About the Degree Program

The Bachelor of University Studies degree is a baccalaureate degree program offered through the College of Arts and Sciences, and is advised through the Career and Advising Center.  Each degree plan is designed by the student with assistance from an academic advisor and is later approved by a committee composed of campus-wide representation. Each plan is individually tailored to meet the unique needs of a particular student. On the average, NDSU grants between 50 and 60 such degrees annually.

The goal of the Bachelor of University Studies degree is to provide a unique, nontraditional degree option for students whose goals and objectives cannot be met via a traditionally established academic major. The program allows flexibility in designing a degree, allowing students to meet unique personal and career goals. Students are encouraged to be intentional about the degree they put together and start early so they have time to put together a thoughtful proposal that allows for a diverse and impactful education. The Bachelor of University Studies degree does not include a designated major, instead a student will create an area or areas of emphasis that will  help him or her attain post-graduation goals. Each area of emphasis must include a minimum of 12 credits of study with at least 6 of those credits being upper division credits. In addition to the emphasis area a student may choose to declare an academic minor they feel will strengthen their plan of study.

What Can I Do With a BUS Degree?

Anything you want! Because the degree is designed differently by each student, the student has the opportunity to specifically tailor it to their career goals. The following are some examples of what past students have done with their BUS degree:

  • Pre-Professional Programs (Medical School, Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy, Physician’s Assistant, Pharmacy School, etc)
  • Family-owned Businesses
  • Graduate School (all different fields)
  • Coaching/Mentoring
  • Entertainment
  • Marketing/Communication
  • Public Health


Deadlines for degree proposal submission are October 1 for Spring/Summer graduation and February 1 for Fall graduation. The proposal should be planned and thoughtful, and should to demonstrate to the Committee how both a student’s academic and career goals would be best met through an individualized degree program. A minimum of 15 credit hours must be proposed (left to be taken) after a degree proposal is approved.