Individualized Studies - Bachelor of Individualized Studies

The Bachelor of Individualized Studies (BIS) prepares students for 21st century challenges. This degree serves 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 work closely with an advisor to select classes each semester with the intent of graduating in a timely manner, ideally with at least one minor.  Recommended and chosen courses should be 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, a strategy for career change, or a plan for efficiently utilizing prior university credits to complete a Bachelor Degree.

A well-designed individualized 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 fields of study or career. Each student should select courses designed to integrate 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 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.

To Declare a BIS

Students entering the BIS degree program work in consultation with a BIS advisor and complete a series of courses building on the applicant’s existing coursework and complementing the applicant’s education or career goals.

Deadline for Declaring BIS Major: 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

To graduate with the Bachelor of Individualized Studies degree, you must complete a minimum 120 credit hours (or more,  as determined in consultation with your academic advisor). (Note: The NMSU College of Business allows a maximum of 30 business credit hours (excluding A ST 251G) to count towards the BAS degree. Also, the only College of Business minor allowed is the Business Administration Minor.)

BIS students must also

  • Complete a minimum of 48 credit hours of upper-division courses (300-499 level), including six credits of Viewing a Wider World (VWW) from courses in two separate colleges at NMSU. You may substitute three credits of VWW with credits taken in study abroad. A minimum of 36 of the 48 required upper-division credits must have 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).
  • Not have completed the requirements, or be a candidate, for another baccalaureate degree.

In addition, it is strongly recommended that students take one or more of the Interdisciplinary Studies courses designed specifically for the Bachelor of Applied Studies and the Bachelor of Individualized Studies degrees: INTR 300 Foundations of Interdisciplinary Studies and/or INTR 301 Interdisciplinary Research: Theory & Practice. These courses prepare BAS and BIS students to better plan and conceptualize their degree as they prepare to move into their professional careers or graduate school.

Second Language Requirement

For the Bachelor of Individualized Studies there is no second language requirement for the degree.