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Integrative Studies - B.I.S. PDFDownload to print

College of Arts and Sciences

Center for Comparative and Integrative Programs

105 Bowman Hall
Tel: 330-672-2062


The Bachelor of Integrative Studies is a non-major degree that provides maximum freedom for students who wish to take a multidisciplinary, individualized approach to the design of an educational program while maintaining a focus on career and professional goals. This degree may have the most appeal for students near the end of their academic careers (senior students) who are re-evaluating their academic and career choices. It is a program in which the student undertakes the responsibility for the research and design of their program. Students choose a minimum of three academic departments in which to select courses and develop a rationale for  the way in which these courses support their career goals. There are two concentrations within the B.I.S. degree: Integrative Studies-General, which allows students to choose a minimum of 30 credit hours from interrelated programs that support their career aspirations; and the Integrative Studies-Three Minors concentration which allows students to complete three university-recognized minors and/or certificates.

Career Opportunities

Since the B.I.S. degree is designed by students to meet their individual academic and career goals, the career opportunities are limitless.

Admission Requirements

Students who wish to declare and earn the B.I.S. degree must complete a formal application to the College of Arts and Sciences. Ideally, students should begin the process for evaluation and program review at or near the time they have a minimum of 60 earned hours and prior to completion of 91 credit hours. The formal application must be submitted by established deadlines. July 15 is the application deadline for program approval for the Fall term; November 1 is the application deadline for program approval for the Spring term; and April 15 is the application deadline for program approval for the Summer term.

In order to declare the B.I.S. degree, the procedures listed below must be followed:

  1. Visit or call the College Office, 105 Bowman Hall, to arrange for an initial conference with a B.I.S. advisor (students on the regional campuses should contact their campus advising office for further information on this first step). This conference may include or be followed by an evaluation of course credit and further advising as appropriate. The B.I.S. program evaluation must occur prior to the development of the application materials listed below.
  2. The following application steps must be completed in order to request admission to the degree program:
    1. application for admission to the B.I.S. program, including date of expected graduation
    2. statement of program rationale
    3. B.I.S. program proposal
  • The statement of program rationale should state the integrative multidisciplinary focus of the program design, reasons for seeking the degree, expectations concerning the usefulness of the degree for employment or for further education, acknowledgement of the nontraditional nature of the degree, and a statement declaring full responsibility for one's B.I.S. program. As part of the research process, students may be required to produce evidence of consultation with the campus Career Services Center in order to develop an appropriate course plan to meet educational and career objectives.
  • The program proposal defines the coursework the student will take to complete the remaining requirements as summarized in the B.I.S. evaluation (this proposal should include coursework in which the student is currently enrolled). The responsibility for the design of the program rests with the student. Approval of the proposal is not automatic and will be evaluated according to the criteria stated here.
  1. When the statement of program rationale and program proposal have been approved by the College, the student and advisor complete a Change of Program form. Collegial approval of this form complete admission to the program.
  2. Students must select from one of the following two B.I.S. degree concentrations as part of the application process. Changing concentrations requires the completion of a new rationale statement and program proposal.
  • The Integrative Studies-General concentration allows the student greater flexibility in the choice of coursework. The students program proposal must consist of a minimum of 30 hours from three academic programs, one of which must be housed in the College of Arts and Sciences and from which courses are selected. Students should be aware that some proposed courses have prerequisites that must be completed. A minimum of 15 hours (of the total allowed program hours) must be from programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, 9 hours of which must be upper-division. One-half (a minimum of 15 hours) of the 30 plan credit hours must be upper-division. Further, a minimum of 15 hours must be new courses that have resulted from the approved program plan (only one-half of the program hours can be taken from previously completed Kent State coursework). No more than 18 semester credit hours in any one program may be included in the plan.
  • The Integrative Studies-Three minors concentration allows students to choose three Kent State University minors and/or certificate programs, one of which must be housed in the College of Arts and Sciences. At the time of admission to the B.I.S. program, at least 15 (new) credit hours must be proposed to complete the minors/certificates and university requirements.

Note that courses included as part of the B.I.S. program plan may not be taken Pass/Fail. The degree must include remaining Kent Core and diversity, writing-intensive and experiential learning requirements.

Graduation Requirements

The Bachelor of Integrative Studies (B.I.S.)  requires a minimum total of 120 earned credit hours. In addition, 42 of those 120 credit hours must be at the upper-division (30000-40000) level. Students must complete the degree with a minimum 2.000 cumulative GPA.

Students pursuing the B.I.S. must complete the University’s Kent Core, diversity, writing-intensive and experiential learning course requirements as described in this Catalog.

Study Abroad/Away Opportunities

There are many Study Abroad/Away Opportunities; for more information contact the Office of Global Education.