Jun 17, 2024  
2020-21 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-21 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies & Regulations

Important Things You Need to Know


Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the policies and requirements as described in the Undergraduate Catalog.

The Academic Year

The academic year is divided into two semesters, fall and spring. The fall semester typically begins in late August and ends in late December. The spring semester begins in mid-January and ends in May. There are also summer sessions, which begin during May and continue through early August.

A semester course during the day usually meets two or three periods each week with additional time for laboratory or studio work; those at night generally meet once a week. At the discretion of the instructor, individual study, group projects, or other relevant activities may be substituted occasionally for scheduled class meetings.

Course Numbering

100-199 Introductory undergraduate courses Open to first-year and sophomores. Juniors and seniors may schedule a maximum of two 100-199 courses in any one semester.

200-299 Intermediate undergraduate courses Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors. Open to first-year students with approval of advisor and instructor.

300-399 Advanced undergraduate courses Open to juniors and seniors. With permission of the advisor and instructor, sophomores also may enroll.

400-499 Graduate/advanced undergraduate courses Open to graduate students and senior undergraduate students.

500-699 Graduate courses Open to graduate students. Undergraduate seniors who are within a few credits of meeting the requirements for the bachelor’s degree may, with the permission of the Dean of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies, enroll in a limited number of 500-level graduate courses. Credit may be awarded either toward the bachelor’s degree or the master’s, but not both.

700-999 Graduate courses Open to graduate students admitted to a doctoral degree program.

The University reserves the right to cancel any course for insufficient enrollment, to discontinue any major program of study for the same reason, to alter semesters or times indicated, and to vary course content from that described herein.

Course/Credit Load/Overload Petition

Students may enroll on either a full-time (12 or more credits) or a part-time (0 to 11 credits) basis. Full-time students take 12 to 18 credits during each regular semester. Students who want to carry more than 18 credits must submit a Petition for Overload form and it is must be approved to do so, unless they have

  1. a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0;
  2. a 3.0 (or higher) average for the two preceding semesters; or
  3. full status in the Honors Program, (except for FYSAE and first-semester students). The maximum number of credits permitted for one semester is 20. Any student who wishes to carry more than 20 credits must submit a Petition for Overload Form. If the petition is approved the student will be charged an excessive overload fee for each credit beyond 20 credits.

Class Year Defined by Credits for Financial Aid

A student’s grade level classification for financial aid is determined according to the number of credits he/she completes. Such classification is based on the following:

0-26 credits first-year (freshman)
27-56 credits sophomore
57-86 credits junior
87+ credits senior

However, day program students with normal progress typically will need to complete the following number of credits to complete a four-year program within that time frame:

End of first year 32 credits
End of second year 64 credits
End of third year 96 credits

Successful completion of a total of 128 credits is required for graduation in day programs.

Part-time students seeking financial aid on the federal or state levels must take a minimum of 6 credits in each semester. For the summer sessions, a total of at least 6 credits must be taken over the course of one or all summer sessions in order to maintain financial aid eligibility.

Registration for Courses

Each student plans course selection in consultation with an adviser who is a member of the teaching faculty. The adviser outlines the various programs and opportunities available within the objectives and interests of the student and must approve the final selection of courses each semester.

A student must be registered for a course by the end of the drop/add period in order to attend the class.  For those students that have previously attended Arcadia but have not registered for any courses, no new registrations after the first week of classes is permitted (this policy has been suspended for the 2020-2021 academic year).  Students that are currently registered and are changing their course schedule during drop/add would not be impacted by this policy. 

Current students register in April and November for the succeeding semester. Students in the Honors Program, or any student receiving Veteran’s Administration education benefits, as well as any student who self-identifies as a veteran or any student majoring in any of Arcadia’s 2+2, 3+2, 3+3 or three-year degree programs are allowed to register for courses on the first day of priority registration. Students identified by the Department of Athletics as being a student-athlete will be scheduled as thou 32 credits have been added to their already completed credits in order to determine their first day of priority registration.  Student-athletes should contact the Department of Athletics or the Registrar’s Office for more information.  Students who would like to request priority registration due to a disability or medical condition, can contact Disability Support Services at 215-572-4033 for more information.

New full-time students entering the University in the fall term are expected to attend a summer placement and registration day as well as the Orientation program. Full-time students entering in the middle of the year are invited to an Orientation program a few days before classes start. The placement inventories are given in English, Modern Languages and Mathematics.  For a new full or part-time student that has not registered for any courses, the deadline to enroll in a course is the end of the first week of the semester (this policy has been suspended for the 2020-2021 academic year).

New and transferring, part-time students entering the University at any point during the academic year are expected to meet with a member of Undergraduate Studies. Undergraduate Studies will oversee all necessary placement inventories, as well as the registration process. An overview of the campus and general student information also will be provided to all part-time students.

