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Undergraduate Student Academic Policies and Procedures

(Unique to Traditional, Accelerated and Non Degree Students)

The following are the general policies and procedures unique to the students pursuing coursework in the undergraduate programs of the University.

In addition to the following Undergraduate Student Academic Policies, students are expected to review the Common Academic Policies for all students. Continuing and Professional Studies students should also refer to the CPS handbook.

Click here to view the policies common to all students

Topics are organized in alphabetical order. Click a link below to be taken to your desired section.

Academic Advising Grading System
Academic Honors Graduation Requirements
Academic Standing Graduate Courses for Undergraduate Students
Advanced Placement Honors Program
Audit a Course Overload Charges
Change of Major Part-Time Tuition Charges
Course Load and Course Overload Physical Education and/or Service Learning
Courses Taken Elsewhere Placement Testing
Credit by Examination Re-entry to the University
Credit/No Credit Option Refund Policy
Declaring a Major Residency Requirements
Division Change Student Status Based on Completed Credits
Double Degree/Second Baccalaureate Degree Time Limit to Complete Degree and Obsolete Credits
Double Major Transfer Credit
Grade Point Average / Grading

ACADEMIC ADVISING - UNDERGRADUATE

Philadelphia University’s academic-advising model supports students throughout their academic careers at the University. Academic advisors assist students in developing suitable educational plans, understanding program requirements, policies and resources, evaluating their academic progress, and clarifying realistic life and career goals.

Advising for first-year students (freshmen and new transfer students) and students who have not declared their majors is provided at the Learning and Advising Center. Faculty Advisors in the Learning and Advising Center actively reach out to their advisees in order to assist them in their academic life. First-year students may meet with ANY first-year advisor at the Learning and Advising Center on a drop-in basis Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. All first-year students MUST meet with a first-year advisor before November of their first semester for assistance with Pre-registration for spring.

Other advising services for all students in the Learning and Advising Center include assistance in understanding transfer credit evaluation, majors advising for students who have not declared a major or who are thinking of changing their major, change of major forms and other advising forms.

Upper-level students (sophomore through 5th year) who have declared their majors are assigned advisors in their colleges. These students are expected to assume increasing responsibility for their progress toward graduation. Students must contact their advisor to set up advising appointments at least twice during the academic year. They are expected to consult with their advisors concerning course registration for fall and spring semesters. While upper-level advisors are available to discuss program requirements and policies, emphasis is placed upon working with students to clarify their educational, personal and career goals.

Advising for all accelerated programs is provided through the School of Continuing and Professional Studies in The Tuttleman Center.

 

Academic Honors

  • Dean’s List: Undergraduate students enrolled in at least 12 semester credits, nine of which are graded, and who earn a semester grade point average of 3.60 or better are eligible for the Dean’s List for that semester.
  • Latin Honors: A candidate for graduation who earns a cumulative grade point average of 3.60-3.69 will be graduated “cum laude,” 3.7-3.79 will be graduated “magna cum laude” or “summa cum laude” if their final average is 3.80 or better.
  • Additional awards are presented at the annual University Awards Ceremony and during Commencement.

 

Academic Standing

A student’s academic standing is determined at the end of each full-time or part-time semester on the basis of cumulative credits and cumulative grade point average according to the following table. To retain good academic standing, students must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 and have earned 75% of the total credits attempted.

Evening (Continuing Professional Studies) students will be evaluated at the conclusion of their first 12 academic hours. Students in good academic standing will be evaluated at the end of each term. Students who are not in good academic standing after the first review at 12 hours will have an additional 12 hours to be restored to good academic standing. 

 

Probation
Students with a cumulative GPA below 2.0 and those who have not earned 75% of the credits they attempted (known as normal progression to degree) will be placed on academic probation. Students will be required to sign a student success contract with their advisor and meet with their advisor regularly. Students on academic probation may also be on financial aid probation. They are encouraged to keep in close contact with their financial aid counselor. Advisors may find a copy of the student success contract on the Learning and Advising website.

Academic probation is a means of emphatically informing students that their record is unsatisfactory while there is still time to remedy the situation. Students will be placed on academic probation whenever their records indicate that normal progress toward a degree is in jeopardy. Probation is not meant to be a penalty, but should be interpreted as a serious warning to improve the quality of academic work. Students on probation are not permitted to take more than a normal course load and may be required to take a reduced course load. Students on academic probation will not be able to participate in intercollegiate athletics or hold an elected or appointed office in any SGA-recognized student organization. Students on probation should reduce the number of hours of employment whenever possible and limit participation in any other extracurricular activities that interfere with the performance of their academic work.

