Last Updated on November 13, 2022 by Omoyeni Adeniyi
NYU’s Liberal Studies program is a flexible, interdisciplinary undergraduate degree that provides the freedom to choose from an array of classes in the humanities, social sciences, and natural and physical sciences. This program is ideal for college students who want the academic freedom to design their own education while still receiving the support and services of a research university. The Liberal Studies degree can also be used as a foundation for graduate school or professional schools such as law school or business school.
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NYU Liberal Studies Overview
NYU Liberal Studies is currently the most selective college within NYU and among the top 10 most selective in the country. The undergraduate program is small and personal, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1 and an average class size of 18 students.
The Liberal Studies program at New York University is a highly selective, academic major that allows you to craft your own major within the broad spectrum of liberal arts study. With an acceptance rate lower than business or biology, the Liberal Studies program aims to challenge students in their pursuit of knowledge and discovery of new viewpoints.
The Liberal Studies Core curriculum introduces you to the global liberal arts and sciences, providing context for your future learning and fostering your ability to think analytically, read critically, and write effectively. These are the skills that all students need to excel at NYU and beyond.
The curriculum spans the development of civilization from ancient times to the present. Your studies will concentrate on one historical period at a time, with interrelated courses that consider the most important questions of society through materials from across the humanities. You will read original texts, visit historic sites, and experience firsthand art from around the world and throughout history, rather than reading about these great works in textbooks.
New York University Overview
New York University is a highly selective private university with an acceptance rate of 16%. Considering applying to NYU? Here are the admissions statistics you should know, including average SAT/ACT scores and GPAs of admitted students.
Why New York University?
- Location: New York, New York
- Campus Features: Located in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, NYU’s campus occupies some of the most expensive real estate in the country. Housing is guaranteed for four years.
- Student/Faculty Ratio: 9:1
- Athletics: The NYU Violets compete in the NCAA Division III University Athletic Association.
- Highlights: NYU is one of the largest private universities in the country. The school offers over 230 fields of study and ranks among the top New York colleges. NYU has additional campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai.
NYU Liberal Studies Acceptance Rate
During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, New York University had an acceptance rate of 16%. This means that for every 100 students who applied, 16 students were admitted, making NYU’s admissions process highly competitive.
|Admissions Statistics (2018-19)|
|Number of Applicants||79,462|
|Percent Admitted Who Enrolled (Yield)||45%|
NYU Liberal Studies Courses Program
Courses are tailored to specific themes based on the instructor’s area of expertise, so students have a wide range of choices within the sequences listed below.
During your first year, you will take classes primarily in Liberal Studies, to establish a foundation in the liberal arts while fulfilling degree requirements for most NYU programs.
(formerly Writing I and II)
This two-semester Writing sequence focuses on expository writing, the presentation of argument, and the elements of research to equip you with communication skills essential to every field.
Arts and Cultures Sequence and Global Works and Society Sequence
(formerly Cultural Foundations I and II and Social Foundations I and II)
Based on the study of great works from antiquity to the Enlightenment, these complementary, two-semester sequences comprise a large-scale cultural history. In Arts and Cultures Sequence, you study literature, art history, and music, while in Global Works and Society Sequence you focus on philosophy, religion, political and social theory, and history. The sequences also provide an introduction to skills in critical analysis and synthetic thinking that are essential to successful study in all academic disciplines.
In addition, first-year students typically take a course in the natural sciences at Liberal Studies.
In your sophomore year, you finish LS Core Curriculum coursework while completing electives chosen from across NYU’s diverse programs.
Arts and Cultures of Modernity and Global Works and Society: Modernity
(formerly Cultural Foundations III and Social Foundations III)
Complete the curriculum with a third semester in Global Works and Society Sequence or the Arts and Cultures Sequence. Building on the genres and great works covered in your first year, these courses introduce modern mass forms like film, radio, television, and the Internet.
Students who will transition to the College of Arts and Science typically take a second natural science course as well.
This year, your advisor will guide you in choosing elective courses from NYU’s extensive offerings. These electives are designed to help you select a major or begin work in a particular field.
is nYU liberal studies worth it
Ranked at #11 in College Factual’s most recent rankings, NYU is in the top 1% of the country for liberal arts students pursuing a bachelor’s degree. It is also ranked #2 in New York.
