The Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS) degree is designed for adults who want to major in a traditional arts and science discipline and who have at least one of the following characteristics: graduated from high school six or more years ago, is a veteran or active-duty member of the U.S. armed services, is married, has legal dependents other than a spouse, or is financially selfsupporting. Unlike a traditional baccalaureate degree, the BLS offers greater flexibility in the timetable leading to graduation because it does not require full-time study, extended residence at the University or foreign language requirements (unless one majors in a foreign language). A maximum of 90 semester hours of transfer credit may be used to fulfill the requirements for the BLS degree. These credits may include a maximum of 30 credits earned through military service and a maximum of 30 credits earned through a life/work portfolio. BLS students may choose to major in any one of the more than 30 majors available in arts and sciences (as described in pages 70-183 of this Catalog), or may create a self-designed, interdisciplinary major (subject to the approval of the Bachelor of Liberal Studies Committee). BLS students may also select the new Leadership and Management major. This major is open only to BLS students. The requirements for this program are described in the materials beginning on page 188.
The BLS degree requires a minimum of 120 semester hours, distributed in three categories: general education, major, and electives. Students must also take courses listed as writing intensive and speaking intensive. BLS students generally take courses from among those listed in the College of Arts and Sciences section of the Catalog. In addition, students must satisfy the classroom experience and residential credit requirements listed below. A grade-point average of 2.00 on all work at the University of Mary Washington is also required, with no more than six credits in physical education courses counting toward the degree.
Students who have registered for classes in the B.A./B.S. program at UMW within the past calendar year and who have completed more than 30 credits at the University are not eligible to enroll in the BLS program.
Students are encouraged to complete Liberal Studies 100, Orientation. Others may wish to enroll in Liberal Studies 101, Portfolio Development, for assistance in developing portfolios that document learning gained through life and work for possible conversion to academic credit.
General Education Requirements: The BLS degree general education requirements are as follows; see the list beginning on page 74 for the courses that will meet the various requirements.
Quantitative Reasoning: Three credits focusing on the role of quantitative information in various settings and the ability to reason abstractly.
Natural Science: Four credits focusing on the natural sciences and including a laboratory component focusing on the scientific mode of inquiry and the ways in which the natural sciences affect students’ everyday experiences and choices as citizens.
Quantitative Reasoning or Natural Science: Three credits focusing on the role of quantitative information and the ability to reason abstractly, or natural science, or mathematical applications such as computer science, logic or music theory.
Human Experience and Society: Six credits from two different disciplines that explore the forces shaping human activity, relationships, social structures, institutions, and intellectual systems.
Global Inquiry: Three credits focusing on global interconnections related to economic, political, cultural, social, public health, or environmental issues. An approved study abroad or other field program can fulfill this requirement if it includes a satisfactory evaluation of written reflection of a student’s experience in that program by a University of Mary Washington faculty member.
Arts, Literature, and Performance: Six credits focusing on art, literature, or performance, with at least one course focusing on the appreciation and interpretation of artistic expressions. The other course may provide an opportunity for exploring the process of creating artistic work, by pursuing a course in the “process” sub-category, or provide an opportunity for further work (a second course) within the sub-category of “appreciation.”
Across the Curriculum Requirements. These requirements may be met by general education, major, or elective courses.
Writing Intensive: Three courses designated writing intensive (WI), which may include English Composition (English 101) or its equivalent. Speaking Intensive: One course designated speaking intensive (SI).
Major: A student may select from many liberal arts majors offered by the University or create an approved, coherent interdisciplinary concentration from the offerings of at least two departments. At least fifteen credits in the major must be earned at the University of Mary Washington. Students must also earn a grade-point average (GPA) of at least a 2.0 in the major/concentration area.
Electives: To reach 120 credits, students may take as many as fifty-onecredits in electives.
The transfer credit total for the Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree – including a combination of credits from other accredited institutions, standardized tests, portfolio, military, CLEP and ACE – cannot exceed 90 semester credits. Contingent on an evaluation of course content, transfer credit may be used to satisfy general education, concentration, or elective credit requirements.
The University accepts many of the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and DANTES Subject Standardized tests as undergraduate transfer credit. Students may earn credit by meeting the minimum required score on selected CLEP or DANTES tests; these credits may be used to fulfill general education and other requirements or as elective credits. The Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree program follows American Council on Education (ACE) recommended guidelines for CLEP and DANTES exams as minimum scores for granting credit. A maximum of 30 credits by examination may be counted toward the degree. Students should consult the BLS Office for information on specific CLEP or DANTES exams that are accepted by the University. CLEP tests are administered at local universities. DANTES exams are offered only on military installations.
Academic Resources, Policies, and Regulations for BLS Students
BLS students have access to all the academic resources outlined in the section of this Catalog beginning on page 33. The University Academic Policies
described in the section beginning on page 45 apply to BLS students.