|The university recognizes its responsibility to its designated
service region (18 counties) and to non-traditional students who desire
educational opportunities. The function of the Center for Continuing Education
and Academic Outreach (CE/AO) is to organize all extended campus courses,
correspondence, educational television activities, workshops, conferences,
non-credit courses, community education, military programs and adult outreach
programs. Murray State University is a member of the Association for Continuing
Distance Learning Programs
Murray State University offers an extensive schedule
of degree programs and courses at regional campus locations and/or via
distance learning technologies, including interactive television (ITV),
satellite, and the Internet. Graduate and undergraduate degree programs
and courses are offered in Paducah, Hopkinsville, Madisonville, Henderson,
Ft. Campbell, and Princeton, as well as other locations throughout the
region. Murray State University has a fully interactive two-way video classroom
network in Kentucky. This network links the main campus with the MSU regional
campuses and centers, as well as many high schools in the service region.
The University also has a satellite earth station capable of transmitting
digital video and audio throughout the world. Information concerning admission,
registration, and class schedules is published each semester in the Distance
Learning Programs Schedule. To obtain a copy of the current schedule, contact
the CE/AO at 270-762-4159; outside Calloway County, call toll free, 1-800-669-7654.
Non-Credit and Youth Programs
Continuing education programs and services include non-credit
professional courses, workshops, teleconferences, and seminars; conference
coordination; continuing education unit (CEU) records; and other special
programs. University faculty/staff and interested individuals are encouraged
to contact the office regarding their special needs and interests.
The community education function of the CE/AO involves
organization of non-credit personal development, recreational, and youth
activities for the enjoyment and education of local citizens. The programs
include summer youth programs, youth gifted and talented programs, and
a wide range of personal enrichment activities.
For more information about conferences and workshops or
community education programs, contact the Office of Non-Credit and Youth
Continuing Education/Academic Outreach coordinates regional
development activities through the new Regional Center for Emerging Technologies
(RSET). The RSET coordinates economic development activities and provides
a window to the university for business, industry, and governmental organizations.
The RSET is heavily involved in maximizing university resources to create
technology-based start-up businesses to aid economic development in the
region. For more information, call 270-762-4220.
Murray State has a growing number of adult students.
In order to attract more of these students and to serve their needs as
well as the needs of the currently enrolled adult students, the Office
of Adult Outreach was created as a division of the CE/AO. The mission of
the adult outreach office is to provide services for adults who want to
continue their education. These services include pre-admission advising,
adults-only orientations, a lounge and resource center located in Ordway
Hall, and NTSO (Non-Traditional Students Organization). For more information
about these services, contact the adult outreach office on the third floor
of Sparks Hall, 270-762-2186 or 800-669-7654.
For students who cannot attend traditional classes either
on the main campus or at one of the off-campus locations, the university
offers correspondence, distance learning, KET courses, and Internet courses.
The university publishes a Correspondence Course Guide
which details enrollment requirements, procedures, completion criteria
and courses available.
Distance learning courses are similar to correspondence
courses with two exceptions: (1) audio or video instruction sometimes
accompanies the written lesson, and (2) courses follow the regular university
semester time schedule. Distance learning courses are published in the
official schedule of classes each semester.
In cooperation with Kentucky Educational Television (KET),
Murray State offers telecourses each semester. Depending on the course,
the student may be required to attend class on the main campus from one
to four sessions each semester. KET telecourses are published in the official
schedule of classes each semester.
Internet courses are conducted entirely on the Internet.
Students should have a working knowledge of the World Wide Web, Internet
access and experience using e-mail. Internet courses are published in the
official schedule of classes each semester.
For more information about these courses, contact the
Center for Continuing Education at 270-762-4159 or 1-800-669-7654.
Consistent with its obligation to provide access to higher
education for all students in its immediate service area, Murray State
University has activated a community college authorized by statute since
1966. The Community College program provides academic assistance through
developmental courses, support courses, and free peer tutoring.
Applicants who qualify for in-state tuition, score 17
or below on the ACT, and graduate with a GPA under 3.00, resulting in a
ranking in the lower half of their high school class, will be admitted
to MSU with restrictions. During their first semester, all restricted status
students are advised by a Murray State University Community College advisor
and instructed by Community College staff in the required seven-hour block
of integrated classes. This block includes ENG 095, REA 095, and COM 161.
