Individualized Concentration

Catalog Year: 2022-2023

Banner Code: LA-BIS-INDV-IND

The Bachelor of Individualized Study (BIS) Program in the School of Integrative Studies is an undergraduate degree completion program serving adult students since 1975. It offers students a distinctive educational opportunity that allows them to integrate previous experiences into university coursework. Recognizing that college-level learning may be acquired through varied professional, military, and personal experience, the BIS program provides mechanisms for translating experiential learning into academic credit. The program combines an interdisciplinary academic framework and a writing-intensive, research-based curriculum to provide students with individualized degree plans.

In this degree program, most students design their own individualized interdisciplinary program of study. Other students who are interested in early childhood education and who meet specific eligibility requirements can pursue a more prescribed curriculum that leads to a concentration in education studies.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Honors in the Major

Highly-qualified students may apply to graduate with honors in the major. Students should apply the semester before they intend to enroll in BIS 390 The Research Process. If accepted, students must complete BIS 391 The Research Process for Honors in place of BIS 390 The Research Process, in addition to an individualized section of BIS 490 RS: Senior Project (Mason Core). To graduate with honors in the major, students must complete these two courses with a minimum GPA of 3.50, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.75, and successfully present their research during the Senior Project presentations (by earning a grade of 2.0 or better in BIS 490 RS: Senior Project (Mason Core))

In addition to satisying the Mason Core requirements for BIS students and BIS core courses, students pursuing this concentration must complete the following:

Degree Requirements 

Total credits: minimum 120

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Students pursuing a bachelor of individualized study degree must complete four required courses and one concentration.

Core Courses in the Major

Students must complete each of the four core courses with a minimum grade of 2.00.

BIS 300 Understanding Interdisciplinary Studies 3
BIS 301 Adult Learner Transition 3
BIS 390 The Research Process 3
or BIS 391 The Research Process for Honors
BIS 490 RS: Senior Project (Mason Core) 4
Total Credits 13

In BIS 390 The Research Process (or BIS 391 The Research Process for Honors for students pursuing honors in the major), students develop a project proposal. An approved proposal from BIS 390 or BIS 391 is a prerequisite to enroll in BIS 490.

In BIS 490, students complete a senior capstone project that varies according to the individual program of study. It may be an investigative or creative project, and must be appropriate to the student's interdisciplinary concentration. This course requires significant writing and fulfills the Mason Core synthesis requirement. It is a research intensive course designated RS by OSCAR. The project is evaluated by the BIS 490 instructor in consultation with the student's research mentor and others as determined by the BIS staff.

BIS 490 is taken when no more than 6 credits remain in the concentration.

Concentrations in the Major

Students must complete one concentration of 24-36 credits. Of the credits applied to the concentration, at least 15 credits must be at the 300 level or above and a maximum of 6 credits can have grades of C- or D (grades below 2.00). The total credits applied to the concentration must represent a minimum GPA of 2.00.

Courses applied to a concentration may not also be used to fulfill Mason Core requirements.

Individualized Concentration (IND)

Students may do an individualized concentration to meet their own academic needs and interests. The concentration is developed in close consultation with BIS staff. Students may incorporate into their individualized concentrations up to 9 credits of previously earned college course work or previously earned nontraditional credit from other institutions. In addition to the 4 core courses, students complete between 24 and 36 credits, depending on the topic and the student's preparation.

Select 24 to 36 credits from a minimum of two disciplines 24-36
Total Credits 24-36

Optional Self-Selected Minor

Select 15-23 credits of self-selected minor 15-23
Total Credits 15-23

Mason Core

BIS students complete a modified Mason Core program of 37 credits. The Mason Core requirements may include courses not listed here; consult the BIS program for more information. Courses used to meet the Mason Core requirements cannot be used to meet a requirement for a concentration.

English Composition
ENGH 101 Composition (Mason Core) 3
ENGH 302 Advanced Composition (Mason Core) 3
Total Credits 6
Humanities
Select three courses from the following: 9
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Any course from a foreign language department
 