Online Courses While Studying Abroad

Arcadia students must take a minimum of 12 credits each semester in the study abroad country and can take between 2 to 6 credits online. 

Online Courses for Residential Students

First semester first-year students cannot take any courses online.

Second semester first-year residential students and sophomores may take a maximum of one online course per semester, not including the two credit Global Connections and Reflection course.

Residential juniors and seniors may take a maximum of two online courses per semester, not including the 2-credit Global Connections and Reflection course, with no more than half of the total number of courses taken in a semester being online.

Policies for Non-Traditional Courses

All courses, 12 to 15 weeks, regardless of delivery modality will follow the policies that are currently in place.

Seven-Week Classes (Regardless of delivery modality)

  1. Withdraw/Add—Students may withdraw and add courses during the first week of class. Adding a course requires the permission of the instructor.
  2. For Undergraduates, student evaluations will occur during the third week of the course.
  3. Students may withdraw during week four of the class and receive a W.
  4. Students may withdraw during week five of the course and receive either a WP or WF.
  5. Students will not have the opportunity to choose a Pass/Fail option for accelerated courses. Additionally, students do not have the option to audit an accelerated course.
  6. Students may not withdraw from a course during week six or seven; however, students have the right to petition the appropriate Dean.
  7. Course Abandonment—Course inactivity, non-attendance, or failure to make or complete payment does not constitute a course drop or withdrawal. Students remain financially responsible for a course registration unless the student notifies the Registrar’s Office in writing to drop or withdraw from the course. Fees are assessed according to the current refund policy. Neglecting to drop or withdraw officially will result in a failing grade on the transcript.

One-Week Intensive Classes and Institute Courses

  • Withdraw/Add—Students may only drop or add a course prior to the beginning of the course.
  • After the beginning of one-week intensive courses and Institute courses, there will be no refund.
  • Students have the right to petition the appropriate Dean.

Incompletes—Follow the current policy for all courses. (i.e. student in an accelerated course would have three weeks after the end of the semester to complete required work).

Undergraduate Enrollment in Graduate Courses

Arcadia University undergraduate students who are within a few credits of meeting the requirements for the bachelor’s degree may, with the permission of the Department Chair, faculty adviser and Dean of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies, enroll in a limited number of graduate courses (500-level courses). Credit may be awarded either toward the bachelor’s or the master’s degree, but not both.

Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education (SEPCHE)

Cross Registration Available: Arcadia University full-time undergraduate matriculated students paying full-time tuition can register for up to two undergraduate courses a year at any other SEPCHE member institution. (www.sepche.org)

The cross-registration program is designed to provide increased educational access to all eight-member institutions for students at any member school. Through this program, students can take courses that might not be available to them at their home campus and experience the varied and diverse resources on member campuses across the Delaware Valley.

A student must have completed at least one year as a full-time student at his or her home campus before taking courses through the cross-registration program. Courses may not be taken at a member institution if that course or its equivalent is given at the home institution in the same semester. No tuition or fees will be charged by the host institution, except for special or extra fees that are part of courses taken, such as lab fees or international travel costs. Credits earned count toward graduation requirements on the home campus. The cross-registration program does not apply to accelerated courses, independent study, tutorials, internships, practicum field experience, student teaching, or private music lessons. However, short-term courses (with one to four weeks overseas travel) listed as spring or fall courses at any SEPCHE institution are included in the courses that are eligible for cross registration.

For course listings and more information, check the SEPCHE Web site at www.sepche.org.

Attendance at Classes

A student must be registered for a course by the end of the drop/add period in order to attend the class.

The academic program at Arcadia University is organized mainly around classroom experiences. Thus, attendance is important. Arcadia University students accept the responsibility for attending scheduled meetings of their classes and completing their assignments on time. Each instructor has the responsibility of making clear to students his or her expectations concerning class attendance. Students are expected to attend all classes at the regularly scheduled hours immediately before and after vacations.

In cases of prolonged absences because of illness or other unavoidable circumstance, the likelihood of the student’s being able to make up the work missed will be determined through consultation between the Dean of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies and the instructors concerned. It is the student’s responsibility to report extended absences to the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies.

Arcadia University recognizes individual student choice in observing religious holidays that occur during regularly scheduled classes. Students should make arrangements with their instructors to make up work missed as a result of a religious observance, and instructors should make every reasonable effort to accommodate such requests.

Course Schedule Changes

Changes in course registrations may be made during the first two weeks of semester provided that a drop/add form is properly completed and filed with the Registrar’s Office. Students may add classes during the first week of a Fall or Spring semester with the advisor’s signature, but the instructor’s signature is not required.  During the second week of the semester the advisor’s and instructor’s signature are required to add a class.  A student may drop classes during the first two weeks of the semester with the advisor’s signature, but the instructor’s signature is not required. During summer sessions, students may add classes before the session begins; they must drop no later than the first class meeting. Students may withdraw from a course without GPA penalty before the end of the eleventh week of each semester and will be assigned a grade of W on the transcript.  

