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Home > News & Events > Press Releases > 2009 > NOVA partners with University of Virginia to offer bachelor’s degrees at NOVA

Press Releases

NOVA partners with University of Virginia to offer bachelor’s degrees at NOVA

May 7, 2009

Northern Virginia Community College President Robert G. Templin Jr. and University of Virginia President John T. Casteen III recently launched the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) program at NOVA. The partnership allows NOVA students to earn a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia without leaving the Northern Virginia area.

“This unique partnership offers the non-traditional student population, who are outstanding in their potential and abilities but lacking the opportunity to fulfill a four-year degree, the means to make that dream a reality,” Templin said.

The BIS program is a part-time, rigorous undergraduate degree program with evening and weekend classes designed to meet the educational needs of the adult student. The program is offered by the University of Virginia exclusively for current and former NOVA students.

The transfer program builds on students’ previous college work with liberal arts courses that promote critical thinking and analytical skills. Students must have 60 semester hours of transferable credits, with at least 15 credits from NOVA.

“One of the interesting things I’ve looked at is the high success rates of community college students who transfer to the University of Virginia,” Casteen said. “We studied students in the McIntire School of Commerce, the hardest of our undergraduate schools to get into, and what we discovered over a three-year period is that community college transfer students actually got higher grades than students who start at the University as freshmen. That piece of information made it very clear that community colleges have every reason to be proud of its graduates. They do not need an apology. All they need is an open door.”

Classes are held at NOVA’s Alexandria Campus and taught by University of Virginia faculty. To learn more, go to

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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America’s largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 60,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College’s Web site,