Dismissal/Terminal Probation
If the student is placed on probation and remains on probation at the end of the following semester, the student will be dismissed from the University. Students will receive written notification of academic dismissal and may appeal for reinstatement by submitting a written request for reinstatement to the chair and sub-committee chair by the date listed in the letter. The petition for reinstatement should include: 

  1. An explanation of the poor academic performance that led to the dismissal, i.e. insufficient credits earned and/or low GPA.
  2. An explanation of whether the student worked with his/her academic advisor, sought tutoring assistance or accessed other support services to address academic performance.
  3. Documentation concerning any mitigating circumstances that may have contributed to poor performance. This includes but is not limited to medical or psychological documentation.
  4. A plan for preventing recurrence of these academic difficulties and for raising credits and/or the GPA above the minimum standard for continued enrollment.
  5. Letters of support from the academic advisor, professors or other support staff (optional).

Members of the Academic Standards Committee will review petitions for academic reinstatement. Written notification will be made as soon as practical, no later than one business day prior to the beginning of the enrollment period for which the student is seeking reinstatement.

If a student is readmitted to the University following an appeal to the Undergraduate Academic Standards Committee, a semester will be stipulated for his/her re-admission. If students wish to enter more than one year from the original semester indicated on their letter, their request must be resubmitted to the Undergraduate Academic Standards Committee for re-evaluation.

Students placed on terminal probation must meet the stipulations established for them. Failure to do so will result in automatic dismissal from the University

See “Re-entry to the University.”

Prior Academic Standing

 

New Curriculum GPA

New Academic Standing

Good

One Term  (full-time or  part-time)

2.00 or higher

Good

Good

Less than 2.00 and/or less than 75% credits attempted.

Probation

Probation

2.00 or higher

Good

Probation

Less than 2.00 and/or less than 75% credits attempted.

Dismissal

Dismissal

(committee permits continuation)

 

Terminal Probation

Terminal Probation

 

2.00 or higher

Good

Terminal Probation

 

Less than 2.00 and/or less than 75% credits attempted.

Dismissal

Withdrawal/Probation

 

Re-entry/Probation

Advanced Placement

Students who have taken Advanced Placement (AP) exams and received the necessary minimum score will receive credit for the courses listed below. These guidelines have been in effect since January 2004. Students must formally submit their Advanced Placement Scores from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) directly to the Admissions Office before their first semester at the University and no later than their second semester in residence. Those students who delay sending the University their AP test results until after matriculation may be required to register for courses for which they would have received AP had the information been submitted earlier. It is in students’ best interests to submit all AP scores as soon as possible. Students who do not submit their scores until after their second semester in residence will not have their scores honored, pending appeal to the Director of Learning and Advising Center.

AP Exam Name

Score

Course Equivalents

Art History

4,5

ARTH-101 or ARTH-102

Art-Studio/Drawing

4,5

DRAW-101 or VSDRW-101

Art-Studio/General Art

4,5

Free elective (3 cr.)

Biology (non-science major)

3,4,5

BIOL-101

Biology (science major)

4,5

Free elective (3 cr.)

Chemistry (non-science major)

3,4,5

CHEM-101

Chemistry (science major)

4,5

Free elective (3 cr.)

Comparative Government & Politics

3,4,5

Social Sciences I (3 cr.)

Economics-Macroeconomics

3,4,5

ECON-205

Economics-Microeconomics

3,4,5

ECON-206

English (Language)

4,5

WRTG-101

English (Literature)

3,4,5

Humanities I (3 cr.)

Environmental Science

3,4,5

SCI-101or Free elective (3 cr.)

European History

3,4,5

Historical Understanding I (3 cr.)

French (Language)

3,4,5

Language Studies (3 cr.)

French (Literature)

3,4,5

Language Studies (3 cr.)

German (Language)

3,4,5

Language Studies (3 cr.)

Human Geography

3,4,5

Free elective (3 cr.)

Latin (Literature)

3,4,5

Free elective (3 cr.)

Latin (Virgil)

3,4,5

Free elective (3 cr.)

Mathematics-Calculus AB

3

MATH-102

Mathematics-Calculus AB

4,5

MATH-111

Mathematics-Calculus BC

3

MATH-111

Mathematics-Calculus BC

4,5

MATH-111 and MATH-112

Music Theory

3,4,5

Free elective (3 cr.)

Physics B (non-science major)

3,4,5

PHYS-101

Physics B (science major)

3,4,5

PHYS-101 or Free elective (3 cr.)

Physics C

3,4,5

PHYS-201 & PHYS-201L or Free elective (3 cr.)

Psychology

 

34,5

 

Free elective (3 cr.), PSYCH-101

 

Spanish (Language)

3,4,5

Language Studies (3 cr.)

Spanish (Literature)

3,4,5

Language Studies (3 cr.)

