BAAS Degree Requirements

The Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) degree program recognizes the power of an applied liberal arts education to provide students with strong communication skills, understanding of different cultures and perspectives, and the ability to apply their knowledge to nuanced, complex scenarios with insight, perspective, and empathy.

Overview of degree requirements

The Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree requires 30 course units (c.u.)* distributed as follows.

Foundational requirements 8 c.u. (32 credits)
Concentrations 12 c.u. (48 credits)
Electives 10 c.u. (40 credits)
Degree total 30 c.u. (120 credits)

In addition to course requirements, BAAS degree students complete a senior portfolio as described below. Starting in spring 2024, the senior portfolio will become part of the BAAS 4000 course offered in spring 1 and fall 1 annually and will fulfill one of the two required Penn electives.

*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.

The foundational requirements of the BAAS degree reflect the core competencies and values of Penn LPS Online: the skills and knowledge needed to understand and solve complex problems, the ability to communicate effectively with a wide variety of audiences, and an appreciation for diverse cultures and traditions. Students can transfer a maximum of 4 c.u. (16 credits) of foundational courses from a regionally accredited institution. Our program team can also give a preliminary evaluation of transfer credits before students officially apply. Visit the Transfer Preparation & Policies page for more details.

Ethical Reasoning (1 c.u.)

Qualitative Analysis (2 c.u.)

Taken in two of the following three areas:

Quantitative Analysis (2 c.u.)

Taken in the following two areas:

Scientific Process (1 c.u.)

Writing (1 c.u., must be taken at Penn)
Cross-Cultural Interactions & Diversity (1 c.u.)

Just as a college major serves to focus your studies during a four-year degree, the BAAS degree concentrations enable students to tailor their undergraduate education to specific personal and professional goals. Concentrations progress from introductory-level courses to higher-level courses so that students develop skills and knowledge with greater complexity as they move through the curriculum. Many concentrations are interdisciplinary, to provide students with opportunities to explore their areas of interest from multiple perspectives and develop a flexible approach to solving complex problems in professional as well as academic contexts. For most concentrations, students can transfer a maximum of 3 c.u. (12 credits) from a regionally accredited institution. Transfer credits cannot be used toward any of the 12 Leadership and Communication concentration courses.

Electives are courses that do not apply toward your foundational or degree concentration requirements. You may choose to deepen your field of study by taking additional classes within your concentration, develop a new skill by completing all of the courses within a course block outside of your degree concentration, or discover new interests and abilities by taking individual courses that appeal to your interests. Students choose 10 electives from any of Penn LPS Online's areas of study. Transfer students can apply a maximum of 8 c.u. (32 credits) from a regionally accredited institution toward this requirement.

This course is designed to expose students to a scholarly understanding of the modern world of work, examining the many ways that work shapes our identities, communities, and society. BAAS students should plan to take BAAS 4000: The Art of Work during one of your final two terms in the program. It will be offered in spring 1 and fall 1 annually, starting in spring 2024. Students must request to join the course to ensure eligibility. Email if you have any questions.

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