Total Credits 9
Social and Behavioral Science
Select three courses from the following: 9
Introduction to African American Studies (Mason Core)  
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Mason Core)  
Unearthing the Past: Prehistory, Culture and Evolution (Mason Core)  
People of the Earth: Humanity's First Five Million Years (Mason Core)  
Introduction to Biological Anthropology (Mason Core)  
Humans, Disease, and Death (Mason Core)  
Issues in Anthropology: Social Sciences (Mason Core)  
Business and Society (Mason Core)  
Conflict and Our World (Mason Core)  
Human Dimensions in Conservation (Mason Core)  
Introduction to Criminal Justice (Mason Core)  
Economics for the Citizen (Mason Core)  
Contemporary Microeconomic Principles (Mason Core)  
Contemporary Macroeconomic Principles (Mason Core)  
Environmental Economics for the Citizen (Mason Core)  
Money, Markets, and Economic Policy (Mason Core)  
Perspectives on Achievement Motivation (Mason Core)  
EDSE 203
Disability in American Culture (Mason Core)  
Introduction to Education: Teaching, Learning and Schools (Mason Core)  
Disability in American Culture (Mason Core)  
Stress and Well-Being (Mason Core)  
Human Geography (Mason Core)  
Political Geography (Mason Core)  
GOVT 101
Democratic Theory and Practice (Mason Core)  
GOVT 103
Introduction to American Government (Mason Core)  
GOVT 367
Money, Markets and Economic Policy (Mason Core)  
Individual and Family Development (Mason Core)  
HEAL 230
Introduction to Health Behavior (Mason Core)  
Formation of the American Republic (Mason Core)  
Development of Modern America (Mason Core)  
Inquiry for Action: Facilitating Change (Mason Core)  
Law and Justice (Mason Core)  
Social Movements and Community Activism (Mason Core)  
Introduction to Childhood Studies (Mason Core)  
Issues in Family Relationships (Mason Core)  
Contemporary Youth Studies (Mason Core)  
Parent-Child Relations (Mason Core)  
The Nonprofit Sector (Mason Core)  
Environmental Justice (Mason Core)  
Poverty, Wealth and Inequality in the US (Mason Core)  
Gender Representation in Popular Culture (Mason Core)  
Social Justice and Human Rights (Mason Core)  
Food Systems and Policy (Mason Core)  
Social Justice Education (Mason Core)  
Critical Race Studies (Mason Core)  
Representations of Race (Mason Core)  
Human Language (Mason Core)  
General Linguistics (Mason Core)  
Basic Concepts in Psychology (Mason Core)  
Developmental Psychology (Mason Core)  
Social Psychology (Mason Core)  
Introductory Sociology (Mason Core)  
Race and Ethnicity in a Changing World (Mason Core)  
Contemporary Gender Relations (Mason Core)  
Social Problems and Solutions (Mason Core)  
Social Inequality (Mason Core)  
Youth Culture and Society (Mason Core)  
The Individual and Society (Mason Core)  
Introduction to Social Work (Mason Core)  
TOUR 311
Women and Tourism (Mason Core)  
Foundations for Building a Just Society (Mason Core)  
Introduction to Women and Gender Studies (Mason Core)  
Total Credits 9
Mathematics or Statistics
Select one course from the following: 3
Quantitative Reasoning (Mason Core) (or any MATH course above 106)  
Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core)  
Total Credits 3
Information Technology
Select one from the following: 3
Work, Technology, and Society: An IT Perspective (Mason Core)  
Digital Design Studio (Mason Core)  
New Media in the Creative Arts (Mason Core)  
Computing for Scientists (Mason Core)  
CS 100
Principles of Computing (Mason Core)  
CS 112
Introduction to Computer Programming (Mason Core)  
CYSE 130
Introduction to Computing for Digital Systems Engineering (Mason Core)  
ELED 257
Integrating Technology in PreK-6 (Mason Core)  
GOVT 300
Research Methods and Analysis (Mason Core)  
The Digital Past (Mason Core)  
Inquiry for Action: Facilitating Change (Mason Core)  
Digital Literacy (Mason Core)  
Introduction to Computing (Mason Core)  
Introduction to Business Information Systems (Mason Core)  
Music in Computer Technology (Mason Core)  
PHYS 251
Introduction to Computer Techniques in Physics (Mason Core)  
Social Surveys and Attitude and Opinion Measurements (Mason Core)  
SYST 130
Introduction to Computing for Digital Systems Engineering (Mason Core)  
The following must be taken in sequence:
 
Statistics in Psychology  
Research Methods in Psychology  
Biopsychology  
Total Credits 3
Natural Science
Select any 3-4 credit non lab or lab course from the following: 3-4
Non-lab
 
