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Friday, January 18, 2013

UPB Launches New Major in General Studies

A new major at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will allow students returning to college and transfer students to make the most of their credits toward a bachelor’s degree.

The university is offering a degree in general studies beginning this term. The major offers students the ability to use more credits from a wide variety of subject areas toward one degree.

Although it is not as narrowly focused as a single-discipline major, the general studies major will require 72 to 73 credits of the 120 credits required for graduation to be distributed over three areas of studies. Students will have to design their academic plan to include courses from three of five areas, which are arts and letters; behavioral, economic and political science; history, cultures and philosophical inquiry; physical, life and computational sciences; and professional studies.

The remainder of the credits can be made up in elective courses, which allows students to get the most use out of any credits they have previously taken at Pitt-Bradford, another college or university, in the military or through a professional program.

Students will choose a minor, participate in an internship or service learning project and complete a senior capstone course, just as students in other majors do.

Dr. Stephen Robar, associate dean of academic affairs and associate professor of political science, said that the registrar’s office and academic advisors have been seeing students entering the university with a broad smattering of credits that did not fit well into any one major. For those students, credits that had already been earned could not be used toward their requirements for a Pitt degree, but now they can be.

The professional provision, Robar said, should be particularly helpful for students who are currently employed and whose jobs now require them to earn a bachelor’s degree. For example, a worker who is an accountant can earn accounting credits for past work experience by providing an approved work experience portfolio, saving time and money toward the completion of a degree.

Robar will review and approve each academic plan, which will be overseen by Mary Coller, director of the academic advising center.

Students can also use the major to craft a course of study for a self-directed major.

For more information on the general studies major at Pitt-Bradford, contact Coller at (814)362-7645 or mcoller@pitt.edu
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