Withdrawals during the last four weeks of the semester (after the eleventh week) are not allowed except in extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the student. The student must obtain approval for withdrawal from the professor of the course, from the department chair in which the course is offered, from the student’s adviser, and from the Dean of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies (using the Petition for Exception to Academic Policy). If the approval is granted, the transcript will indicate that the student withdrew with a passing grade (WP) or withdrew with a failing grade (WF).

All requests for withdrawals must be filed by the dates listed in the academic calendar. Withdrawals from summer courses are governed by the same guidelines, using the dates of mid-term and three-quarters through the term.

The Major Programs

Some specialization is a desirable part of undergraduate liberal arts education as a foundation for graduate study, a profession, or the student’s own personal satisfaction. Study toward mastery of a subject in depth is essential to intellectual growth, and competence in a chosen field is important to a sense of identity.

The major programs at Arcadia University are broadly conceived within the discipline and related to the student’s general education.

Students are asked to finalize their selection of a major during the fall of the sophomore year. Changes are possible, especially between disciplines that are closely related, but in order to complete the degree program on time, student should make a final decision before the beginning of the junior year. Students who decide to switch majors late in their college career might find that they need to take additional coursework.

The number of courses required for a major varies from department to department. Courses in closely related disciplines may be required or recommended. To ensure that each student’s total course of study will have breadth as well as depth, no more than 52 credits in any one discipline may be counted toward graduation. For the Bachelor of Fine Arts, 84 credits may be taken in the discipline.

Second Major

Students may pursue a second major within the same degree (i.e., B.A., B.S. or B.F.A.) for sound academic reasons. A student wishing to pursue a second major must complete the Declaration of Second Major form, which includes the courses to be double counted and a proposal detailing how the student will complete the requirements for each senior thesis project. This form requires the approval of the student’s academic adviser and the chair of both departments. This form must be completed by the beginning of the student’s junior year. Between two and six courses can count toward two different majors. The final transcript will record the completion of both majors. Two separate degrees will not be granted to students who complete a second major (also see Second Degree below).

Second Degree

Undergraduates who want to earn two different degrees from Arcadia University must complete 160 credits for day programs or 150 credits for evening programs. Students who hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited academic institution, with coursework applicable to a liberal arts program, may complete a second bachelor’s degree at Arcadia University with a minimum of 32 credits in a day program or 30 credits in an evening program. The student must satisfy all departmental requirements but is exempt from all other Undergraduate Curricular requirements.

Academic Policies and Regulations for Independent Study

At Arcadia University, independent study is generally an individual project under the direction of a faculty member in an area in which the student has had prior education or experience. An independent study is expected to be planned well in advance of the semester in which it is to be conducted, and the instructor must approve the plan prior to registration. A committee (composed of the instructor, at least one other member of the department and one member from another department) is appointed by the department at the beginning of the semester. The members of the committee are to be involved as appropriate, particularly with the evaluation of the final paper or project. At the completion of the course, the student files with the Registrar a brief title and an abstract or description of the project. Students may enroll in only one independent study per semester.

Individualized Major

When a student’s goals cannot be satisfied by existing departmental or interdepartmental major programs, the student may, in consultation with faculty advisers, design an individualized major by combining appropriate courses, typically from two or more departments. Advisers from each academic department represented in the individualized major should be involved in the design and implementation of the major. Approval of the Coordinator of Individualized Majors and the Chair of the Undergraduate Academic Programs Committee as well as the Dean of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies is required. Criteria for acceptance include the coherence of the program and its purpose, such as a career goal or plans for graduate study in an interdisciplinary area. Faculty and students should obtain approval for an individualized major by the end of the first semester of the student’s junior year.


A student may elect a minor outside the major field. Minors are specified groups of at least five courses offered in various disciplines and may include cognates to the student’s major. A 2.00 GPA must be maintained in the courses required for the minor. A maximum of two courses can double count toward a minor and a major.

Individualized Minor

When a student’s goals cannot be satisfied by existing departmental or interdepartmental major or minor programs, the student may, in consultation with faculty advisers, design an individualized minor by combining appropriate courses, typically from two or more departments. Advisers from each department represented in the individualized minor should be involved in the design and implementation of the minor. In general, five courses should be included in the minor, for a total of 20 credits. Criteria for acceptance include the coherence of the program and its purpose, such as a career goal or plans for graduate study in an interdisciplinary area. Approval by the Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Chair of the Undergraduate Academic Programs Committee as well as the Dean of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies is required. Faculty and students should obtain approval for an individualized minor by the end of the first semester of the student’s junior year.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificates

The number of credits for Post-Baccalaureate Certificates varies. Students must achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and a 2.0 average in the courses required for the certificate.


