What is a Professional Studies Degree & How it Can Help You

With the professional landscape evolving rapidly, employers are increasingly seeking individuals with adaptable skillsets and quality education. The University of Cincinnati’s new Bachelor of Arts in Professional Studies (BAPS) program offers a unique education experience designed for working professionals seeking professional growth. By designing this program for students who entered the workforce full-time and may have earned some college credits already, the University of Cincinnati Online is committed to helping career-focused students finish their degrees in the shortest amount of time and at the lowest possible cost.

“We want UC to be the place adult learners go when they are seeking all levels of educational opportunity and career advancement. We want corporations and non-profits to see UC as a key partner in developing their workforce and organizations. And we want to do so in a very coordinated way, through support and collaboration with all UC colleges, the Cincinnati Innovation District, and other valued stakeholders.” – Michelle Clare | Dean | College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies (CCPS), Experienced-Based Learning and Career Education (CLCE)

What is a Bachelor’s in “Professional Studies”?

“Professional studies” refers to the breadth of topics covered in the curriculum of this program. This includes a wide range of practical skills employers seek in their candidates. This makes a professional studies degree highly applicable for graduates seeking to apply their knowledge to the professional environment. Some of the crucial concepts covered in this program’s curriculum include:

  • Effective Leadership
  • Data Skills for the Workplace
  • Diversity in Professional Settings
  • Team Building

It doesn’t stop there. The Bachelor’s in Professional Studies program is customizable according to each student’s goals. This student-centered approach makes this program different from all other programs at the University of Cincinnati.

A Student-Centered Approach

Most of the students entering this program are working adults who already have some college credits, and this program is built specifically for them. Three common goals that students have when entering this program include:

  1. Advancing in a Current Career – Seeking to advance in their field with a bachelor’s degree.
  2. Changing a Career Path – Changing career paths and needing a degree to do so.
  3. Degree Completion – Using past college credits to reach the goal of finishing a degree.

Regardless of goals, no two career paths are exactly alike, and the college experience shouldn’t be either. In UC Online’s Bachelor of Arts in Professional Studies program, no two education paths will be the same thanks to an innovative curriculum developed to enhance the student experience.

Professional Studies Admission Requirements

Admission to the Bachelor’s in Professional Studies is accessible for a wide range of backgrounds due to the adaptability of the general education included in this degree. Students entering the program must have at least a high school diploma or GED. It is also recommended that a student have at least four years of life experience upon applying to the program. Life experience includes:

  • Previous Job Experience
  • Military Service (active duty or veteran)
  • Previous Leadership Responsibilities
  • Volunteer Experience

For transfer credits, the University of Cincinnati’s transfer credit policy will apply to the types of credits accepted. These can include:

  • College-level credits (depending on the accreditation status of the institution during enrollment)
  • Test credits (Advanced placements & College-level examination programs)
  • Competency-based & credit-by-exam advanced standing credits
  • Military credits & MTAGs

The credits that a student have accumulated at the time of their enrollment will help impact their journey from the first semester to graduation.

The Professional Studies Curriculum:

The Bachelor’s in Professional Studies curriculum requires 120 credit hours to graduate. Of those 120, over 60 can be earned through credits awarded through transfer or life experience credits. This means a student who has already completed some of what is needed for a bachelor’s degree won’t have to spend time completing classes they have credits for. No other degree completion program has a design quite like the BAPS program.

The BAPS Foundations Course:

Every student entering the professional studies program must take the foundation course for their first semester:  PD2180: Foundations. The content of this highly involved course is part of the Professional Development section. It consists of in-depth self-evaluation assignments where students will demonstrate skills from their past life experiences, discuss their previous college experience and transfer credits, and identify their unique career plans. After completing these assignments, the rest of the student’s education track will be outlined based on their goals and how many credits they will need. You can see the full curriculum breakdown below.

The Professional Studies curriculum breakdown pie chartLife Experience Credits:

Upon completing the foundation’s course, a student could qualify for all 18 Co-Op credit hours and fast-track their path to graduation by skipping these courses! This depends on what the student can demonstrate in the self-assessment portions of the course. This type of evaluation can take several months in other institutions, but with UC Online, it can be accomplished in as little as six weeks.

Transfer Credits:

Beyond the life experience credits, a student’s previous college experience can qualify for the Elective Courses section. After the foundation’s course, as many credits as possible will be identified as qualifiers for the 48 elective credits needed. Any credits that aren’t accounted for will leave opportunities open for classes that will help each student’s career goals.

With both unique opportunities, students can minimize the time and money they need to spend by allowing their past to help forge their future!

BAPS Career Opportunities:

With a curriculum that covers such a breadth of skills, there are many career paths to take with a Bachelor’s in Professional Studies. Since no two students will have the same college experience, there are few limits to what this degree can help accomplish.

Several career paths forecasted to grow over the next decade that this degree can apply to include:

  • Project Management
  • Market Research
  • Client Support & Sales
  • Human Resource Specialists

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, earning a bachelor’s degree made close to $500 more per week than those with a high school diploma or GED. The skills and knowledge you will learn in this program will ensure that you’ll be entitled to higher earnings in your career path no matter what it may be.

The UC Online Difference:

To make the ambitions of students become reality, UC Online is committed to providing world-class support from application to graduation. Not only will students get the benefit of world-class faculty from the University of Cincinnati, but they can also depend on the following:

  • 100% Online Courses – No campus visits are necessary throughout the program.
  • In-Person Graduation – The opportunity to walk during graduation in person.
  • Multiple Start Dates – Start your degree during the time of year that works for your schedule
  • Application to Graduation Support -Your own Enrollment Services Advisor and Student Success Coordinator will be in touch throughout the program.

The Next Steps to Upgrade Your Career:

If you’re interested in putting your past life experience to use in your education journey, the Bachelor of Arts in Professional Studies is the program for you! You can start the application process directly on our UC Online webpagecontact our Enrollment Services Advisors directly, or call (513) 556-6459 if you have any questions.

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