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Bachelor Degree FAQs

Bachelor Degree FAQs

Q. What is the Adult Degree Program?
A. The Adult Degree Program serves students 25 years of age and older who have not yet earned a Bachelor’s degree through a unique combination of academic and student services. The program serves both freshman and transfer students and is specifically tailored for those who have had a significant gap in their education.

Q. I already have a Bachelor’s degree. Can I apply to ADP for a second Bachelor’s degree?
A. No. The Adult Degree Program is specifically tailored for adult learners who have not yet earned a Bachelor’s degree. If you already have a Bachelor’s degree, you may want to consider applying for our Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program.

Q. I’m not yet 25. Can I apply?
A. The program makes occasional age exceptions for veterans, members of certain programs, or those with special circumstances. If you are under 25 and would like to be considered for ADP, please complete the ADP pre-application and include a detailed explanation of your reasons for applying to the program.

Q. As an ADP student, do I get a “regular” degree?
A. Yes! ADP students graduate with the same degree as all Lehman College students.

Q. What are the admission requirements?
A. The basic admission requirements are as follows:
  • HS Diploma or equivalent.
  • 25 years of age or older, with occasional exceptions.
  • GPA requirement – ADP does not have a set GPA requirement. Instead, we use a holistic admissions process that will include consideration of your prior grades along with your work and personal history, your motivation and determination to succeed, and the written essay that is included with your application. An admissions interview may be also required. If you are a transfer student with a GPA that makes you ineligible for admission through the College’s main admissions office, the ADP program may still consider you for admission.

Q. What are the benefits of being a student in the Adult Degree Program?
A. ADP serves as “home base” for its students—a one-stop shop for admissions and advising, straight through to graduation. A more cohesive approach to advising helps adult students reach their goals. We provide the following services:
  • Office hours three nights per week until 7:00 pm.
  • Personalized academic advisement that is rooted in best practices for working with adult students.
  • The opportunity for qualified students to potentially earn college credits for prior learning (PLA) from life, work, or volunteer experience and/or US military service.
  • The choice to design your own major through our Self-Determined Studies degree, or select from any of the more than 50 majors offered at the college.
  • The option to take special interdisciplinary (IBA) classes open only to adult degree students that are designed to help ease the transition back to college.
  • Exemption from some college requirements, i.e. the foreign language sequence.

Q. Do I have to take IBA courses?
A. No. Students in ADP are encouraged to take IBA courses when they first enter the college, especially if they have been out of school for a long time and/or need a refresher to college writing and research skills, but no one is required to do so. IBA courses can be used to replace language requirements and/or LEH courses and count for credit toward your degree as part of the general education requirements/college option. Download the ADP General Education Requirement Worksheet.

Q. What is Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)/Life Experience credits and how do I get them?
A. Some students may qualify to earn college credit for prior learning through Lehman’s Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) process. “Prior learning” refers to learning of an academic nature that has taken place outside a traditional classroom and can come from a range of experiences including current and prior employment, volunteer activities, military service, acquired licenses and certifications, and more.

Earning college credit for prior learning is based on your ability to demonstrate college-level learning in specific areas of expertise by completing a portfolio that documents your learning. ADP offers a three-credit course that teaches students how to prepare the portfolio. At the end of the course, the portfolio is evaluated by a pre-determined academic department at Lehman (based on the learning described in the portfolio) who will determine a credit award of 0 to 15.

Any prior learning credits awarded count as elective credits and do not count toward Lehman College residency requirements. In order to enroll in IBA 360, ADP students must have completed 60 credits (at least 12 credits at Lehman), and have permission from the ADP Director.

Q. Are there any disadvantages to the Adult Degree Program?
A. ADP students are able to do everything that regular Lehman students can do, such as following the traditional Lehman requirements, (i.e., two semesters of a foreign language, plus 6 credits in the LEH sequence) if they so choose. The Adult Degree Program simply provides adult students with some additional options that have been shown to better meet the needs of many returning adults (i.e., the opportunity to earn college credits for prior learning, and/or take IBA courses instead of a foreign language). In addition, ADP students are seen for academic advising in the ADP office, where we have extensive evening hours, rather than the main academic advising center.

Q. What requirements must I meet as an ADP student in order to graduate from Lehman College?
A. All Lehman College students, including ADP students, need 120 credits to earn their Bachelor’s Degree with a minimum GPA of 2.0 both in the major and overall and at least 30 credits taken in residence (at Lehman). Credits are distributed into three areas: General Education Requirements, Major Requirements, and Elective Courses.

GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS - All Lehman students must complete general education requirements in order to graduate. General education courses are a mix of liberal arts and sciences that encourage critical thinking, analytic, problem solving, and reasoning skills. General education courses at Lehman are divided into 3 parts: The Core, Flex Core, and the College Option. Transfer students with an AA or AS (not an AAS or AOS) from an accredited college are exempt from the Core and Flex Core and need to complete the College Option only. All other transfer students will be evaluated on a course by course basis. Download the ADP General Education Advising Worksheet.

MAJOR REQUIREMENTS - All students must select a major before they reach 60 credits. ADP students have the choice of either following a traditional major that is already defined in the Lehman College Undergraduate Bulletin or creating an individualized focus through the ADP Self Determined Studies major.

ELECTIVE COURSES - Electives are courses that count towards your degree but aren’t directly related to your major or general education requirements. You select courses based on individual interests or which complement your future career plans. The purpose of taking elective courses is to provide students with a well-rounded educational experience. The number of electives each person needs to reach 120 credits will vary depending upon the size of your major, the number of transfer credits, and other factors. This is discussed in detail when you meet with an ADP advisor.

Q. What major can I choose?
A. ADP students may select from any of the more than 50 majors offered at Lehman College, or they may choose to design their own focus through our Self-Determined Studies major. Some majors such as Social Work and Nursing have selective admissions policies. Students must apply to these majors separately, after completing required general education courses. Lehman also offers several majors that can be completed with a combination of evening, weekend, and/or online courses.

Q. What is Self-Determined Studies and how do I apply?
A. Students who want to complete the Self-Determined Studies major must meet with an ADP advisor to create a study plan. The study plan identifies the courses and the credits the student is required to complete. Students interested in this option must have the study plan approved by the Director of ADP who may require additional faculty approval depending upon the focus chosen.

Q. When do I declare my major?
A. All students must declare their major by the time they have earned/transferred 45 college credits but no later than 60 credits. See instructions on how to declare a major.

Q. How many credits can I take each semester?
A. Adult students typically have very busy, complicated lives, filled with work and family obligations. The number of credits you take will be based largely on how much time you can devote to school. We generally advise students who have never been to college, or those returning to college after an absence of several years, to consider taking a maximum of 6-9 credits (2-3 classes) the first semester. For many returning students, starting less than full-time helps ease the transition back to school. Other adult students feel ready to handle the challenge of full-time studies and ADP supports them in doing so. In most circumstances, it will be your choice to determine how many credits to take each semester and your ADP advisor will help you make a plan that works for you.

Q. How long will it take me to complete my degree?
A. All adult students have an individual journey towards earning their bachelor’s degree. Some factors which impact the time towards graduation are:
  • The number of credits completed each semester
  • Taking courses in the winter and summer sessions
  • The number of credits transferred
  • Receiving PLA credit (maximum 15 credits)
  • The choice of major (majors vary in size from 28-75 credits).
  • Choosing to stick with a major in which you have some requirements already completed, or changing to a new one
  • Stopping out vs continuous enrollment
  • Taking CLEP exams and departmental exams for credit (please consult with your major department for further information)

Q. Will the Adult Degree Program accept all of my transfer credits?
A. ADP students follow the same transfer credit process as all Lehman College students. Once you are admitted to ADP, your official transcripts are evaluated by the College’s Transfer Credit Evaluation (TCE) office. The college will accept credits from CUNY schools with a grade of D or better, and credits from a non-CUNY school with a C or better. While there is no limit as to how many courses you can transfer, you must still meet Lehman’s requirements to earn a degree.  Those requirements include earning a minimum of 30 credits at Lehman, including any missing general education requirements, and at least one-half the credits in the major and minor. Once your TCE is complete, an ADP advisor will review this with you and help you make a plan to complete your degree as soon as possible. You can track the progress of your TCE via eTCE which is located on Lehman 360.  You may be asked to provide additional information.  Directions for how to do so are here.

Q. How much does it cost to attend Lehman College and is there any financial aid available?
A. Please click here for current information about Lehman College tuition and fees. Unfortunately, there is no special financial aid available for ADP students. Students are encouraged to apply for Pell and TAP grants. For further information regarding dates, eligibility, forms, and documentation required or financial aid, call or visit Lehman’s Financial Aid Office, located in Shuster Hall 136. There are also opportunities to apply for scholarships. More information is available in the Scholarship Office, located in Shuster Hall, Room 205.

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