The University of Iowa's online Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS) allows you to earn a University of Iowa bachelor's degree from a distance.



The University of Iowa’s online Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS) program allows you to earn a bachelor's degree from a distance. The BLS emphasizes workplace and leadership skills and is designed for adults balancing professional growth and busy lives.

If you have accumulated 24 or more credit hours from an accredited institution but haven’t earned your bachelor's degree, an online Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree may be just be the right fit to help you meet your personal and career goals. Students must complete a BLS track from the following options:

  • Expression in Writing and Arts
  • Family, Community, and Social Support
  • Global Studies
  • Health and Human Studies
  • Justice and Ethics
  • Organizational Studies

BLS Students may choose to incorporate online certificate programs into their studies.

Contact Distance and Online Education for more information.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the BLS program, you must have:

  • 24 s.h. of transferable college credit (including a maximum of 16 s.h. of career/technical credits) with a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or above 
  • Must have earned a high school degree at least three years before admission to the BLS program,

OR

  • An Associate of Applied Science (AAS), Associate of Science (AS), or Associate of Arts (AA) with a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or above

Students who have received an Associate of Arts degree from an Iowa two-year institution participating in articulation agreements with the University of Iowa are considered to have satisfied all requirements of the General Education Program, except Leadership and Career Development.

If a student is not earning an AA degree from an Iowa Community College, they are encouraged to begin completing the following Core Requirements or UI course equivalency before enrolling in the BLS program:

  • Rhetoric
  • Interpretation of Literature
  • Natural Science
  • Global Perspective (International Global Issues)
  • Domestic Diversity (Values, Society, and Diversity)
  • Statistics (UI Department=STAT)
  • Information Literacy
  • MSCI 1500 Business Computing Essentials
  • CS:1020 Principles of Computing
  • CS:1110 Introduction to Computer Science

The Core Requirements and UI equivalencies can be found by using the Online Transfer Equivalency Guide

These resources can help facilitate your transfer to Iowa:

I-Chart Planning Resource for Iowa Community College Students

Online Transfer Equivalency Guide

 Information

Tracks
Expression in Writing and Arts
Global Studies
Family, Community, and Social Support
Health and Human Studies
Justice and Ethics
Organizational Studies
Online/Off-campus program(s)
Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS)
  Honors Courses
Admission Process

first-year

First-Year

First-year students are not eligible for this degree program. It is designed for students who have earned an Associate Degree or are current community college students with a minimum of 24 s.h. of transferable credits and a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or above. 

Careers and Outcomes

Iowa graduates have a 95 percent job/grad school placement rate within six months of graduation. Our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs. 

  Scholarships

The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For additional details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college. 

Scholarships for BLS students are available through Distance and Online Education.

The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships. 

 

Course Work

In order to graduate from the University of Iowa with your BLS, you must have a total of at least 120 semester hours from all sources with a maximum of 60 semester hours of credit from two-year institutions.

Your 120 semester hours must include:

  • Completion of BLS Core Requirements
  • Completion of Track Requirements (select one)
    • Expression in Writing and Arts
    • Family, Community, and Social Support
    • Global Studies
    • Health and Human Studies
    • Justice and Ethics
    • Organizational Studies
  • 30 semester hours of Upper-Level Course Work
  • After admission to the University of Iowa, one of the following residence requirements must be met: at least 90 s.h. completed at the University of Iowa, or 45 of the final 60 s.h. completed at the University of Iowa, or the final 30 s.h. completed at the University of Iowa.

You also must have a minimum cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 2.00 in the following calculations:

  • Overall GPA (combined transfer and UI work)
  • University of Iowa GPA
  • Track GPA
  • UI Track GPA