Program Description

Since 1975, the Bachelor of Individualized Study (BIS) program has been Mason’s adult degree completion program focused only on adult learners and their individual educational goals.

Completing a degree is a challenge with many factors affecting that decision. Prior school challenges, finances, family responsibilities, and work all play a role. We offer you encouragement to explore how BIS has been strategically developed to help you finish.

What it costs

The cost for this program is $577.25 per credit hour for VA state residents or $1,554.75 per credit hour for Non-VA residents. See the Cost tab below for a breakdown of tuition and fees. All of Mason’s tuition rates and fees can be found on our Student Accounts site.

Financial Aid

For information on how to apply to scholarships, see the Mason Scholarship page.

For information on other loans, scholarships, and other types of financial aid, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Application Deadline

BIS accepts transfer applications only. For application information and deadlines, please see our Admissions site.

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Program Summary

100 Percent Online

Program: Individualized Study

Degree: Undergraduate

College/School: College of Humanities and Social Sciences/School of Individualized Study

Credits: 120 total

Who should apply?

Adults (age 25 and older) who are interested in finishing their bachelor’s degree.

The BIS program offers you a distinctive opportunity to complete your degree.

Adults enter this individualized study program for many different reasons. Some are pursuing the BIS degree as preparation for further education in graduate and certificate programs. Others see the BIS degree as a gateway for professional advancement or career change. Still, others want to complete an undergraduate degree through BIS primarily for personal satisfaction. Some distinctive features of the BIS degree include the following:

  • Adult focused, student centered and an inclusive community of Military Veterans.
  • Students create an academic program based on their professional and personal goals.
  • The BIS program has a generous acceptance policy for transfer of academic credits from regionally accredited institutions and institutions worldwide.
  • Military veterans’ Joint Services Transcripts credits are accepted up to a limit of 45.

Why choose George Mason?

George Mason University has been recognized as one of the nation’s top research universities with an R1, “Very high research” designation which acknowledges the outstanding scholarship of Mason’s faculty and students.  BIS students have the unique opportunity to take courses from various departments across Mason and count them toward their BIS degrees.

BIS has a flexible curriculum: As a BIS student you create an interdisciplinary concentration to meet your own educational needs.

Through the BIS degree, you can advance professionally, prepare for graduate or professional school, or position yourself for a career change. The advisers and faculty are committed to helping you build on your life experience to create a satisfying and rewarding degree program.

Program requirements may change; please refer to the Mason Course Catalog for the most up-to-date requirements.

Requirements: 120 credits total

  • Transfer credits from regionally accredited institutions
  • 10 credits BIS core courses
  • 24 credits concentration courses
  • A minimum of 33 general education credits
  • 45 credits upper-level courses

Core Requirements (10 credits)

  • BIS 300 Understanding Interdisciplinary Studies | 3 credits
  • BIS 390 The Research Process | 3 credits
  • BIS 490 RS: Senior Project | 4 credits

Concentration Requirements (24 credits)

In order to enroll in some concentration courses, you must first complete any pre-requisite course requirements. Pre-requisites that are not used to fulfill core or concentration requirements may fulfill remaining credits as electives. See the course catalog for required pre-requisites or your program advisor for more information.

The following are BIS Pathways of coursework students may complete to obtain their BIS degrees.  These are interdisciplinary concentration titles and the courses are fully accessible online.

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Strategic Leadership Communications*

  • BIS 300: Understanding Interdisciplinary Studies | 3 credits
  • BIS 301: Adult Learner Transitions** | 3 credits
  • BIS 390: The Research Process | 3 credits
  • BIS 490: RS: Bachelor Individual Study Project | 4 credits
  • INTS 451: Leadership/Org Problem-Solving | 3 credits
  • INTS 404: Ethics and Leadership | 3 credits
  • COMM 320: Business and Professional Comm | 3 credits
  • COMM 335: Organizational Communication | 3 credits
  • COMM 430: Persuasion | 3 credits
  • INTS 356: Resilience and Well Being | 3 credits
  • INTS 355: Mindfulness, Meaning, Well-Being | 3 credits

