Bachelor of Integrated Studies | College of Extended Learning | UNB

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College of Extended Learning

Bachelor of Integrated Studies

Complete your undergraduate degree and open doors to new opportunities

Is completing your degree something you have always wanted to do? Are you worried about disrupting your personal life or putting your career on hold?

With the Bachelor of Integrated Studies (BIS) program, offered in partnership with UNB's Renaissance College, you can complete your degree while meeting the demands of work and family life. You can study part-time in a variety of formats at times that are convenient for you. Depending on your background and area of interest, you may be able to complete the BIS online or at a distance, without ever coming to campus.

The BIS is a unique opportunity to earn a university degree that integrates prior learning with courses that are relevant to your needs and goals, along with workplace and leadership skills. The program includes a Certificate in Leadership Studies that builds the critical thinking and decision-making skills that employers value.

Accelerate your degree by getting credit for your previous learning

The BIS program allows you to take advantage of prior learning that you have acquired through work, life, or informal education and turn it into credit through a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). You may also transfer credits earned from UNB or other post-secondary institutions and apply them to your degree. You may be closer to earning your degree than you think!

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If you’ve been out of high school for at least seven years, and have some post-secondary education, you may be eligible to apply.

We’ve helped hundreds of people like you meet their personal goals and advance their careers.

Program details

Applicants to the BIS program without a prior degree will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Have successfully earned a minimum of 30 credit hours of transferable credit from previous post-secondary study with a minimum 2.0 GPA. This may include credit awarded through a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA).
  • Have been out of high school for at least seven years
  • Participate in an interview with the BIS coordinator to ensure this is the right program for you.

If you have never been to university, you may begin your studies at UNB as a “No Degree” student. This allows you to take credit courses without acceptance into a program. Once you meet the BIS requirements, you can apply these credits to your BIS program.

To earn a Bachelor of Integrated Studies (BIS), you must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. You will build on the credit hours you transfer into the program (minimum of 30) to complete 120 credit hours, which includes the following requirements:

Complete the Certificate in Leadership Studies online

BIS students must complete the Certificate in Leadership Studies comprised of 5 courses (15 credit hours). A minimum grade of C is required in each course and the certificate can be completed entirely online. Online Leadership courses are offered on a 2-year rotational basis, except RCLP 3030, which is offered every year.

An approved UNB minor (24 ch/8 courses)

A minor consists of 24 credit hours in one subject area. Requirements vary depending on the minor you choose. Advising and responsibility for approval of the minor lies with the appropriate faculty.

You may complete a second Minor in Leadership Studies by augmenting the required Certificate in Leadership Studies with additional courses to make up your minor.

You may complete some of the requirements for your minor online.

Elective credits

You will make up the balance of your program with elective credits. The number of credits and courses varies depending on the individual. You will choose your elective courses based on the goals and interests identified in your study plan.

Learning portfolio

In addition to the Integrated Learning Portfolio course (RCLP 3030), you will develop a personal learning portfolio that you will continue throughout your studies.

You will begin developing your personal learning portfolio through the admission process and, if applicable, your Prior Learning Assessment. Each year, you will review your portfolio to monitor your progress toward your goals and the BIS learning outcomes.

Finally, you will submit your completed portfolio to the Renaissance College for evaluation in the term before you graduate.

Additional requirements

  • You must complete a minimum of 39 credit hours at the 3000 and 4000 level
  • Normally you will complete a minimum of 45 credit hours of the program at UNB. The Registrar in consultation with Renaissance College and the College of Extended Learning may waive this provision.

You may be able to complete your BIS from a distance, depending on your background and area of interest. Of the 120 credit hours of coursework required for the BIS program, at least 45 credit hours must be from UNB.

UNB courses can be taken onsite at the Fredericton or Saint John campuses, or online. The balance of the required credits may be earned through a combination of transfer credit, PLA, and study from other institutions (either online or face-to-face).

