Jul 17, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Individualized Studies, B.A.

Dr. Windi Turner, Director
Phone: (540) 568- 4253
Email: adp@jmu.edu
Location: Ice House, 127 W. Bruce Street, Room 332
Website: http://www.jmu.edu/adultdegree


The Adult Degree Program (ADP) addresses the needs of adult learners through an innovative, personalized program plan of study. ADP provides students the opportunity to develop an undergraduate degree that meets their individual educational and professional goals.


Applicants must have a minimum of 30 transferable credit hours with a grade of “C” or better for each credit hour of college work. Applicants should be 22 or older.

With very limited exceptions, students in the Individualized Studies major (the Adult Degree Program’s academic major) cannot transfer to another major on campus.

Degrees Offered

ADP students have the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Individualized Studies (B.I.S.), a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in individualized studies or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in individualized studies. The General Education  core requirements differ by degree.

Program Requirements

  • Completion of IS 200. Individualized Studies Major Program Development  is required.
  • A minimum of 120 credit hours will be required for graduation. The specific program agreement will be designed in consultation with a faculty adviser.
  • A program agreement for meeting the requirements of the degree must be submitted to the Adult Degree Program office for approval while enrolled in the IS 200  course.
  • To earn a B.I.S. degree, the student must complete minimum of 41 General Education  credit hours.
  • To earn a B.A. degree, a student must earn the above 41 credit hour requirements, plus an additional three hours of philosophy and six hours of foreign language at the intermediate (200) level for a total of 50 General Education  credit hours.
  • To earn a B.S. degree, a student must earn the above 41 credit hours, plus an additional three hours to meet the quantitative requirement and an additional three hours to meet the scientific literacy requirement for a total of 47 General Education  credit hours.
  • A student’s concentration, or field of study, consists of a minimum of 30 credits, at least 24 of which must be upper-division credit (300- and 400-level courses). The concentration shall include classes from two or more academic disciplines and represent a coherent body of knowledge, which may require course work beyond the 30 minimum credit hours.
  • No more than 30 credit hours of course work can be selected from courses taught by the College of Business . This 30 credit hour limit includes COB  courses transferred from other colleges and nontraditional credit earned in the COB .
  • The concentration must be completed with a GPA of 2.0 or better.
  • A minimum of 15 credit hours in the concentration must be JMU credits.
  • IS 498. Individualized Study Project , is a capstone course that is directly related to the student’s concentration or field of study. The project is coordinated by a content area faculty member and must be completed with a minimum grade of “C.” A final oral report must be presented on the project.
  • ADP requires all students to take the Honor Code test.
  • Each graduate must have earned a minimum of 30 credit hours at JMU (a maximum of eight non-traditional credits may be applied to the JMU hours requirement).
  • At least 60 credit hours must be earned from four-year institutions.
  • ADP students are expected to participate in assessment activities. Assessment information is used to assist faculty in modifying curricula.
  • There is no residency requirement; however, program agreements that extend beyond six years may need to be amended if university policies change that affect the original program agreements.

Program of Study

As an individualized studies major, each ADP student puts together an individual program plan that includes the following:General Education Requirements  – minimum of 41 credits. A listing of acceptable courses to fulfill these requirements for ADP is available from the ADP website.

  • Social and Behavioral Science (6 credits)
  • Humanities (6 credits)
  • Natural Science (6 credits)
  • Written Communications (6 credits)
  • Oral Communications (3 credits)
  • Mathematics (3 credits)
  • US History (4 credits)
  • General Education Electives (7 Credits)
  • Additional Requirements for:
    • Bachelors of Science in Individualized Studies: Natural Science (3 credits) and Mathematics (3 credits)
    • Bachelors of Arts in Individualized Studies: Philosophy (3 credits) and Language (6 credits at the 200-level or higher)

Individualized Studies Major Concentration

This is the focus area of student’s individualized studies degree. The concentration is cross disciplinary and is comprised of classes from two or more academic programs chosen to meet the student’s educational and/or professional goals:

Mechanisms for Earning Credit

The number of credits, which might be accepted or earned through the following methods, is determined by the student’s approved program. It is reasonable to expect that the unique educational needs, background and personal circumstances of each student will determine to a great extent the manner in which credit has been and will be earned.

  • Transfer credit
  • Credit by departmental examination
  • Credit for sponsored learning or independent studies
  • Regular course work
  • Credit for experiential learning through portfolio evaluation (See below)*
  • Credit for educational programs of the Armed Forces
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP)*
  • American Council on Education College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE)*

*Non-traditional credits; no more than 30 non-traditional credits can be counted towards degree requirements of 120.

Online Academic Modules

Online academic modules have been developed in cooperation with academic units at the university. Students can use these modules when developing their concentration. Current modules include:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Business Technology
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Human Resource Development
  • Professional and Workplace Communication

Prior Learning Assessment

College level learning, acquired through other than traditional classroom experience, must be documented by the student. Procedures for doing so have been established by the ADP office. Requests for experiential learning credit should be submitted as soon as possible after an ADP student completes IS 200  and IS 206E . Experiential learning credit is not transferable to a traditional degree program. ADP students requesting experiential learning credit must complete IS 206E. Prior Learning Experience: Research and Writing the Portfolio . A fee is charged for each learning component evaluated by academic units for credit.

College Credit Recommendation Service

ADP accepts some but not all credits as recommended in the National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs and the Guide to Educational Credit by Examination prepared by the American Council on Education. Additional information on program policies and procedures is available through the ADP website.

College-Level Examination Program

The Adult Degree Program at JMU participates in the College-Level Examination Program. CLEP is a national program of credit by examination that offers students an opportunity to obtain recognition for achievement in specific college courses.

Interested individuals may schedule a CLEP test by directly contacting the Adult Degree Program office.


Students enrolled in ADP may take courses on a credit/no-credit basis if they have completed 28 credit hours of college course work and have a 2.25 cumulative GPA.

Courses in the area of concentration, including the senior project, may not be taken on a credit/no-credit basis. Other provisions of the credit/no-credit option, as described in this catalog, will also be in effect.