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Programs & Resources for Working Adult Students

Finish Your Bachelor’s Degree or Earn a Graduate Degree or Certificate at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa

As an adult student looking to finish your bachelor’s degree or earn a master’s, Oklahoma State University-Tulsa opens up a range of pathways toward acquiring new skills and advancing your career while you continue to live and work in or near Tulsa.

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As a transfer university, we apply previously earned college credits toward a bachelor’s degree, allowing you to focus on your program of study through junior- and senior-level classes. Adult students needing to complete some or all general studies requirements may want to take advantage of OSU-Tulsa’s partnerships with area community colleges, including Tulsa Community College (TCC): start your degree at community college, earn general education credits or a completed associate degree, and then finish your bachelor’s at OSU-Tulsa’s downtown campus or in Stillwater. Later, return to work toward your master’s or doctoral degree or graduate certificate.

Through whichever pathway you select, OSU-Tulsa angles our programs toward the needs of working adults, offering day, evening and weekend classes on campus and short-course, online and hybrid formats that fit into your busy schedule and allow you to complete your degree on your own timeline. In all cases, you receive a world-class education at a Big 12 university close to home while earning the same degree as students in Stillwater.

As a working adult seeking to gain a new credential and get ahead in the workforce, explore all of the roads that take you to OSU-Tulsa.

OSU-Tulsa student Bessy Valera with her daughters

“I just told myself, ‘if I don’t do it today, nobody is going to do it for me tomorrow.’”
-Bessy Valera, Class of 2019


College Programs for Working Adults

Reach Higher: DirectComplete

OSU-Tulsa participates in this statewide program that assists working adults with finishing their bachelor’s degree by helping you find resources for books and childcare, academic advising and career guidance. Programs reflect Oklahoma’s in-demand occupations, and at OSU-Tulsa, adult students may earn their DirectComplete bachelor’s degree in computer science, elementary education, finance or management information systems. 

This program is geared toward adults 25-49 who make $75,000 or less per year and who have already completed at least half of the credits needed for a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA. Interested students need to be able to commit to at least six credit hours per semester, with the goal of graduating in two to three years.

Learn more about the Reach Higher: DirectComplete degree for additional information.

Start at Community College and Transfer to OSU-Tulsa

Because OSU-Tulsa’s undergraduate programs consist strictly of junior- and senior-level courses, adult students needing to complete their general education requirements are recommended to begin their educational journey at an area community college before transferring to our campus. OSU’s Transfer Agreements list all partnerships, including which majors correspond with our 20 undergraduate programs and all course-by-course equivalencies. 

Many of our students start at TCC, the state’s largest source of transfer students. Through the Tulsa Transfer Project, an effort to streamline TCC credit transfers to four-year universities, TCC and OSU-Tulsa introduced Linked Degree for Spring 2020. Unique to our institution, this innovative program crafts your educational arc from your first day at TCC all the way through graduation day at OSU-Tulsa. Along the way, students pick up an associate degree, pay less tuition and work with dedicated advisors to ensure their course loads align with their career goals. Ideal for working adults courses at OSU-Tulsa and TCC are available on campus, online and in hybrid formats. 

Learn more about the benefits and format of Linked Degree

Graduate Programs for Adult Students at OSU-Tulsa

Perhaps you’ve already earned your bachelor’s degree, but due to your busy schedule, you can’t go back to school full-time for your master’s or doctoral degree. Especially in fields like education and business, a graduate degree is essential for getting ahead, and OSU-Tulsa acknowledges this challenge. Our conveniently located downtown campus also offers master’s, doctoral degrees and graduate certificates across a range of programs, with flexible afternoon, evening, weekend and online options available. OSU-Tulsa’s graduate programs are comparatively affordable, too, and for years, we’ve been considered one of the best values among the Big 12.

Ready to take the next step toward an advanced degree or certificate? Read more about our graduate programs, or fill out a request for information form today

Quote: Class schedules are geared toward those who work in the industry already. It's very doable, even working 40 hours a week. Harley Thomas, American Airlines aircraft mechanic for nearly 30 years

Transferring to OSU-Tulsa as an Adult Student

Starting the Transfer Process

Your journey as an adult transfer student might begin with an advising appointment at your community college, or if you have been out of school for several years, you can start by requesting information from OSU-Tulsa to speak with one of our prospective student services representatives. Here are some additional resources:

When to Transfer Credits

All interested students must have earned a minimum of 24 credit hours before transferring to OSU-Tulsa, with a minimum 2.25 cumulative GPA for all work completed. This requirement is lowered to a cumulative 2.0 GPA for students who have earned 60 or more credit hours or completed an associate degree. In all cases, transferred credits must fulfill the program’s general education requirements, as all undergraduate majors at OSU-Tulsa begin with junior-level coursework.

Adult students who have already started a master’s or doctoral degree may also transfer previously earned graduate credits to OSU-Tulsa. Up to nine credit hours of graduate-level coursework could be applied toward your degree, depending on the program.

Submit Your Application and Transcripts

If you are an adult transfer student applying to an undergraduate program at OSU-Tulsa:

To apply to graduate programs at OSU-Tulsa:

Each graduate program has its own additional application requirements, such as a resume, letters of recommendation or goal statement. Contact the faculty advisor for your desired program for application information. If you need help connecting with a graduate program advisor, contact OSU-Tulsa Graduate Student Services.

Financial Aid and Scholarships for Adult Students

Whether you’re going back to school for your bachelor’s or to earn a master’s degree, OSU-Tulsa has a reputation for offering a top-tier education at a reasonable price. Our financing options for adult students reflect this:

  • academic, achievement, leadership, and community service scholarships

  • tuition waivers

  • grants

  • work-study assignments and assistantships

  • student loans

  • payment plans that spread the cost of tuition and other fees over the semester

To take advantage of these opportunities, students must first submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form with their application. OSU’s school code is 003170. Then, after you’ve been accepted, start applying for all scholarships and assistantships for which you’re qualified.

To explore the full scope of your financing options, stop by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, located at North Hall 130, or begin your search online.

Learn More About Degree Programs for Adult Students at OSU-Tulsa

OSU-Tulsa wants all of our adult students to reach their goals—finishing a bachelor’s or master’s degree and taking their career to the next level. For more information about transferring credits or degree programs for adults, email the OSU-Tulsa Prospective Student Services office, contact them by phone at 918-594-8355 or fill out a request for information form today.