2023 Best Online Professional Studies Degrees [Bachelor’s Guide]

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A professional studies degree is a strategic option for students who have some prior college credits but have not yet received a bachelor’s degree.

Best Online Professional Studies Degrees

Many programs that offer a Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) degree include the ability to transfer credit from previous undergraduate work. They tend to take into consideration military and professional experience as well.

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If you’re on your way to earning your bachelors degree in a concentration that is meaningful to your career, a BPS degree might be a beneficial way to complete your undergraduate work.

Online Bachelor of Professional Studies Degrees

Man getting his Bachelors in Professional Studies Degree online

One thing that makes the bachelor degree in professional studies so appealing to many students is the ability to pursue a professional concentration that fits your unique career goals.

With this degree program, you’ll be considered a professional studies major. In addition to completing core courses that can help prepare you for your future career path, you’ll be able to select one or several concentrations to help you map your path more accurately.

Available concentrations vary from school to school but can include a variety of options, such as:

  • Accounting and business management
  • Behavioral science
  • Communications
  • Criminal justice
  • Finance
  • Hospitality and culinary arts
  • Information technology
  • Leadership and organizational science

Depending on the program you ultimately select, you may be able to incorporate several areas of concentration to customize your education to your chosen career path.

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As a result, you can use your personal and professional experience as you plan your curriculum to best match your long-term goals. This can potentially provide you with skills related to your development in a professional setting as well as career-specific knowledge.

Students who have received their Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies can select from a variety of careers in their field. Many continue with a career in a business-related field or select from specialty areas, such as the food industry or psychology.

A bachelor degree in professional studies can also be the next step toward pursuing advanced studies, such as a masters or doctoral degree, in your chosen field.

Professional Studies Careers & Salaries

Professional Studies Careers & Salaries

Many schools design their Bachelor of Professional Studies degree program to provide students with the skills to help them thrive in business and administrative roles. This can include a variety of industries, including marketing, communications, hospitality, human resources, and finance.

There are many career options available for students who enroll in a Bachelor of Professional Studies degree program, but graduates often pursue roles within business administration. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are some of the career paths that professionals with a BPS degree may pursue, depending on their concentration.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Financial Managers $131,710
Human Resources Managers $126,230
Administrative Services and Facilities Managers $99,290
Management Analysts $93,000
Financial Analysts $81,410
Accountants and Auditors $77,250
Market Research Analysts $63,920
Public Relations Specialists $62,800
Training and Development Specialists $61,570
Food Service Managers $59,440

Since many schools allow for multiple concentrations, it is possible for a BPS degree to include courses to help you select a very specific career.

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With a bachelors in professional studies, you may find roles in a specifically chosen field, or you may find that your knowledge is ideal for many different experiences. The job opportunities that are available to you will likely depend on your prior experience and the courses you choose for your concentration.

Professional Studies Curriculum & Courses

People getting degree in Professional Studies

The courses offered for a professional studies major will be unique to each school. Many schools encourage students to complete a certain number of core classes as well as courses that are unique to their concentration. Because the concentrations can vary from school to school, the curriculum for two different BPS degree students may be very different.

Typical core classes often include:

  • Communication and Professionalism: This course encourages you to practice clear communication strategies when in a professional setting.
  • Managing Conflict: In this course, you’ll become better prepared for dealing with various types of conflict within the office.
  • Written Composition: You’ll have the opportunity to learn how to compose clear and concise written communications in this course.
  • Creative Expression and the Arts: Creativity and imagination can often be helpful when problem solving, and this course teaches you how to utilize those skills as a professional.
  • Accounting: Understanding cash flow and capital can be a helpful skill for many professionals.
  • Business Administration: This course will help you appreciate the many moving pieces that must be coordinated in order to run a successful business.
  • Project Management: In this course, you’ll learn how to create and implement problem-solving strategies as well as time and resource management when tasked with a project.
  • Computer Systems and Business Technology: This course introduces you to the various types of technology that can help you succeed in the professional world.
  • Global Economics: Understanding the nuances of our global economy can be helpful for professionals in any line of business.
  • Historical Perspectives of Business: This course may help you appreciate the many changes in business procedures and ethics over the years.

In addition to general coursework, you can typically choose courses related to your concentration.

