISHU 304 - (3) (IR)
Home Runs, Assassinations and Surgical Strikes: Contemporary American Literature in the Age of Television
Through post-WWII novels and essays, this course examines claims about truth and authenticity in a world largely experienced through the mass media. Readings will include Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey, Music for Torching by A.M. Homes, and Libra by Don Delillo.
ISHU 305 - (3) (IR)
Issues in Philosophy
Students will practice skills and methods of philosophical inquiry and analysis. Issues of free will and determinism, ethical decision-making, the mind-body problem, the nature and existence of God, and the relationship of the individual to society will be explored. Tensions among various conceptions of human existence are a central theme. Emphasis is placed upon writing critical responses to articles written by leading philosophers.
ISHU 310 - (3) (IR)
Advanced Writing I
Students read, study, and practice a variety of prose forms, including narration, short stories, and non-fiction and critical essays.
ISHU 324 - (3) (IR)
American Literature of the Twentieth Century
Study of the fiction and poetry of U.S. writers ranging from the early modernists to contemporary writers, including such prose writers as Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, Ellison, and Morrison and poets such as Frost, Eliot, Stevens, Bishop, and Williams.
ISHU 400 - (3) (IR)
Writing the Unwritten
Since the Romantic era, writing has often been motivated by the desire to say what has not been said, whether through neglect or through social censorship. Reading works by American and British novelists from the 19th century to the present, students will explore changing definitions of the unwritten during this period as well as write their own personal narratives, analytic essays and prose fiction as a means to discover and bring forth the unwritten in their own experience.
ISHU 401-409 - (3) (IR)
Advanced Topics in the Humanities
Topical seminars that may be interdisciplinary or discipline-specific. May be repeated for credit when content differs.
ISHU 401/ISSS 310 - (3) (IR)
Cultures in Conflict: Islamic Inroads into the Christian World of Eastern Europe
Examines how contemporary conflicts in Eastern Europe between Eastern and Western institutions, customs, and values have supplanted the earlier struggle between communism and capitalism. Uses intellectual history, comparative religion, folklore, and literature as framing disciplines to examine the complications and implications of Islamic culture meeting Christian culture in Eastern Europe. Taught by case method.
ISHU 499 - (1-3) (IR)
In exceptional circumstances and with the endorsement of an approved faculty member and the BIS director, a student may undertake a rigorous program of independent study in humanities designed to explore a subject not currently being taught or to expand upon regular offerings.
ISIT 310 - (3) (SI)
Overview and application of how to present technical information in a variety of media and for different audiences and purposes.
ISIT 320 - (3) (SI)
Business Software Development
A hands-on introduction to developing software applications for business. Explores relevant programming principles, including object-oriented methods and basic data management.
ISIT 320, 325, 326: See ISBU/ISIT 320, 325, 326
ISIT 327 - (3) (SI)
Database Management Systems
Prerequisite: ISIT 320.
Focuses on managing the information needs of an organization and on designing and building database applications and application programs using contemporary database software. Topics covered include database architecture, data security and integrity, modeling techniques, and overall database administration.
ISIT 351 - (3) (SI)
Technology and Product Development Life Cycle
Investigates the management and investment issues associated with technology and product development including research and development; process choices, selection, and improvement; and product choices, replacement, and discontinuance. Course follows a product life-cycle structure.
ISIT 352 - (3) (SI)
Science and Technology Public Policy
Investigates the broad development of federal public policies associated with the promotion and regulation of science and technology. Areas of consideration include the federal government's historical interest in science and technology; the agencies and organizations involved in creating federal policy; how science and technology are regulated federally; and the roles of state and local governments in local science and technology policies. Special consideration is given to American policy development within an international context.
ISIT 381 - See ISBU/ISIT 381
ISIT 399 - (3) (SI)
Case Studies in Technology Management and Policy
Special topics course; topics vary but each explores how technology, management, and policy issues interact within a specific context. Possible contexts include a business organization; an industry; a governmental sector; specific legislation; a judicial ruling; a social issue; a historical era; or a combination of these.
ISIT 427 - (3) (SI)
Systems Analysis and Design
Prerequisite: ISIT 327.