Total Concentration Credits: 34

Strategic Leadership Communications in Science*

  • BIS 300: Understanding Interdisciplinary Studies | 3 credits
  • BIS 301: Adult Learner Transitions** | 3 credits
  • BIS 390: The Research Process | 3 credits
  • BIS 490: RS: Bachelor Individual Study Project | 4 credits
  • INTS 451: Leadership/Org Problem-Solving | 3 credits
  • INTS 404 – Ethics and Leadership | 3 credits
  • COMM 320 – Business and Professional Comm | 3 credits
  • COMM 335 – Organizational Communication | 3 credits
  • INTS 301: Science in the News  | 3 credits
  • COS 300: Professional Preparation for STEM Disciplines | 3 credits
  • PSYC 417: Science of Well Being | 3 credits

Total Concentration Credits: 34

Strategic Leadership Communications in Data Analysis*

  • BIS 300: Understanding Interdisciplinary Studies | 3 credits
  • BIS 301: Adult Learner Transitions** | 3 credits
  • BIS 390: The Research Process | 3 credits
  • BIS 490: RS: Bachelor Individual Study Project | 4 credits
  • INTS 451: Leadership/Org Problem-Solving | 3 credits
  • INTS 404 – Ethics and Leadership | 3 credits
  • COMM 320 – Business and Professional Comm | 3 credits
  • COMM 335 – Organizational Communication | 3 credits
  • CDS 302 – Scientific Data and Databases | 3 credits
  • CDS 303 – Data Mining | 3 credits
  • CDS 301 – Scientific Inf/Data Visualization | 3 credits

Total Concentration Credits: 34

* There are many alternative courses available and open to students which fit their personal and professional needs.  To use an alternative course, please contact a BIS academic advisor. *

** BIS 301 – A comprehensive, research-based, problem-solving educational experience in which adult students learn the multiple factors that affect adult degree completion, assess their situation regarding these factors, and develop skills and plans to overcome the challenges of completing a bachelor’s degree as an adult.**

Tuition (2020-2021)

TUITION CLASSIFICATIONCOST PER CREDIT HOUR
Virginia Resident$396.25
Non-Virginia Resident$1,373.75
Distance Education Fee$35
Mandatory Student fee$146
Total Cost Per Credit for Virginia Residents$577.25
Total Cost Per Credit for Non-Virginia Residents$1,554.75
Undergraduate New Student fee $335.00 for new students, $250 for transfer students (non-refundable, one-time fee charged to all students)

Please Note: In addition to the tuition and fees described above, various course and lab fees may be assessed depending on the course(s) in which the student is enrolled. Please refer to the Students Accounts Office website for more information on tuition and fees.

Financial Aid

For information on loans, scholarships, and other types of financial aid, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Careers

Adult students who wish to advance in their current employment, to prepare for graduate or professional programs, or to plan a path toward a career change are best prepared by obtaining a BIS degree.

Over 30% of BIS students go on to graduate school.

Specific positions that graduates of this program may obtain include:

  • Teachers
  • Human Resources Managers
  • Translators and Business Writers
  • Procurement Specialists
  • Project Managers
  • Operations Managers
  • CEOs and CIOs in business enterprises
  • Founders of their own ventures
  • Information Technology (IT) Directors
  • Marketing Managers
USEFUL RESOURCES 
Program ContactKurt C Lazaroff
Director of BIS Academic Services
Email: klazarof@gmu.edu
Program ContactJanet Ha Poirot
Associate Director of BIS Academic Services
Email: jha2@gmu.edu
Department ContactBIS Academic Services
Phone: (703) 993-4556
Email: bis@gmu.edu
Program Websitehttps://bis.gmu.edu/

Admission to the BIS program is contingent upon admission to George Mason University as an undergraduate transfer student. Eligibility requirements specific to the BIS Program include:

  • age 25 years or older;
  • prior accumulation of at least 12 semester hours of transferable college credit;
  • a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or greater in previous higher education coursework,
  • the student must not have a current suspension from another institution.

Application Materials

  • Undergraduate application
  • Transcripts for all post-secondary education
  • $60 non-refundable application fee