Full-time students can audit courses with the approval of the faculty adviser and permission of the instructor. Courses audited are recorded on the student’s permanent record and receive a final grade of “AU”. Part-time students may request to audit one or two courses during regular semesters for a fee. Persons 60 and older may audit courses for a fee. Alumni may be eligible for a special audit rate. Contact Alumni Relations for more information.

Auditing is on a non-participating basis unless other arrangements are made between the student and the instructor.


The semester does not officially end until the last examination is completed. Examinations must be taken as scheduled except in cases of illness or other unavoidable reasons. Final critiques in art are considered examinations and are scheduled during examination week. Exceptions may be made only by petition to the Dean of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies; the student must provide the approval of the course instructor as well as other required signatures. This petition must be submitted no later than seven weekdays before final exams begin. Unexcused absence from an examination or critique results in failure of the examination.

Sixth Week Evaluations

All students are sent an e-mail explaining how to access their evaluations. The purpose of the evaluations is to give a student a sense of how he/she is doing from the instructor’s perspective. The following key explains all of the possible grades and comments on the sixth week evaluations:

Q Quality, above average
M Making satisfactory progress, average
J Jeopardy of failure, below average
N No grade (due to insufficient information)
01 Good exam/quiz grades
02 Actively participates in class
03 Enthusiasm for the subject
04 Poor exam grades
05 Incomplete coursework
06 Lack of participation in class
07 Difficulty with the English language
08 Excessive tardiness
09 Various difficulties with written assignments
10 Excessive absences


Reports of grades are issued to students at the end of each semester. Most courses at Arcadia University are graded by the conventional letter system: A designates excellent quality of performance; B, good; C, satisfactory; D, poor but passing; F, failure. The addition of a plus or minus for each of the passing grades gives opportunity to differentiate performance within each of the stated grades.

In the case of an incomplete, the instructor determines the date for completion of the work, but this date may not be later than three weeks into the semester following the one in which the Incomplete was given. If the work is not completed at that time, the student or the instructor may petition for an extension of time.

A student can register for a maximum of 12 credits when entering a semester with an incomplete from the previous semester. If the work is not completed and an extension not granted, a grade will be assigned that reflects the work completed. Students should expect that this would usually be an F.

Other grading symbols are used in some courses. Departments have the option of grading the senior seminar or practicum S (satisfactory) or U (unsatisfactory). S carries credit. The U is equivalent to F.

For classes taken in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021

With the approval of the adviser, the department and, when relevant, the chair of the department in which the course is taught, students who have received a grade of “C–” or below in a course during the 2020-21 Academic Year can repeat the course without additional credit in a subsequent semester if it is essential to their major or career goal. The higher grade would be used for GPA computation and would be considered the final grade for the course. A course can be repeated only once for a higher grade.  Courses receiving a S or P grading designation could not be repeated for a higher grade. Repeating examinations or completing additional work may not raise a permanent course grade. All final grades, including Fs, remain a permanent part of the student’s record.

Pass-Fail Option

Students may elect to take a limited number of courses on a pass-fail basis in place of traditional grading. Under the pass-fail option, students are graded P (passing) or F (failing). The F is calculated into the semester and overall GPA.

Full-time sophomores, juniors and seniors in satisfactory academic standing may take one elective course pass-fail each semester. Part-time students who have completed a minimum of 30 credits may take one elective course pass-fail for each additional set of 15 credits of Arcadia University coursework. Requests for pass-fail grading must be made no later than the end of the third week of classes. Such a request may be withdrawn by students at any time prior to one week after the mid-semester date. The following may not be taken pass-fail: courses in the major or minor field, other courses required for the major or minor program, courses selected to meet Undergraduate Curriculum requirements and courses in the prerequisite areas for admission into the doctorate-level Physical Therapy or master’s-level Physician Assistant programs.


Pass/Fail option for the Fall 2020 Semester

An opt-in process would allow students to choose whether to request some or all of their fall courses to be graded pass-fail. Recommended changes to the current policy for the Fall 2020 semester are included below.