There are three ways to get your required 45 credit hours at UNB:

1. Complete an online minor

BIS students must complete a minor (24 credit hours) as part of the program requirements. A minimum of 12 credit hours toward your minor must be earned through UNB. You can meet the minor requirement wholly or partially online in each of the following disciplines:

  • Business Administration
  • Adult Education
  • Economics
  • Philosophy & Ethics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

It is recommended that you consult with your faculty academic advisor regarding the requirements for your minor to ensure your course selections fit the coherent set of courses as called for by the general university regulations. You will need to work closely with the individual department to have your minor approved by an academic advisor and develop a study plan.

2. Get a Certificate in Leadership Studies

BIS students must complete the Certificate in Leadership Studies comprised of 5 courses (15 credit hours). A minimum grade of C is required in each course and the certificate can be completed entirely online. Online Leadership courses are offered on a 2-year rotational basis, except RCLP 3030, which is offered every year.

  • RCLP 1001 – Leadership Foundations (required)
  • One of:
    • RCLP 3030 – Integrated Learning Portfolio
    • RCLP 3031 - Applied Leadership Project
  • At least one* of:
    • RCLP 1011 – Worldviews, Religions & Cultures
    • RCLP 1062 – Citizenship & Community
    • RCLP 2001 – Practicing Leadership in Community Projects
  • Other RCLP courses that are of interest to you, or being offered in a format that is convenient (online or on-campus)
  • With the approval of the College Coordinator, up to 3ch of courses from other faculties with relevant leadership content may also be counted toward the certificate

Note: You can complete more than one from this section if you wish.

3. Take online elective courses

The balance of the BIS program is comprised of elective courses. You may take any of these courses as your electives, as long as you are not using them to fulfill your minor requirements.

An application to the Bachelor of Integrated Studies (BIS) requires the following:

  • A completed application
  • Application fee payment
  • Official copies of transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have attended (a High School transcript is not required)
  • Two supplementary documents:
    • Detailed resume – To be used to explore opportunities for prior learning credit.
    • Personal statement of goals – A brief letter outlining a bit about yourself, why you are interested in the BIS degree, what subject you want to complete your Minor in, any academic goals beyond this degree that we should be aware of, etc.

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To submit your online application, you will also need to upload electronic versions of your resume and personal statement.

  • Domestic applicants (Canadian Citizens and Permanent Canadian Residents) will pay the online application fee using a credit card (Master Card, Visa or American Express).
  • International applicants will be presented with additional payment options.

If you need help in preparing your application or assembling your documentation, contact

Note: All official correspondence (example: transcripts) outlined on the application will need to be mailed to the UNB Fredericton Admissions Office:

University of New Brunswick
Registrar’s Office, Admissions
P.O. Box 4400, 3 Bailey Drive
Fredericton, NB E3B 5A3

Applicants submitting college or other non-university transcripts should be prepared to submit program outlines if UNB has not previously assessed your program. 

Contact to confirm if your college course outlines are required to complete the transfer credit review.

From UNB: University credits with a grade of C (GPA 2.0) or better, earned in any UNB program, will transfer to the BIS. These credits could go towards your elective requirement or your minor requirement, depending on which minor you choose.

From institutions other than UNB: University credits with a grade of C (GPA 2.0) or better, up to a maximum of 75 credit hours, may be applied to your BIS degree. You may apply 12 of these credit hours towards your minor.

From colleges: College credit will be reviewed and assessed, based on the transcript and course outlines you provide in your application submission. Graduates of Holland College Police Science Program (or a comparable program elsewhere in Canada) may apply 30 credit hours towards their BIS elective requirement.

Earning credit toward your BIS

Your informal learning experiences may be considered for credit toward your BIS degree through a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). These experiences may include:

  • Work training and work experience
  • Professional development
  • Volunteering
  • Self-directed learning

On average, students who apply for credit through PLA earn 6 to 9 credit hours towards the program, depending on the type of learning and how it relates to the BIS.

Learn more about UNB's Bachelor of Integrated Studies (BIS), an academic degree program you can customize to achieve your educational, professional and personal goals.

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