Statistics

3,4,5

STAT-201

United States History

3.4.5

Historical Understanding I (3 cr.)

U.S. Government & Politics*

3,4,5

Social Sciences I (3 cr.)

World History

3,4,5

Historical Understanding I (3 cr.)

*If both Comparative Government & Politics and U.S. Government & Politics are taken, one becomes 3 credits free elective. See “Credit by Examination”

Auditing a Course

A student who wishes to attend a course regularly but does not wish to receive credit for the course may request permission to audit from the Manager of Academic Operations of the college in which the course is offered. The Manager of Academic Operations will, in turn, obtain permission from the faculty member.

Students are expected to meet the requirements for auditors, which are established by the faculty member teaching the course. Following the completion of the course, the faculty member will determine whether these requirements have been satisfied and, if so, the notation of “AU” will be posted on the transcript.

Tuition and fees to audit the course are the same as those when taking the course for credit.

Students must register for an audit course the same way they would for any other. In addition, they must complete the “Request for Permission to Audit a Course” form requesting permission to audit, and submit the signed form to the Registrar before the “last day to add” (see Academic Calendar). At that time, the decision becomes final. Form available on the Registrar’s website, http://www.philau.edu/registrar/ .

Audit courses cannot be applied toward degree requirements.

See “Schedule Changes.”

Change of Major

Students who wish to request a Change of Major (Curriculum) must obtain the proper form from the Learning and Advising Center or the web page at www.PhilaU.edu/learning. Continuing and Professional Studies students should contact the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. Completing a Change of Major form requires multiple signatures prior to formally making the change. Please see the “change of major” form for details.

Students who request a Change of Major into the following programs: Animation, Architectural Studies, Architecture, all Engineering majors, Fashion Design, Graphic Design Communication, Health Sci/OT, Interactive Design & Media, Industrial Design, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, Health Sci/Physician Assistant Studies and Psychology/OT, must consult with the Learning and Advising Center or upper-level college advising advocate because certain timelines, stipulations and additional signatures may be required.

Course Load and Course Overload

Students enrolled in 12 to 18.5 credits per semester are considered enrolled full-time and will be billed at the comprehensive tuition rate. Students taking less than 12 credits per semester are considered part-time and will be billed at the per-credit rate. Students enrolled in more than 18.5 credits per semester are enrolled in an overload. Students enrolled in an overload will be billed the comprehensive rate plus the overload per-credit charge for all credits over 18.5.

Courses Taken Elsewhere

From time to time, matriculated students may find it necessary to take courses at another college or university. Students may also seek permission to take courses at another institution during the academic year if specific courses are not available at Philadelphia University.

Permission to take courses at another institution will only be granted if the courses at the other institution are determined to be equivalent to courses at Philadelphia University by the respective program director or associate dean after a faculty review of the corresponding course description. Generally, permission to take courses equivalent to Philadelphia University junior- and senior-level courses will be granted only if the other institution is a four-year college or university. Students may not take junior- and senior-level courses at a two-year or community college.

Students must fulfill their residency requirements at Philadelphia University. See “Residency Requirements.”

If the student earns the equivalent grade of “C-” or higher for an approved course, Philadelphia University will grant credit for the course. Students should not take courses at other institutions on a “Credit/No Credit” or pass/fail basis, as the University will not accept such a grade toward a Philadelphia University degree. Grades earned at another college or university are NOT made part of the student’s Philadelphia University transcript; rather, the credits will be considered only for transfer credit.

It is the responsibility of the students to:

  • Secure a catalog description from the other institution and verify that the intended course will be offered.
  • Obtain a “Permission to Take Courses at Another Institution” form online at the Learning and Advising Center web site at www.PhilaU.edu/learning. The completed form must be submitted at least six weeks before courses begin at the other institution.
  • Take the form and the catalog course description(s) to the following individuals for review and approval: (1) a faculty member in the appropriate academic area to verify equivalency of the intended course; and (2) the Associate Dean for College Studies courses equivalency, or the program director or Associate Dean for course equivalency in the major.  Submit a copy of the form to your advisor and retain a copy for your records.
  • Submit the completed form to the University Registrar. As a general rule, a student will not be permitted to take a course at another institution if the course is being offered by Philadelphia University and if, at the time the student wishes to take the course, the student is residing within 30 miles of the University. Students should not plan to take more than two courses at another institution in any term, including the summer. Students must be in good academic standing at the University and must be in residence at Philadelphia University during the semester immediate preceding the awarding of the degree.

The Registrar will send a letter to the college or university for permission to take the course(s). Copies will be supplied to the student and to the student’s advisor.

The student must make arrangements for an official transcript to be sent to the Office of the University Registrar after completion of the off-campus course work. No credit will be evaluated until that office has received an official transcript. No credits will be transferred without prior approval.