  1. The pass-fail option would be available to all undergraduate students, including first-year students, part-time students, and students who have completed fewer than 30 credits.
  2. Courses fulfilling requirements for majors or minors and the Undergraduate Curriculum could be taken with the pass-fail option.
  3. Students would have at least a 14-day window to opt-in to a pass-fail grading rubric for their courses.  The last date to opt-in would be December 14, 2020.  December 14, 2020  is the last day of class during the Fall semester. This time frame allows students to consult with their instructors and advisers. 
  4. Although no academic adviser or instructor approval is necessary for eligible students to opt-in to a pass/fail grading rubric, students are very strongly encouraged to consult with their academic advisers, instructors, faculty in their major/minor departments, and / or a graduate program advisor before making these decisions. This decision is particularly important for undergraduate students who are planning to enter graduate programs that have prerequisites for grades in specific courses, or those who are seeking certification or other credentialing.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Grade points earned for a course are determined by multiplying the number of academic credit hours by the grade point value of the grade received. Grade point values are as follows:

A 4.0 C 2.0
A– 3.7 C– 1.7
B+ 3.3 D+ 1.3
B 3.0 D 1.0
B– 2.7 D– 0.7
C+ 2.3 F 0.0

The grade-point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total grade points by the total number of course credits for which the student has been enrolled. A minimum 2.0 cumulative and major GPA is required to graduate from the University. A+ grades may be recorded on student transcripts but are calculated into the GPA as 4.0. Courses graded S and those taken under the pass-fail option are not computed in the GPA. Thus, a student receiving one S and three Cs, or one P and three Cs, would have a GPA of 2.0. Grades earned in courses taken at other schools also are not computed in the GPA. As an exception, however, courses taken through SEPCHE agreements and through The College of Global Studies at Arcadia University are computed in the GPA.

The Code of Academic Responsibility

Each student accepts the responsibility of maintaining high standards of integrity in his or her academic performance. It is the responsibility of all students to uphold the code through the procedures set forth by the University as outlined in the Student Handbook.

Academic Honors

The Dean’s Distinguished Honor List and Dean’s Honor List recognize students who have attained high GPAs during the previous term. “Term” is defined as a semester for full-time students (12 earned credits or more) and the previous 12-month period (including summer) for part-time students. Part-time students must have earned a minimum of 12 credits during the previous 12-month period to qualify for either Honor List. Students are placed on the Dean’s Distinguished Honor List with a term GPA of 3.90 to 4.0. The Dean’s Honor List consists of students with a term GPA of 3.67 to 3.89.

Seniors with a 3.60 average in courses in their major and a 3.00 cumulative average are eligible to be considered for departmental honors. Those with outstanding records are graduated cum laude (3.67 cumulative average), magna cum laude (3.78) and summa cum laude (3.90). All undergraduate Arcadia University coursework is included in consideration for graduation honors. All transfer students with 60 or more Arcadia University credits are eligible for honors.

Academic Standing

To have satisfactory academic standing, students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and a GPA of 2.0 for the previous semester’s work. Students who fall below these averages will be placed on academic warning, placed on academic probation, or academically dismissed from the University by the Committee on Academic Standing and Petitions, using criteria listed below.

In order for a student to participate in varsity sports, be an officer of a student organization, a class officer or a senator, a student must be in good academic standing with the University.

Although students on probation are given the opportunity to achieve satisfactory standing, they are on notice that they could become academically dismissed from the University. Students may be continued on warning or probation for a subsequent semester, but they must show progress or they may be academically dismissed from the University. A student is academically dismissed to return only after thorough study, with careful attention given to the likelihood that the student can fulfill the graduation requirement of a 2.0 cumulative GPA and a 2.0 GPA in the major.

Academic standing is determined at the end of each semester, with the criteria applied to both the semester and cumulative GPAs.

First-Year Students (1-26 credits)

  • Are placed on Warning when either GPA is between and including 1.75 to 1.99.
  • Are placed on Probation when either GPA is below 1.75.
  • Are subject to Academic Dismissal, generally, when either GPA is below a 1.62.

Upperclass students (sophomores, juniors, seniors)

  • Are placed on Probation when either GPA is below 2.0.
  • Are subject to Academic Dismissal when the student is on probation for three semesters in his/her career at Arcadia University, or the cumulative GPA is below a 1.8 (sophomore), or the cumulative or major GPA are below a 2.0 (junior or senior).
  • Are considered in Jeopardy when the student is a first semester sophomore or higher and has an overall and current semester GPA of a 2.0 or above, but has a major GPA below a 2.0. There are no sanctions associated with this category as there are currently with the academic probation category. Students who fall into this category would be assigned to a member of the Academic Affairs staff for advising. A student may request reconsideration of an academic dismissal decision. Such a request must be submitted in writing and received by the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies. In addition to the written request, a student may appear in person before the Committee on Academic Standing and Petitions. A personal appearance is purely voluntary. An exemption from academic dismissal is granted only in those cases where a student’s academic performance was affected by extraordinary circumstances of which the committee initially was unaware. These circumstances need to be described in the letter requesting reconsideration.

Parents of dependent students who are on warning or probation or are academically dismissed will be sent a letter concerning the academic status of the student.

In addition to GPA, students also must be making adequate progress toward the degree to have satisfactory academic standing. Therefore, students who have an excessive number of course withdrawals for two consecutive semesters will have their records reviewed by the Committee on Academic Standing and Petition. Excessive number of course withdrawals is defined as 50% or greater of the student’s course load. After review, a student may be dismissed from the University if it is determined that they are not making adequate progress. Students with excessive withdrawals who would like to remain or become resident students must appeal to the Director of Residence Life for permission to do so.

