Associate in Individualized Studies

If you wish to pursue a two-year program of study in a field other than those available through one of the other associate degree options, you may design your own program of study to meet particular goals through the Associate in Individualized Studies (AIS) degree program.

Application and Degree Design Process

Although there are no specific course or academic area requirements (other than Tier I freshman English composition and quantitative skills), your application must outline your intended course of study, and it must include a proposed area of concentration consisting of two or more subject areas.

You must consult with two AIS faculty reviewers (tenure-track or instructional faculty members) in the preparation of your program, one of whom must be from your area of concentration.

Admissions Information

First-Year Admission

To enter the Individualized Studies program, declare the pre-AIS major code with the University College office at 740.593.1935 or visit Chubb Hall 140. Students may update their program with University College, regional campus, or e-Learning advisors, who will also advise the student's self-designed AIS curriculum proposal. An academic advisor is assigned once the pre-AIS major code is declared. 

To submit an application for direct admission to the AIS. program, a student must currently be registered as a pre-AIS student and submit a completed curriculum proposal.

External Transfer Admission

Students who transfer to Ohio University from another institution may apply to the Associate in Individualized Studies, following the procedure for application described above. Transfer students should be aware of the AIS residency requirement of 20 hours (hours completed as an AIS major) and the need for at least 50 percent of their major (area of concentration) to be satisfied with Ohio University course work, as well as the Ohio University residency requirement of 20 hours for an associates degree.

Change of Program Policy

To submit an application for admission to the program, you must currently be registered as a degree-seeking student. To graduate with an Associate in Individualized Studies degree, you must:

  • Earn 60 hours
  • Earn at least 20 hours after admission to the AIS program (degree residency requirement)
  • Complete University Tier I freshman-level requirements in English composition and quantitative skills
  • Complete an approved area of concentration, consisting of at least 20 hours, which has coherence and educational purpose equivalent to an established degree program. At least 50 percent of coursework for the AIS area of concentration must be completed at Ohio University.
  • Earn at least a 2.0 GPA in the area of concentration and overall to earn the degree.

Applications for the AIS are accepted by the tenth week of fall and spring semesters. You will receive a letter indicating the decision of the review committee, following review of your application, at the end of the semester in which it was submitted.

A maximum of 15 credits earned through the Experiential Learning Program may be applied to the AIS degree.

What are the minimum criteria to graduate with any associate degree?
  • Complete at least 60 credits with a minimum 2.0 accumulative GPA.
  • Apply no more than 15 credits earned through the Experiential Learning Program to the degree.
  • Earn at least 20 semester hours of residence credit at Ohio University.

If you plan to pursue an associate degree, consult with a member of the University College staff or a student services staff member at one of the regional campuses.

What is the policy on earning a second associate degree?

You cannot earn the same associate degree twice, nor can you earn both the AA and AS degrees.

If you have already earned the AIS degree, you are not permitted to earn either the AA or AS degree.

Can my associate degree coursework be applied to a bachelor's degree eventually?

Credit earned while enrolled in an Ohio University associate degree program will be applied toward an Ohio University baccalaureate program; however, this shift may involve more than two additional years to complete the four-year requirements because prerequisite courses may not have been completed, and technical courses apply only as elective courses in most four-year degree programs.

If you expect to eventually complete a baccalaureate degree, or you are completing a bachelor's degree concurrently, where possible you should complete Ohio University General Education Requirements while working toward your associate degree. Speak with an adviser to stay on track. 

How do I declare intent to complete an associate degree, or add it to my declared bachelor's degree major?

If you plan to earn an associate degree, you must complete an Application for Update of Program(s) form, available from any college office or regional campus student services office.

If you plan to earn a baccalaureate degree after earning the associate degree, you must complete an Application for Update of Program(s) form to add the associate degree program as a secondary code. Your records will remain in University College if that is your current college; if not, your records will remain in the college responsible for your baccalaureate program.

Can I earn an associate degree after I earn a baccalaureate degree?

It is permissible for you to pursue an Associate in Individualized Studies degree after earning a baccalaureate degree depending on the rationale for doing so and the desired area of concentration.

On the other hand, generally, the Ohio Department of Higher Education considers the associate degree to be the first two years of college, so the degree can only be earned prior to or concurrently with a bachelor's degree. The Associate in Arts or the Associate in Science degree is not an appropriate degree objective for you if you have already earned a baccalaureate degree. A student is ineligible for the AAS, AA, or AS degree if they already have a four-year degree.