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Bachelor of Applied Science in Individualized Studies

College of Individualized Studies / Individualized and Interdisciplinary Study
Undergraduate major / Bachelor of Applied Science

About The Program

For students who want to create their own academic path with an occupational focus, the Bachelor of Applied Science in Individualized Studies program places the aspirations and dreams of those students at the center of their educational journey. Since 1971, our students have been able to design individual degree programs to meet their educational, professional, and personal goals. Your unique Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree can be customized to build on what you have already learned and accomplished in school, work, and in life. CIS offers you a chance to: 

  • Incorporate courses from a variety of different subjects 

  • Design a degree that reflects your educational, personal, and career interests 

  • Transfer credits from other schools, particularly those acquired in technical programs, and apply them towards a BAS degree 

  • Use creative learning strategies, including prior learning, to complete your degree in less time and money 

The Individualized Studies Bachelor of Applied Science degree reflects the original mission of Metropolitan State University—to give students primary authority over and responsibility for their educations. Students design their own course of study with guidance from faculty in the initial course, PRSP 301 Perspectives: Educational Philosophy & Planning, creating well-balanced multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, or intradisciplinary Applied Science degrees.

  • Multidisciplinary: means coursework is in more than one discipline in unrelated areas.
  • Interdisciplinary: means coursework is in more than one discipline, but coursework is tied thematically (blending two distinct subject areas the extend across two or more colleges).
  • Intradisciplinary: means coursework is all within the same discipline. In the College of Individualized Studies you would be designing your degree plan around an educational goal statement and self-designing a focus/concentration (terminology that is similar to a major) you would be creating a unique focus that is integrated thematically and includes study from many disciplines.

Students also self-design focuses that are not found in any other area of the university that are unique to the student's personal, educational, and career aspirations. Your degree plan is a blue print for building your Individualized Studies BAS. Similar to a blue print, your degree plan sketches your overall vision of what you hope to build.

If you are looking for an education that spans multiple subjects and professions, or an area in which Metropolitan State does not offer a major, the College of Individualized Studies may be your academic home. The Individualized BAS degree program gives you the opportunity to: 

  • Focus your degree on your individual learning and career 

  • Combine multiple subjects from across the university curriculum 

  • Earn credit for learning outside the classroom 

  • Apply up to 80 Technical Program credits to your four-year degree 

To navigate the limitless possibilities of the individually designed academic experience, students are assigned academic advisors who assist them in their progress toward completion of the degree. 

For more information, contact or 651.793.1937.

How to enroll

Current students: Declare this program

Once you’re admitted as an undergraduate student and have met any further admission requirements your chosen program may have, you may declare a major or declare an optional minor.

Future students: Apply now

Apply to Metropolitan State: Start the journey toward your Bachelor of Applied Science in Individualized Studies now. Learn about the steps to enroll or, if you have questions about what Metropolitan State can offer you, request information, visit campus or chat with an admissions counselor.

Get started on your Bachelor of Applied Science in Individualized Studies

Program eligibility requirements

Students are classified as Pre-Individualized Studies majors until they complete PRSP 301 and develop an approved degree plan.

To be eligible for acceptance to the Individualized Studies program, students must submit a College of Individualized Studies Undergraduate Program Declaration Form.

This form is normally submitted while taking PRSP 301, Perspectives: Educational Philosophy and Planning, but can be done prior to taking the course.

Courses and Requirements


Students need 120 credits to achieve a degree. Those 120 credits must include (with overlap):

  • 40 credits which address the ten Minnesota Transfer Curriculum Goal Areas
  • 40 upper-division credits, including 8 in liberal studies
  • 30 credits from Metropolitan State University
  • 20 credits taken while a pre-major or major in the program, including PRSP 301 and PRSP 499.:
  • At least 30 credits related to an occupation or related set of occupations, included as part of an Individualized degree focus (developed while taking PRSP 301)

Credits can satisfy multiple requirements at the same time. All students develop an approved individualized degree plan during PRSP 301.

Requirements (20 credits)

College of Individualized Studies requires at least 20 credits taken while a pre-major or major in the program, including PRSP 301 and PRSP 499. Students must develop an individualized degree plan, including a focus area of at least 38 credits (including PRSP 301 and 499), which may include transfer credits. All students earning an Individualized Studies degree must complete these two courses:

This course considers, from a multidisciplinary perspective, the questions "What is an educated person? What character traits mark an educated person? And how does becoming educated impact one's personal, family and social life?" While it is a required course for all students who plan to complete an Individualized B.A., it is also a helpful course for students in any of the other colleges who are not sure about their major focus. The course helps students develop their own individualized degree plans or program outlines by providing time to reflect on what they want to learn and the best way to learn it. Students assess their own academic strengths and weaknesses and meet resource people from around the university who challenge them to think about education in a broad and liberating manner. While most students often focus first on their vocational goals in higher education, this course challenges students to think also about their community involvement and lifelong learning needs.

Full course description for Perspectives: Educational Philosophy and Planning

This course is the culminating experience in a student's College of Individualized Studies program and is required of graduating seniors. Students demonstrate the relationship between what they have learned and the university's philosophical tenets and academic outcomes related to communication skills, critical thinking, multicultural understanding, global perspectives and citizenship. Students also consider their lifelong learning plans, possible career changes and future liberal learning opportunities. Students should register for this course in one of their final university semesters.

Full course description for Capstone