Academic Amnesty

A student may petition the Committee on Academic Standing not to count one semester’s work in the cumulative GPA.  The grades and courses taken during that semester would remain on the transcript.  No credits earned during the discounted semester would apply toward the number of credits required for graduation.  However, if a student passes any courses fulfilling AUC requirements during the discounted semester, those AUC requirements will be applied.  A student would be able to apply for amnesty after completing at least one semester in good academic standing.  A student can only be granted “academic amnesty” once in his/her academic career at Arcadia.

Acceleration/Early Graduation

Students with strong academic records who want to accelerate completion of the degree program should work closely with the adviser and begin planning early in their college career. Acceleration may be accomplished in the following ways or combinations of them: admission with advanced placement credit, credit by examination, summer courses, or course overloads during the regular semester.

Fulfillment of Graduation Requirements

Faculty advisers and the Registrar are available to assist students in planning their programs; however, the ultimate responsibility of meeting all requirements for the degree or certificate rests with the individual student. The student must notify the Registrar’s Office in writing of his or her intention to complete the degree or certificate requirements during the semester before the one in which the degree or certificate is to be completed.

Participation in Graduation Ceremonies

Students are permitted to participate fully in graduation ceremonies (Commencement) if they have met all academic requirements and obligations to the University. Students who have a balance of $2,500 or more on their billing account, and have not made any payment arrangements, will not be able to participate in the graduation ceremony. Students who are within one course (four or fewer credits) of meeting all academic requirements and have earned at least a 2.00 cumulative and major GPA at the time of the graduation program printing deadline may petition to participate in the graduation ceremony. The student completes the Petition for Exception to Academic Policy and submits it to the Dean of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies. For the petition to be granted, there must be evidence that it is possible for the student to complete the remaining course no later than December of the year of the graduation ceremony. If the petition is granted, the student is permitted to participate fully in the graduation ceremonies. However, the student’s name is listed in the graduation program with parentheses indicating that all degree requirements have not yet been satisfied.  A diploma is not issued until all requirements have been met, which includes having a balance less than $300 on their billing account.

Credit Hour Policy

Background: The U.S. Department of Education uses the “credit hour” as a measure of ensuring consistency both within and between institutions of higher education. This is necessary for ensuring the transferability of a “credit hour” and demonstrating that a course maintains sufficient academic rigor, content, and depth. Each institution is required to establish and enforce a definition of “credit hour” as a requirement for eligibility for federal funding. The current “Credit Hour Policy” recognizes the inherent differences of teaching and learning formats and/or delivery modality.

Definition: The U.S. Department of Education defines “credit hour” as: “…An amount of work representing in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or,
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.”

Policy: Arcadia University has adopted a variant of the traditional “Carnegie Unit” as a measure of the academic experience associated with a “credit hour.” The Registrar’s Office utilizes this policy in the scheduling of courses each semester.

  1. Traditional face-to-face lecture sessions:
  1. A credit hour is associated with a minimum of 50 minutes per credit hour each week over a 14-week semester, plus a 15th week consisting of a final examination or project presentation.
  2. This is applied in the scheduling of courses such that: A 3-credit course should meet no less than 2100 minutes during the course of the semester, and a 4-credit course should meet no less than 2800 minutes during the course of the semester. In addition, it is assumed that there are 2 minutes of work performed in preparation of, or as the direct result of, each minute in the class. In a broader context, for every hour in the class, there are two hours of outside student work associated with it. Outside work is typically categorized as reading, studying, problem solving, writing, or preparation.
  1. Supervised group activities (such as laboratory, studio):
  1. Laboratory or studio are associated with a minimum seat time of 100 minutes per credit or imputed credit (since laboratory and studio sessions generally carry no direct credit) each week over a 14 week semester. In addition, it is assumed that for every 2 hours of directed instruction in the laboratory or studio, the students perform an additional 1 hour of outside work on their own.
  1. Supervised individual activities:
  1. Practicum, clinical internships, and student teaching represent a minimum of 30 contact hours for each credit hour.
  2. Thesis/Dissertation and Independent study represents a minimum of three hours of student work per week over the semester per credit hour.
  1. Variations:

Courses that utilize different pedagogical approaches may seek variations from the standard credit hour definitions. The expectation is that quality, quantity, and rigor of learning and academic work associated with a “credit hour” will be consistent regardless of location, teaching mode, or class duration. Variations to the standard credit hour policy are considered for approval by the Undergraduate Academic Programs Committee or the Graduate Academic Programs Committee.