NYU Liberal Studies Academic Programs
The Liberal Studies Core
The Liberal Studies Core is a two-year interdisciplinary liberal arts curriculum that provides an innovative foundation for nearly 100 NYU majors. The curriculum emphasizes great works across civilizations in a global context, introducing students to complex ideas and material culture from antiquity to today. Small, seminar-style classes and close faculty-student interaction ensure the feel of a liberal arts college within a large urban research university. Students may begin their studies in New York, or at NYU in Florence, London, Madrid (Fall 2020), or Washington, DC. At all sites, including New York, the cultural resources and contemporary life of the city are an important part of coursework. Students extend their education outside the classroom by exploring different ethnographic spaces, attending musical and theatrical presentations, and visiting museums and sites of historical and contemporary social interest. Throughout the curriculum, interrelated courses explore critical social, cultural, and political questions through a variety of sources and perspectives. Students read original texts, visit historic sites, and experience artistic representations, focusing on primary sources rather than textbooks.
Curriculum Overview And Requirements
The Liberal Studies Core curriculum introduces students to the global liberal arts and sciences, providing context for future learning and fostering students’ ability to think analytically, read critically, and write effectively. At the end of the sophomore year, LS Core students in good academic standing, who have completed a minimum of 64 credits, and who meet specific program requirements in their prospective major or school have the opportunity to transition directly to degree programs in: Liberal Studies (Global Liberal Studies); the College of Arts and Science; the College of Global Public Health; the Gallatin School of Individualized Study; the Rory Meyers School of Nursing; the School of Professional Studies (specific programs); the Silver School of Social Work; the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development (specific liberal arts programs); and the Tandon School of Engineering (specific liberal arts programs). LS Core students who meet the above requirements may also apply for internal transfer to the following colleges and degree programs at NYU, though application and/or additional materials (e.g. audition, portfolio) will be reviewed for admission: the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development (Music and Performing Arts; Art and Art Professions); the Stern School of Business; the Tandon School of Engineering (engineering programs); and the Tisch School of the Arts. Good academic standing is defined as semester and cumulative grade point averages of at least 2.0 and making good academic progress.
First Year Curriculum Requirements
All first year students are required to complete a two-semester writing sequence focusing on writing effectively in a variety of non-fiction genres, the presentation of argument, and the elements of research. The first year Core courses—“Arts and Cultures Across Antiquity,” “Arts and Cultures towards the Crossroads,” “Global Works and Society: Antiquity,” and “Global Works and Society in a Changing World”—are based on the study of great works from antiquity to the beginning of the modern era. In the Arts and Cultures sequence, students study literature, the visual and performing arts, and music. In the Global Works and Society sequence, students focus on philosophy, religion, political and social theory, and history. The sequences provide skills in critical analysis and synthetic thinking that students need for successful study in all academic disciplines. Depending on the requirements of their intended baccalaureate program, students may also take a course in the natural sciences and mathematics.
Sophomore Curriculum Requirements
During the sophomore year, students are required to complete “Arts and Cultures of Modernity” and “Global Works and Society: Modernity,” which bring the Arts and Cultures and Global Works and Society sequences to the present day. In the sophomore year, students also explore possible majors, begin the coursework toward those majors in the appropriate academic departments, and may complete a second science (if required by their intended transition school). LS Core students are expected to schedule meetings with their advisors early in the year, to discuss their choices of additional courses from NYU’s extensive offerings. By the end of the sophomore year, a student should be able to declare a major.
nYU liberal studies majors Requirements
Writing Proficiency Requirement
Liberal Studies requires that all LS Core students take “Writing as Exploration” and “Writing as Critical Inquiry” in the first year. Writing proficiency is required for all NYU bachelor’s degrees and is fulfilled in LS by completing Writing as Critical Inquiry with a minimum grade of C.
