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Pathways to Completion

Did you start a bachelor’s degree but get sidetracked because life got in the way? You are not alone! The University of Utah has degree completion pathways that will help you fit school around your life and earn your degree. So, why should you RETURN to THE U?

There are a number of short, flexible majors that can be completed through a combination of online, evening, and accelerated courses. Some courses are also offered at the U’s Sandy campus.

Some of the most flexible majors are Psychology, Economics, Family & Consumer Studies (which includes Early Childhood and Financial Planning Certificates), Sociology, and Political Science. Struggling with choosing your major?  This article offers some tips for choosing a major and navigating the academic journey.

With the help from your advisor, we can also find the shortest, quickest way for you to finish any of the U’s other 100+ majors.

  • Built for Finishing: These pathways are for students who have already finished their general education credits and are looking for a specific major to complete.
  • Valuable Degrees: These degrees are being offered because they are the most efficient, flexible majors with high returns and job placement after graduation.
  • Flexible Course Offerings: These degrees can be completed through a combination of online, evening, and accelerated courses.
  • Classes Close to Home: Many classes can be taken at the U’s Sandy campus.
  • Start when You’re Ready: RTU courses are offered on a rotation so you can start during any semester and be guaranteed a selection of courses that will allow you to finish without bottlenecks
  • Personal Coaches to Help: You don’t have to do this alone. Your personal Student Success Advocate is there to coach you through the journey to completion.
  • You’re Different than a Traditional Student and We Get It: Your advocate and instructors understand the non-traditional, adult learner and can guide you through to completion. They understand what barriers and unique circumstances you face.

 

Degree Completion Programs

The Completion Pathway: As part of its collaboration with Return to the U, the Economics department has developed courses to be taught in the Sandy Center. These classes range from high quality core theory and mathematical/statistical methods courses, to a range of focus area and elective coursework to be taken in concert with traditional campus based or online courses. The flexibility that the completion pathway allows will enable you to complete the economics degree efficiently and on your schedule.
 
Degree Type: Bachelor of Science. Students are eligible for the Bachelor of Arts degree if they do the requisite language work required by the University.
 
Next Steps: Have additional questions? Economics departmental advisors are here to help you with a team of advisors who are available year-round. They can help you via phone, email, or virtual
appointments in navigating your degree. To make an appointment with an Economics advisor, please visit: https://economics.utah.edu/advising.php

The Completion Pathway: The Family and Consumer Studies Department is dedicated to understanding and enhancing the well-being of individuals as well as the families and communities in which they live. FCS has been offering online classes for more than a decade, and have recently developed a completion pathway for returning students. Whether you are planning to complete your degree fully online or in a combination of in-person and online courses, the FCS department can create a graduation plan that fits your needs!

Degree Type: Bachelor of Science in Family, Community, and Human Development

Next Steps: Have additional questions? FCS’s lead advisor, Jenny Stout, is available year-round. Jenny can help you via phone, email, or virtual appointments in navigating your degree. To make an appointment with Jenny, please visit: https://fcs.utah.edu/advising/index.php

The Completion Pathway: Students who major in Political Science gain the knowledge and analytical, problem solving, decision-making, research, and communications skills needed to find professional success in public, private, and non-profit sectors and/or to pursue advanced studies in law, public policy and administration. The Department of Political Science has developed classes for the Sandy Center so that students can complete their degree in Sandy or online.

Degree Type: Bachelor of Science. Students are eligible for the Bachelor of Arts degree if they do the requisite language work required by the University.

Next Steps: Have additional questions? Political Science’s lead advisor, Madalyn Smith, is available year-round. Madalyn can help you via phone, email, or virtual appointments in navigating your degree. To make an appointment with Lisa, please visit: https://poli-sci.utah.edu/undergraduate/advising.php

The Completion Pathway: The Department of Psychology offers a dynamic, research- based major and minor to undergraduate students. These offerings include introductory courses in general psychology, psychology as a profession, statistical and research methods, and spans topics from development, human behavior, relationships, memory, thinking and social influences. In collaboration with Return to the U, the Psychology department has developed courses for the Sandy Center, in addition to over 15 different online courses each fall and spring semester, as well as a smaller online course offering the summer.

Degree Type: Students may choose the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology option, which is fully available online. You also have the option to receive the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology, with the language requirement having to be completed on-campus.

Next Steps: Have additional questions? Psychology’s dedicated Virtual Advisor, Kate Keddington, is available year-round. Kate can help you via phone, email, or virtual appointments in navigating your degree. To make an appointment with Kate, please visit: https://psych.utah.edu/undergraduate/advising.php

The Completion Pathway: The Department of Writing & Rhetoric Studies (formerly the University Writing Program) was created in 1984 to ensure that students understand the forms and processes used by successful college-level writers, and that they continue to mature as writers in undergraduate and post-college settings. In collaboration with Return to the U, Writing has developed classes for the Sandy Center, in addition to various online course offerings, to create an efficient completion pathway for returning students.

Degree Type: Bachelor of Science. Students are eligible for the Bachelor of Arts degree if they do the requisite language work required by the University.

Next Steps: Have additional questions? Writing’s lead advisor, Lisa Shaw, is available year-round. Lisa can help you via phone, email, or virtual appointments in navigating your degree. To make an appointment with Lisa, please visit: https://writing.utah.edu/undergraduate/academicadvising.php

In order to be a true completion pathway, we require that departments guarantee that students who have completed their general education requirements can complete the major in 2 years by taking classes online or in Sandy. While we work hard to make sure that these pathways are up-to-date and meet student needs, not every department can fit all of our criteria and fall just short of becoming a completion pathway. We still partner with these departments to make sure that students find the major that works for them. Below, we’ve listed three majors that offer a different type of flexibility to students and, as a result, might be just the right fit. 

The College of Mines and Earth Sciences typically only offers classes between 9-5, which can be difficult for nontraditional students. However, they financially support over 72% of their students through scholarships, facilitate internship connections for students who want work experience, and have small class sizes. Depending on the financial support that you receive, you may find that you can make adjustments in your schedule to attend classes. Contact our SSA (Annie Friedman) or the College of Mines advisor (Samantha Davis) for more details.

The Medical Laboratory Science program has a low instructor-to-student ratio and a diverse student population that is passionate about science and providing excellent patient care through clinical laboratory testing. Classes are typically held between 8:30am-5:00pm, with full-time and part-time opportunities for working students. Local employers, such as ARUP and Intermountain Health Care, offer tuition reimbursement for students and may provide flexibility in working around student schedules. Medical Laboratory Science graduates have an excellent employment rate nationwide! The program’s mission is to provide the highest standards of learning and scholarship to students and to teach the most current skills and knowledge needed to work in the profession. For students interested in science and a career in healthcare without direct patient care, Medical Laboratory Science is an ideal choice. Contact our SSA (Annie Friedman) or fill out this advising appointment form for more details.

The Department of Special Education holds its classes in the early evenings, but it also requires that students spend time getting practical experience in classrooms, which can be hard to do if you have a full or part time job. However, the department has scholarships available to help undergraduates and they have strong relationships with schools around the state to make sure that students get placed in the right schools. The state of Utah has a dire need for licensed Special Education instructors, so there’s no better time than now to get started! Contact our SSA (Annie Friedman) or the Special Education undergraduate advisor (Kaitlin Lindsey) for more details.

Make an appointment with an advisor

University Application Deadlines


Spring - November 1


Summer - March 15


Fall - April 1

Last Updated: 10/11/21