EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Utah students could soon earn bachelor’s degrees in 3 years

Mar 28, 2024, 9:15 AM | Updated: 11:14 am

A n3-year degree may be an option...

People study in the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on March 13. A new degree program being developed for Utah's public institutions would allow students to graduate with a bachelor's degree in three years. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A new degree program being developed across Utah System of Higher Education institutions would allow students to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in just three years.

The Bachelor of Applied Studies degree, approved during the Utah Board of Higher Education’s meeting last week, would have a minimum completion requirement of 90 credits. This differs from the current standard of 120 credits needed for existing four-year bachelor’s degrees.

The System of Higher Education said the hope for this program is to provide students with more options and faster pathways into careers.

“This exciting change in policy opens the door to innovation on our campuses and allows each institution to develop proposals for three-year bachelor’s degree programs,” said Aaron Skonnard, with the Utah Board of Higher Education, in a statement. “We want to be at the forefront of new approaches in higher education that accelerate outcomes for students while better meeting the needs of our workforce.”

Any new programs within the Bachelor of Applied Studies would require national accreditation and would be subject to the program-approval process of the Board of Higher Education “to ensure programs are aligned with the established mission and roles for each USHE institution before being made available to students,” according to system officials.

Additionally, the areas of study for the new program would be limited in number and tied to specific industry needs, helping supply Utah and the nation with an incoming workforce in areas that need it the most.

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Utah students could soon earn bachelor’s degrees in 3 years