Ohio University

Specialized Studies

BSS Information

The Bachelor of Specialized Studies is a multi-disciplinary degree program designed by an individual student. Although Ohio University offers a wide array of majors and degree programs, some students find that their interests, talents, backgrounds, and goals cannot be addressed by existing programs. The Bachelor of Specialized Studies program provides the means by which a student may, with the help of a University College or regional campus advisor and consultation with faculty, design his or her degree program. Typically, the Bachelor of Specialized Studies degree is not an appropriate degree program for someone who has previously completed a bachelor's degree. In special circumstances, a person who has completed a prior bachelor's degree may petition the Director of Degree Programs to seek permission to apply for and complete the BSS degree. The BSS program is not an appropriate choice as a second degree program (double major).

Contact Person

Phyllis Lanier



Admission to BSS

Admission is based on application. Each application has two parts: a statement of rationale and a proposed program of study, equivalent to a major. You attain admission to the BSS program by approval of your application by the BSS Review Committee. Completed, typed applications must be submitted to a University College or regional campus advisor. To have current semester credit hours included as part of the30 hour residency requirement, applications must be submitted by the Friday of the tenth week of classes Fall or Spring semester. The BSS Review Committee meets only once a semester, after the deadline. Applications are not accepted Summer semester.

To be eligible to apply, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be currently enrolled with regular student status;
  • Have earned sophomore rank (30 credits or more);
  • Have at least a 2.0 accumulative grade point average;
  • Have all transfer credits equated to corresponding Ohio University courses.

Applicants will be informed by letter whether or not they are accepted into the BSS program by the fifth week of the following quarter.

Among the students for whom the BSS may be an appropriate option are those:

  • who want to combine course offerings in different academic departments to create a unique field of study not currently available in established degree programs.
  • whose intellectual interests are not realized through an existing degree program.
  • who want to explore areas of study across several colleges.
  • who wish to pursue study for a specific career, but in a non-traditional manner.
  • who have previously completed an associate's degree and wish to earn a baccalaureate degree that is a reasonable fit with their earlier academic work.
  • who wish to earn an OU degree through distance education.

If you are a student for whom one or more of the above descriptions apply and would like more information and/or to apply, please schedule an appointment with

Contact Person

Phyllis Lanier



Examples of BSS degree titles/concentrations on the Lancaster Campus:

Addictions and Social Services

“….I entered Ohio University with two years of college under my belt and wanted to maximize the best course of study to prepare me for the Master’s Program in Mental Health Counseling…..”

A concentration in Business, Communication Studies, and Social Sciences

“After two years of studying at Ohio University it became apparent that I was miserable…because my heart wasn’t in hat I had originally chosen as my field…..this is my chance to learn from those with experience in the fields of Business, Communication Studies, and Social Sciences collectively to give me the tools that will allow me to do what I love”

Classical History and Creative Writing

“When I began my course of study at Ohio University I was seventeen years old and somewhat undecided as to what I wanted to study……Eventually I found that the Classics and Creative Writing courses I was taking were rooting me in a space that I felt was my own……created a synergy that has given me a direction and purpose I have never had in life”

A concentration in Early Childhood Education and Social Sciences

“My job at Head Start is to serve children and their families. After getting my associate degree in Early Childhood Education, I wanted to strengthen my skills as a family advocate….it made sense to me to take courses that would make me more in tuned with the families I serve….”

Health and Wellness

“…I need to be able to finish my degree at the Lancaster campus……(I am able to) focus on health, fitness, recreation and coaching….the BSS program is a better option for me.”