Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Bachelor of Professional Studies program the only major open to adult learners?

Where many majors require classes that are only offered on a weekday schedule, the BPS program requirements are tailored to adult learners who need to complete required courses during online and who have career experience to relate to their coursework.

When do I enroll and begin courses?

USI offers the traditional Fall and Spring semester calendar, with summer classes generally offered in 5-week sessions. Following admission (or readmission for former USI students) and advising, students may begin courses during any term.  Some BPS classes are "bi-term" which means they last 7 1/2 weeks during the fall or spring semester. Some classes are offered in specific terms, so advising and course planning is very important.

What is the typical career path for someone who completes a Bachelor of Professional Studies degree?

The "typical" BPS student already has significant career experience and is seeking to enhance new opportunities in management and leadership within his/her current employment setting.  The coursework and required projects aim to build the student's capacity to contribute to the success of his/her employer's mission and qualify him/her for career advancement.

How does the Bachelor of Professional Studies degree compare with another kind of degree from USI?

Other USI majors are designed to prepare students for their first career opportunity: to enter the field of business, nursing, teaching, a liberal arts career, etc.  The BPS program focuses on adults who are already in the workforce and seek to build upon career experience and industry knowledge to reach a higher level of education, responsibility and recognition.

How do I choose the right concentration in the Bachelor of Professional Studies program?

Before you begin, we'll analyze your previous college credits, professional training, military service and other educational experience. We'll help you devise a personalized degree plan, placing you on the Professional Studies degree track that best fits your career goals.

The Applied Studies - Crime and Justice concentration is developed for students with careers in law enforcement, corrections and probation. Courses focus on leadership, communication, research projects, ethics and criminal justice.  All required courses are offered online and students can enroll in one, two or more classes each term depending on time available to devote to studies.

The Applied Studies - Cybersecurity concentration is developed for students with careers in information management, database or software development. Courses focus on leadership, communication, ethics, data communications, information security, risk management and network defense. All required courses are offered online and a student can enroll in one, two or more classes each term depending on time available to devote to studies.

The Applied Studies - Early Childhood Education concentration is developed for students with careers in preschool and childcare settings. Courses focus on leadership, communication, ethics, early childhood growth and development, family and school partnerships and classroom management. All required courses are offered online and a student can enroll in one, two or more classes each term depending on time available to devote to studies.

The Applied Studies - Organizational Leadership concentration is developed for students working in manufacturing or business settings in a team/project environment. Courses focus on theories and skills needed to create and sustain effective organizations.

The Applied Studies - Public Service concentration was developed for students with careers in the public sector: public agencies and human service organizations. Students who complete the required courses for Public Service should build knowledge, skills, and confidence to lead these organizations and to advocate for their missions and purposes.

The Individual Studies major is offered to students with unique career and educational goals, and who wish to focus on completing the Bachelor's degree. Students work with the BPS Academic Advisor to develop an individualized plan for completing a degree.

Can I use my work experience for academic credit toward my degree?

Formal training (not just work experience) may be considered for academic credit in the BPS program as elective credit. Students may submit documentation of completed training experiences, which are reviewed using national standards for awarding credit. Some typical examples include Law Enforcement Academy, Real Estate Sales, Life and Casualty Insurance, and Computer Software and Network training programs.  The BPS Academic Advisor can provide additional guidance on the credit approval process.

Your military service and training will be converted into college credit through the Joint Services Transcript or the Community College of the Air Force. For information on USI application fee waivers, military credit and military benefits, contact USI Veteran, Military and Family Resource Center.

I work full-time and am not sure I can handle four courses in a semester. Can I still be a student in this program if I can't take all the required classes each semester?

This program is designed for a diverse group of adult learners who follow many different paths to graduation. All requirements for the BPS-Applied Studies concentration are offered on a 2-year rotation to accommodate a variety of attendance patterns.

I have not yet met all of my Core 39 requirements. How might I plan to complete these while I am working on the BPS requirements?

BPS students will have all previous college work, military and technical training assessed before they begin the BPS program. It is likely that many of the CORE 39 requirements will have been fulfilled if a student has completed an Associate Degree or equivalent. Some Core 39 requirements are met within the Applied Studies concentrations, so please review your individual situation with the BPS program advisor to determine the best way to complete Core 39 requirements.

What will this cost and how can I pay for this?

University of Southern Indiana remains the most affordable 4-year institution in Indiana. BPS students pay the regular tuition and fees based on number of enrolled hours. An additional distance education fee of $50 is charged for each online course.  Many students utilize Veteran's Benefits, Pell Grants, scholarships and loans, and employer assistance when planning for the costs of returning to college. The USI Bursar's Office offers payment plans and third party billing options to help make tuition affordable and manageable.

How long will it take me to complete the program?

The length of your program will depend upon your prior college and professional or technical training experience, and whether you want to enroll full- or part-time.


Dr. Wes Durham
Program Director

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