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Bachelor of Arts in Applied Arts and Sciences


B.A. in Applied Arts and Sciences

With nine specializations focused on transferable skills, this customizable degree offers the flexibility and convenience needed to reach your career goals.

All students complete three Professional Core courses (12 credits) and a Capstone Experience (4 credits). The remaining credits can be applied toward one or more specializations (20 credits each) or as electives based on your interests and goals.

Quick Facts:

  • 100 percent online learning.
  • Only pay for the courses you need.
  • Credit for prior coursework, certifications and more.

Take the next step and learn more about Merrimack’s Bachelor Degree Completion program.

Ready To Rise? Discover the Power of a Bachelor’s Degree in Today’s Job Market

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2024, the median weekly earnings for full-time wage and salary workers over 25 with a bachelor’s degree were $1,680, while those with only a high school diploma earned a median of $901 per week.

B.A. in Applied Arts and Sciences Online Coursework


All students must earn a total of 124 credits to complete a bachelor’s degree. To earn a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, students complete 12 credits of professional core and a 4 credit capstone experience. The remaining 108 credits include: 40 credits of required arts and sciences coursework (including specializations) and 68 credits of open electives. Up to 90 credits may be transferred from prior coursework, such as an associate’s degree, as well as professional certifications and more.

Professional Core (12 credits)

Through interactive approaches and real-world examples, students will explore various perspectives of health and well-being. Students will examine leading health indicators in the U.S. and around the world and will learn basic terminology and other health-related data concepts in order to have a deeper understanding of a range of health data and information. Students will apply health knowledge and skills to support health and well-being. As part of the Professional Core in the BA in Applied Arts and Sciences program, this course emphasizes: effective communication (oral and written), critical thinking, ethical teamwork, the ability to work independently, initiative and proactive planning, and real-world applications. Credits: 4

Modern living is complex due to competing desires and obligations: family, career, community, and personal needs. Learning how to balance these competing claims on our attention and affections often involves making choices based on core values. This course explores answers to a variety of timeless questions so students can come to a better understanding of themselves, their desires, and their obligations. Questions that will be explored may include: What does it mean to live a good life? What is the meaning of life? Does life have a meaning? What does it mean to be ethical and how does one know right from wrong? What makes work meaningful? What does it mean to be happy? What does it mean to be successful? What is the relationship between work, success, and happiness? To whom in my life am I responsible, and what do I owe them? Drawing on religion, philosophy, and literature, students will examine and critique a diversity of responses to these kinds of questions, reflect on the relevance of these responses in their lives, and formulate their own responses to these questions. In keeping with Merrimack College’s Catholic and Augustinian mission, special attention is paid to the Christian tradition and the life and thought of Augustine of Hippo.

As part of the Professional Core in the BA in Applied Arts and Sciences program, this course emphasizes: effective communication (oral and written), critical thinking, ethical judgment and decision-making, effective teamwork, the ability to work independently, initiative, proactive planning, and real-world applications. Credits: 4

Examination of the major issues, theories, and findings in the psychological study of positive emotions and experience (Positive Psychology). Emphasis is on the scientific investigation of such topics as the nature of happiness and well-being, psychological flow, savoring, love, optimism, resilience, character strengths and virtues, and the meaningful life. Credits: 4

Specializations, Electives and Transfer Credits (108 credits)

Choose from one of nine specializations or create a self-designed specialization.

Students who pursue a specialization in Accounting Studies will gain accounting and finance-related knowledge and skills needed to work for individual clients or larger businesses and organizations. They will develop an understanding of accounting and establish professional skills in written and oral communication, teamwork, and leadership. Note: All courses in the Accounting specialization are required. For course descriptions, visit the course catalog.

Required Courses:

  • Accounting for Business (ACC 2203)
  • Managerial Accounting (ACC 3308)
  • Managerial Finance (FIN 2500)
  • Introduction to Business (MGT 1100)
  • Technology Skills for Business (MGT 1150)

Students who pursue a specialization in Business Studies will learn the various, technical, organizational, and operational aspects of business. They will develop an understanding of business as an integrated entity and establish professional skills in both written and oral communication, teamwork, and leadership. For course descriptions, visit the course catalog.

Required Courses:

  • Introduction to Business (MGT 1100)

Electives (choose four):

  • Accounting for Business (ACC 2203)
  • Conflict Management (COM 3621)
  • Personal Financial Planning (FIN 3310)
  • Organizational Behavior (MGT 3120)
  • Legal Environment of Business (MGT 3130)
  • Human Resource Management (MGT 3410)
  • Ethics and Social Responsibility (MGT 3430)
  • Principles of Marketing (MKT 2205)
  • Social Media Marketing (MKT 3400)
  • Gender and Diversity in Leadership (WGS 2310)

Students who pursue a specialization in Child and Family studies will learn how to bridge research and theory to inform best practices. Specifically, they will develop an understanding of the bi-directional relationship between families and communities, how children develop in the context of communities, and how these factors influence curricular, policy and practice decisions. For course descriptions, visit the course catalog.

