Oct 04, 2023  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Integrative Studies, B.I.S.

Dodge Hall, Room 137
118 Library Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4479
(248) 370-3229




Director: Michele Parkhill Purdie

Assistant Director for Advising: Sarah Jahimiak

Macomb University Center Academic Advisor: Lindsay Zeig

Main Campus Academic Advisers: Alexandra Baker, Asia Beard-Watkins, Ann Hamilton, Emily Hall

Faculty Council for Integrative Studies: TBA

Professors: Kevin Murphy, Economics; Subbaiah Perla, Mathematics and Statistics; Xia Wang, Mechanical Engineering, Anne Zacharias, Kresge Library

Associate professors: Jacob Cayanus, Communication and Journalism; Douglas Creighton, Physical Therapy; Michael Long, Human Resource Development; Jessica Payette, Music, Theatre, and Dance; George Sanders, Sociology; Jennifer Thor, Management and Marketing

Special instructor: Carolyn Tieppo, Nursing

Special Lecturers: Lindsay Zeig

Alumni: Kath Borg

Students: Simon Alnajjar, Scott Andrews, Crystal Poma


The Bachelor of Integrative Studies degree (B.I.S.) is a university-wide baccalaureate program that offers maximum flexibility and opportunity for student decision making about courses of study at Oakland University. The degree is primarily intended for students wishing to create an innovative program of study to meet their individual goals by integrating courses of study from across the university.

Students entering the Integrative Studies program design a course of study utilizing courses from many departments to create a meaningful academic plan of study.   Students may select courses from any field of study offered by an academic department, subject to prerequisites and policies set by the individual departments. This program offers students the opportunity to plan a unique and challenging academic program in cooperation with an Integrative Studies faculty mentor.

Students changing their majors to Integrative Studies must meet the program requirements described in the catalog extant at the time of the change, or they may meet program requirements described in a subsequent catalog. Any catalog that students are following must not be more than six years old at the time of graduation.  It is not permissible to seek a double degree with the Bachelor of Integrative Studies serving as one of those degrees.

Students applying to the Integrative Studies program are first admitted to Pre-Integrative Studies status. Students will be granted major standing upon approval of their Plan of Study and Rationale by the Integrative Studies Faculty Admissions Committee.

The Integrative Studies program is administered by the Department of Integrative Studies, Dodge Hall, Room 137 (248) 370-3229.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Integrative Studies degree

To earn the Bachelor of Integrative Studies degree, students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Successfully complete at least 28 credits from an approved plan of study (including the required capstone course) at Oakland University as an admitted candidate for the Bachelor of Integrative Studies degree, excluding courses used to meet the general education requirement.   Courses used to meet the general education requirements may not double count towards the plan of study, unless used for “Diversity” and “Writing Intensive in General Education.” Candidacy is authorized by the Integrative Studies Faculty Review Committee.  Applications for candidacy must be approved by the Faculty Council before students begin taking proposed courses on their Plan of Study.  (See Advising below for additional information.)
  2. Complete coursework on plan of study with a minimum grade of C in each course.
  3. Complete the general education requirements that correspond with the student’s admission date and transfer credit situation. (See Undergraduate degree requirements.)
  4. Complete a minimum of 120 semester credits.
  5. Complete 32 of those credits at the 3000 or 4000 levels.
  6. Complete 32 credits at Oakland University.
  7. Complete the General Education capstone course BIS 4930 .

BIS - Wayne Law and UDM Law Agreements

This 3 + 1 arrangement allows accepted students to complete their undergraduate degrees with three years of study at OU and one year at Wayne State University Law School or University of Detroit Mercy.  Interested students must qualify with a 3.4 (Wayne) or 3.5 (UDM) minimum grade point average based on their first 60 credits and admission into the BIS degree program, which takes the place of a traditional academic major. 