Admissions Requirements

Woman prepares requirements for Bachelors in Professional Studies

The admissions requirements for a bachelor’s degree in professional studies can be unique. Many schools will provide credit for many previous educational experiences, such as an associate’s degree or earlier undergraduate work.

Some typical requirements include:

  • ACT or SAT scores (only some schools require them)
  • Transcripts from previous educational experiences
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of intent

Additionally, you may wish to see if your school provides credit for military or professional experience. Some offer testing or performance assessments that can turn your experience into college credit.

Accreditation

University offering Bachelors in Professional Studies

When evaluating each school’s bachelor degree in professional studies program, you may wish to select schools that have regisonal accreditation.  

Regionally accredited schools have been evaluated for their academic excellence by one of seven regional accrediting agencies recognized by CHEA, or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. An accredited school’s faculty and programs have been thoroughly reviewed for their value to prospective students.

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In many cases, financial assistance is only granted to students who attend accredited institutions. Some employers and professional associations also ask if their applicants have graduated from an accredited school.   

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Bachelors in Professional Studies Financial Aid

If you are interested in needs-based financial assistance, you may wish to complete the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is the first step in determining whether you are eligible for federal funds for furthering your education.

You may also wish to check with your employer to determine if educational assistance or tuition reimbursement are offered for those wishing to further their education. Additionally, many schools offer scholarships and grants for new students. These are often based on previous academic or professional achievement, but you can contact your prospective school for more details about your individual eligibility.

What Is a Degree in Professional Studies?

A degree in professional studies is an opportunity for individuals to further their education. Whether you have earned an associate’s degree or had your previous undergraduate work interrupted, a bachelor’s degree in professional studies could be a strategic next step.

A BPS degree can help prepare you for life as a professional in a variety of settings. It provides the basics for a professional business career, along with concentrations in fields ranging from behavioral science to the food industry. With your bachelor degree in professional studies, you may wish to pursue work in a variety of industries or offices.

What Is a Degree Completion Program?

Financial Manager and Analyst discussing in the office

A degree completion program is designed for students who have had to put their education plans on hold. These programs often allow you to transfer credits from previous educational experiences. This gives you the opportunity to complete your bachelor’s degree in less time than the traditional 4-year program.

Degree completion programs also tend to have a variety of classroom options available, including online, fast track, and in-person learning styles. You may also find that many degree completion programs offer their own selection of concentrations, so it’s helpful to review the options available at each school.

What Can I Do with a Bachelors in Professional Studies Degree?

The career options for professional studies majors are varied, depending on each student’s concentration within their major.

Many graduates pursue jobs that are related to administrative or business roles. This can include managerial, human resources, accounting, or finance positions. The career focus of a bachelors in professional studies degree can help you prepare for a variety of professional settings within your preferred industry.

Some professional studies majors focus on areas like health care management, industrial-organizational psychology, and supply chain logistics.

How Long Does It Take to Get a BS in Professional Studies Online?

Man pursuing BS in Professional Studies Online

If your school follows a traditional 16 week semester, a bachelors degree program typically takes 4 years to complete with full-time enrollment. If your online general studies degree program offers an 8 week semester with the option to attend school year round, it is possible to finish a BPS degree in less time.

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Since previously earned credits, such as those earned in an on-campus or online associates in general studies program, may apply toward a professional studies bachelors program, you can submit all prior transcripts to determine what is eligible for transfer. This could also reduce the amount of time it takes to achieve your degree.

What’s the Difference Between a Bachelor of Professional Studies vs. Bachelor of Science?

There are many commonalities between a Bachelor of Professional Studies degree and a Bachelor of Science degree, but there are also some key differences.

Bachelor of Professional Studies Bachelor of Science
  • Is mostly geared toward career-focused courses
  • May not include humanities or science courses
  • Helps prepare students for a specific career
  • Is mostly geared toward liberal arts and general education
  • Includes mostly science courses with some arts and humanities electives
  • Helps prepare students for further studies in a field

While both are 4-year degree programs, each will prepare students for a different career path. A BPS degree may also take less time to complete if you have college credits or professional experience that can count toward your degree.

Is a Degree in Professional Studies Useless?

Human Resources Manager discussing with the team

No, it is not useless. A degree in professional studies is worth it for many students. If life has interrupted your college goals, a degree in professional studies can help you get back on track toward earning your bachelors degree. As a college graduate, you may find additional career opportunities available to you.

