Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies Degree
Returning to UNA as a non-traditional student?
Returning to school can be stressful. Balancing work, family, commuting, and life in general easily fills one's plate. Adding to that plate with college level coursework may, initially, seem like too much. No website can fix "life" but, if you're seriously considering taking that step toward beginning or finishing your baccalaureate degree program then this "One-Stop-Shop" will be helpful.
What you see below is an activity timeline. By taking these websites in order and completing the essential activity at each "stop" you can make a smoother and less stressful transition to UNA.
Contact the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies directly at (256.765.5003)
or call 1-800-TALK UNA (ext. 5003)
Call or e-mail and let us know of your interest in the BIS degree.
Let us know what you've been doing since your last academic semester.
Let us know if there were any particular problems you experienced when last taking courses.
Let us know what you're career objectives are.
Applying for admission to UNA
Follow this link to establish an account and begin your application process: http://www.una.edu/admissions/
After applying for admission to UNA, the next step will be for you to have official transcripts sent from ALL schools you attended where you earned college-level credit. You will want those credits transferred to UNA, evaluated by the Admission's Office staff and, where applicable, applied to your Interdisciplinary Studies degree.
Follow this link to begin the transcript request process: http://www.una.edu/admissions/request-transcript.html. You will want to send this form to the Registrar's Office of each school where you earned college-level credit.
Once the application is submitted and you know the transcripts are on their way, you may need to contact Student Financial Services staff. This office may be contacted by phone at 256.765.4278 but they also have a very well-organized website. Follow this link to explore your financial aid options: http://www.una.edu/financial-aid/.
Scholarships are also available and for transfer students from the community-college system some specific options are available. Follow this link to access more specific information about scholarships that you may apply for: http://www.una.edu/admissions/scholarships.html.
Will you need on-campus housing? Please take the time to visit the following website: http://www.una.edu/housing/. Please notice a link to a housing application form but be sure to look at the left of the webpage and click on the link to "Important Dates". On-campus housing is limited and in demand so please meet the deadlines for applications, fees, etc. for the semester you wish to begin attending UNA.
One-on-one academic advising
Academic advising is taken seriously across all academic programs at UNA. Advising takes on special significance in Interdisciplinary Studies as our students must, with their academic advisor, take a central role in planning their program of study (POS). As soon as students receive notification from the Admission's Office that they have been admitted, they should call the Office of Interdisciplinary and Professional Studies (256.765.4530) so an advising session can be arranged. Your academic advisor will evaluate your transfer credits, speak with you about your educational and professional career objectives and get down to the business of crafting an academic schedule for the upcoming semester.
UNA's Office of Student Engagement organizes Student Orientation, Advisement and Registration (SOAR) sessions each summer for new freshmen and transfer students. These sessions aim to help students learn about University services, resources, involvement opportunities, academic advising, pre-register for classes, and gain valuable information on items such as financial aid, parking decals, meal plans, housing, tuition and more.
Follow this link to learn more about SOAR and dates for upcoming SOAR sessions: http://www.una.edu/orientation.
At your SOAR session you will, if you have not already, meet your Interdisciplinary Studies academic advisor, establish your course schedule, and register for those courses. You will leave your SOAR session knowing exactly what your upcoming semester will look like.
If you cannot, for work, family, or other important reasons, not attend a SOAR session, your Interdisciplinary Studies academic advisor will work with you one-on-one to ensure that you have a course schedule.
Once you and your advisor have developed your academic schedule you'll want to identify your textbooks. UNA's bookstore has an easy-to-use webpage that allows you to input information about each and every course you've recently registered for. You'll need to know the name of the department offering the course and the prefix they use (e.g., Management is MG, Communication is COM), the number of the course, and the section number.
Click HERE to visit the UNA Bookstore.
Once you've identified the textbooks you may use the ISBN number to purchase your books. You may purchase books from UNA's bookstore, independent bookstores or on-line sources.
You may also "rent" textbooks. Information on renting texts may be found on the UNA Bookstore's website. Please be aware that many other bookstores also rent textbooks.
Contact the Center for Academic Advising and Retention Services (CAARS)
UNA's Center for Academic Advising and Retention Services (CAARS) is an excellent resource that offers support to students in order to help them achieve academic success. "Support" means things like advising, tutoring services, skill development (e.g., testing taking, study, time management, etc.) and directing students to other valuable services around campus. CAARS also provides testing services (e.g., ACT, SAT, PRAXIS, CLEP) for the University and the community.
We hope this "one-stop-shop" and activity timeline will be a useful resource for you but remember that no website replaces actual contact with people that want to help you. Please don't hesitate to contact the Interdisciplinary and Professional Studies staff if you have any questions or concerns.