Quantitative Reasoning (Mathematics) Requirement
LS Core students must fulfill the mathematics and/or science requirements for the bachelor’s degree of their intended undergraduate school or college of NYU. The LS Core requires only one mathematics or one science course prior to transition; however, it is recommended that students transitioning to CAS take both science courses required by CAS while in Liberal Studies. The choice of major often determines which mathematics class is required. LS does not offer mathematics courses; students take the appropriate courses offered at CAS. Students should consult the LS Advising Center staff and refer to the specific departmental web sites and bulletins for information about the mathematics requirements for their bachelor’s degree program.
Core Program Electives
While enrolled in the LS Core, students may take courses at the NYU school or college where they will earn their bachelor’s degree. While these courses are considered electives in the LS Core, they should be selected so that they fulfill either school, major, or minor requirements in the program to which students intend to transition. LS Core students may also take electives offered in LS; among these are Creative Writing, Economics, and multiple Global Cultures courses. Students in the LS Core may also take any of the electives open to Global Liberal Studies students, as well as Advanced Writing Studio, Global Topics, and Approaches courses (space permitting). LS Core students may not register for the Junior Independent Research Seminar, City as Text, Experiential Learning, or the Senior Colloquium/Thesis. They may petition to take a Senior Seminar.
NYU Liberal Studies Admission Process
Admission to Liberal Studies is based on the quality of the applicant’s secondary school record. Sound preparation, however, should include English, with a heavy emphasis on writing; social studies; foreign language; mathematics; and laboratory sciences. The Admissions Committee pays particular attention to the number of honors, Advanced Placement (AP), and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses the applicant has completed in high school (if offered). The students most competitive for admission will meet or exceed these minimums. An interview is not required for admission.
The Admissions Committee finds that students are best prepared for NYU if they have studied the following subjects:
- 4 years of English/Writing
- 3-4 years of mathematics
- 3-4 years of foreign language
- 3-4 years of laboratory sciences
- 3-4 years of history/social studies
Note: NYU’s top applicants have taken demanding coursework in the above subjects for four years.
Standardized Testing Policy
NYU has one of the most flexible testing policies of any college or university. To be eligible for admission, candidates must submit one of the following:
- SAT; or
- ACT; or
- The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma; or
- Three (3) SAT Subject Test scores; or
- Three (3) AP exam scores; or
- Three (3) IB higher-level exam scores if not an IB Diploma candidate; or
- Other international examinations that show the student completed, or if submitting predicted results show the student will complete, their secondary education. Approved options are available on the Office of Undergraduate Admissions website. Candidates may use the Office of Admissions’ International Qualifications Tool for information about credentials NYU accepts from the country in which the candidate is enrolled in secondary school.
All applicants to NYU’s campus in New York must meet NYU’s English Language Requirements, which are described in further detail on the Admissions Office website, as well as in the English Language Testing section below.
SAT tests should be taken in advance of NYU’s application deadline. While NYU will consider scores received after the application deadline, the Admissions Committee cannot guarantee that it will wait for those scores to arrive before making an admission decision. Admission will not be offered to a student unless NYU has official testing on file, and NYU does not consider results submitted by the applicant as official.
The College Board should send the applicant’s scores to NYU. If this is not possible, the applicant should have a school official submit them. NYU’s school code for the SAT is 2562.
Applicants who have taken the SAT more than once can select which results to send to NYU using Score Choice. The Admissions Committee will review the highest SAT scores submitted. If an applicant submits scores from the old and new versions of the SAT, however, the Admissions Committee will not create a new “superscore,” as the old SAT is a different test from the new SAT.
ACT tests should be taken in advance of NYU’s application deadline. While NYU will consider scores received after the application deadline, the Admissions Committee cannot guarantee that it will wait for those scores to arrive before making an admission decision. Admission will not be offered to a student unless NYU has official testing on file, and NYU does not consider results submitted by the applicant as official.
The ACT should send the applicant’s scores to NYU. If this is not possible, the applicant should have a school official submit them. NYU’s school code for the ACT is 2838.
For applicants who have taken the ACT more than once, the Admissions Committee will recalculate a new composite using the highest of each section, regardless of test date.