Credit by Examination-Undergraduate

The University recognizes the fact that learning also takes place beyond formal classroom situations. Since the function of credit by examination is to provide students the opportunity to be placed in the most advanced courses for which they are qualified, all credit by examination results from Advanced Placement Exams, CLEP and International Baccalaureate (IB credit) earned prior to matriculation at Philadelphia University must be submitted within two regular academic semesters (30 credits) of the student’s initial matriculation.

See “Advanced Placement.”

National Testing Agencies

The University will grant credit to students who obtain satisfactory grades in specific subject examinations developed by the Advanced Placement Program (AP), International Baccalaureate Program (IB) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP). Students who enter the University with AP, IB or CLEP credit will have that credit evaluated in conjunction with the guidelines established for granting transfer credit. Matriculated traditional undergraduate students may not pursue further CLEP credit while enrolled at the University. Students in Continuing and Professional Studies should check with the School of Continuing and Professional Studies for current CLEP guidelines.

In cases where several CLEP examinations have been taken, credit from the subject examination will be assigned before credit from the general examination. Credit assigned from successful completion of the general examination may not be utilized for free electives or upper-division degree requirements.

The University awards credit for the Higher Level International Baccalaureate examinations on a case-by-case basis if students have achieved a score of 5 or higher. No credit will be awarded for subsidiary level examinations.

See “Advanced Placement.”

Credit/No Credit Option-UNDERGRADUATE

Students are permitted to take up to four courses during their enrollment in a bachelor’s degree program on a “Credit/No Credit” (CR/NC) basis, not counting any CR/Internship course.

Any course may be taken on this basis except COLLST-499, MATH-099, READ-099, WRTG-100, WRTG-101, WRTG-101G and WRTG-2XX.  Students are also encouraged to consult with their program directors to determine whether to use the CR/NC option for required major courses.

To obtain credit, students must earn a “C-” or better in the course. The grade point average will not be affected whether credit is received for the course or not, except in certain cases where the option is used to repeat a course.

Students who elect to take a course on a CR/NC basis must notify the Office of the University Registrar on the proper form by the “last day to add” (see Academic Calendar). At that time, the decision becomes final.

Please consult with your academic advisor and the Office of the University Registrar to suggest when this option is or is not an advisable choice.

See “Repeating Courses,” and “Schedule Changes”

Declaring a Major

Students at Philadelphia University registered as Undeclared are urged to declare a major after completing 30 credits. However, students are required to declare a major after completing 60 credits (30 credits in residence for transfer students). Students who are unsure about their choice of major should take advantage of majors advising at the Learning and Advising Center.

Division Change

Students wishing to transfer to Continuing and Professional Studies to finish their degree requirements should complete a Continuing Studies Application for Admission form available at that office in The Tuttleman Center. If a student will ultimately be certified for graduation by the undergraduate division, academic advising will remain the responsibility of the day division advisor.

Continuing and Professional Studies students wishing to transfer to the undergraduate division to finish their degree requirements should complete an Application form available at the Office of Admissions.

Students who have been dismissed from the University for academic reasons must apply through the Admissions Office and must be readmitted by the Undergraduate Academic Standards Committee before registering for additional courses at the University.

See “Academic Standing.”

Double Degree/Second Baccalaureate Degree

Students who want to earn a second Bachelor degree after previously earning a Bachelor degree either at Philadelphia University or any other institution must complete all of the following requirements at Philadelphia University: General Education Core classes, Continuing Professional Studies Core classes, Major Core classes and all electives. The only requirements that may be fulfilled using previously earned Bachelor credits are credits toward the Competency requirement. Students interested in this possibility should consult the School of Continuing and Professional Studies office for further information.

Double Major

Students wishing to earn a double major must do so by completing all requirements for the “primary” major and all required courses in the “secondary” major. Only students of demonstrated ability, i.e. 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher, will be approved for double-major status.

The equivalent of at least ten (10) courses must be unique to each major. This minimum course requirement may mean that students have to take advanced electives in one program in addition to the listed core requirements in order to establish the uniqueness of each intellectual discipline and to assure the intellectual integrity of each. At least four courses (12 cr) of upper-level work must be completed in residence at Philadelphia University in each major. The same course(s) may not be used to satisfy residency requirements in both majors.

Students wishing to pursue a double major should discuss their options first with their faculty advisor and then with a faculty advisor from the “secondary” major. The double-major option must be declared/approved once a student has reached junior standing (60 cr.) and at least one calendar year prior to the student’s anticipated graduation date.

Students must submit the “Approval of Double Major” form to the Office of the University Registrar so the student’s transcript and degree audit will record completion of the two majors’ degree requirements. The form, available online from Learning and Advising, www.PhilaU.edu/learning, lists required courses for the “secondary” major. [A1] A list of required courses for the “secondary” major, approved by both advisors, must be added to the advising file for pre-certification purposes.