  1. Web-facilitated face-to-face courses use online content delivery for less than 30% of the course and blended courses use online content delivery for 30 – 79% of content delivery. These courses may have a proportional decrease in scheduled “seat time” associated with a credit hour with the expectation that the additional activities correspond directly to the reduced seat time.
  2. Online courses use online content delivery for greater than 79% of the course and may meet infrequently or not at all in a face-to-face session during a semester.
  3. Upper-level courses: Some four credit 300-level and 400-level undergraduate courses are scheduled for less than the 2800 minutes of seat time because of an expectation of more than 2 hours of “outside time” for every 1 hour in class. Graduate level courses meet or exceed 700 minutes of seat time per credit.
  4. Non-standard course duration: Credit hours awarded for learning and academic work completed in short sessions (summer session, half-semester courses, etc.) will be comparable to the standard 14+1 week semester but distributed over a shorter period of time.

Transfer Students

Transfer credit is granted for college-level work completed at another accredited institution if the course content is comparable to that offered at Arcadia University or appropriate for the degree program. The following policies govern the transfer of undergraduate credits:

  • Credit will not be granted for courses in which grades below “C-” are earned. A maximum of 90 credits may be transferred from a four-year institution, or 75 credits from a two-year institution.
  • To qualify for a degree, students transferring from another college or university must fulfill the Arcadia University Curriculum and departmental requirements, either by transfer credit or by courses completed at Arcadia University. Students are required to complete at least half the credits for their major and concentration at Arcadia University, although more may be required for certain majors or concentrations. Students also are required to complete at least half the courses for a minor at Arcadia University, although more may be required for certain minors. Transfer students presenting more than half the credits for a major or concentration should see the department chair to identify appropriate courses.
  • The Enrollment Management staff provides credit evaluations for transfer students to help facilitate the transition to Arcadia University, but final approval of transfer credits rests with the Registrar and the department chairs of relevant academic programs.
  • Assignment or exemption for English composition is determined by performance on the Arcadia University Writing Inventory or by a transfer credit evaluation. Assignment or exemption in Mathematics and Modern Language is determined by performance on a placement examination administered by the University or by a transfer credit evaluation.
  • Ordinarily, undergraduate students must be enrolled in the University for the final three full semesters (or the equivalent) of their program and complete at least the upper half of credits for their major or concentration at Arcadia University. Certain majors may require more. For day programs, it is 48 credit hours, while for degree completion programs, it is 45 credit hours. With departmental approval, students transferring to the University may complete requirements for the degree with fewer credits, but a minimum of 32 credit hours are required for day programs and 30 credit hours are required for degree completion programs; these 32 or 30 credit hours, respectively, represent actual course completions in the upper half of the major and may not include credit by examination, credit for prior learning, waiver, or transfer credit.
  • Arcadia University degree candidates who enroll for courses at other accredited institutions may transfer credit provided that prior approval for the specific course or courses has been secured from the faculty adviser and the Registrar. To be granted transfer credit, students must earn a grade of “C–” or above. No more than one semester hour of credit may be transferred to Arcadia University for each week of summer school attended.
  • To qualify for a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate, students must fulfill the departmental requirements for the certificate. Generally, at least half the courses required by the department must be completed at Arcadia University

Articulation Agreements

Core-to-core agreements and/or Program-to-program agreements exist with several community colleges and a variety of undergraduate majors, including:

New schools and programs are periodically added to this list. For more information, call 1-877-ARCADIA (1-877-272-2342) or e-mail the Transfer Coordinator.

Residence Requirement

Generally, students must complete the equivalent of the final three semesters of coursework at Arcadia University for the bachelor’s degree. For day programs, it is 48 credit hours, while for degree completion programs, it is 45 credit hours.

Withdrawal or Dismissal from the University

Notification of withdrawal from the University must be given in writing. Forms for this purpose are available in the Registrar’s Office. Full-time and part-time students withdrawing from the University should meet with the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies before completing the withdrawal form.

The University may, on recommendation of the University physician, request a student to withdraw for reasons of health. The University reserves the right to dismiss at any time a student whose academic performance is unsatisfactory or whose conduct is detrimental to the welfare of other students.

Refund Information: 7-Week Accelerated Courses
Withdrawal Tuition
Within the 1st week of classes 15% 85%
After the 1st week and before the end of the 2nd week 30% 70%
After the 2nd week and before the end of the 3rd week 45% 55%
After the 3rd week and before the end of the 4th week 60% 40%
After the 4th week and before the end of the 5th week 100% 0%

Tuition refunds for students remaining enrolled but withdrawing from a specific course will not be made after the fourth week of the semester.

Leave of Absence Policy

A full-time or part-time undergraduate student who encounters unforeseen emergency circumstances, may apply for a leave of absence during the current semester, provided the leave period is 15 weekdays or less.  Students who need to request a leave of absence should complete the Request for Leave of Absence Form (“LOA Form”) available on the Registrar’s webpage.  Service members called to active duty should use a Petition for Eception to LOL Policy.   

