Earning a Bachelor of Applied Studies degree can be a highly personalized process that helps prepare you for success in an industry of your choosing.
Many students who pursue an applied studies degree online enjoy flexibility in their schedule. You can generally tailor your degree to align with your personal passions and career goals. In addition to equipping you with foundational knowledge in a specific subject area, many applied studies programs also focus on building your leadership and communication skills.
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After earning an applied studies degree in a subject of their choosing, many graduates go on to pursue directorial or managerial roles.
Online Bachelor of Applied Studies Degrees
A Bachelor of Applied Studies is beneficial for anyone who has attended junior college and is interested in earning their bachelors. It’s also a strategic program for individuals who are eager to start their professional career or are interested in advancing in their current one.
An applied studies degree program is intended to provide academic knowledge and hands-on learning experiences. By the end of the program, graduates should be prepared to enter the workforce in their chosen field with applicable skills and real-world experience.
Contrary to a traditional bachelor’s degree program, an applied studies program does not usually involve selecting a typical major. Instead, you can select an area to focus on or create a personalized program that aligns with your interests and career goals.
The curriculum for an undergraduate program in applied studies varies greatly between schools, areas of focus, and individuals. Because you can often create an individualized program for yourself, course lists often look different.
A sample curriculum might include course topics like:
- Empowering your purpose and voice
- Thinking in systems
- Business communications
- Justice and equity
- Ethical issues in management
- Experience and expression
Many programs also prepare you for leadership or managerial roles within an organization or business. Professionals with a bachelor’s degree in applied studies may pursue careers in a variety of field, including:
- Automotive services
- Web development
- Social services
- Computer science
- Business management
Many positions in these industries require workers with strong problem-solving and critical thinking skills, areas often stressed in an applied studies program.
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Listening, time management, and empathy skills are also emphasized in BAS programs. These versatile skill sets can come in useful when working in teams or one-on-one, such as in a business or counseling setting. In addition to interpersonal and leadership abilities, you may also have the opportunity to develop skills in other areas, such as:
- Research methodology
- Critical thinking
Each of these transferable skill sets can be useful in a range of professional environments.
Applied Studies Careers & Salaries
The jobs that you will be qualified to perform after earning a bachelor’s degree in applied studies will depend largely on your specific academic area of focus.
Many people already have a background in the industry or field on which they choose to focus their applied studies. Work experience combined with a bachelors degree could help them be eligible for leadership roles after graduation.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, these are some common career paths that professionals with an applied studies degree may pursue.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||$101,340|
|Administrative Services and Facilities Managers||$99,290|
|Computer Systems Analysts||$99,270|
|Personal Financial Advisors||$94,170|
|Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists||$64,120|
|Human Resource Specialists||$62,290|
|Training and Development Specialists||$61,570|
In addition to preparing you with the knowledge and technical skills needed to be successful in a given field, many applied studies programs offer career support for individuals as they approach graduation.
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Earning a bachelor’s degree can help you stand out to employers and may help you qualify for managerial or directorial positions within a company or organization. That being said, obtaining a degree never guarantees a specific career or salary. Available jobs may be determined by the area in which you live, your work history, and your specialized area of study.
Bachelor’s in Applied Studies Curriculum & Courses
Specific classes in an applied studies curriculum will vary between concentrations, but programs often include courses in leadership, communication, and ethics.
A sample course list may include some of the following classes:
- Empowering Your Purpose and Voice: This course teaches you the tools needed to identify professional, organizational, and personal purpose, and you can also learn how to motivate and lead others.
- Thinking in Systems: This course explores systems thinking principles and concepts in order to create an organizational environment that promotes learning and problem-solving.
- Business Communications: In this course, key oral and written communication concepts and theories are introduced as a way to encourage successful organizational behavior.
- Justice and Equity: This course examines the different forces that have formed experiences in diverse communities, focusing on topics like power structures, privilege, and social justice.
- Ethical Issues in Management: In this course, you’ll explore the legal and ethical responsibilities of leaders in management positions.
- Experience and Expression: In this course, you’ll learn how to translate and share your experiences to empower and inspire others.
- Media Ethics: This course explores past and current ethical issues in the media, covering topics like privacy and decision-making strategies.
- Professional Writing: This course provides you with a foundation in professional writing, exploring topics like research methods, collaboration, and document design.
- Organizational Psychology: This course uses behavioral science to analyze organizational settings, covering topics such as training and development, leadership, and personnel decisions.
- Team Building: In this course, you’ll learn different tools and strategies to create strong teams across fields and industries.
A B.A.S. degree program may also include hands-on opportunities to apply theoretical knowledge, further preparing you to enter the workforce directly after graduation.
Admissions requirements for a Bachelor of Technical and Applied Studies program will vary between schools, but a typical application packet consists of the following items:
- SAT or ACT scores (only some schools require them)
- Official academic transcripts
- Personal statement
- Letters of recommendation
Depending on the school, there may also be a minimum GPA requirement from your prior studies. In addition to proof of high school completion, admissions teams are interested in how others view your character and what motivated you to apply to their specific program.
In order for an institution to become regionally accredited, it undergoes a process that consists of several rounds of inspection and review by a team of accreditors. Everything from teaching staff to facilities will be examined.
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A school typically seeks the status of regional accreditation if it is determined to be recognized as a high-quality institution. Attending a regionally accredited institution helps ensure that you receive a solid education from highly qualified professors. It also signals to potential employers that you have earned a credible degree.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
To help lessen the financial strain of attending college, there are many financial aid and scholarship programs available to students who qualify.
