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The Bachelor of Individualized Studies (BIS) prepares students for 21st-century challenges.The BIS degree meets the needs of a range of students. It can allow students to complete a college degree when an initial major does not fit as well as planned. Its flexibility in accepting course credits also serves as a completion program for students who in the past started but left college and now want to return to earn a Bachelor’s degree. It can also be designed to serve students desiring an academic degree not offered at NMSU, particularly students with broad or diverse academic and career interests.

Students served by the BIS are those with extensive, comprehensive, or eclectic academic and career interests. In consultation with an academic advisor if not also through work in the introductory “Foundations of Interdisciplinary Studies” course, each student constructs an individualized Program of Study plan integrating academic and career goals into a cohesive degree program. This Program of Study plan is organized to meet the unique educational needs of each student, whether as a means to use prior university credits, to advance within an existing job, to prepare for graduate or professional programs, or to strategize toward a career change. 

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.

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 skill set 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 an initial Program of Study building on the applicant’s existing coursework and complementing the applicant’s education or career goals. The initial 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 visit the Center for Academic Advising or call 575-646-2941. 

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)

Degree Requirements

  • 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, including courses used to satisfy NMSU General Education Core Requirements)
  • Complete a minimum of 120 credit hours. (Note: total credits earned may exceed 128 dependent upon the developed Program of Study).
  • Complete with a grade of C- or better, 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 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. You can find minors offered by NMSU in the following link: 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 academic department administering the minor. Specific requirements for minors may be obtained from the academic department administering a specific minor.