When the fall semester begins next week, the College of Arts and Sciences will offer a new degree designed for students who previously attended UNCW, but who stopped short of completing their degree program.
The Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies provides these returning students who have earned at least 70 credits, with a pathway to earning an undergraduate degree and increasing their professional opportunities in today’s competitive job market.
Financial obstacles, family obligations, illness and other responsibilities often derail a student’s academic pursuit. Many who leave the university to address these issues intend to return, but as time passes and life happens, completing their degree becomes less of a possibility and the reenrollment process becomes increasingly daunting.
The Interdisciplinary Studies program offers students specialized advising support that helps them navigate this process and determine the best options for degree completion. The program’s integrative curriculum draws on students’ prior course work and enables them to acquire specialized knowledge and skills in tracks, including: enterprise and economy; global and international studies; social institutions and human behavior; science and technology; arts and humanities; and human wellbeing.
Distance education and hybrid courses offer increased flexibility and make degree completion more achievable. If needed, the B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies degree can be completed entirely online.
This new program reflects UNCW’s commitment to student-focused education that helps ensure their future success, as well as to strengthening our area’s workforce. Individuals without an undergraduate degree are at a disadvantage in the marketplace. According to the Economic Policy Institute, college graduates, on average, earned 56 percent more than high school graduates in 2015, up 51 percent since 1999.
This data indicates incredible economic implications for non-degree holders and the largest earnings disparity on record. By helping returning students earn their degree, the Interdisciplinary Studies program is increasing their employment prospects, as well as opportunities for advancement in their current fields.
“UNCW developed this program to open new doors for former Seahawks. A college degree expands their employment opportunities, but it also enriches their lives,” said Kemille Moore, associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences. “The interdisciplinary quality of this degree allows flexibility so students can align their coursework with interests that may have changed while they have been away. Once a Seahawk, always a Seahawk.”
Applicants seeking admission to the Interdisciplinary Studies degree program must have attended UNCW previously, been absent from the university for a year or more, completed at least 70 credits (transfer credits may count towards this total) and be in good standing with the university.
For more information, contact Maggie Bannon, (910) 962-2294, Academic Services Coordinator in the College of Arts and Sciences, or review the UNCW Academic Catalogue.
Aswani Volety, Ph.D., is dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, Executive Director of the UNCW Center for Marine Science, and a professor in the Department of Biology and Marine Biology. Volety earned a Ph.D. in marine science from the College of William & Mary, and a master’s and a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Andhra University. The College of Arts and Sciences is UNCW’s largest academic unit, employing over 450 full-time and 150 part-time faculty members and awarding approximately three quarters of the university’s academic credits. Volety serves as the chief academic, fiscal and administrative officer of the college, which is responsible for educating students across the arts, sciences, humanities and social sciences. Volety is also past president of the Southern Association of Marine Labs.To learn more about the UNCW College of Arts and Sciences, visit www.uncw.edu/cas. Questions and comments can be sent to [email protected].
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