University Studies

Program details

Credits required: varies

Location Format  
Kalamazoo Face-to-face
Online Online

Industry highlights

Student stories

  • Elizabeth Calloway, 2015 alumna.
      I needed a program that would make use of the credits I had earned at my previous university. I had taken two steps backward, and this program really helped me move forward again so I could work on completing a major goal I had set for myself. It's hard when you fall back and there is no one there to help you back up, but WMU and the University Studies program did that for me. I will be forever grateful for all that they have done.   Elizabeth C., university studies alumna
  •   For years I have worked three jobs, seven days a week and have raised two kids on my own. I never thought I would be able to add finishing my degree into the mix. Thanks to the university studies program, I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and will be graduating in the feels good!   Scott P., WMU university studies alumnus

View more student stories.

Bachelor of arts (BA),
bachelor of science (BS)

Finish your bachelor's degree at WMU.

In order to focus on new priorities and opportunities in our lives, many of us have started working toward a bachelor's degree and then paused that pursuit. Or perhaps you already have many college credits and need to change your major because your career goals have shifted. Whatever your circumstance, the university studies program provides an efficient and flexible way to finish your bachelor’s degree on your terms.

University studies integrates your prior college coursework, from virtually any major, into one degree from WMU. You can earn your university studies degree entirely online. Or, when available, you can take courses on main campus or at one of WMU’s regional locations.

Since 1973, thousands of individuals have achieved their dream of earning a bachelor’s degree through the university studies program.

Why university studies (BA, BS) at Western Michigan University?

Our program allows you to:

  • Maximize credit for classes you've already taken
  • Complete your degree online, no matter where you are in the country or world
  • Customize your curriculum

With our program, your past credits work for you and accelerate you on the path to completing your degree and advancing your career. Customize your curriculum to take courses that not only interest you, but also help you reach your personal or professional aspirations. Convenient online courses are taught by the same faculty that teach on our main campus. As an online WMU student, you’ll be connected with other learners nationwide, and your degree with hold the same value as one earned on main campus.

What types of students are pursuing a university studies bachelor's degree?

Students who:

  • Are close to graduation, but no longer find themselves suited to their current major
  • Would like to transfer from a community college and obtain a general bachelor's degree
  • Need to combine credits earned from multiple colleges or universities
  • Need to complete their bachelor’s degree to take the next step in their career
  • Wish to continue their education and complete a master’s degree or Ph.D. in the future

Transfer students

University studies is an excellent option for students wishing to transfer from a community college or four-year university with 56 credits or more. Specific program and general education transfer guides are available for students transferring from a Michigan community college. View the transfer guides by selecting the school from the drop down menu.

Because students come into the university studies program with a wide variety of educational backgrounds, meeting with an advisor is critical. Advisors will go through your transcripts with you to help you put together a customized plan for finishing your degree.

Career opportunities

Many employers are looking for a bachelor's degree, not a specific major. A university studies degree is a great way to show employers that you have varied interests and experience as well as a diversified education. A customizable curriculum gives you the freedom to branch out to a maximum of three areas of study (“emphasis areas”) to complement your previous coursework. You can find employment in the fields of your emphasis areas, just as if you minored in those subjects. For instance, if you have emphasis areas in business and health, you might search for job opportunities in health administration.

Career Outcomes for WMU and University Studies Graduates 2016-17, compiled by WMU Career and Student Employment Services.

How to apply

Because students often have questions about transferring credits, it's usually best to speak with an advisor before applying. If you have questions about the program or if you'd like to set up an advising appointment, contact a University Studies advisor

Employer tuition reimbursement

If your employer has a tuition reimbursement program, find out about WMU’s deferment program for employer paid tuition.

"Best bang for the buck"

Washington Monthly placed WMU on a list of national universities that offer "the best bang for the buck." WMU came in at No. 50 based on the economic value students receive per dollar.

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