Students granted a leave of absence continue to be charged the regular tuition rate and any financial aid, as originally allocated, will remain the same (for information about other fees please contact the business office). Should the student not return within the specified period indicated on the LOA Form, they will be required to officially withdraw from the University and should immediately contact the Registrar’s Office to complete a withdrawal form. In cases of withdrawal, tuition charges and applied aid will be determined according to the University’s regular refund policy for withdrawing students.

Meeting individually with professors and completing missed coursework due to a leave of absence is solely the responsibility of the student. An approved leave of absence does not guarantee that a student will be able to continue and satisfactorily complete an enrolled course as according to the criteria of individual faculty or course policies as indicated by the course syllabus. Undergraduate students who experience difficulty contacting their faculty members should contact the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, and Graduate students should contact the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.  Students must consult with their financial aid counselor regarding any possible impact on satisfactory academic progress and loan repayment/grace periods in advance of beginning an approved leave of absence.

The Dean of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies and the Dean of Students, or their designees, will review the LOA Form and will either accept or deny it, based on the individual circumstances of the student and the predicted likelihood that the student will return to classes at the end of the approved leave period.


Application forms for readmission are obtained online and/or from the Registrar’s Office and submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Studies by deadlines stated on the form.  Forms will be reviewed by a committee consisting of the Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Associate Dean of Students, and Associate Registrar.  This committee will seek input from appropriate campus constituents as necessary for each review when making a decision.  This committee will establish criteria for readmission. If a former student’s Grade Point Average was under 2.0 at the time of leaving Arcadia University, the deadline to apply for Fall readmission is May 15. For all other former students, the deadlines to apply for readmission are June 15 for Fall and December 15 for Spring or Summer (for the 2020-2021 academic year August 5, 2020, application deadline for all students seeking readmission in the fall semester and a January 5, 2021, application deadline for all students seeking readmission for the spring semester).  

If students have taken coursework at another institution, they will need to submit an official transcript.  Any Arcadia University course that is more than 10 years old shall be treated as transfer credit at the time of readmission. 

Credit for Coursework at Other Institutions

Arcadia University degree candidates who enroll for courses at other accredited institutions may transfer credit provided that prior approval for the specific course or courses has been secured from the faculty adviser and the Registrar. To be granted transfer credit, students must earn a grade of “C–” or above. No more than one semester hour of credit may be transferred to Arcadia University for each week of summer school attended. A maximum of 90 credits may be transferred from a four-year college or university, or a maximum of 75 credits from a two-year college

Credit from Summer Study Abroad

Following the approval of the Office of International Affairs for study abroad in summer, the Registrar must approve credit toward graduation for courses taken abroad in summer programs. Approval will be granted only for courses in which students fulfill formal conditions of attendance and evaluation. Requests for approval should be presented to the Registrar no later than May 1 for courses to be taken during the ensuing summer.

Credit by Examination

Arcadia University students, at the discretion of the department concerned, may be exempted from or earn credit for any course in the curriculum by successful performance on an examination administered by the department. Students should apply to the chair of the department giving the course. Fees are charged for administration of the exams and for transcripting of credit. The total number of credits earned by examination may not exceed 64 credits of a daytime program, or 60 credits of an evening program. Students will be charged a fee of $730 per course, which includes the examination, review and processing of course transcript.

Education Records/FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 is a federal law that provides that an educational institution covered by this law will maintain the confidentiality of students’ records. In accordance with the Act, no one outside Arcadia University shall have access to, nor will the University disclose any information from, students’ education records without the written consent of students—except to personnel (school official) within the institution, other institutions in which students seek to enroll, persons or organizations providing financial aid to students, accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function, organizations conducting studies to improve instruction in compliance with a judicial order, and in an emergency to protect the health or safety of students or other persons. Institutions must disclose education records to federal and state representatives of agencies listed in the act.

A school official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the university has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using university employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor or collection agent, OCICU); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing tasks. A complete statement of the University’s policy in this regard is available on the University’s Web site (www.arcadia.edu/registrar under Privacy and Accuracy).

Directory Information

Directory Information is considered by the University to include a Student’s name, University email address, graduation date, degree granted and University honors received, enrollment status (for current students), dates of attendance, and program/major. Student addresses and telephone numbers are not currently included as Directory Information. When the University provides information about Students under the Solomon Amendment, that information includes the Directory Information defined here as well as mailing address, email address, telephone number, age, and class level (e.g., freshman, sophomore, etc).

Students may direct Arcadia University, in a written document containing a date and original signature, to withhold directory information. Arcadia University will comply with an eligible request within a reasonable period of time, but not more than 45 days after it has received the request. The written directive to withhold directory information will remain in effect until the student directs Arcadia University, in a written document containing a date and original signature, that directory information may once again be released.