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Bachelor's Degree Components

General Education
Beginning in Fall 2014, Philadelphia University is launching the Hallmarks Core, the next generation of our innovative general education core curriculum. Incoming first-year students in 2014 will begin their general education in the new Hallmarks Core curriculum, while our students who matriculated earlier or enter the University as transfer students will complete the College Studies program. In both cases, our students benefit from a rigorous and coherent approach to general education that is based on essential learning outcomes and structured to build relevant skills and knowledge over four years.
Study in the liberal arts and sciences encourages students to be integrative thinkers who can see connections across disciplinary boundaries and within a wide range of knowledge. 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 oversees the Hallmarks Core and College Studies and develops these programs to promote the best of a strong liberal arts and sciences tradition integrated with a professionally oriented curriculum. Our general education core curriculum 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.

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.

Minor
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.

Concentration
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.

Specialization
A specialization allows for a thematic grouping of courses within the scope of the student’s major discipline. Specializations are available for study by majors within the appropriate area only. Options for specializations are specified by the academic program. The number of credits, sequence and selection of courses required to complete the concentration are determined by the program.

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.