Jul 18, 2024  
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2013-14 
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2013-14 [Archived Catalog]

Specialized Studies Major (B.S.S.)

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Major code BS1112

University College
Chubb Hall 140
Athens, OH 45701
Phone: 740.593.1935
Fax: 740.593.0206

Tanya Barnett, Director of Degree Programs

Program Overview

The Bachelor of Specialized Studies program affords undergraduate students at Ohio University the opportunity to design an area of concentration, which stands as the equivalent of an established major. The program permits you to combine available curricula to create a unique field of study.

Typically, the Bachelor of Specialized Studies degree is not an appropriate degree program for someone who has previously completed a bachelor’s degree. In special circumstances, a person who has completed a prior bachelor’s degree may petition the director of degree programs to seek permission to apply for and complete the B.S.S. degree. The B.S.S. program is not an appropriate choice as a second degree program (double major).

The Bachelor of Specialized Studies degree program reflects the recognition that degree programs, as varied as they are at Ohio University, cannot satisfy the legitimate educational requirements of all students. Through specialized studies, you may construct an individualized degree.

Admissions Information

Freshman/First-Year Admission

Currently registered, degree seeking students, having achieved at least sophomore ranking, and a minimum 2.0 accumulative GPA may apply to the Bachelor of Specialized Studies.

Change of Program Policy

To enter the specialized studies program, you must complete an application, available in the University College office, the University College website (http://www.ohio.edu/univcollege/degree/bss.htm), at a regional campus student services office, or e-Learning student services. Applicants must work with a University College or regional campus advisor, and two faculty members (Group 1 or Group 2), in preparing the application. Applications are accepted by the tenth week of fall and spring semesters. You will receive a letter indicating the decision of the review committee, following review of your application, at the end of the semester in which it was submitted.

External Transfer Admission

Students who have transferred from another institution may apply to the Bachelor of Specialized Studies major following the application procedure described above. The Bachelor of Specialized Studies can be a good option for transfer students, as transfer work accepted by Ohio University can be used to help meet requirements for the degree, including the area of concentration. Transfer students should be aware of the B.S.S. Residency Requirement (hours completed as a B.S.S. major) of 30 hours, as well as the 54 hours required at the 3000-/4000-level. Also, transfer students are required to complete at least 32 semester hours through Ohio University to receive a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University, and at least 50 percent of the area of concentration (major) must be completed through OU.

Opportunities Upon Graduation

By its nature, the specialized studies degree is unique to each individual, making a general statement regarding career preparation impractical. The application process, however, requires a statement of rationale, for pursuing the major and for selection of the curriculum plan. This statement includes the student’s educational and career goals. Many B.S.S. students design a major with a specific career or graduate program in mind. The B.S.S. major has an internship option, which can further students’ preparation for their particular career objectives.


As a student in the Bachelor of Specialized Studies program, you may complete one or more academic minors, as long as the courses taken to meet the minor requirements are not included in the Bachelor of Specialized Studies area of concentration. You need to indicate your intention to complete a minor at the time you submit your Bachelor of Specialized Studies application. Courses required to earn a certificate may be included in the area of concentration.

Up to 32 hours earned through the Experiential Learning Program may be applied to the Bachelor of Specialized Studies degree program. A maximum of 44 hours from the College of Business may be included in a Bachelor of Specialized Studies degree program.

Bachelor of Specialized Studies students may earn departmental honors through University College. Students must have an accumulated GPA within the top 20 percent of B.S.S. students to be eligible to earn departmental honors. An honors thesis is required. Guidelines and an application are available from the college office or on the Web at http://www.ohio.edu/univcollege/degree/honors.html.

To submit an application to the specialized studies program for consideration, you must:

  1. Be currently registered as a degree-seeking student;
  2. Have achieved sophomore or higher rank; and
  3. Have earned an accumulative GPA of 2.0 or above.

To graduate with a Bachelor of Specialized Studies degree, you must:

  1. Earn 120 hours, of which at least 54 must be courses with catalog numbers at the 3000-level or above, as shown in this catalog. This does not include graduate level courses.
  2. Complete no fewer than 30 hours (the degree residency requirement) after being admitted to the specialized studies program. This total excludes any transfer credit, transient credit, Course Credit by Examination, Independent Study coursework, etc., for which the initial registration occurred prior to application to the specialized studies program.
  3. Complete a minimum of 30 hours in the self-designed area of concentration approved by the Bachelor of Specialized Studies review committee. The area of concentration can include courses that are completed, current, and planned at the time of application. The courses included as current and planned in the concentration become requirements for graduation subject to change only by prior permission from a University College advisor and, in some cases, the Bachelor of Specialized Studies review committee. At least 50 percent of the coursework taken for the B.S.S. area of concentration must be completed at Ohio University.
  4. Complete the University General Education requirements.
  5. Complete the minimum of 32 hours of Ohio University coursework to satisfy the University residency requirement.
  6. Earn at least a 2.0 GPA in the area of concentration and overall.

To have current credit hours included as part of the 30 hour B.S.S. residency requirement, applications must be submitted by the tenth week in fall and spring semesters or the full summer semester.


The Richard Brackin Scholarship
A scholarship awarded each spring to a nontraditional B.S.S. student, subject to available funding. Applications are available from a B.S.S. advisor or on the Web (http://www.ohiou.edu/univcollege/degree/brackin.html).

Special Projects Fund
B.S.S. students may apply for funding for up to $500 to support a research project or experiential learning activity related to their programs of study. An application is required and can be obtained from an advisor or on the Web (http://www.ohio.edu/univcollege/degree/spf.html).  The Special Projects Fund is subject to available funding.

Universitywide Graduation Requirements

To complete this program, students must meet all Universitywide graduation requirements .

College Requirements

Major Residency

At least 50% of the course work taken in the major must be completed at Ohio University.

Area of Concentration

Complete 30 - 60 hours in your self-defined area of concentration including all of the courses listed as either current or planned area of concentration courses on your approved B.S.S. application. Should course substitutions become necessary, file a Course Substitution form with a University College or regional campus advisor.

54 Hour 3000-Level or Above Requirement

Complete at least 54 hours from coursework at or above the 3000-level.

B.S.S. Residence Requirement

Complete at least 30 hours after being admitted to this program.

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