Comprehensive examination of the principles, techniques, and tools involved in the analysis and design of computer-based information systems as they are used to solve business problems. Practical experience with development technologies used throughout the systems development cycle builds students' skills in information gathering, communication, analysis, functional design, and implementation.
ISIT 428 - (3) (SI)
Prerequisites: ISIT 427.
Studies the use of data communications as a means for gaining a competitive business advantage in a global environment. Presents current technologies and techniques employed in the development and management of computer-based networks.
ISIT 429 - (3) (SI)
Selected Topics in Management Information Systems
Prerequisite: ISIT concentration prerequisites or instructor permission.
An in-depth study of an MIS topic. The course may explore either a new MIS concept or system or provide an opportunity to research a specific area of MIS in greater depth than is possible in other courses.
ISIT 499 - (1-3) (IR)
In exceptional circumstances and with the endorsement of an approved faculty member and the BIS director, a student may undertake a rigorous program of independent study in information technology designed to explore a subject not currently being taught or to expand upon regular offerings.
ISPS 499 - (3) (S, SS)
Explores the process of basic research and project design. Working with a faculty mentor, students will develop a proposal for the capstone project. The completed proposal must be approved before students may register for ISCP 400.
ISIT 320, 325, 326 - see ISBU/ISIT
ISSS 301 - (3) (SI)
Social Sciences Introductory Course
An interdisciplinary, often team-taught, course that uses a single theme to introduce students to the primary methodologies, content areas, and contributions of three social science disciplines. Designed to provide students with a framework for studying social sciences and articulating academic arguments in the social sciences. Students learn the similarities among disciplines that constitute the social sciences, as well as what differentiates social sciences from humanities and from sciences.
ISSS 302H/ISSS 302S - (3) (IR)
Women's Studies: Theories and Practices
American history and culture are examined from the perspective of gender. Students will learn critical methods and vocabulary used to analyze gender while focusing on American women's movements as well as contemporary notions of global feminism. Explores commonalities and differences among women, gender norms, sexual mores, the representation of women in the media, gender gaps in education and employment, and changing notions of family.
ISSS 303S –- (3) (IR)
Sociology of Morality
Explores how forms of morality emerge or decline under different social conditions. Students will examine historical and contemporary forms of morality directly and through institutions which often express moral understandings and perceptions, such as religion and politics.
ISSS 306G - (3) (IR)
Military Force in International Relations
Examines the threat and use of military force in international relations. Topics include deterrence theory and recent critiques, ethical and international legal considerations, domestic constraints, and the postwar U.S. and Soviet experiences with the use of force.
ISSS 320 - (3) (IR)
The Modern South
An examination of the racial, economic, social, and political structures of the South from the early years of the twentieth century to the present.
ISSS 400H - (3) (IR)
The Experience of the Great War: Life and Literature
Drawing on histories and literature, including autobiographies, poetry, and novels, this course focuses on the experiences and mentalities of those who fought in World War I, as well as those who remained on the home front. The realities and myths of the Great War are explored. An emphasis is placed on British, French, and German writings about the Western Front as well as some consideration of the fighting on the Eastern Front and in Turkey.
ISSS 401-409 - (3) (IR)
Topical Seminars in Anthropology
Seminars on current or specialized topics in anthropology. May be repeated for credit when content differs.
ISSS 411-419 - (3) (IR)
Topical Seminars in Economics
Seminars on current or specialized topics in economics. May be repeated for credit when content differs.
ISSS 421-429 - (3) (IR)
Topical Seminars in Government and Foreign Affairs
Seminars on current or specialized topics in government and foreign affairs. May be repeated for credit when content differs.
ISSS 431-439 - (3) (IR)
Topical Seminars in History
Seminars on current or specialized topics in history. May be repeated for credit when content differs.
ISSS 441-449 - (3) (IR)
Topical Seminars in Psychology
Seminars on current or specialized topics in psychology. May be repeated for credit when content differs.
ISSS 451-459 - (3) (IR)
Topical Seminars in Sociology
Seminars on current or specialized topics in sociology. May be repeated for credit when content differs.
ISSS 499 - (1-3) (IR)
In exceptional circumstances and with the endorsement of an approved faculty member and the BIS director, a student may undertake a rigorous program of independent study in the social sciences designed to explore a subject not currently being taught or to expand upon regular offerings.