The Bachelor of Individualized Studies (BIS) prepares students for 21st century challenges. The degree was created to serve students desiring an academic degree not already offered at NMSU. Students served by the BIS are those with extensive, comprehensive, or eclectic academic and career interests. Self-motivated and self-directed students create an individualized interdisciplinary Program of Study in consultation with an academic advisor. The Program of Study is organized to meet the unique educational needs of the student, be it professional advancement within an existing career, academic preparation for graduate or professional programs, designing a strategy for career change, or efficiently utilizing prior university credits to complete a Bachelor Degree.
A well-designed interdisciplinary curriculum emphasizes the value of approaching complex issues from multiple perspectives, equipping students with the requisite critical and analytical skills to become effective problem solvers in their chosen field of study or career. Each student is required to construct an individualized Program of Study integrating academic and career goals into a cohesive degree program.
Extensive flexibility in program design implies increased individual responsibility for the BIS student. BIS students must be active participants in their academic experience, simultaneously pursuing a skillset demonstrating:
- Coherent expression of ideas in writing;
- Capacity to conduct systematic and objective inquiry within their Program of Study;
- Ability to tolerate ambiguity within the design and implementation of a Program of Study;
- Proactive communication with the academic advisor;
- Commitment to effective follow-through on tasks related to Program of Study design and implementation.
Declaring the BIS Degree
Students entering the BIS degree program are required to develop a Program of Study building on the applicant’s existing coursework and complementing the applicant’s education or career goals. The Program of Study is developed in consultation with a BIS advisor.
To schedule an appointment with an Academic Advisor for the BIS or BAS program, please call 575-646-2941. Or contact an advisor directly:
Annette Flores – firstname.lastname@example.org or 575-646-7364 – all Bachelor of Applied Studies students and Bachelor of Individualized Studies students with ID numbers ending in 50-99
Cecelia Guerrero – email@example.com or 575-646-5837 – Bachelor of Individualized Studies students with ID numbers ending in 00-49
Students must declare the BIS degree by the last date to drop with a “W” in a student’s final semester of study (see NMSU Academic Calendar for date)
- Complete the total number of credits as determined by your academic advisor and reflected in your Program of Study. (Note: a maximum of 30 credit hours in courses offered by the NMSU College of Business may be counted towards the degree, inclusive of courses used to satisfy NMSU General Education Core Requirements)
- Complete a minimum of 128 credit hours. (Note: total credits earned may exceed 128 dependent upon the developed Program of Study).
- Complete a minimum of 48 credit hours of upper-division courses (courses numbered 300 – 499) including six credit hours of Viewing a Wider World curriculum from two separate colleges at NMSU.
- Complete a minimum of 36 upper-division credit hours beyond the NMSU General Education Core Requirements with a grade of C- or better.
- Complete the University’s General Education Core Requirements (minimum of 35 credit hours of approved New Mexico Common Core courses).
- Student may not have completed the requirements for, or be a candidate for, another baccalaureate degree at NMSU.
Students seeking a Bachelor of Individualized Studies degree are encouraged to complete one or more minors offered through various NMSU academic departments. A minor is designated on a transcript and consists of a minimum of 18 credits, at least nine of which must be upper-division. Courses required to complete a specific minor may be in a single academic department or interdepartmental, are offered through various NMSU academic departments, and are subject to availability. Students seeking to complete a minor must have the minor verified, prior to graduation, by the respective college academic department administering the minor. Specific requirements for minors may be obtained from the academic department administering a specific minor. A list of NMSU approved minors can be found in the NMSU Undergraduate Catalog or in the link to Minors above. (Note: the College of Business offers only the Business Administration minor to BIS majors)