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
For many students, IB Diploma results will not be available prior to NYU’s application deadline. Students for whom this is the case must submit predicted scores through the Official Predictions Submission Response form (this unique form is sent to the school official/counselor after receipt of the School Report for any student opting to submit predicted exam results). NYU requires predictions for 6 subjects for Full IB Diploma students, and does not require predictions for the Extended Essay or Theory of Knowledge (TOK). Beginning in 2021, NYU will accept the Higher and Standard Levels of either Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches or Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation for any major at NYU.
Note: While an offer of admission may be made based on an applicant’s predicted IB results, NYU reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission if the applicant’s final Diploma results are not within an acceptable range of their predicted results.
SAT Subject Tests, AP Exams, and IB Higher-Level Exams
For candidates who choose to submit three (3) SAT subject test scores, (3) AP Exam Scores, or (3) IB Higher-Level predicted or final scores to fulfill the standardized testing requirement, the Admissions Committee wants to see at least one (1) score from the following academic areas:
- Literature & Humanities
- Math & Science
The third SAT Subject Test, AP Exam, or IB Higher-Level Exam may be in any subject appearing in the applicable “Additional Accepted Exams” list on the Admissions website. Please refer to the Standardized Tests section of the Admissions website for a list showing which exams satisfy the Literature & Humanities, Math & Science, and Additional Accepted Exams categories for the SAT Subject Tests, AP Exams, and IB Higher-Level Exams.
Other International Examinations
As part of NYU’s Flexible Testing Policy, the university accepts dozens of examinations and other qualifications from around the world. The qualification must meet the following criteria:
- It shows the applicant completed–or, if submitting predicted results, shows the applicant will complete–their secondary education;
- It was administered by an independent body (not the applicant’s school); and
- It was approved by NYU.
The Admissions Committee understands that some examination results may not be available prior to NYU’s application deadline. When this is the case, the applicant must submit predicted scores through the Official Predictions Submission Response form (this unique form is sent to the school official/counselor after receipt of the School Report for any student opting to submit predicted exam results).
Note: While an offer of admission may be made based on the applicant’s predicted results, NYU reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission if the applicant’s final results are not within an acceptable range of their predicted results.
Applicants can refer to NYU’s International Qualification Tool to see which examinations they are able to submit and the supporting documentation required. The Standardized Tests section of the Admissions website also provides more detailed information.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE TESTING
All NYU students must have a strong command of the English language to be successful in a fast-paced, rigorous academic environment. Candidates for whom English is not their native language, and who are applying to NYU’s New York campus, may be asked to submit results from one of the following English language proficiency examinations:
- TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test)
- IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System)
- PTE Academic (Pearsons Test of English Academic)
- C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency (Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency)
- iTEP (International Test of English Proficiency)
An applicant does not need to take a language proficiency test if English is their native language; or if they have already completed (at the time of application submission) at least 3 or more consecutive, full academic years at a school/university where the sole language of instruction was English.
Exams should be completed before the application deadline, and results cannot be more than 2 years old by the application deadline. While NYU will consider scores received after the application deadline, the Admission Committee cannot guarantee that it will be able to wait for those scores to arrive before making an admissions decision.
NYU does not have minimum score requirements on language proficiency tests, but competitive applicants will receive:
- 100 and above on the TOEFL iBT
- 7.5 and above on the IELTS Academic
- 70 and above on the PTE Academic
- 191 and above on the Cambridge English Scale
- 4.5 and above on the iTEP
Students for whom NYU is their first-choice college are encouraged to apply under the Early Decision Plan. Early Decision candidates should submit the application and all supporting credentials by November 1 for Early Decision I or by January 1 for Early Decision II. NYU’s obligation under this arrangement is to provide applicants with an admission decision beginning in mid-December for Early Decision I or in mid-February for Early Decision II. The applicant’s obligation would be to enroll at NYU if admitted and offered a financial aid package that enabled them to attend. Please refer to the Early Decision page of the NYU Admissions website for more information.
Liberal Studies admits first year students in both the fall and spring semesters. Spring admits are selected from the fall applicant pool by the NYU Office of Admissions and begin their studies in New York City in the spring semester. Spring admits have a gap semester in the fall immediately preceding their matriculation at NYU, during which time students might pursue an internship or employment, participate in a service project, travel abroad, or take courses at a local college, among other options. For both the spring and summer semesters of their first year, spring admits attend NYU full-time to complete the first-year core requirements for Liberal Studies. As such, they begin their sophomore year the following fall semester on track for their original graduation date. To learn more about spring admissions, including the academic structure and gap semester opportunities, please visit the program website for NYU Spring Admissions.
