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Specialized Studies

Specialized Studies

The Bachelor of Specialized Studies (B.S.S.) program allows students to create a faculty-approved, individualized, multidisciplinary degree program tailored to their individual academic interests and/or career needs. In conjunction with faculty and staff, students design an Area of Concentration that stands as the equivalent of pre-established major.

The B.S.S. program is appropriate if you would like to combine courses from different academic departments to create a unique major, or if you have interests and career goals not met by a current Ohio University major.

Student to faculty ratio for classroom instruction at OHIO Chillicothe
OHIO Chillicothe first-year students received financial aid in Fall 2021*

Specialized Studies Courses

The B.S.S. major has internship and special projects options, which can provide upper-level course credit and further students’ preparation for their particular career objectives. Up to 30 hours earned through the Prior Learning Assessment Program may be applied to the program and courses required to earn a certificate may be included in the Area of Concentration.


Sample Courses

B.S.S.-specific courses include:

Students who develop work or volunteer experience related to their B.S.S. curriculum can earn up to 15 credit hours for their experience.

Special Projects
This course option allows students to pursue a unique learning experience, such as independent study, research, international experience, or a conference presentation.

Senior Seminar
In this seminar, seniors work with faculty members and with classmates to reflect on academic experiences and prepare to launch into life beyond Ohio University.


Students may choose to work on a research or creative project for their thesis. This optional course is intended for students who plan to graduate with B.S.S. departmental honors.

College Requirements:

Major Residency
At least 50% of the course work taken in the major must be completed at Ohio University.

Area of Concentration
Propose 15 courses (approximately 30 - 50 hours) in your self-defined Area of Concentration. This should include courses that most accurately represent your intended major and career path.

39 Hour 3000-Level or Above Requirement
Complete at least 39 hours from coursework at or above the 3000-level.

B.S.S. Residency Requirement
The residency requires no fewer than 30 hours at Ohio University.


    Potential Careers

    The Specialized Studies degree is unique to each student. Graduates are entrepreneurs, business and non-profit leaders, educators, artists, and more.


    Tuition and Fees

    The OHIO Guarantee takes the guesswork out of budgeting for college and provides a fixed rate table for tuition and most fees for four years (or 12 consecutive semesters). 

    Financial aid for undergraduate students (regardless of discipline) is available in the form of scholarships, grants and student loans. Visit our Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships to learn more.


    West Virginia and Kentucky Residents

    Exploring the Southern or Eastern Campus? Residents of West Virginia can now qualify for in-state tuition. Kentucky residents in nearby counties can qualify for in-state tuition at OHIO Southern or Athens. Access the resources of a large, public university at an affordable, regional campus rate.


    Learning Environment

    The B.S.S. major is available on all campuses and through OHIO Online. The B.S.S. program works closely with the Center for Advising, Career and Experiential Learning to offer students career and leadership development resources.

Program Admission Requirements

First-Year Students

Anyone who holds a high school diploma or has a GED certificate is eligible for admission to any Ohio University regional campus. Regional campuses have a rolling admissions policy which means that students may be admitted anytime during the year. Applicants will be accepted until class begins each semester. However, prospective students are advised to begin the application process as soon as possible so that they may be given important dates and deadlines in a timely manner. Freshmen applicants are encouraged to complete an online application for enrollment.

Transfer and Current OHIO Students

You are a transfer applicant if you have completed nine or more semester (12 quarter) hours at another institution after you graduated from high school. If you have completed fewer than nine semester hours, you will apply as a freshman applicant. To apply as a transfer student, applicants are encouraged to complete an online application for enrollment.

"I have been given so many

different opportunities to experience things I would have never gotten to experience without my degree. It has served me in a way that has allowed me to appreciate my childhood, my life in general, and my education. Working in the criminal justice field opens your eyes to a world that most people try to pretend doesn't exist. It does exist, and when you work in it, you appreciate all aspects of it."


—Jamie (McCoy) Chaney, BSS in psychology, sociology, and social work 

BSS student Jamie Chaney

* Includes scholarships, grants, loans, federal work student and CARES/HEERF funding.

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* Includes scholarships, grants, loans, federal work student and CARES/HEERF funding.