Programs in the School of Professional Studies

Certificate Programs

The School of Professional Studies offers a post-secondary certificate in the below career fields. Gaining a certificate from an accredited university can advance your career and put you a step closer to earning a degree. All coursework can be transferred and applied towards an Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree at Trinity.

Post Secondary Certificate

Associate Degree Programs at THEARC

Through the School of Professional Studies (SPS), Trinity Washington University at THEARC offers an Associate of Arts in General Studies, Early Childhood Education and Health Services. Each program requires 61 credit hours of coursework; the equivalent of 20 classes.

All degree programs at THEARC are designed to meet the specific needs of working professionals who balance career, family, and other commitments.  Due to the work/life balance, students attending part-time (2 classes per semester), may complete any associate of arts degree in 3 ½ years. The Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education is also offered on Trinity’s Main Campus.

Students who graduate with an associate’s degree from Trinity at THEARC may pursue a bachelor’s degree from one of the many degree programs offered in SPS at the University’s main campus.

Trinity at THEARC also offers a Community Healthcare Worker Certificate program. (See certificate programs above)

Baccalaureate Degree Programs

The undergraduate baccalaureate programs of the School of Professional Studies are designed to meet the needs of professionals seeking a baccalaureate degree. To this end, courses are conveniently scheduled on Saturdays as well as weekday evenings (Monday through Friday). Intensive courses are available in the January Winter Term and the May Term. Students may earn either a Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science degree (B.S.) in a variety of major fields. Students who wish to take college-level classes but do not wish to complete the requirements of a degree are also invited to take classes as non-degree seeking students.

The SPS Core Curriculum provides students with a strong foundation in the liberal arts with a practical focus on workplace preparation, while providing them with opportunities to pursue their own interests and to further their intellectual development. The design of the SPS Core Curriculum allows for students who have some college credits to transfer applicable credits easily and to take advantage of experiential learning through internships and the TELL program.

Credit for college-level learning acquired outside of the traditional classroom format can be earned through Trinity’s Experiential Lifelong Learning Program (TELL). Additional information about TELL may be obtained from the School of Professional Studies Office 202/884-9620. Further information may also be found in the Academic Policies section of this catalog.

Undergraduate information sessions about the School of Professional Studies and other programs are held throughout the year. Students who attend these sessions receive information about applying to the program, academic curricula, advising, and financial services. For the most up-to-date information, please call the Office of Admissions at 202/884-9400 or refer to the School of Professional Studies main web site.

SPS Undergraduate Baccalaureate Curriculum

Students in the School of Professional studies complete coursework in three main areas:

  1. the Core, Trinity’s general education requirements,
  2. a chosen major field of study and
  3. optional elective courses.

Core, major and elective coursework each represent about a third of a student’s total credit hours needed for graduation. Many professional students enter Trinity with transfer credits in each of these areas.

Core Courses

The School of Professional Studies provides a Core curriculum of general education requirements. For a description of the curriculum and courses, please see the Undergraduate Core Curriculum section of this catalog.

Major Programs

The School of Professional Studies offers undergraduate majors leading to the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science.


Students may choose electives that complement their major fields or for personal educational enrichment. Advisors can assist students in determining which elective courses to choose. Descriptions of electives are found in the Course Descriptions: Elective and Supporting Courses and in individual program sections of this catalog.

Academic Advising in the School of Professional Studies

The School of Professional Studies is primarily responsible for assisting and supporting undergraduate students in planning their academic careers at Trinity. The staff is available to meet with students for program advisement, registration, schedule adjustments, declarations of majors, and review of core and major requirements. Students who are new to Trinity are immediately assigned to an SPS New Student Advisor. The New Student Advisor facilitates initial registration and transition to a permanent advisor. In addition, the Advising office coordinates orientation for undergraduate students, assists students in entering the Trinity Experiential Lifelong Learning (TELL) program and in the assessment of prior learning. Further information is available from the School of Professional Studies at 202/884-9620.

Additional services available to students are listed in the Campus Life and Student Resources section of this catalog.

Student Services and Campus Housing

In addition to the services provided by the Academic Services Center, SPS offers the following for its students:

Campus Housing
On a limited basis, Trinity offers dormitory rooms to School of Professional Studies students who wish to stay overnight while attending classes on the weekend. Students may also lease a room on a long-term contract. Interested students should contact the Director of Campus Housing for fees and to make housing arrangements.

Child Care
As a general rule, because Trinity’s work is higher education, Trinity’s campus is not an appropriate environment for children. Students and faculty expect to be able to conduct their teaching and research in an adult environment; Trinity manages the campus for adults, and does not have the capacity to provide safe places for children. Please refer to Trinity’s Policy About Children on Campus.