Required Courses:

  • Child Growth and Development (EDU 2210)

Electives (choose 4-5 courses):

  • Accounting for Business (ACC 2203)
  • Family and Community Engagement (CFC 2120C)
  • Social Issues and Policies (CFC 3510C)
  • Leadership and Human Resource Development (CFC 4520C)
  • Early Childhood Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment (EDU 3050)
  • Administration of Early Childhood Programs (2 credits) EDU 3300
  • Developing Emotional Competency and Social Maturity in Youth (HDE 3050)
  • Introduction to Business (MGT 1100)
  • Developmental Psychopathology (PSY 3340)

Students who specialize in Communication Studies will learn the skills necessary to produce appropriate messages, both oral and written, for a variety of contexts, including mediated environments and in-person situations, public and private settings and audiences that range from small and homogeneous to large and diverse. They will study the art of persuasion and be able to communicate strategically in professional contexts. For course descriptions, visit the course catalog.

Required Courses:

  • Public Communication (COM 1020)

Electives (choose four):

  • Introduction to Communication (COM 2801)
  • Principles of Public Relations (COM 3401)
  • Gender and Communication (COM 3520)
  • Conflict Management (COM 3621)
  • Communication and Nonprofit Organizing (COM 3742)
  • Communication and Advocacy (COM 4500)
  • Persuasion and Social Influence (COM 4510)
  • Intercultural Communication (COM 4531)
  • Social Media Marketing (MKT 3400)
  • Gender, Race, and the Media (WGS 3420)

Students who specialize in Health and Wellness Studies will master the foundational concepts and principles of health and wellness, develop an understanding of the importance of life-long learning and professional development in the field, and develop critical thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills necessary in the field of health and wellness. For course descriptions, visit the course catalog.

Electives (choose five):

  • Applied Anatomy and Physiology (HSC 1100)
  • Introduction to Public Health (HSC 1500)
  • Wellness and Physical Activity (HSC 2104)
  • Science of Stress (HSC 2160)
  • Nutrition and Wellness (HSC 2400)
  • Health Behavior and Promotion (HSC 2500)
  • Cultural Competence in Healthcare Administration (HSC 3200)
  • Foundations of Health Policy (HSC 3332)

Students who pursue a specialization in Healthcare Administration will learn the various aspects of planning, directing, and coordinating medical and health services. They will develop an understanding of healthcare administration as an integrated entity and establish professional skills in written and oral communication, teamwork, and leadership. For course descriptions, visit the course catalog.

Required Courses:

  • Cultural Competence in Healthcare Administration (HSC 3200)
  • Foundations of Health Policy (HSC 3332)
  • Foundations in Leadership (LDR 1010)

Electives (choose two):

  • Conflict Management (COM 3621)
  • Health Communication (COM 4625)
  • Principles of Microeconomics (ECO 1203)
  • Foundations of Healthcare Systems (HSC 3342)
  • Organizational Behavior (MGT 3120)
  • Human Resource Management (MGT 3410)
  • Biomedical Ethics (PHL 2060)
  • Gender and Diversity in Leadership (WGS 2310)

Students who specialize in Leadership Studies will explore theories of leadership; leadership styles; the making of a good leader; obstacles to leadership as well as the role of diversity (race, gender, ethnicity, ability) in leadership locally and globally; and the cultural and cross-cultural dimensions of leaders and leadership. This specialization provides an opportunity for those seeking to advance their careers into positions of leadership by providing the framework for studying what it means to be a leader and develop their own leadership styles. For course descriptions, visit the course catalog.

Required Courses:

  • Foundations in Leadership (LDR 1010)

Electives (choose four):

  • Intercultural Communication (COM 4531)
  • Leaders as Change Agents (LDR 2010)
  • Leading Teams (LDR 2440)
  • Leadership: Principles, Power and Persuasion (LDR 2780)
  • Leadership in Times of Crisis (LDR 3200)
  • Effective Leader – Followers Models (LDR 3350)
  • Ethical Leadership (LDR 3760)
  • Organizational Behavior (MGT 3120)
  • Ethics and Social Responsibility (MGT 3430)
  • Gender and Diversity in Leadership (WGS 2310)

Students in the Psychology Studies specialization will learn to evaluate human behavior from a psychological perspective, using multiple theoretical frameworks. They will also use evidence to describe and evaluate the complexity and diversity of human behavior in multiple contexts and interpret and apply psychological research to real-world contexts. For course descriptions, visit the course catalog.

Required Courses:

  • Introduction to Psychology (PSY 1000)
  • Applied Psychological Research Methods (PSY 2100)

Electives (choose three):

  • Social Psychology (PSY 2200)
  • Group Dynamics (PSY 2270)
  • Developmental Psychology (PSY 2300)
  • Lifespan Developmental Psychology (PSY 2310)
  • Personality (PSY 2400)
  • Abnormal Psychology (PSY 2460)
  • Cognition (PSY 3100)
  • Cultural Psychology (PSY 3250)
  • Organizational Behavior (MGT 3120)
  • Psychology of Trauma (PSY 3420)

Students who pursue a specialization in Speech, Language, and Learning will prepare for work as Speech-Language Pathology-Assistants or entrance into graduate school for master’s level Speech-Language. Pathologists work in a wide variety of settings including schools, health centers, hospitals, early intervention settings, home health and private clinics. They also will develop and establish professional skills in both written and oral communication, teamwork, and leadership. For course descriptions, visit the course catalog.

