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Three-Year Programs

Three-Year Program FAQ

Academic

Q: Which degrees can I pursue in three years? 
A: Butler University is proud to offer more than 30 degree programs across two academic colleges that can be completed in three years: the College of Communication (CCOM) and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS).

CCOM majors include: Communication Sciences and Disorders, Critical Communication and Media Studies, Human Communication and Organizational Leadership, Journalism, Music Industry Studies, Strategic Communication, Web Design and Development

LAS majors include: Actuarial Science, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Classics - Ancient Languages, Classics - Greek and Roman Cultures, Computer Science, Criminology, English - Literature, Environmental Studies, French, German, History, International Studies, Mathematics, Peace and Conflict Studies, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Religion, Science, Technology, and Society, Sociology, Software Engineering, Spanish, Statistics

Q: How does a three-year program work? 
A: Students who are interested in pursuing a degree in three years must discuss this intention with their academic advisor to ensure that their major is available and to also discuss a plan of action. Students can decide to pursue a three-year degree at any time prior to or during the first year of study, but must declare their intention by the end of their first year in order to ensure the degree can be completed in time.

In order to complete a degree in three years, students must commit to taking an average of 17-19 credit hours per semester and an average of 6-10 credit hours for the two summers between the first and second year and the second and third year.

Q: Do I need to bring in credits to complete any of these degrees in three years? 
A: Some of the degree programs do require that you bring in a small number of transfer credits. These programs include Actuarial Science, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics. Specific degree plans are available here. If you’re interested in majoring in any of those programs and completing in three years, please talk to your academic advisor. 

Q: When would I need to decide that I’d like to pursue a major in three years? 
A: Although you can decide as early as your New Student Registration or Virtual Registration date, you would need to commit to pursuing a three-year degree by the end of your first year of college in order to register and complete the required summer courses, which allow you to complete a degree program in three years. 

Q: Will my classes be online, in-person, or both over the summer? 
A: It depends on your major. Some majors offer classes online, whereas others only offer in-person courses. You will need to speak with your academic advisor to determine which courses are available for the summer and in which format.

Q: Can I take my summer courses elsewhere and transfer those credits back in? 
A: Current students must seek pre-approval in order to take summer classes at another institution. For that reason, students will want to plan ahead and speak to their academic advisor if they’re interested in taking courses at another college or university. A transfer credit approval form is available here.

Q: Can I take a minor or have a double major? 
A: Depending on which degree program you are pursuing, it may be possible to add a minor or a double major and still complete the program in three years. It’s recommended to speak to your academic advisor as soon as possible in order to put together a plan.

Q: Can I apply IB/AP credits to my three year degree program? 
A: Yes. Butler University offers advanced course placement, with appropriate academic credit, in most subject areas covered by AP (Advanced Placement), IB (International Baccalaureate) or CLEP (College Level Examination Program). More information can be found here.

Q: If I decide I want to switch back to a traditional four year program, can I do so? 
A: Yes. You are not locked in to completing a degree in three years. You can change your mind at any time. 

Student Life

Q: How will a three year degree program impact my study abroad opportunities? 
A: Studying abroad is an important part of the college experience for many students, including those who graduate in three years. Butler offers many study abroad options including full semester opportunities, summer opportunities, or shorter, one-to-two week opportunities. Whichever option you choose will depend on your interests, your major, and other external factors.

Q: Can I still do an internship if I’m pursuing a three year degree program? 
A: Yes. One of the hallmarks of a Butler education is our focus on providing experiential learning opportunities, and this is no different for students who plan to graduate in three years. All majors will allow for students to complete an internship, but it’s recommended that you begin planning ahead for this and speak to your academic advisor.

Q: Can I apply for and be part of the Honors Program if I’m pursuing a three year degree? 
A: Yes, it is entirely possible to complete the Honors Program requirements and still graduate in three years. Honors Program requirements can be found here. It is still important to speak with your academic advisor about participating in both the Honors Program and a three-year degree program to ensure all requirements are satisfied, most specifically the honors thesis.

Q: Can I participate in undergraduate research opportunities while pursuing a three year degree program? 
A: Yes, many of the three-year degree programs have built-in options to participate in either an internship or undergraduate research opportunities. Speak to your academic advisor about research interests and when this could best be pursued. 

Tuition/Financial Aid

Q: What is the cost of a three year program and is it cheaper than a traditional four year degree program? 
A: Students choosing to enroll in one of Butler’s three-year programs could see a potential cost savings of approximately $35,000 over the course of their degree program. Actual savings will vary by student. Cost savings is based on projected tuition, room, board, and fees. Actual savings will vary by student and individual financial aid eligibility.

Q: Am I able to receive scholarships and financial aid if I pursue a degree in three years? 
A: Yes. Financial aid will be awarded as normal for the fall and spring semesters. There are no Butler grants or scholarships for the summer term, but the costs per credit hour are much less expensive in the summer than they would be during an academic semester.

Q: How will completing a three year degree program impact my need-based Butler financial aid?
A: Need-based financial aid will be awarded as normal for the fall and spring semesters. There is no need-based Butler aid for the summer.

Q: Will my financial aid and scholarships apply to my summer classes? 
A: There are no Butler grants and scholarships for the summer. More information about summer financial aid can be found here.

Residential Life

Q: Am I required to live on campus all three years? 
A: Yes, based on university policy, students must live on-campus for the first three academic years of study. This includes students who are completing a three-year degree program.

Q: Will Butler provide housing over the summer? If so, in which residence hall? 
A: Yes, Butler provides on-campus housing through Apartment Village. Rent is due weekly. No meal plans are available over the summer, as each apartment has a fully functioning kitchen.