Iowa State University

Iowa State University

2009-2011 Courses and Programs

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Liberal Studies

The bachelor of liberal studies degree (B.L.S.) was established by the three Iowa Regent universities to meet the needs of Iowans who want to earn a college degree but whose circumstances present obstacles to completing a traditional on-campus degree program. The degree may be earned from Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, or the University of Northern Iowa.

The B.L.S. is a general studies degree in the liberal arts. There is no traditional major. Instead, students take coursework in three areas of distribution. These areas may be focused in a single discipline or diversified over several disciplines. With the assistance of a B.L.S. adviser, students can structure a program that meets their individual educational, vocational or personal goals.

Up to three-fourths of the total degree requirements can be transferred from accredited institutions. Work done in community colleges or other accredited colleges and universities can be applied toward the degree, as can applicable courses taken at any of the three Iowa Regent universities, whether on or off campus.

The B.L.S. program has no residence requirements. To complete the degree, students may offer credits earned in various study formats: correspondence courses; telecourses; Saturday and evening courses; off-campus courses, including those with distance-learning formats; and regular on-campus courses. Students may also earn credits by proficiency or test-out examinations.


Admission to the B.L.S. program is open to persons who meet either of the following levels of previous educational attainment:

Hold the associate in arts (A.A.) or associate in science (A.S.) degree from an accredited two-year college. (Holders of the associate in applied science or associate in applied arts degree are not automatically eligible, although some courses may be found applicable upon review.)

Have at least 62 semester credits of collegiate work acceptable toward graduation at ISU with a total cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 (a C average).