Applicant Without US Citizenship or Permanent Residency
Financial documentation is not required when filing an admissions application. If the student is accepted, instructions for completing the Application for Certificate of Eligibility (AFCOE) online will be included in the acceptance packet. Appropriate evidence of financial ability must be submitted with the AFCOE to the Office of Global Services in order for the appropriate visa document to be issued. If the applicant’s studies are being financed by means of his or her own savings, parental support, outside private or government scholarships, or any combination of these, he or she must arrange to send official letters or similar certification as proof of such support. Additional information may be consulted on NYU’s Newly Admitted Students page.
NYU’s application fee should not discourage any student from applying. Students who feel that the application fee would be a financial hardship for their families can simply request a fee waiver on the Common Application. The student’s counselor or school official will be asked to verify their eligibility, so anyone requesting a waiver should alert their counselor in advance.
NYU Liberal Studies Enrollment Process
To be enrolled, an admitted candidate must do the following:
- Accept the University’s offer of admission and pay the required nonrefundable tuition deposit.
- Submit the required housing deposit, if planning to live on-campus in New York, or at one of the FYA global sites, for freshman year. All students planning to begin in London, Paris, Madrid, Florence, or Washington, DC, are required to live on campus and thus pay the housing deposit.
- Have their high school (and, if applicable, college) forward a final transcript to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
- Complete the new student health requirements, including a health history form and immunization records.
- Pay the balance of tuition, housing, and/or meal plan fees by the stipulated deadlines.
- Register for classes once contacted by their assigned academic advisor about the advising and registration process.
International applicants (students without U.S. citizenship or permanent residency) admitted to either the LS Core or GLS should follow the guidelines listed above and, upon payment of the tuition deposit, will be provided with all the pertinent information for securing a student visa to enroll at New York University. Please note that upon acceptance, non-U.S. citizens and non-U.S. permanent residents must submit appropriate evidence of financial ability. See “Applicants Without U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Residency,” above.
what is the liberal studies program at nYU Score Requirements
New York University SAT Scores and Requirements
New York University has a flexible standardized test policy. Applicants may submit SAT, ACT, AP, SAT Subject test, IB HL Exam, or other international exam scores to fulfill NYU’s testing requirement. During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, 64% of admitted students submitted SAT scores.
|SAT Range (Admitted Students)|
|Section||25th Percentile||75th Percentile|
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
This admissions data tells us that most of NYU’s admitted students fall within the top 20% nationally on the SAT. For the evidence-based reading and writing section, 50% of admitted students scored between 660 and 740, while 25% scored below 660 and 25% scored above 740. On the math section, the middle 50% of students scored between 690 and 790, while 25% scored below 690, and 25% scored above 790. Applicants with a composite SAT score of 1530 or higher will have particularly competitive chances at NYU.
NYU does not require the optional SAT essay section. The university will superscore the SAT, so applicants who have taken the exam more than once can use the College Board’s scorechoice option to submit only their highest scores. Note that NYU does not require SAT Subject Tests, but applicants can choose to submit three subject test scores in place of scores from the regular SAT. Be sure to check out all of NYU’s standardized testing options to figure out what approach will work best for you.
New York University ACT Scores and Requirements
New York University has a flexible standardized test policy. Applicants may submit SAT, ACT, AP, SAT Subject test, IB HL Exam, or other international exam scores to fulfill NYU’s testing requirement. During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, 28% of admitted students submitted ACT scores.
|ACT Range (Admitted Students)|
|Section||25th Percentile||75th Percentile|
This admissions data tells us that most of NYU’s admitted students fall within the top 7% nationally on the ACT. The middle 50% of students admitted to NYU received a composite ACT score between 30 and 34, while 25% scored above 34 and 25% scored below 30.
NYU does not require the optional ACT writing exam. If you took the ACT more than once, NYU will take your highest scores from each section of the exam and create a new superscored composite score for you.
