Jun 13, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Regents Bachelor of Arts (RBA) Degree Program

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The Regents Bachelor of Arts (RBA) Degree Program is a flexible, nontraditional program designed for adults in the belief that they are distinctly different from traditional undergraduates in their educational needs. The program can be tailored to fit those who need a degree for career advancement, those who have an associate degree in a field in which there is no corresponding bachelor’s degree available, or those who seek intellectual development and personal fulfillment. The RBA degree has particular appeal for persons who have completed some college work in past years but did not obtain a degree.


Students who have graduated from high school at least four years ago and who have not completed a bachelor’s degree are eligible for admission to the RBA program. Persons with high school equivalency certificates may be admitted four years after their high school class graduated. If an applicant has previous college credit, failing grades of F received four years or more before admission to the RBA program are disregarded from the student’s GPA calculation once graduation requirements have been met.

Admission to the RBA Degree Program requires that the RBA Admissions Form be completed instead of the standard application to Fairmont State. However, all other admissions criteria Ð such as submission of official high school and/or college transcripts and immunization records Ð required for admission to Fairmont State are also required for RBA program admission. Admission to the RBA program does not provide for automatic admission to other programs at Fairmont State. Any RBA student must reapply and meet all admission requirements when changing from the Regents Bachelor of Arts (RBA) Degree Program to any other degree program at Fairmont State.

Degree Requirements

To qualify for graduation, candidates must accumulate a total of 120 semester hours of credit with a minimum quality point average of 2.00. At least 39 hours must be at the upper (3300 or 4400) level. Students must complete 36 semester hours of General Studies courses, including the required semester hours in each of the following areas: Communications (6), Social Sciences (6), Natural Sciences (6), Mathematics or Computer Applications (3), Humanities (6), and 9 additional General Studies hours. At least 24 semester hours must be taken in the West Virginia State System of Higher Education and at least 12 of those credit hours must be completed at Fairmont State. The RBA is an interdisciplinary degree with no major area of emphasis. A minor field of study may be declared but is not required.

College-Equivalent Credit

A unique feature of the RBA Degree Program is the possibility of obtaining college-equivalent credit for demonstrated college-level knowledge that has been learned in environments and agencies outside the classroom. To earn credit, students must demonstrate knowledge of learning objectives and outcomes equivalent to specific courses taught at Fairmont State or within the West Virginia State System of Higher Education. Students who have obtained any professional, state, or national licenses or certifications can request a review of the credentials to determine if they are eligible to receive college credit.

Portfolio evaluations are completed for enrolled students by faculty members who teach the course for which credit is sought. Portfolios should be submitted prior to semester midterm to ensure that sufficient time is available for evaluation. The fee for portfolio evaluation is $300 regardless of whether or not credit is awarded. If credit is recommended, then the faculty members will also recommend the number of credit hours to be awarded along with the appropriate level (upper or lower). An additional $10 per credit hour processing fee is required to transcript the credit.

Credit earned via portfolio or prior learning assessment does not count toward meeting the state or institutional residency requirements for the RBA program. Awarded credit hours will not be posted to a student’s academic transcript until after residency requirements have been met.

Academic credit will only be awarded to students who are admitted to and currently enrolled in the RBA Degree Program. Students, however, cannot be awarded college-equivalent credit during their first or final semesters in the RBA program.


Students admitted to the RBA Degree Program are eligible to enroll in courses available through the West Virginia Remote Online Collaborative Knowledge System (WVROCKS), which provides access to courses taught at colleges and universities across West Virginia via a statewide portal. The courses, given the prefix RBAS at Fairmont State, are all online, compressed (8-weeks), mostly upper level, and available only to RBA students.

For more information on the RBA program or the WVROCKS/RBAS courses, contact Pamela Stephens, Coordinator of the RBA Degree Program, 225 Turley Student Services Center, (304) 367-4709, rba@fairmontstate.edu.

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