Students may not utilize credits allocated to an option, concentration or designated elective in the “primary” major to satisfy requirements for the “secondary” major and vice versa. Students may utilize credits allocated to a minor or to free electives in the “primary” major to satisfy requirements for the “secondary” major. Students selecting a double major will be exempt from any mandatory minor requirements that would otherwise apply.

Students completing a double major will receive one degree and one diploma. If the two completed majors bear different degree designations (e.g., BSE, BArch, BS), during the precertification process, the student will have the option to select the degree designation that will appear on the transcript and diploma.

A student with a double major may graduate upon completion of all requirements for both majors as described above, or s/he may default to a single major by submission of written notification to the Registrar’s Office and the student’s certifying officer. If a student defaults to a single-major option, the student may then graduate upon completion of all requirements for that one major but may not continue at the University for completion of the second major.

In some cases the combined requirements of the two majors will necessitate the completion of a greater total number of credits than either major taken separately, and depending on the term-to-term load, the student will most likely incur additional tuition charges according to the standard University policy for course overloads. There is no guarantee that the double major will be funded by the student’s financial aid and/or scholarships. (Students should review all approved academic plans with the Financial Aid Office to establish what courses will be funded.) Completing more than one major will not necessarily improve the chances of admission to a graduate program or increase prospects in career goals. Furthermore, individuals with more than one major can significantly reduce opportunities to explore more wide-ranging elective coursework, internships, study abroad and areas of personal interest. 

 

Fundamentals Courses

Fundamentals of College Mathematics, MATH-099 is offered by the University. 

Placement into Fundamentals of College Mathematics is determined by SAT scores, and for Math, a self-screening trigonometry questionnaire. 

For purposes of calculating the student’s course load, this course counts as three credit hours. However, it will not count as credits toward graduation, and it may not be used to satisfy the residency requirement or for use as a free elective.

Students must complete this course within three semesters of matriculation.

Students must earn a “C” (2.00) or better to receive credit for this course. Students who earn less than a grade of “C” must repeat that course in the next semester in which it is offered. Grades in Fundamentals courses enter into the calculation of a student’s grade point average.

Students who are required to take Fundamentals of College Mathematics must pass that course before taking any other mathematics course and certain science courses.

Students may not withdraw from a Fundamentals course. The director of the Learning and Advising Center must approve any exceptions in writing.

 

Grade Point Average/Grading

The unit of credit is the semester hour.

Quality points are assigned to letter grades according to the following scale:

A

A-

B+

B

B-

C+

=

=

=

=

=

=

4.00

3.67

3.33

3.00

2.67

2.33

C

C-

D+

D

F

=

=

=

=

=

2.00

1.67

1.33

1.00

0.00

The quality points earned are computed by multiplying the numerical value of the letter grade by the number of semester credit hours for the course. The Grade Point Average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total quality points earned by the total semester credit hours attempted. A sample calculation follows:

Course Number/Name

 

Credits

 

Letter

 

Quality Point Value

 

Quality Points Earned

 

WRTG-101

Writing Seminar I

 

3

 

B

 

3.00

 

9.00

 

MATH-111

 

Calculus I

 

4

 

C+

 

2.33

 

9.32

 

TEXT-101

 

Survey of the Textile Industry

 

3

 

A-

 

3.67

 

11.01

 

ENGR-104

 

Introduction to Computing

 

3

 

F

 

0.00

 

0.00

 

CHEM-103

 

Chemistry I

 

4

 

D

 

1.00

 

4.00

 

PE-25

 

Stress Management

 

.5

 

CR

 

——

 

——

 

Grade Point Average (GPA) =
Quality Points Earned ÷ Credits Attempted = 33.33 ÷ 17 = 1.96

Grading System-Undergraduate

The University uses a plus/minus grading system. The passing grades for the University are “CR,” “A,” “B,” “C” and “D.” A grade of “F” signifies that the course has been failed.

Grade descriptions are listed below:

A = Excellent.

Awarded to students who demonstrate an excellent understanding of the subject matter and who have achieved outstanding results in fulfilling the course objectives.

B = Above Average.

Awarded to students who demonstrate above-average understanding of the subject matter and who show consistent achievement beyond the usual requirements of the course.

C = Average.

Awarded to students who perform at the satisfactory level and demonstrate acceptable levels of understanding of the subject matter commensurate with continued study in the next successive course.

(Note: To graduate, a student must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or better.)

D = Below Average.

