Undergraduate General Policies

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. View Academic Calendar.

Course Offerings and Modality Changes

Course offerings and the modality in which they will be taught (e.g. on campus, online, hybrid) are subject to change. Current information about intended modality is available in Self Service. Tuition and fees remain the same and will not be refunded regardless of modality or changes to modality.

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 Graduate Dean, 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 obtain approval 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 students 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.

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.

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. Transfer Credit Policy[LINK].

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.

Grades Earned through Arcadia’s College of Global Studies

The grade earned by an Arcadia University student in any course offered through The College of Global Studies at Arcadia will count in the Arcadia University GPA. A student must petition the Associate Provost of the Division of Student Success to count grades from non-College of Global Studies programs, following approval from the Office of International Affairs. The grades will be translated to the American equivalent.

Grades Earned through a Study Away Experience

The grades earned by an Arcadia University student in any course offered through an approved domestic study away program will count in the Arcadia University GPA. A student must petition the Associate Provost of the Division of Student Success and have a recommendation letter from the Director of Global Connections to count grades from domestic study away programs not formally approved by the University. The grades will be translated to the Arcadia equivalent.

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.

Directory Information

Currently, directory information is considered name, graduation date, degree granted, enrollment status (current students), dates of attendance and major.

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.

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); 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[LINK] under Privacy and Accuracy).

Please refer to the University's FERPA Compliance Policy.