New York University GPA
In 2019, the average high school GPA of NYU’s incoming freshmen class was 3.69, and 42% of incoming students had average GPAs of 3.75 and above. This data suggests that most successful applicants to NYU have primarily A grades.
Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph
The admissions data in the graph is self-reported by applicants to NYU. GPAs are unweighted. Find out how you compare to accepted students, see the real-time graph, and calculate your chances of getting in with a free Cappex account.
Admissions Process for New York University
New York University is highly selective with a low acceptance rate and standardized test scores that are well above average. To be admitted, you’re most likely going to need the full package: “A” grades, high SAT/ACT scores, and impressive accomplishments outside of the classroom. You will notice from the graph above that a few students were accepted with test scores and grades below the norm. NYU has holistic admissions, so the admissions officers are evaluating students based on more than numerical data. Students who show some kind of remarkable talent or have a compelling story to tell will often get a close look even if grades and test scores aren’t up to the ideal. Also, because NYU is a diverse, international university, many applicants are coming from countries that have different grading systems than U.S. schools.
The university is a member of the Common Application, a widely used application that provides plenty of opportunities for you to share information other than numerical grade and test score data. Letters of recommendation, the Common Application essay, and your extracurricular activities will all play a role in the admissions process. Students applying to the Steinhardt School or Tisch School of the Arts will have additional artistic requirements for admission. The university does not typically conduct interviews as part of the admissions process, although admissions staff may invite some candidates to interview if they feel a conversation would aid them in making an admissions decision.
Finally, like all selective colleges, New York University will be looking at the rigor of your high school curriculum, not just your grades. Success in challenging AP, IB, Honors, and Dual Enrollment classes can all improve your chances of being admitted, for these courses represent some of the best predictors of college success.
New York University Majors & Degrees
NYU Acceptance Rate
Acceptance Rate: 16%
- 79,462 Applied
- 12,873 Accepted
- 26,981 Enrolled
- 47,397 Females Applied
- 7,639 Females Accepted
- 16% Acceptance Rate
- 32,065 Males Applied
- 5,234 Males Accepted
- 16% Acceptance Rate
- 80 Application Fee
- 3.69 Avg. high school GPA for freshman
|Required||Transcript of high school record|
|Required for some programs||Other requirements may exist (see below)|
|Other requirements:||Audition or a portfolio for some specific programs|
|Type||Application Closing||Notification Date||Rolling Admissions|
|Fall freshmen||January 1st||April 1st|
|Early decision plan||November 1st||December 15th|
|Other early decision plan||Not reported||Not reported|
|Transfer||April 1st||May 15th|
Test Scores Accepted
|Test||Avg. Score||25th %||75th %|
|SAT Critical Reading||696||660||740|
NYU Tuition & Fees
- 50,684 Private
- 2,624 Full-time student fees
- 18,684 Room & board
- 13,548 Room only
Other Payment Considerations
|Guaranteed tuition plan offered||No|
|Tuition pre-payment plan||Yes|
|Tuition payment plans offered||Yes|
|Tuition deferred payment||Yes|
|Student groups that qualify for full or partial waiver of tuition||Employees|
NYU Student Body
- 26,981 Total Undergrad students
- 22% International Students
- 67% Out-of-state students
|Black or African American||7.93%|
|White or Caucasian||25.45%|
|American Indian or Alaska Native||0.15%|
|Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander||0.13%|
|Two or more races||4.29%|
- Male (42.42%)
- Female (57.58%)
|Housing options||Co-ed housing|
Freshman car parking
|% of undergrad students who live in college housing||42%|
In recent years, the NYU Liberal Studies acceptance rate has remained relatively flat at around 35%.
NYU Liberal is a public research institution boasting the largest undergraduate liberal arts college in the United States. The general acceptance rate at NYU Liberal is nearly 50 percent, making it a great choice for students who have aspirations to study liberal arts.
The Liberal Studies Program at NYU is a great fit for students who want to study liberal arts and humanities, as well as pursue careers in a wide range of fields. Liberal Studies is an ideal choice for students with non-traditional backgrounds who are looking to pursue a bachelor’s degree.