Stephen F. Austin State University

Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science (BAAS)

Overview of the BAAS Degree

The Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) is unique among all other degrees at SFA in that it allows students to apply credit non-collegiate credit to the completion of a bachelor's degree. Credits earned through community college vocational or technical programs, military training, and occupational licensure or certification are generally NOT accepted as college credit hours in traditional bachelor's degree programs. However, after evaluating appropriate documentation, a BAAS advisor may apply these credits to the degree, providing a shorter route to completing a bachelor's degree than many traditional programs. Students who hold associate's degrees in technical fields are particularly well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the BAAS. There are essentially three parts to the BAAS degree: Core Curriculum, Area of Specialization, and Professional Development Area.

Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum provides an academic foundation for all university students and is outlined in the General Bulletin. Students are also required to take ENG 273 (pre-requisite for AAS 300). In addition to the core, the BAAS has a collateral requirement of three hours from CSC 101, 102, 121, 201. Select the following link for more information about the core curriculum for the BAAS degree- BAAS_Core_Curriculum_2014-15.pdf

Area of Specialization

The Area of Specialization is the equivalent of coursework in the major of a traditional degree program and is where non-collegiate credit is applied. It consists of 36 to 48 hours from a specific occupational area and is designated as one of the following: a) Allied Health Occupations, b) Business Occupations, c) Public Safety and Administration, d) Graphic Arts or e) Applied Technology. ). The area of specialization includes AAS 300, which is a required three-hour seminar in professional planning and development. Students may also choose to take AAS 496, an optional internship in the area of specialization.

Professional Development Area

The Professional Development Area takes the place of the minor in a traditional degree program. It is intended to broaden the student's academic foundation and should complement the area of specialization. The professional development area consists of 24 to 36 hours selected from an academic discipline in consultation with a BAAS advisor. The professional development area also includes AAS 498, a three-hour capstone seminar taken in the student's final semester. Students must complete AAS 498 with a grade of C or higher in order to graduate from the program. Students may also choose to take AAS 495, an optional internship in the professional development area.

We offer a number of professional development areas, including, but not limited to:

Students may also create a professional development area based on the interdisciplinary minors offered through the Division of Multidisciplinary Programs. However, it must be pre-approved by the BAAS Program Director.

Additional Degree Requirements

The BAAS is a 120 hour degree that requires a minimum of 42 semester hours in residence at SFASU, at least 36 of which must be advanced level courses (courses numbered 300-499). At least 9 of the 120 hours must be designated as writing enhanced at SFASU. Students may not earn more than 30 hours of academic credit from the College of Business. Students must earn a grade of at least C in each freshman English course; if required by the Texas Success Initiative, and unless exempted from the Texas Success Initiative, a C in MTH 099, ENG 099 and RDG 098; and a C average in work completed at SFA. Students must have minimum GPA of 2.0 in the area of specialization and the professional development area. These required averages are based on those courses in each category that are included in the student's official degree plan.

Is the BAAS Program for you?

The BAAS is NOT designed to accommodate students seeking teacher certification while completing the bachelor's degree. Coursework in elementary or secondary education is not normally used in the BAAS degree.

The BAAS is NOT normally intended to prepare students for graduate or professional school. Students who plan to apply to law school, medical school, or graduate programs in academic disciplines should consult with an advisor in the discipline of interest before applying for the BAAS program.
Although the number of courses offered online at SFASU increases each semester, the BAAS is not available as an online degree at this time.

Many BAAS applicants are also eligible for SFASU's Community College Transfer Scholarship Program. More information about this program is available from SFASU's Admissions Office and online at

Eligibility and Documentation

Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher to be considered for admission to the BAAS program. Students must also meet at least one of the following criteria:

  1. Those students who have earned all or a substantial part of an associate's degree that included technical credit such as courses in respiratory therapy, graphic arts, welding, etc. Transcripts from the junior or community college will provide sufficient documentation to verify eligibility.
  2. Those students who have been out of school for a number of years and have developed vocational-technical competencies equivalent to a community college program. Documentation necessary to determine eligibility for BAAS credit may include, but is not limited to, a certificate of completion, a letter from a supervisor certifying training hours completed toward certification or licensure, and a description of training sessions with hours required to complete each. Documentation of training must include the date(s) the training occurred, duration of the training, and a summary of the topics covered. If the learning experience occurred outside of a training program related to professional licensure or certification, the student must submit an occupational portfolio.
  3. Those students who are veterans or are currently serving in the military and have acquired specialized training as part of their service (military transcripts will need to be submitted to Admissions for evaluation).

Admission Process

Students who are interested in the BAAS program must submit a BAAS application for admission, including documentation of eligibility, to the BAAS Program Director. Applications are available at the Division of Multidisciplinary Studies (Ferguson 289), the Academic and Career Advising Office for the College of Liberal and Applied Arts (Ferguson 291), and online (BAAS Application). The completed application and documentation of eligibility can be submitted via email to or mailed to:

Billy Harris, BAAS Coordinator
P.O. Box 6153, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962-6153

Application due dates for the BAAS Program are as follows:

Fall Semester- July 31st
Spring Semester- December 1st
Summer Semesters- April 1st

Completed applications will be reviewed by the BAAS Program Director. You will be notified of your admission status once your application has been reviewed.

Additional Information

Students who would like additional information about the BAAS degree program should contact Billy Harris by email at or by phone at (936) 468-2205.

Select the following link for a .pdf version of this page- BAAS Information Sheet.