Awarded to students as evidence of less-than-average understanding of the subject matter and who demonstrate weak performance. It indicates insufficient preparation for students to enroll in any course reliant upon an acceptable level of understanding of the particular subject matter. A grade of “D” (1.00) represents a minimum grade necessary to receive credit for the course.

F = Failure.

Awarded to students showing poor understanding of the basic elements of the course.

I = Incomplete.

The “I” grade indicates that a student has missed some portion of required coursework because of illness or another emergency beyond his/her control. It indicates that the student, with the approval of the professor, has agreed in writing to complete the missing course requirements within an extended period of time and not to exceed the end of the 4th week counting from the last day of the end of the semester in which the course was taken..(See current Academic Calendar for the exact date.) The professor has sole authority to grant or deny such a request. Failure of the student to complete the agreed-upon work in the prescribed time frame will result in a grade of “F” for the course. To obtain an “I” grade the student must submit an Incomplete Form to the professor for approval before the due date for final grades to be submitted to the Registrar. Copies of the form are available online on the University’s Registrar’s website, www.philau.edu/registrar.  

Students who earn an “F” or “NC” grade are required to repeat the same course during the next term in which it is offered if the course is the only course that will satisfy the requirement or if they wish to have the failing grade replaced on the transcript.

See “Auditing a Course,” “Grade Point Averages,” “Credit/No Credit Option,” “Fundamentals Courses,” “Academic Internships,” “Physical Education & Service Learning” and “Repeating Courses.”

 

Graduation Requirements-Undergraduate

Certification for a baccalaureate degree may be processed by either the Undergraduate Program or the Continuing and Professional Studies Program, depending on where the majority of the candidate’s credits for the degree were earned. Certification for an associate degree and degree-completion programs administered through the School of Continuing and Professional Studies will be conducted by that office.

The University holds a Commencement ceremony once each year during the month of May. Students who complete all requirements for graduation by the end of the spring semester may participate in the Commencement ceremony. Degrees are awarded at the end of the semester in which all requirements are met. Students who have completed degree requirements in August or December may participate in the Commencement ceremony the following May.

To graduate, students must fulfill the University’s residency requirements, pass all required courses and have a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or better. A candidate for graduation who earns a cumulative grade point average of 3.60-3.69 will be graduated “cum laude,” 3.7-3.79 will be graduated “magna cum laude” or “summa cum laude” if their final cumulative average is 3.80 or better.

Any student who has financial obligations to the University is ineligible for graduation until such obligations have been fulfilled.

Participation in the Commencement ceremony does not necessarily represent conferral of the degree.

See “Residency Requirements.”

Graduate Courses for Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students who have earned a minimum of 90 credits and whose cumulative grade point averages are 3.00 and better may enroll in a graduate course with the permission of the respective graduate program director.

Honors Program

The Honors Program welcomes highly motivated students who demonstrated academic excellence in high school or in the first and second semesters at Philadelphia University.

Participants in the Honors Program enjoy advanced levels of inquiry, smaller class sizes and seminar-style instruction in Honors sections of College Studies courses. In many cases, Honors classes offer opportunities to take advantage of co-curricular experiences in the form of field trips, guest lectures, etc., that help interpret the course material. In addition, Honors Program students can arrange extended borrowing privileges at the University’s library.

Honors Program students are required to complete seven Honors courses. Exciting options for Honors credit range from the traditional Honors courses to individualizing the experience while studying abroad, taking on a leadership role in a community-service project or tailoring a research project. The senior year capstone course, Contemporary Perspectives, must be taken at the Honors level. In special cases, students can arrange a guided project in courses in their major (upgrades). Honors course offerings are listed each semester in the University’s course schedule. Students enrolled in Honors courses must take the course for a letter grade. The pass/fail or CR/NC option is not available for Honors courses.

Enrollment in Honors courses is designated on the University transcript and remains part of the student’s permanent academic record. Honors Program students’ academic records are reviewed periodically to assure that participants are making acceptable progress toward graduating with the designation of Honors Program Scholar. Students successfully completing all Honors Program requirements with a minimum GPA of 3.4 receive special recognition at graduation, the Honors Medallion and the Honors Certificate.

Find more information about the Honors Program in the section “University Academic Resources and Services” of the Academic Catalog.

Overload Charges

If a full-time undergraduate student is registered for more than 18.5 credits s/he will be charged at the overload per-credit rate for all credits in excess of 18.5 in addition to the comprehensive tuition rate.

Part-Time Tuition Charges

Part-time students (taking fewer than 12 semester credit hours) are charged at the applicable per-credit rate.

Physical Education and/or Service Learning

Undergraduates are required to successfully complete two semesters (one credit total) of physical education (PE) or a one-credit service-learning course, SERVE-101.

The University offers a variety of opportunities for students to earn PE credits including traditional instruction, varsity sports or the opportunity to participate in the University’s extensive intramural program. Additional physical education courses may be taken for elective credit.

