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In 1978, the Wisconsin Legislature authorized four Extended Degree Programs for the University of Wisconsin System.  This allowed UW-Green Bay the opportunity to offer a Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies. Unlike the other three programs, UW-Green Bay offered classes on Saturdays and via correspondence.

In 1998, with the assistance of a UW System grant, the Extended Degree Program developed nine courses for asynchronous delivery via the Internet.  Since then, our program has continued to grow and now offers more fully online courses than any other major on campus.

With some curriculum revisions, the Bachelor's degree in General Studies became the Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Interdisciplinary Studies (IST) in 1999. This new degree program offered students two tracks: General Studies or Business and Economics. IST majors were required to complete the University’s General Education requirements as well as upper-level courses in the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and Business. The new IST major also included an "area of emphasis" in which a subject of interest is studied in depth.

In 2001, seven minors were made available to IST students in the Extended Degree Program.  These minors included Accounting, Business Administration, English, Human Development, Psychology, Sociology, and Women's Studies.  And in 2002, the Extended Degree Program began offering an 18-credit Certificate Program in e-Communication in conjunction with the IST degree.

Extended Degree was renamed the “Adult Degree Program” in 2004 and joined the Office of Outreach to create the newly formed Division of Outreach and Adult Access. In 2006 a new curriculum was approved, streamlining the IST major and eliminating the “Tracks.” Areas of Emphasis were approved in Organizational Communication and Emergency Management.

In 2007 the University approved the Bachelor of Applied Studies Degree. This groundbreaking degree was specifically designed for Technical College graduates and opened new doors for adult learners with an applied associate degree who wanted to continue on for a baccalaureate degree. In the same year, the program received a grant from the UW System Consortium on Baccalaureate Education (C.O.B.E.) and the Northeast Wisconsin UW Learning Center was established on the campus of Fox Valley Technical College in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. This effort established a full-time advising presence in the Fox Valley as well as classes offered on Saturdays.

The Adult Degree Program expanded into the Northwoods in 2008, partnering with Nicolet College in Rhinelander and offering classes on that campus. That same year, the Adult Degree Program partnered with UW-Green Bay’s Department of Business, offering the Bachelor of Business Administration Degree via the Adult Degree model.