Undergraduate Course Registration Policies

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.

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 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. A Physical Science placement inventory is given to those students who are majoring in a discipline or interested in a pre-professional area that requires chemistry.

New and transferring, part-time students entering the University at any point during the academic year are expected to meet with the Associate Director of Undergraduate Success. The Associate Director 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. The approval of the Academic Dean of the College of Global Studies (TCGS) is required for additional online credits of more than two credits, if the study abroad program is offered by TCGS.

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)

  • Withdraw/Add—Students may withdraw and add courses during the first week of class. Adding a course requires the permission of the instructor.
  • For Undergraduates, student evaluations will occur during the third week of the course.
  • Students may withdraw during week four of the class and receive a W.
  • Students may withdraw during week five of the course and receive either a WP or WF.
  • 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.
  • Students may not withdraw from a course during week six or seven; however, students have the right to petition the appropriate Dean.
  • 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 Associate Provost of Division of Student Success, 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.

Course Schedule Changes

Changes in course registrations may be made during the first two weeks of classes provided that a drop/add form signed by the student’s adviser is filed with the Registrar. Students may add classes during the first week of a Fall or Spring semester, and they may drop classes during the first two weeks. 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 eighth week of each semester and will be assigned a grade of W on the transcript. To withdraw from a course after the eighth week, but before the last four weeks of the semester, 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 Associate Provost of the Division of Student Success (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).

Withdrawals during the last four weeks of the semester are not allowed except in extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the student. The Associate Provost of the Division of Student Success, in consultation with appropriate faculty, must approve the withdrawal in addition to the approvals listed above. (WP/WF remains in effect.) 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.

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 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 Assistant Director of Undergraduate Success and the Chair of the Undergraduate Academic Programs Committee 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.

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.


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.