Bachelor's Degree Components

College Studies

The general education core program at Philadelphia University is designed specifically for professionally oriented students. Technological change, economic shifts and increasing interdependence demand a strong grounding in liberal education as well as professional and technical expertise. All students in the University take the common liberal arts and sciences sequence called the College Studies Program. Study in the liberal arts and sciences develop the strategies to help students be integrative thinkers who can see connections in a wide range of knowledge and across disciplinary boundaries. Through exposure to complex, real-world issues and studies in history, humanities and the social sciences, mathematics and the natural and physical sciences, students become graduates who are well-read, well-spoken, worldly, flexible and adaptable—individuals who never stop learning and making connections in everything they do.

The College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts has responsibility for courses in the College Studies program to promote the best of a strong liberal arts and sciences tradition integrated with a professionally oriented curriculum. Students progress through a carefully constructed four-year sequence, making connections between disciplines and viewing their own fields of choice through social, economic, political and cultural lenses. College Studies forms the backbone of every undergraduate student’s major, bringing classmates together to share a common educational experience and to learn from one another’s diverse perspectives. All undergraduate students at the University take approximately 40 percent of their coursework in College Studies.

Professional Studies

Strongly integrated with general education, the course of study in each professional major broadly prepares students to engage with the professional world and inquire about its political, economic and social contexts through the perspective of their practices. Professional studies provide the knowledge and skills to be successful in a profession and to become lifelong learners who are able to adapt to the changing conditions and demands of their careers. 


A minor is a set of courses that provides enhanced study in a particular subject area. A student may choose a minor with the assistance of an academic advisor upon completion of 60 semester hours. Options for minors are determined by the academic program and consist of a minimum of twelve credits in the subject area. A student may not use the same course for credit in both the major and the minor areas, and restrictions apply for the use of the same course for credit as a free elective and in a minor. For more information and guidelines, see the “Minors and Concentrations” section of the catalog. 


A concentration allows for an in-depth exploration of a focused area within the scope of the student’s major discipline. Concentrations are available for study by majors within the appropriate area only. Options for concentrations are specified by the academic program. Similarly, the number of credits required to complete the concentration as well as the sequence and selection of required and elective courses are determined by the program. For more information, see the “Minors and Concentrations” section of the catalog. 

Designated Electives

Designated electives allow students to select a course from a pre-approved set of courses. Designated electives enable both freedom of choice with some degree of programmatic guidance.

Free Electives

Free electives allow students to tailor their degree program to meet their personal interests and educational goals. Students who participate in an internship may use these credits to partially satisfy the free elective requirement.