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University of Tennessee, Knoxville Expands Online Portfolio with Noodle to Include Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) / Applied Studies Through College of Arts and Sciences

March 23, 2021

UT’s BIS degree supports Tennessee’s “Drive to 55” mandate to equip 55 percent of Tennesseans with college degrees or certificates by 2025


‍Mar 23, 2021, 16:49 ET

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., March 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is expanding its online portfolio with Noodle, the nation’s fastest growing network of online learning, to include a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) with a concentration in Applied Studies from the College of Arts and Sciences. The degree is designed to serve adult learners with some college credits but no bachelor’s degree and is an important milestone in an historic partnership that will eventually have 10 online programs.

Noodle is proud to partner with UT/Knoxville to help Tennessee adults complete their BIS degree.

– John Katzman

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‍Designed to take adult learners “from associate’s to bachelor’s and beyond,” the online BIS will allow them to customize their learning journey and prepare, or re-tool, for a fast-changing labor market. It also complements the state’s Drive to 55 initiative to get 55 percent of Tennesseans equipped with a college degree or certificate by the year 2025. A 2019 U.S. Census Bureau report notes that just 36 percent of Tennesseans aged 25+ had an associate’s degree and 28.7 percent had a bachelor’s degree. Quantitatively, 1.3 million Tennessee residents have some college or associate’s degree, but no bachelor’s degree.

“As the state’s flagship and land-grant university, we are committed to providing Tennesseans in all communities with high-quality educational opportunities,” said Provost John Zomchick. “Our online Applied Studies program offers students a flexible pathway to a UT degree that can open doors to professional success and personal growth.”

“Our new online Applied Sciences degree completion program will allow individuals with an associate’s degree to continue and complete their education, allowing them to achieve career goals from anywhere,” says Theresa M. Lee, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences. “The Applied Studies program through the College of Arts and Sciences provides individuals with the opportunity to choose a course of study that supports many different career paths. The various options will prepare our graduates to be leaders in a changing workforce.”  

“I’m delighted to add the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies to our growing partnership with UT,” says Noodle CEO John Katzman. “The economic upheaval wrought by the pandemic underscores just how important it is for adults to earn a degree, and Noodle is proud to be part of this important initiative not only for the university, but for all of Tennessee.”

The BIS joins existing online programs in the Haslam College of Business and forthcoming online master’s degrees Computer Science, and Public Health. UT continues to bring its renowned educational opportunities to adult learners for whom attending on-campus classes is not feasible.

“The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s leadership has done a great job helping its schools and colleges prepare for an online future,” says Noodle SVP Scott Levine. “Adding the online Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies is another solid step to creating a more agile university that meets adult learners’ needs.”

Toward that end, Chancellor Donde Plowman recently shared her vision for the future and promised that the state’s flagship university would be an “institution of courage – to take risks, to care and to lead.” Plowman cited the university’s response to COVID-19: moving 300,000 credit hours online with just a few days’ notice.

About the University of Tennessee
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is the state’s flagship research university, a campus of choice for outstanding undergraduates, and a premier graduate institution. As a land-grant university with an enrollment of more than 30,000, the institution fulfills its access mission through a commitment to excellence in learning, scholarship, and engagement. For more than 225 years, Volunteers have been lighting the way for others, across Tennessee and throughout the world.

About Noodle
Noodle creates excellent online and agile programs that elevate campus-wide teaching and technology. Since January 2019, Noodle has launched almost as many online programs with elite U.S. universities as have all our competitors combined. Our network of universities, higher education leaders, providers and students fuel innovation and efficiency in learning design, marketing, recruitment, technology, student and faculty support, and clinical placement. For more information, visit and follow us on LinkedIn at and Twitter @NoodleEducation.

Media Contact:
Renee Young

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