Preparation for Licensure (Track 1)
This option prepares students for a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant License in Massachusetts. There are six required courses (22 credits):

  • Introduction to Communication Sciences and Disorders (HDE 2200)
  • Language Acquisition and Literacy Development (EDU 4500)
  • Anatomy and Physiology for Speech, Language, Hearing and Swallowing (HDE 3700)
  • Phonetics (HDE 3200)
  • Introduction or Audiology (HDE 3500) or Speech and Hearing Science (HDE 3900)
  • Professional Observation and Experience (HDE 4010)

Preparation for Applying to Graduate Programs (Track 2)
This option will prepare students for application to graduate programs in Speech-Language Pathology. Depending on the individual student’s background, additional courses may be required to apply for graduate programs in Speech-Language Pathology. There are seven required courses (26 credits):

  • Introduction to Communication Sciences and Disorders (HDE 2200)
  • Language Acquisition and Literacy Development (EDU 4500)
  • Anatomy and Physiology for Speech, Language, Hearing and Swallowing (HDE 3700)
  • Phonetics (HDE 3200)
  • Introduction to Audiology (HDE 3500)
  • Speech and Hearing Science (HDE 3900)
  • Professional Observation and Experience (HDE 4010)

Capstone Experience (4 credits)

Once you’ve completed 93 credits, you can register for the Capstone Experience (required). In your capstone, you will create a professional development plan, a market analysis of a chosen industry, or a self-designed research project. In all capstones, students will work closely with a faculty member. Examples of capstone projects include:

  • Professional Development Plan in Healthcare Administration
  • Market Analysis on Autonomous Vehicles for Business Delivery
  • Research Project: Post-Covid Effective Hybrid Workplace Strategies

Only Pay for the Credits You Need:
Transfer up to 90 Credits Toward Your Bachelor’s Degree

Students can transfer up to 90 credits toward their 124-credit bachelor’s degree including work experience or job training such as EMT training, licensures, certifications, professional development and prior work experience that aligns with your degree path. 

All coursework from all accredited institutions, including four-year colleges and community colleges outside of Massachusetts, will be considered for transfer credit.

Bachelor’s + Master’s Pathway*


Master’s Tuition Savings

Did you know students who complete their bachelor’s degree at Merrimack can automatically save at least 25 percent off the total tuition for some online and on-campus master’s degrees at Merrimack?

Two Free Graduate Classes

Additionally, students can complete up to two free graduate classes during their final two Bachelor Degree Completion program semesters.

*Graduate certificates and some master’s degrees may not offer all benefits.

What Our Students Say

“I really enjoyed my experience in the BDC program and I am actually now going to Merrimack for my master’s in clinical mental health counseling. It’s a great opportunity for anyone who wants to continue their education.”

Graduate, 2023

“The bachelor program is a good program that allows you to use and adapt your personal experience into the course materials. Going back to school was probably one of the most daunting things to me but I really enjoyed it. It was easy to break down, easy to take on and I’m glad I did it.”

Graduate, 2023

“The professors made sure you had an understanding of the materials, I really liked that, especially after being out of school for a while.”

Graduate, 2023

“I’m in the Business Administration specialization and I’m moving on to a master’s in management. The program has helped prepare me for career progression. I was really looking for that in a program.”

Graduate, 2023

It’s Easy to Apply Online

A complete application includes:

  • Online application (no fee).
  • College transcripts from all institutions attended.*
  • English proficiency exam for non-English speaking applicants.

*Students need at least 12 credits in prior undergraduate work from an accredited community college, college, or university. If you do not have prior undergraduate coursework additional options may be available.


Key Dates and Deadlines

This program enrolls six times a year. Each term is eight weeks.

Term
Application Deadline
Classes Begin
Summer II
Monday, June 17, 2024
Monday, July 1, 2024
Fall I
Monday, August 12, 2024
Monday, August 26, 2024
Fall II
Monday, October 7, 2024
Monday, October 21, 2024
Summer II
Application Deadline
Monday, June 17, 2024
Classes Begin
Monday, July 1, 2024
Fall I
Application Deadline
Monday, August 12, 2024
Classes Begin
Monday, August 26, 2024
Fall II
Application Deadline
Monday, October 7, 2024
Classes Begin
Monday, October 21, 2024

At Merrimack College, we’re proud of our long history of providing quality degrees to students entering the job market. Our faculty are more than just teachers. We are committed to helping you grow — academically, personally and spiritually — so that you may graduate as a confident, well-prepared citizen of the world.

  • Most Innovative Schools (No. 14)
  • Regional Universities North (No. 33)
  • Best Undergraduate Teaching (No. 31)
  • Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (No. 86)
    (at schools where doctorate not offered)
  • Best Colleges for Veterans (No. 14)
  • Best Value Schools (No. 47)
  • Merrimack College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
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