University Studies, Bachelor of University Studies

Department of Sociology

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

This undergraduate program attracts students with an individual vision of what they would like to pursue. With an advisor’s assistance, junior-level students can pair two minors to create a unique synergy.

  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All of Northern Arizona University's diversity, liberal studies, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.

    The full policy can be viewed here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • At least 36 units of major requirements, comprised of 2 minors.
  • Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units

Students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 114
Additional Admission Requirements Required
University Honors Program Optional
Some online/blended coursework Required
Progression Plan Link View Progression Plan

Mission Statement

The mission of the BUS degree program is to promote student success toward graduation and individual career goals through a flexible degree plan.

Purpose Statement

The Bachelor of University Studies (BUS) degree program is designed for students interested in earning a degree that can integrate varied interests and specific career goals. Students synthesize the skills and objectives from their liberal studies and diversity requirements with two declared minors. Students also have the option of developing an individualized minor

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the BUS degree, students will:
Develop skills in conducting interdisciplinary research

  • Select and define a problem, challenge, research question or project spanning multiple disciplines
  • Critically analyze the disciplinary insights into the problem, identify potential sources of conflict, and integrate relevant works to produce more comprehensive understanding of the problem studied
  • Use interdisciplinary processes to increase their understanding of the problem
Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of a problem, challenge or research question or project through an interdisciplinary approach
  • Design the project by assembling, arranging and reformulating ideas, concepts, designs and techniques
Demonstrate perspective-taking through written and oral communication
  • Evaluate rhetorical situations and produce writing, research, and presentations according to discipline-specific and stakeholder-specific needs
  • Use professional voice, tone, evidence, illustrations, and media
  • Adjust to conventions of usage, specialized vocabulary, format, and documentation used within selected fields of study
  • Understand the interactions between reading, critical thinking, writing and public presentation in their selected fields of study
  • Review work-in-progress, understanding the need for continuous revisions that focus on polishing grammar, syntax, and punctuation
  • Communicate effectively to general and specialized audiences through well-structured oral presentations that contain a clear central message and make appropriate reference to information or analysis that significantly supports the presentation
  • Use digital tools for revising, editing, designing, sharing drafted works, and in disseminating final products
  • Employ appropriate citations in their work
Demonstrate structural knowledge through analytic reasoning and critical thinking
  • Identify a creative, focused, and manageable topic that addresses potentially significant yet previously less-explored aspects of their selected fields of study
  • Synthesize inter-disciplinary theoretical frameworks are synthesized from across selected fields of study, Liberal Studies and Diversity areas
  • Organize and integrate evidence to reveal insightful patterns, differences, or similarities
  • Make judgments and draw appropriate conclusions based on the analysis of evidence, while recognizing the limits of this analysis
  • Use analysis as the basis for deep and thoughtful judgments, drawing insightful, qualified conclusions from the evidence
  • State a conclusion that is a logical extrapolation from the inquiry findings
  • Discuss, in detail, relevant and supported limitations and implications
Demonstrate skills in conducting and applying interdisciplinary research in a real world setting by:
  • Conducting a literature review using an interdisciplinary theoretical framework, identifying the disciplines relevant to the problem or research question, then reducing these sources to include only the most relevant
Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of a problem, challenge or research question through an interdisciplinary approach
  • Incorporate knowledge of human cultures, diversity, and global issues to intra/interpersonal situations
  • Incorporate knowledge of the physical/natural world and scientific literacy in appropriate contexts and to situations involving the interaction of any environment
  • Prepare and present a project, paper, exhibit, performance or other appropriate mediums
  • Complete an analytic narrative of the effects of learning within and outside of the classroom on the research or practical skills employed in executing the project

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

    • To be admitted into a BUS plan, you must have at least 60 units of college level coursework successfully completed or in progress. Advising is housed in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. This degree is not eligible as a dual, second, or post-baccalaureate degree. 
Major Requirements
  • This major requires 42-54 units distributed as follows:

    • Select two Minors
      • Minor one: 18-24
      • Minor two: 18-24
    • Common Course Requirements: 6 units

    Take at least 36 units from:

    • The successful completion of two minors, one of which can be the BUS Individualized Minor if approved by the Steering Committee. 
    • A junior level writing course from a discipline or ENG 302W or ENG 305W (3 units) with a grade of C or better. (3 units)
    • University Studies Capstone including (3 units):
      • BUS 449C senior Capstone Proposal, with a grade of C or better (1 unit)
      • BUS 450C senior Capstone Project, with a grade of C or better (2 units)
  • The option of a BUS individualized minor is available only for students admitted into the BUS plan.

General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit.

    You may take these remaining courses from any of the academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. You may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.

    We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you.

Additional Information
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.