About the Program

Advance Professionally • Career Change • College Credit from Military Training • Personal Fulfillment • Graduate Studies Preparation

 Persistence and tenacity

Adult university students are not the same as "traditional-aged" students.

Completing a degree is a challenge with many factors affecting that decision. Prior school challenges, finances, family responsibilities, and work all play a role. We offer you encouragement to explore how BIS has been strategically developed to help you finish your degree.  Since 1975, the Bachelor of Individualized Study (BIS) program has been Mason's adult degree completion program focused only on adult learners and their individual situations.

Adult students enter this individualized study program for many different reasons. Some are pursuing the BIS degree as preparation for graduate and professional programs. Others see the BIS degree as a gateway for professional advancement or career change. Still, others want to complete an undergraduate degree through BIS primarily for personal satisfaction. Some distinctive features of the BIS degree include the following:

  • The concentration is an interdisciplinary grouping of courses which does not duplicate a traditional major offered by Mason.
  • The BIS program has a generous acceptance policy for transfer of academic credits from other regionally accredited institutions.
  • Because college-level learning may be acquired through varied professional, service, and personal experiences, the BIS advisors can assist prospective students in having an outside institution perform an official evaluation to translate experiential learning into acceptable academic credit for BIS.
  • ACE credits from military veterans' Joint Services Transcripts are accepted up to a limit of 45 counting toward graduation.

Admission to the BIS program is contingent upon admission to the university as an undergraduate transfer student.

BIS by the Numbers:

  • 41 years old is the average age of BIS students

  • 22 to 76 years old is current age range of BIS students 

  • 3.195 is the average GPA of BIS students

  • 71 is the average number of transfer credits accepted toward graduation

  • 100% of BIS students learn research skills as part of their degree

  • 76% of BIS graduates report that their degree has advanced their career

  • 86% of BIS graduates report that their degree prepared them very well for further study

  • 79% of BIS graduates would recommend the BIS program to others 

  • 35% of BIS graduates pursue further education after obtaining their BIS degree

BIS purpose from 1975 proposal