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What Is University Studies?


The term "university studies" may sound like a catch-all. But the University of Houston-Victoria's (UHV) online B.S. and B.A. in University Studies programs afford students both freedom and specificity. UHV's programs allow each student to bring together many areas of study to create a unique, personalized education, all while completing their degree in a convenient, affordable and accelerated online format.

What Does University Studies Involve?

UHV's online programs in university studies take a generalized, customizable approach to a bachelor's education. Students gain a solid foundation of interdisciplinary knowledge from core general education coursework. Required coursework beyond general education classes is determined by the student's choice of a B.A. or B.S. degree track. These two areas account for just over half of each student's 120 credit hours required for degree completion. Students design the rest of their degree through a combination of lower division courses, upper division courses and various electives.

Both the B.S. and B.A. programs emphasize the development of communication, management, critical thought and problem-solving skills. The B.S. in university studies focuses more on math and sciences, whereas the B.A. degree program specifically targets foreign language development.

Who Might Be Interested in This Type of Degree?

This program of study allows students to explore subjects they're interested in instead of focusing on a field-specific major. This interdisciplinary freedom is useful for students who are undecided about their major or professional aspirations. Students can also make use of this program's structure to create an interdisciplinary degree tailored to their specific interests.

What About Transfer Students?

According to "Four-Year Myth," a report from Complete College America, only 19% of bachelor's degree candidates end up completing their degree within four years. Sixty percent of bachelor's degree recipients change colleges over the course of their undergraduate education. And "nearly half of them lose some or all of their credits because of broken transfer policies."

Clearly, the non-traditional student is now the norm. Taking longer to complete college can mean spending more money on school. Complete College America's report estimates each extra year to cost students, on average, over $68,000 in tuition, room and board, and lost wages. The interdisciplinary nature and transfer policy of UHV's university studies degree programs allow students to transfer up to 90 credits of a wide range of previously earned college credits. This can help transfer students take full advantage of their past college investment.

How Will a BA or BS in University Studies Benefit Me Professionally?

This degree program provides students with widespread knowledge covering many potential professional careers. This can help students be successful in different job roles across numerous fields, providing a high degree of career mobility. But perhaps most important are the universally applicable skills emphasized in UHV's university studies coursework.

According to a comprehensive survey conducted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, "employers indicate that they prioritize critical thinking, communication, and complex problem-solving skills over a job candidate's major field of study when making hiring decisions." In fact, PayScale data shows that the average salary for a bachelor's in university studies ($63K) is higher than the average for all bachelor's degrees ($61K).

The field-specific college track certainly has its place. But considering the freedom of personalized, interdisciplinary education and the universal life and job skills preferred by today's employers, university studies can be an appealing degree program for many. Plus, UHV's progressive transfer policies, affordable tuition and online design can help non-traditional students complete their degree in a cost-effective manner. 

Learn more about the University of Houston-Victoria's online B.A. in University Studies and B.S. in University Studies programs.


Sources:

The New York Times: Most College Students Don't Earn a Degree in 4 Years, Study Finds

Complete College America: Four-Year Myth

U.S. News & World Report: Online General Studies Degree: An Overview

DegreeCouncil.org: General Studies Degrees

Association of American Colleges & Universities: Employers More Interested in Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Than College Major

Association of American Colleges & Universities: It Takes More Than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success

PayScale: Bachelor of University Studies (BUS) Degree

PayScale: Bachelor's Degree

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