UW launches online bachelor's degree completion program in social sciences

Tacoma News TribuneMarch 31, 2014 

Beginning in the fall 2014 people interested in social sciences, who have already earned roughly two years of college credit or an associate's degree, will be able to finish their bachelor's degree online through a new completion program offered by the University of Washington.

This is the second online-only bachelor's degree completion program to be offered by the UW, following the Early Childhood & Family Studies degree announced last spring.

The program is intended to provide a flexible, lower-cost option for individuals who want to finish their degrees online without coming to campus.

 The Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Social Sciences curriculum will be taught by regular UW faculty. It will include popular upper level courses from diverse disciplines of social sciences. 

"Students will also compile an electronic portfolio designed to both plan a personalized pathway to completing a bachelor's and to curate a library of their best work that can subsequently be used to showcase achievements to employers and graduate schools," said Matthew Sparke, director of the program.

The program costs $199 per credit – just under $9,000 per year for full-time study for residents of Washington state. Non-residents will pay 10 percent more, about $219 per credit. None of the students will have to pay for the costs of living on campus, and no state funds will be used to support the program. The program will probably take most fulltime students about two years to finish, though they could take longer if they are enrolled part-time.

"This is a way of expanding UW access to students who are time- and place-bound, whose family or work commitments make it impossible for them to come to campus," said Michael K. Young, UW president. "It is a way for them to finish their degrees and move ahead in life."

The new program is not a MOOC – Massive Open Online Course – which usually doesn't offer course credit or a degree. Rather, UW's Integrated Social Sciences program has been designed with student degree-completion as the focus.

Students will be eligible to apply if they've earned 75 transferable college credits. Admission will be competitive and separate from other UW degree programs. Applications are now being accepted for the first student cohort, which will enroll in September 2014.

Learn more about how to apply here.

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