Admission to BIS involves meeting with a professional adviser and a faculty mentor and completing the BIS application, which includes a plan for how the remaining OU credits up to 90 will be taken.  The application is then reviewed for final approval by the BIS Faculty Review Committee.

Once students apply and are approved by BIS, they will later apply to Wayne Law or UDM Law.  Both Law Schools require a minimum of 75 undergraduate credits for admission.   Acceptance is done holistically relying heavily on LSAT scores and undergraduate grade point averages.  Once admitted and the first year of law school is successfully completed, students transfer their Law school courses (30 credits) back to OU towards the fulfillment of their BIS degree requirements.  To finish the BIS degree, students need to successfully complete the BIS capstone course at Oakland University, BIS 4930 - Interdisciplinary Research .

Interested?  Contact BIS or call 248-370-3229


Advising is central to the program as students design an individualized and unique course of study based upon their interests and needs. Students must follow a specific advising procedure as follows:

  1. Meet with a Bachelor of Integrative Studies adviser in a preliminary appointment. The BIS adviser will explore the suitability of the program to student needs and interests and program and university requirements. The BIS adviser will also discuss student eligibility to enter the program. Students entering the program through a change of major or through the readmission process must have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.00. Students on academic probation will not be considered for the program.
  2. Develop a Plan of Study and Rationale. When Pre-Integrative Studies has been declared as a program of study, students will follow up with the BIS adviser to finalize their Plan of Study and Rationale.  They will also complete applicable minor forms as indicated on their Plan of Study.   
  3. Arrange an appointment with the assigned faculty mentor. Students will initiate a meeting with the faculty mentor to discuss the courses on their Plan of Study as well as their Rationale.
  4. Obtain Faculty Review Committee approval in conjunction with program application due dates.  After the faculty mentor approves the Plan of Study and Rationale, by signing the final plan, the Plan of Study and Rationale are returned to the Integrative Studies office and sent to the Faculty Admissions Committee for approval. When the Plan of Study and Rationale has been approved, the student will be granted major standing.

Transfer friendly program for associate degree holders

The Integrative Studies program allows students to combine courses from the university curriculum with associate degrees from Michigan community colleges. The two-plus-two program provides for transfer of up to 60 semester credits from accredited two-year community colleges in Michigan. Articulation agreements with Macomb Community College, Oakland Community College, St. Clair County Community College, and Washtenaw Community College allow for transfer of up to 88 semester credits. It is suggested that students complete all general education requirements through the Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) as part of their 88-credit program. Students with associate degrees in any area may qualify for maximum transfer credits. 

For students to maximize transfer credits, courses accepted must have a grade of (C-) or above and taken at accredited institutions. Certain developmental courses may be subject to individual evaluation. For additional information, see Transfer Information.

Concentrations or minor

Integrative Studies students may wish to develop programs that include concentrations or minors offered by other academic schools or departments within the university. Approximately 65 minors and concentrations are available to Integrative Studies students; a complete listing is available in the index of the undergraduate catalog under “minors” and “concentrations” respectively. Forms for written approval of concentrations or minors are available online and in the Integrative Studies office (137 North Foundation Hall).

Students should consult with an Integrative Studies adviser to determine policies and procedures on seeking minors or concentrations.

Conciliar honors

Conciliar honors are awarded to qualified Integrative Studies students. There are two ways in which students may earn conciliar honors. Students who have a cumulative grade-point average of a 3.60 or better automatically receive conciliar honors. Students may be nominated for honors if they have a cumulative grade-point average between 3.30 and 3.59; students may nominate themselves or be nominated by a faculty mentor or professional advisor. Consideration is given for excellence in scholarship, community and university experience and overcoming considerable adversity.

Major capstone and writing intensive course for Integrative Studies

All students admitted to the university beginning in Fall 2008 and after are required to complete the Integrative Studies capstone course, BIS 4930 , to satisfy the university general education requirements. Specific offerings of the course for each term may be found in the Schedule of Classes.