R.B.A. at Marshall University

The Regents Bachelor of Arts (R.B.A.) is a non-traditional, interdisciplinary degree option designed to help adult students just like you earn a bachelor’s degree. The R.B.A. degree meets the needs of a working adult, as the program is offered online, is cost-effective and allows the student to tailor the degree to his or her interests.

Students who enroll in the R.B.A. degree program at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, have many different reasons for enrolling in our degree completion program, including:

  • Expanding career opportunities and increasing earning power
  • Being able to go on for a master’s degree
  • Fulfilling a promise to themselves or others
  • Serving as a strong role model for their children

Through our flexible R.B.A. program, Marshall University accepts transfer credit for courses completed at regionally accredited community colleges as well as at colleges and universities. In addition, veterans are eligible to receive credit for their military training. You can complete your degree with online and / or classroom courses, and can choose from among 22 areas of emphasis.

Since 1975, Marshall University’s R.B.A. degree completion program has graduated nearly 7,000 students.

Why Pursue an R.B.A. at Marshall?

The R.B.A. degree completion program at Marshall University might be a good choice if you:

  • Graduated high school at least four years ago
  • Started college but never finished
  • Earned an associate degree and would like to build on that foundation
  • Need a college degree to advance your career
  • Are interested in intellectual growth or personal achievement

The R.B.A. program at Marshall offers many options:

  • Tailor your academic program, based on your individual needs and goals, with the help of an academic advisor. As a general studies degree, our R.B.A., offers many opportunities.
  • Choose a minor or an area of emphasis so your degree reflects your interests and aptitudes.
  • Take advantage of College Equivalent Credits (CEC), awarded for certain kinds of training, learning experiences, certificates and licenses. This includes credits for military training.
  • Benefit from academic forgiveness, which means that failing grades received four or more years before admission to the R.B.A. program will not be calculated into your final grade point average.
  • Complete your R.B.A. without ever being on campus, with more than 100 available online courses. R.B.A. students also can access the WVROCKS online courses (see below).
  • Take traditional classroom courses at one of our convenient West Virginia locations: Marshall’s Huntington and South Charleston campuses, our Teays Valley Regional Center in Putnam County and the Mid-Ohio Valley Center in Point Pleasant.
  • Use free technology courses to help prepare for online courses and necessary computer proficiency.
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Areas of Emphasis

An area of emphasis enables R.B.A. students to focus on a specific area as part of the R.B.A. degree completion program. An area of emphasis is not required for the R.B.A. degree and not all areas of emphasis are available online. An R.B.A. area of emphasis requires a minimum of 15 hours of 300-400 level courses with a C or higher grade for each course. Here are the various options for areas of emphasis:

  • Computer-Related Emphases
    • Digital Forensics Emphasis (25 hours)
    • Information Assurance Emphasis (23 hours)
    • Web Application Development Emphasis (24 hours)
    • Game Development Emphasis (24 hours)
    • Instructional Technology and Library Science Emphasis (15 hours)

    Creative Writing and Art related emphases

    • Creative Writing in English Emphasis (15 hours)
    • Studio Art (21 hours)

    Humanities-Related Emphases

    • Religious Studies Emphasis (18 hours)
    • Literature in English Emphasis (15 hours)

    Social Science-Related Emphases

    • Anthropology Emphasis (18 hours)
    • Communication Studies Emphasis (18 hours)
    • Criminal Justice Emphasis (18 hours)
    • Geography Emphasis (18-19 hours)
    • GIScience Geography Emphasis (19 hours)
    • Human Geography Emphasis (18 hours)
    • Physical Geography Emphasis (18 hours)
    • Military Science Emphasis (18 hours)
    • Political Science Emphasis (15 hours)
    • Psychology Emphasis (18 hours)
    • Sociology Emphasis (18 hours)
    • Women’s Studies Emphasis (18 hours)

    Education-Related Emphasis

    • Preschool Development Emphasis (21 hours)
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Career Outlook for R.B.A. Majors

The Regents Bachelor of Arts degree is a general studies bachelor’s degree, which provides a sound foundation to pursue many career paths. R.B.A. graduates also choose to go on to professional schools, law school and graduate school at a variety of institutions, including Marshall University.

Since the average age of R.B.A. students is 35, most graduates of the program want to earn a credential to get a promotion with their current employer or to change career paths with a bachelor’s degree.

Marshall R.B.A. graduates have held a variety of professional positions, including:

  • CEO, Steel of West Virginia
  • Bank inspector, FDIC
  • Vice president, Marshall University
  • Fire department chief and one of Time Magazines 100 Most Influential People, Huntington, West Virginia
  • Vice president of communications, Ford Europe
  • Former Interim Marshall University President
  • Physicians and lawyers also have earned R.B.A. degrees.
A student working at a computer in an office setting

The West Virginia Remote Online Collaborative Knowledge System (WVROCKS) is a statewide portal designed to facilitate the completion of the R.B.A. degree for all students enrolled in the program at any state institution of higher learning. All courses are taught by faculty employed at one of West Virginia’s colleges or universities. Because participating colleges and universities will cross-list the courses in their schedules, you will receive credit toward the completion of your degree no matter which state institution hosts the course.

WVROCKS offers important benefits, including:

  • Accelerated courses that can be completed in eight weeks, instead of 16.
  • Accessibility: WVROCKS delivers education directly to your computer, 24/7, at home or work—anyplace Internet access is available.
  • Affordability: $250 per credit hour.
Student wearing a Marshall shirt while working on a computer
Marshall University R.B.A. student, Liz Ooten with her family
In addition to being a full-time Marshall student, I am also a full-time employee and mother, among many other roles. Taking the time to go back to college to complete my degree has been difficult, but with the help of my advisor and professors, I have been able to excel.
Liz Ooten , Regents Bachelor of Arts, Class of 2024
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Support Services

Technology: Free technology courses are available to help prepare R.B.A. students for online courses and necessary computer proficiency. For information about technology resources and recommendations, please contact the IT Service Desk or visit the IT website.

Libraries: Marshall University Online students can access online databases, web-based digital collections and other library resources from anywhere, both on and off-campus, by using their student ID number. The libraries’ online catalog and more than 90 web-based databases provide citation-level searching and full-text retrieval of articles accessible from the Libraries’ website. Students who are completely off-campus should check out Off-Campus Library Services.