In addition, restricted status students will be expected
to complete a one-hour freshman orientation class as a part of their maximum
of 15 – 16 first semester hours. Upon satisfactory completion of the restricted
status curriculum, students advance to conditional status.
Bachelor of Independent Studies (B.I.S.) Degree
Applications, admission information, and assistance in
applying may be obtained by writing Bachelor of Independent Studies Degree,
CE/AO, Murray State University, 303 Sparks Hall, Murray KY 42071-0009,
or by calling the B.I.S. Director at 270-762-4159; outside Calloway County,
call toll free, 1-800-669-7654. Only adult students who have earned 60
or more semester hours of college credit (or with approval of the dean
of Continuing Education) may be admitted to the B.I.S. program.
An Alternative for Adults
The Bachelor of Independent Studies is an alternative
baccalaureate degree for adults who already have college credits. The B.I.S.
program works best for students established in careers who do not need
an academic credential for a new career. It also works well for students
who desire a liberal arts education and for some students who plan to enter
Adults find the B.I.S. attractive for its flexible degree
requirements, which make it easier to apply previous college work to a
Murray State degree. Other attractive features include acceptance of correspondence
courses and telecourses, encouragement of students to seek college credit
for prior learning, and the learning contract which enables B.I.S. students
to complete requirements in some courses without attending classes.
General Degree Requirements
The Bachelor of Independent Studies degree requires 128
semester hours. Thirty-two (32) semester hours must be taken with Murray
State University. Forty (40) upper-division credits, courses taken at or
above the 300 level, must be completed. An overall grade point average
(GPA) of 2.0, 32 semester hours of credit with Murray State University
with a GPA of 2.0, and 30 semester hours in a college field of study with
a GPA of 2.5 are required.
Eight blocks form the B.I.S. degree curriculum. Five
blocks comprise University Studies requirements. Block seven represents
the field of study, research, and field of study project requirements.
Block eight represents electives. See Chapter 4 section on Mandatory Developmental
Bachelor of Independent Studies
Bachelor of Independent Studies Degree
University Studies Requirements 46-51 hrs
(see Chapter 4, University Studies Requirements)
BIS 399 Seminar 3 hrs
Research and Field of Study 30 hrs
Field of Study: 18 hrs
Research Methods: 6 hrs
Field of Study Project: 6 hrs
Electives 44-49 hrs
Portfolio credits (max. 30 semester credit hours)
Military and professional courses
Credits from accredited institutions
Total Curriculum Requirements 128 hrs
Note: Credit with a BIS prefix counts only toward
the Bachelor of Independent Studies degree.
Field of Study
The field of study is a planned academic concentration
agreed upon by the student and the B.I.S. advisor. The field may be interdisciplinary
(for example, humanities or American studies) or it might be built upon
a core consisting of a traditional major or minor. Some students build
their field of study on the basis of courses required for admission to
a graduate program. The point is that B.I.S. students have individually
designed academic concentrations that need not follow the major requirements
for traditional degrees.
However designed, the field of study must include two
appropriate courses in research methodology. These courses prepare the
student for the culmination of the B.I.S. program, the field of study project,
a senior baccalaureate thesis required of every student.
The field of study project is the final step in completing
the Bachelor of Independent Studies degree. The project report will be
bound and displayed in the Murray State University library. It serves as
a synthesis of applied learning and as a basis for an assessment of the
student’s analytical skills.
This degree is not for everyone. Only adults who have
already earned 60 semester hours of college credits may be admitted and
declare this area. There is a $25 admission fee for the B.I.S. program
which is in addition to the Murray State admission fee for current students
switching to the B.I.S. area. Students with numerous business courses face
restrictions imposed by accreditation requirements. Teacher education and
nursing programs are not available to B.I.S. students. The degree is not
well adapted to students who want credentials for entry into a new professional
field — for such a purpose, a traditional degree is a better choice.
Applying business courses. Students who wish to apply
credits for business courses to the B.I.S. degree requirements must consult
a B.I.S. advisor to determine whether they must complete the business core.
Students who will have more than 25% of their coursework in business courses
are required to complete the business core.