Some of the most common forms of financial aid are provided by the government. Federal aid can come in several different forms, such as student loans, grants, or work-study opportunities. If you are interested in seeing how much financial aid you or your family qualify for, you can complete the FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
You can also research scholarship opportunities offered by outside organizations. If you are enrolled as a student at a college or university, you may also be eligible for scholarship opportunities through your school.
What Is a BAS Degree?
A Bachelor of Applied Studies (BAS) degree is intended for individuals who are eager to design their own program of study or gain hands-on experience in a particular academic area.
A BAS is especially common for those who have graduated from community college or are wanting to bridge the gap between an associate degree and a bachelors. Many schools offer applied studies programs in areas like creative writing, political science, human relations, and justice studies.
Students often learn important leadership skills while also strengthening their theoretical and technical knowledge in a specific domain.
What Can You Do with an Applied Studies Degree?
Similar to earning an online professional studies degree, earning an applied studies degree can open up many professional opportunities in the field or industry of your choice. Because Bachelor of Arts in Applied Studies programs are highly individualized, the jobs that you may be qualified to perform will vary by concentration.
Many graduates with an applied studies degree go on to pursue hands-on opportunities in a variety of industries. Depending on their area of focus, graduates may work as web designers, medical and health services managers, sales reps, computer systems analysts, and training and development specialists.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelors Degree in Applied Studies Online?
If you follow a traditional 16 week semester and attend school full-time, it will generally take 4 years to complete a bachelor’s degree program.
There are also options to speed up the time it takes to complete your degree. If you follow an 8 week semester and stay continuously enrolled year-round, for example, you may be able to finish a BS in Applied Studies degree in less time.
Many online general studies degree programs are also geared toward working professionals or individuals with large time commitments. This means they may offer flexible scheduling, pre-recorded courses, or alternative timelines. BAS programs may also let you count professional experience toward course credits.
Is an Online BAS Degree Worth It?
Yes, an online BAS degree is worth it for many students. The ability to design an academic program that aligns with your interests, career aspirations, and schedule appeals to many professionals. Not only does it provide flexibility, but it can also prepare you for a specific role or career path.
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many of the fields pursued by professionals with an applied studies degree are experiencing positive employment growth over the next ten years. For instance, business and financial occupations are projected to see 8% job growth. Other fields that graduates may choose to pursue include computer science, paralegal services, and social services.
Universities Offering Online Bachelors in Applied Studies Degree Program
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Antioch University offers an online program for a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Studies for those who already hold associate degrees. This interdisciplinary program is designed to help students expand on the vocational training and experiences they already have. Coursework includes Project Management Essentials, Business Communications, Thinking in Systems, and more.
Antioch University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Buena Vista University offers a Bachelor of Applied Studies that can be earned completely online or in a hybrid format. The program is highly customizable to help students meet their personal goals. Buena Vista’s online students have access to tutoring, personalized advising, discussion forums with classmates, and other resources.
Buena Vista University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Clarke University offers an online program for a Bachelor of Applied Studies that is designed for adult learners. Students in the program can choose from two pathways: Strategic Marketing and Public Relations or Leadership and Management. The program is intended for those who already hold associate degrees. Full-time students can usually finish in 2 to 3 years.
Clarke University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Lorain County Community College offers a Bachelor of Technical and Applied Studies that may be earned online by students who already have associate degrees. Coursework includes Introduction to Technical and Applied Studies, Ethics and Organizational Social Responsibility, Technology and Research in the Workforce, Statistics, and more.
Lorain County Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Loyola University—Chicago offers a highly flexible BA in Applied Studies program. The degree can be earned fully online, fully on campus, or through a combination of both online and on campus classes. Weekend and evening classes are available to accommodate working adults. There are five 8 week sessions each year, and accepted students can start with any one of them.
Loyola University Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Ohio University’s Bachelor of Technical and Applied Studies program is available in a flexible online format for students who have already completed associate degrees. Coursework includes Collaboration in the Workplace, Workplace Interactions in a Diverse Society, Research for Technical and Applied Studies, and more.
Ohio University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Cincinnati’s Bachelor of Technical and Applied Studies is a 60 credit, 2+2 program designed for those who already have associate degrees. Students can earn their degrees either part-time or full-time through an online format that provides a flexible schedule. Online students at UC have access to career services and other resources.
UC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Iowa offers a Bachelor of Applied Studies that can be earned online and on campus. Students may choose an optional emphasis area in Justice Studies, Political Science, Human Relations, or Creative Writing. The program is specifically designed for students who are unable to enroll in daytime, on-campus classes.
The University of Iowa is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Massachusetts offers a BA in Applied Studies that can be earned online or in a hybrid format. The program provides a cross-disciplinary curriculum designed for those who already have work experience. Students can choose a concentration in Applied Humanities, Applied Communication, or Leadership.
The University of Massachusetts is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Minnesota offers a Bachelor of Science in Applied Studies. The program is designed for students who already have at least 60 college credits. It is a flexible program that allows students to build upon their past education and experiences. Classes are available both online and on campus.
The University of Minnesota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Getting Your Bachelor of Applied Studies Degree Online
If you have some experience in a specific industry and are eager to step into a leadership role or expand your professional knowledge, you might consider a bachelors degree in applied studies.
An applied studies bachelor degree program can help you develop and strengthen your presentation, communication, and collaboration skills. It can also provide you with a theoretical foundation in a field of your choice and allow you the space to practice applying these concepts. Earning an applied studies degree online can begin with a simple search for accredited colleges or universities.
The sooner you find the online BAS degree that’s right for you, the sooner you can take the next step in your educational and professional journey.