Introduction to Biological Anthropology (Mason Core)  
ASTR 103
Astronomy (Mason Core)  
ASTR 111
The Solar System (Mason Core)  
ASTR 113
Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe (Mason Core)  
ASTR 302
Foundations of Cosmological Thought (Mason Core)  
ASTR 303
Black Holes (Mason Core)  
BIOL 103
Introductory Biology II-Survey of Cell and Molecular Biology (Mason Core)  
BIOL 107
Intro Biology II Lecture (Mason Core)  
BIOL 140
Plants and People (Mason Core)  
Introduction to Computational and Data Sciences (Mason Core)  
CHEM 101
Introduction to Modern Chemistry (Mason Core)  
CHEM 102
Chemistry for Changing Times (Mason Core)  
CHEM 271
General Chemistry for Engineers Lecture (Mason Core)  
CLIM 101
Global Warming: Weather, Climate, and Society (Mason Core)  
Introduction to the Fundamentals of Atmospheric Science (Mason Core)  
COS 301
Great Ideas in Science (Mason Core)  
Ecosphere - Introduction to Environmental Science I-Lecture (Mason Core)  
Ecosphere: Introduction to Environmental Science II-Lecture (Mason Core)  
Environment and You: Issues for the Twenty-First Century (Mason Core)  
FRSC 101
Principles of Forensic Science (Mason Core)  
Historical Geology (Mason Core)  
Evolution and Extinction (Mason Core)  
Physical Geography (Mason Core)  
Human Creativity: Science and Art (Mason Core)  
Introduction to Conservation Studies (Mason Core)  
Science in the News (Mason Core)  
Introduction to Neuroscience (Mason Core)  
NUTR 295
Introduction to Nutrition (Mason Core)  
PHYS 106
The Quantum World: A Continuous Revolution in What We Know and How We Live (Mason Core)  
PHYS 111
Introduction to the Fundamentals of Atmospheric Science (Mason Core)  
PHYS 160
University Physics I (Mason Core)  
PHYS 170
Introductory and Modern Physics I (Mason Core)  
PHYS 243
College Physics I (Mason Core)  
PHYS 245
College Physics II (Mason Core)  
PHYS 260
University Physics II (Mason Core)  
PHYS 262
University Physics III (Mason Core)  
PHYS 270
Introductory and Modern Physics II (Mason Core)  
Lab
 
ASTR 111
The Solar System (Mason Core)  
ASTR 112
The Solar System Lab (Mason Core)  
ASTR 113
Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe (Mason Core)  
ASTR 114
Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe Lab (Mason Core)  
ASTR 115
Finding New Worlds (Mason Core)  
BIOL 102
Introductory Biology I-Survey of Biodiversity and Ecology (Mason Core)  
BIOL 105
Introductory Biology II Laboratory (Mason Core)  
BIOL 106
Introductory Biology II Laboratory (Mason Core)  
BIOL 213
Cell Structure and Function  
Introduction to Computational and Data Sciences (Mason Core)  
Introduction to Computational and Data Sciences Lab (Mason Core)  
CHEM 103
Chemical Science in a Modern Society (Mason Core)  
CHEM 104
Chemistry for Changing Times (Mason Core)  
CHEM 155
Introduction to Environmental Chemistry I (Mason Core)  
CHEM 156
Introduction to Environmental Chemistry II (Mason Core)  
CHEM 211
General Chemistry I (Mason Core)  
CHEM 212
General Chemistry II (Mason Core)  
CHEM 213
General Chemistry Laboratory I (Mason Core)  
CHEM 214
General Chemistry Laboratory II (Mason Core)  
CHEM 271
General Chemistry for Engineers Lecture (Mason Core)  
CHEM 272
General Chemistry for Engineers Lab (Mason Core)  
Introduction to Global Climate Change Science (Mason Core)  
Introduction to the Fundamentals of Atmospheric Science (Mason Core)  
Introduction to the Fundamentals of Atmospheric Science Lab (Mason Core)  
Ecosphere - Introduction to Environmental Science I-Lecture (Mason Core)  
Ecosphere- Introduction to Environmental Science I- Lab (Mason Core)  
Ecosphere: Introduction to Environmental Science II-Lecture (Mason Core)  
Ecosphere: Introduction to Environmental Science II–Lab (Mason Core)  
Physical Geology (Mason Core)  
Historical Geology (Mason Core)  
Historical Geology Laboratory (Mason Core)  
GGS 121
Dynamic Atmosphere and Hydrosphere (Mason Core)  
Sustainable World (Mason Core)  
The Mysteries of Migration: Consequences for Conservation (Mason Core)  
Conservation Biology (Mason Core)  
Conservation Behavior (Mason Core)  
PHYS 103
Physics and Everyday Phenomena I (Mason Core)  
PHYS 104
Physics and Everyday Phenomena II (Mason Core)  
PHYS 111
Introduction to the Fundamentals of Atmospheric Science (Mason Core)  
PHYS 112
Introduction to the Fundamentals of Atmospheric Science Lab (Mason Core)  
PHYS 160
University Physics I (Mason Core)  
PHYS 161
University Physics I Laboratory (Mason Core)  
PHYS 170
Introductory and Modern Physics I (Mason Core)  
PHYS 243
College Physics I (Mason Core)  
PHYS 244
College Physics I Lab (Mason Core)  
PHYS 245
College Physics II (Mason Core)  
PHYS 246
College Physics II Lab (Mason Core)  
PHYS 260
University Physics II (Mason Core)  
PHYS 261
University Physics II Laboratory (Mason Core)  
PHYS 262
University Physics III (Mason Core)  
PHYS 263
University Physics III Laboratory (Mason Core)  
PHYS 270
Introductory and Modern Physics II (Mason Core)  
Total Credits 3-4
Synthesis Course
BIS 490 RS: Senior Project (Mason Core) 4
Total Credits 4

Additional Electives

Any remaining credits may be completed with electives to bring the degree total to 120.