Students may proceed at their own pace, taking as many
or as few courses as they can handle. Active status is based on satisfactory
completion of a minimum of three semester hours of credit per semester
(fall and spring), or six semester hours per year. Failure to maintain
active status results in the assessment of a re-application fee of $25.
Also see MSU readmission requirements in Chapter 2 for students who have
been out of school for more than two semesters.
The following are fees applicable to the Bachelor of
Independent Studies degree:
• application fee—$25; non-refundable; does not apply
• portfolio assessment—$25 for portfolio administration
process and $25 for each portfolio plus $5 per credit hour for credits
• undergraduate semester credit hour—refer to the schedule
of fees for Kentucky residents, border county agreements, and out-of-state
fees in Chapter 3;
• departmental challenge examination fee—$5 per credit
• web-based course fee—web-based courses have additional
course fees. Refer to the Schedule of Fees for information.
Earning Academic Credit
BIS 399 is required of all B.I.S. students for three
semester hours of credit.
Note: Courses with a BIS prefix are included in
GPA calculation but only apply toward the Bachelor of Independent Studies
The learning contract is a method by which a student completes
an arranged course sponsored by a department and supervised by a Murray
State University faculty member. A guide to developing learning contracts
will be covered during the introductory seminar.
Departmental challenge examinations measure how well a
student has mastered the content of courses which are normally offered
to traditional students. Applications for departmental challenge examinations
are made to the concerned department.
The College Level Examinations Program (CLEP) provides
a way to earn college credit by taking standardized tests. A student may
arrange to take these tests at any higher education institution offering
the tests. Students who have ever enrolled at Murray State must have permission
to take the CLEP tests. Contact Counseling and Testing, 100 Ordway Hall,
Correspondence courses are taken by mail for credit from
Murray State University and other accredited institutions. For the working
adult, these independent study courses allow the student to work at his
or her own pace at times convenient to the student.
Television courses for credit are offered through the
Kentucky Educational Television (KET) network. A program of course offerings
and schedules is available each semester from the CE/AO.
B.I.S. students may apply for credit in Murray State courses
by submitting a portfolio of materials to show that the student has learned
the course content. A maximum of 30 semester credit hours may be awarded
for credit. The B.I.S. program maintains a portfolio guide setting forth
procedures for submission and evaluation of portfolios. Each department
will determine the methods for evaluation of portfolios. Any awarded credit
will not be posted to the student’s official MSU transcript until the student
is up for graduation with a B.I.S. degree.
Traditional classroom courses scheduled by Murray State
University both on-campus and off-campus may be a method for completing
the external degree requirements. Many courses have been especially scheduled
in the evenings for the adult student. Schedules of classes can be obtained
from the CE/AO.
Transfer credit from other accredited colleges or universities
can become a part of the degree program of studies. There is no maximum
limit of credit hours which may be transferred to the external degree program
from an accredited college or university as long as the student has maintained
an overall C average. The student must earn a minimum of 32 semester hours
of degree credit at Murray State.
Policies not stated in this section may be found by referring
to Murray State University’s policies in other sections of this catalog.
For additional information regarding admission criteria, degree requirements,
curriculum and fees, contact a B.I.S. Advisor, CE/AO, Murray State University,
303 Sparks Hall, Murray KY 42071-0009, or call 270-762-4159; outside Calloway
County, call toll free, 1-800-669-7654.
Associate of Arts — General Studies
The Associate of Arts in General Studies is a degree
for special populations and includes the following course requirements.
Refer to the “Degrees” section of Chapter 4 for additional degree requirements.
Associate of Arts Degree
University Studies Requirements 45 hrs
(see Chapter 4 for approved University Studies selections
and the section on Mandatory Developmental Courses.)
ENG 101 Composition
ENG 102 Composition and Research
(or honors course ENG 104)
Select the courses from the categories indicated below
from the approved list of University Studies courses in Chapter 4. No more
than two courses in any one discipline may be taken within any one University
Studies category for the purpose of fulfilling University Studies
•Science and Mathematics: 12
•Humanities and Fine Arts: 12
•Social Sciences: 12
•Elective from any University Studies category 3
Approved Electives 19 hrs
Total Curriculum Requirements 64 hrs