SERVE-101 may also be taken in up to four semesters for students to earn free elective credit as well as the service-learning credit. Grades will be reported as either “Credit” or “No Credit.” For more information about SERVE-101 see the “Undergraduate Academic Programs” section of the Academic Catalog.

Students who enter the University with an associate or bachelor’s degree or 54 or more accepted transfer credits are exempt from this requirement. Please note: even if the PE/Service Learning requirement is waived, students are still responsible for the total number of credits required in the program.

See “Attendance.”

Placement Testing

S.T.A.R.T.

The University administers an online placement test for placement decisions about the appropriate writing course, either WRTG 100 / WRTG-100G or WRTG 101 / WRTG-101G, for all first-time undergraduate day division students, including international students. This online placement test MUST be completed BEFORE a student comes to campus for his/her selected S.T.A.R.T. session. Students who have earned an associate degree, who have been enrolled in another institution for thirty continuous credits, or who have earned college credit for Writing Seminar 1 are exempted from writing placement testing ONLY if their credits have been evaluated BEFORE coming to their designated S.T.A.R.T. session. All first-time freshman who have not completed the online test and transfer students who have NOT had their writing credits evaluated will be required to take the writing placement test during S.T.A.R.T., which will delay the receipt of their semester course rosters.

The University places first-time undergraduate day division students in mathematics courses according to math SAT scores, major (as designated in the official University acceptance letter), as well as responses to a self-screening trigonometry questionnaire. Students who have earned AP credit in mathematics will be placed in mathematics courses according to the table listed in the “Credit by Examination” section of this publication. Students who have received transfer credit in mathematics will be placed considering these credits in addition to the other stated criteria. The university will administer a math placement test to all international students who have not taken the SAT or ACT.

First-time undergraduate day division students’ verbal SAT scores will determine their placement into Introduction to Textual Analysis (ITXA-100). The University will administer a reading placement exam for international students who have not taken the SAT to determine their placement into Introduction to Textual Analysis, (ITXA-100).

See “Credit by Examination,” “Transfer Credit,” “International Students,” and "Fundamental Courses.”

Foreign Language Placement Testing

Students who plan to enroll in French, German, Italian, Japanese or Spanish and who have studied that language for more than two years in high school, or the equivalent level elsewhere, must consult with the Coordinator of the Language Program in the College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts.

It is recommended that students who are native speakers of French, German, Italian, Japanese or Spanish enroll in a language other than their own. Students, however, do have the option of taking challenge examinations to meet this requirement. If after taking the Foreign Language Placement Examination it appears that the student has adequate preparation, the student may pay a challenge-examination fee, present the receipt to the College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts and complete a challenge examination. Challenge examinations can be taken in French, German, Italian, Japanese or Spanish. Currently enrolled students may not take CLEP examinations for foreign language course credit. Advanced placement credits and transfer credits for appropriate foreign language courses taken at other institutions will be accepted.

See “Advanced Placement,” “Challenge Exam,” and “Transfer Credit.”

Re-entry to the University-Undergraduate

A student who wishes to re-enter as a traditional undergraduate student must submit a Re-entry Application to the Office of Admissions. A student who wishes to re-enter as an accelerated-program student must submit a Continuing Studies Application form to the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Students who have enrolled at another college or university since their departure from Philadelphia University must present official transcripts from those schools directly to the Admissions Office for consideration in re-entry.

Upon receiving their re-entry letter, students must meet with the director of the Learning and Advising Center (day division students) or the director of Student Services in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (evening students) prior to registering for class.

The Undergraduate Academic Standards Committee will review any applications for re-entry from students who were not in good standing (less than 2.00 GPA or not met 75% of credits attempted) when they withdrew or were dismissed from Philadelphia University. During the academic year, the Committee meets only once a month, so students should allow adequate time for processing. The subcommittee will also consider applications for re-entry for the fall semester during late May, so students wishing to be evaluated during this summer meeting should submit their requests for re-admission no later than May 15. The Undergraduate Academic Standards Committee must approve any application for re-entry before a student, not in good standing, is allowed to register for additional courses at the University. The student is placed on probation during the first term of re-entry.

See “Academic Standing.”

Refund Policy

Traditional UNDERGRADUATE AND All ONLINE COURSES

Students are considered in attendance until the Registrar receives formal written notice of withdrawal.

