Bachelor of Liberal Studies
The Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS) degree program is designed for students who already have earned at least 60 semester hours of college course work and who wish to complete a bachelor's degree by distance education, or without attending a course on Iowa's campus.
Many BLS students develop a plan of study designed to help them advance in their chosen career, begin a new career, or prepare for graduate or professional study. Students work with their academic adviser to structure a program that meets their individual objectives.
Credit can be earned through several types of course formats, including print- and web-based independent study, extension courses at sites throughout the state, interactive and broadcast televised courses, Saturday and evening courses, and regular session courses.
In addition, the University of Northern Iowa and Iowa State University also offer the BLS, so you may take course work at those campuses and apply the credit toward your degree.
Contact the Division of Continuing Education for more information.
Course work for the BLS degree includes earning at least 12 s.h. of credit—including 6 s.h. of upper-level credit—in three of these areas:
- Humanities (e.g., literature, history, philosophy, religion)
- Communication and arts (e.g., journalism, speech, drama, art, music)
- Natural sciences and mathematics (e.g., geology, biological sciences, statistics, computer science)
- Social sciences (e.g., geography, psychology, economics, political science, anthropology)
- Professional fields (e.g., business, education, nursing, social work, library science)
Students also are required to complete the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ General Education Program.
Students must maintain a grade-point average (GPA) of 2.00 or higher in all course work applied toward the degree, all course work completed after admission to the program, and all upper-level course work.
Of the 120 semester hours (s.h.) of course work required for the BLS degree, 30 s.h. must be earned at the University of Iowa after admission to the BLS program. At least 60 s.h. must be earned at a four-year college, including 45 s.h. defined as upper-level. For the BLS, UI courses are considered upper-level if they are numbered 100 and above. A few courses numbered below 100 may be considered upper-level for the BLS; a list of these courses is available from Continuing Education.
Admission to the BLS program requires:
- An Associate of Arts (AA) degree from an Iowa area community college that participates in the Iowa Community College/Regents Articulation Agreement, with a GPA of 2.00 or higher, or
- At least 60 s.h. of collegiate work acceptable for credit toward graduation, with a GPA of 2.50 or higher (students enrolled at the University of Iowa must have a GPA of at least 2.00)
Scholarships for BLS students are available through Continuing Education.
Apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences indicating the BLS program as your area of study.