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Many graduates pursue occupations in business or finance, sectors that are projected to see 8% job growth over the next ten years (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Management occupations are expected to see steady growth as well. You also have the option to continue your education with a masters degree, immersing yourself in further specialization of your chosen field.

Universities Offering Online Bachelors in Professional 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.

Husson University

Husson University campus

Husson University offers an online program for a Bachelor of Science in Business and Professional Studies. The program is often a good match for students who enjoy solving problems and working with people. Classes are taken in 7 week blocks, and students have access to course materials all day, every day. Multiple start dates are available every year.

Husson University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Missouri Baptist University

Missouri Baptist University campus

Missouri Baptist University offers a Bachelor of Professional Studies in General Studies. Coursework includes Introduction to Marketing, Business Ethics, Management Concepts and Practices, and more. Students also take courses in the humanities, sciences, and fine arts. All courses are available online to accommodate busy schedules. Missouri Baptist is a Christian university.

MBU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Monroe College

Monroe College campus

Monroe College offers a Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies that can be earned on campus, online, or in a hybrid format. Seven different specializations are available, including Public Health Management, Health Services Administration, Accounting and Business Management, and more.

Monroe College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Northern Vermont University

Northern Vermont University campus

Northern Vermont University’s BA in Professional Studies can be earned 100% online. The program is designed to be highly flexible to help accommodate working adults. Students may develop their own plans of study based on previously earned college credits and current career goals. Coursework typically includes business, social services, communications, human resources, and related subjects.

Northern Vermont University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Purdue University

Purdue University campus

The online Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies program at Purdue University has two tracks: a term-based track that features courses that are 10 weeks long and a self-paced track. Students in the term-based track usually commit 15 to 18 hours per week to their studies. Start dates are available every month.

Purdue University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Stevenson University

Stevenson University campus

Stevenson University offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies program that is designed for working adults. There are six start dates every year, and classes are offered in accelerated, 8 week sessions. The program’s faculty members have real-world career experience and provide individualized attention. Coursework includes Business Writing, Creative Leadership, Presentation Theory and Application, and more.

Stevenson University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Thomas Edison State University

Thomas Edison State University campus

Thomas Edison State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies. This interdisciplinary program features courses such as Foundations of Leadership, Ethics and the Business Professional, Negotiations and Conflict Management, and more.

Thomas Edison State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

University of Kansas

University of Kansas campus

The Bachelor of Professional Studies program at the University of Kansas is an interdisciplinary program that can be completed entirely online. The program requires the completion of 57 credit hours of electives, which students can use to customize their education. Graduates may pursue work in a wide variety of fields, including business, finance, technology, manufacturing, and more.

The University of Kansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of North Carolina – Greensboro

University of North Carolina at Greensboro campus

The University of North Carolina—Greensboro offers a BS in Integrated Professional Studies. The program consists of asynchronous, online courses that are each 7 weeks long. The curriculum also includes real-world projects. Students can choose an area of focus in Entertainment and Media or Service, Arts, Health, and Wellness. They may also design their own areas of focus.

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Southern Indiana

University of Southern Indiana campus

The University of Southern Indiana offers a Bachelor of Professional Studies that can be earned 100% online. The program is flexible and designed for working adults. Students can choose from six concentrations: Health Services, Public Service, Organizational Leadership, Early Childhood Education, Cybersecurity, or Crime and Justice. They may also create their own customized study plans.

The University of Southern Indiana is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Getting Your Bachelor in Professional Studies Degree Online

Woman getting her Bachelor in Professional Studies Degree online

If you’re eager to continue your education in your chosen field, a bachelor in professional studies degree could be a strategic way to realize your goal.

If you have some college, professional, or military experience, you could pursue your desired career path by earning your professional studies degree online. Many programs offer credit for previous educational experience, bringing your cumulative education together.

Earning your BPS degree online could help you advance toward your chosen profession, so why not check out some of the programs offered by accredited schools today?

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Jason Collins
WRITTEN BY
Jason Collins
Jason has a bachelor in English Literature from Loyola Marymount University with a minor in history. A life-long learner with a love of science, philosophy, and history, he works in career enrichment, professional development, and improved business practices.