Tuition refunds will be made to traditional undergraduate programs and all students enrolled in online courses (regardless of login status) withdrawing from the University according to the following schedule:

Before classes start                 100%

First week of class                   80%

Second week of class              60%

Third week of class                  40%

Beginning of fourth week of class   0% - No refund thereafter

 

CONTINUING AND PROFESSIONAL STUDIES (CPS) AND ALL SUMMER COURSES

(Students enrolled in online summer courses use above policy)

Tuition charges for Continuing and Professional Studies students who withdraw from a course will be refunded on the following schedule:

Prior to the first class meeting                    100%

Prior to the second class meeting            80%

Prior to the third class meeting                   60%

Prior to the fourth class meeting               40%

After the fourth class meeting                     0% - No refund thereafter

 

Residency Requirements

To be eligible for graduation with a degree from Philadelphia University, a student must earn a specified minimum number of credits in residence (excluding Fundamentals courses); included in this requirement are six semester credit hours in College Studies courses and 12 semester credit hours in the major core. If a student is pursuing a double major, another12 semester credit hours must be completed in residence in the second major core.

To be eligible for graduation with a Bachelor of Science degree:

  • Traditional undergraduate students must earn a total of at least 60 semester credit hours in residence at Philadelphia University;
  • Continuing and Professional Studies students must earn a total of at least 33 semester credit hours in residence at Philadelphia University; and
  • Students enrolled in the B.S./Health Services Management degree-completion program must earn a total of at least 33 semester credit hours in residence at Philadelphia University.

In the case of transfer from one division to the other, the higher residency requirement will apply.

To be eligible for graduation with an Associate in Science degree (available only through the School of Continuing and Professional Studies), students must earn a total of at least 20 semester credit hours in residence at Philadelphia University.

Students who need assistance in determining eligible courses in the major core should consult the certifying officer for their major in their respective College.

Credits earned through challenge exams are applied toward residency requirements.

Students must be in residence during the semester immediately preceding the awarding of the degree.

Student Status Based on Completed Credits

Students are generally considered to be classified as freshmen during the first two semesters of full-time study in the University, or as long as they are working toward the completion of their first 30 credits toward their degree. Sophomores are generally considered to have completed more than 30 credits and to be working toward the completion of up to 60 credits toward their degree. Juniors generally fall in the range of 60 to 90 credits. Students who have completed 90 or more credits are generally classified as seniors.

Time Limit to Degree and Obsolete Credits

Undergraduate students are expected to complete all degree requirements within 10 years from the date of initial matriculation. Students who do not meet this requirement will have their coursework, including Philadelphia University credits and previously evaluated transfer credits, reviewed by the appropriate program(s) to determine the currency and appropriateness of courses toward a current degree. As a result of this evaluation, credits may be determined to be “outdated” and removed as earned credit toward the completion of degree requirements. Outdated credits will not be used in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average. Students should note that in some cases, while a particular course may still be offered, a program can determine that material covered by the course has changed substantially enough to determine that the original course is outdated. Students are eligible to take a challenge exam for any outdated courses affected by the review process described above.

Students seeking re-entry to Philadelphia University beyond two full academic semesters are subject to the graduation requirements from the catalog in effect at the time of re-entry

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit for coursework at a previously attended institution is generally awarded to the entering transfer student by the Office of Admissions or the School of Continuing and Professional Studies prior to the student’s initial matriculation at this institution. Transfer credits earned prior to matriculation at Philadelphia University must be submitted within one semester of matriculation.

Undergraduate students should have transcripts sent directly to Admissions. Continuing and Professional Studies students should have transcripts sent to the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

The University reserves the right to remove previously awarded transfer credits if a student does not illustrate a proper knowledge of the course material, or if the student does not maintain a satisfactory average.

Credit is granted only when the student has earned a grade of “C-” or better in a given course. The University may also consider the age of transfer courses when assigning credits to degree requirements. The B.S./M.S. in Occupational Therapy programs hold to a different and higher transfer credit/grade standard. (See OT Programs under “College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts.”)

Any student who has questions concerning the transfer credit evaluation or wishes to appeal a course-equivalency decision prior to matriculation at Philadelphia University should meet with either Undergraduate Admissions or Continuing and Professional Studies. Any students with questions about their transfer credit evaluations after the start of their first semesters should consult with Learning and Advising and the Office of the University Registrar.

The School of Continuing & Professional Studies (C&PS) awards transfer credit for classes completed at regionally accredited institutions in which students earned grades > C-. C&PS awards transfer credit on a credit-for-credit basis; a 3-semester credit hour class completed at another institution will receive the same 3 credits at Philadelphia University; a 4-semester credit hour class completed at another institution will receive the same 4 credits at Philadelphia University. C&PS follows an approved standard for converting classes completed at a quarter-hour institution into semester credits. Using this procedure, a 3-quarter hour class is equivalent to 2 semester hours, a 4-quarter hour class is equivalent to 2.67 semester hours, and a 5-quarter hour class is equivalent to 3.33 semester hours.

 See “Residency Requirements” and “Credit by Examination.”