Integrative Studies, BIS

University College

Program Description:

The faculty of The University of New Mexico offers the degree of Bachelor of Integrative Studies (B.I.S.). This program, approved in 2013, is administered through University College.

The focused nature of the B.I.S. degree specifically engages students who would benefit from closer collaboration with a faculty mentor(s) through experiential research and/or participation with faculty-led problem solving teams. Students are encouraged to design an individualized program that will prepare them for unique or advanced learning experiences – including international, cooperative or professional schools. It may be used as part of a dual degree or as a second degree, and an existing departmental minor is required.

Strict compliance with B.I.S. requirements is mandatory for admission to and continuation in the program. Changes to approved Plans of Study may be made only in consultation with an advisor. Students in the Integrative Studies program must meet the general academic regulations of the University for admission, academic standing, and graduation found under the University Catalog headings of Admissions & Undergraduate Programs. Students who have not been continuously enrolled for 3 consecutive semesters must follow the requirements of the current University of New Mexico Catalog upon readmission.

Questions regarding any aspect of the program should be addressed to an advisor in the LAIS office. Please also visit the website at for FAQs, Forms and Downloads, and Helpful Hints, etc.

Admission Requirements:

Admission to the Integrative Studies program for the current term must take place before the end of the third week of classes. After that deadline, admission will be for the following term (Fall, Spring or Summer). Please see an advisor for more information on LAIS admission requirements.

Minimum requirements to transfer into the Integrative Studies program are as follows:

  1. Completion of the University Writing & Speaking Core.

  2. Completion of the University Mathematics Core.

  3. Completion of the University Foreign Language Core.

  4. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or higher.

  5. Twenty-six or more hours of earned credit applicable to this program.

Application Process

Application to the Integrative Studies program includes a preliminary advisement session with an LAIS Academic Advisor. The meeting is the student’s opportunity to discuss their ideas and goals for their degree, and ask any questions they may have before admission to the program.

Students must then submit the following to an LAIS Advisor:

  1. A comprehensive Plan of Study. This Plan of Study must list all course work taken, including transfer work, and all remaining courses that the student intends to take to complete their B.I.S. degree. In preparing a Plan, the student must consult The University of New Mexico Catalog to find courses appropriate for their interdisciplinary plan.

  2. A Project Proposal. Your proposal should include:

  • Establish a faculty mentor and include their name, department, and contact information;

  • Explain your motivation for this project (rationale, goals, time frame);

  • Discuss the intellectual merit, including how the project will address a “problem” through distinctiveness and/or creativity;

  • Demonstrate the feasibility of the project (how are you qualified, resources needed, etc.).

Note: Application will not be accepted unless all pieces are submitted together – plan, project proposal, and is signed by both the student and faulty mentor.

Graduation Requirements

Students must see an Advisor in the LAIS office to apply for graduation one year prior to that in which they plan to graduate. An “apply to graduate” hold will appear on the student’s account once the student has earned 100 credit hours to remind them of this requirement. At this time, the student and the Advisor will view a Lobotrax Degree Audit specifying the work remaining to be completed for graduation. It should be noted that students are solely responsible for knowing and completing all requirements for graduation from the Integrative Studies program. Students must know how to run and read their LoboTrax Degree Audits in order to check on their graduation progress. We recommend students run and save (or print) an audit each time a change is made to their schedule as audits are not saved in Loboweb.

In addition to adherence to approved plans of study, specific graduation requirements are as follows:

  1. Completion of the University’s core curriculum.

  2. A minimum of 120 semester hours of earned credit acceptable to the program as defined above.

  3. A minimum cumulative UNM grade point average of 2.00.

  4. A minimum of 51 semester hours earned in courses at the upper-division level (courses numbered 300–499). It should also be noted that transfer courses in which credit was earned at a lower-division designation cannot be transferred as upper-division to count towards a B.I.S. degree.

  5. A minimum grade-point average of 2.00 on all upper-division course work completed at The University of New Mexico.

  6. A minimum of 36 semester hours of academic work earned while enrolled in the Integrative Studies program. This is known as the department residency requirement. (Not to include: credit by exam, transfer credit and/or concurrent enrollment, nonprofessional-physical education and/or music ensemble, or independent study/problems courses unless specifically approved by an LAIS Advisor.) These must include the final 36 hours of enrollment prior to graduation from the program.

  7. A minimum of 15 credit hours of Integrative Studies [LAIS] core courses [150, 310, 311, 399 (x3) & 499]; and an additional 21 credit hours of approved elective courses acceptable to the Integrative Studies degree must be included in the Plan of Study.

  8. Completion of a Capstone Project [LAIS 499] approved by the faculty mentor.

  9. Fulfillment of the University’s residence credit requirement (30 credit hours, including the 15 after 92 rule).

Departmental Honors

A separate departmental honors designation is not available for a B.I.S. degree. However, students meeting all requirements may receive baccalaureate honors as specified in the UNM Catalog.

Contact Information:

Mariah Harrison: Senior Academic Advisor
(505) 277-0112

Stephanie Heikkinen: Senior Academic Advisor
(505) 277-8276