How the Undergraduate Curriculum Works

Most Arcadia Undergraduate Curriculum requirements focus on educational ends rather than particular means to those ends (e.g., specific courses). As a result, students have significant flexibility in determining how and with what courses these requirements may be satisfied. Some courses students complete within their chosen majors also will satisfy Undergraduate Curriculum requirements. In addition, courses taken within one’s major and elsewhere throughout the University may, when appropriate, fulfill multiple Undergraduate Curriculum requirements simultaneously.

Undergraduate Curriculum Requirements and Students’ Chosen Majors

Students’ chosen majors are their primary pathways through the rest of Arcadia’s Undergraduate Curriculum since courses taken to fulfill a chosen major also fulfill some of the required Integrative Learning Experiences, Areas of Inquiry, and Intellectual Practices. However, which Undergraduate Curriculum requirements are fulfilled by major courses differs by major. Therefore, each student works with his or her academic adviser – who is a faculty member from the student’s major department – to determine which Undergraduate Curriculum requirements the student will fulfill in major courses and which requirements he or she will fulfill in courses outside the major. Students can also use the Find Courses function in Self-Service to determine how courses fill various requirements.

How Courses Can Fulfill Multiple Undergraduate Curriculum Requirements

Courses both within and outside students’ chosen majors sometimes fulfill multiple Undergraduate Curriculum requirements simultaneously. For example, it is fairly common for courses around the University to satisfy both an Area of Inquiry and an Intellectual Practice. Similarly, the First-Year Seminars (which is a required Integrative Learning Experience) also satisfy at least one Area of Inquiry. Similarly, all University Seminars (which all satisfy one of the required additional Integrative Learning Experiences) also satisfy at least one Area of Inquiry and at least one Intellectual Practice.

Understanding Courses and Credits

Undergraduates need a total of 128 credits to graduate from Arcadia University – the equivalent of eight semesters of 16 credits each. However, Undergraduate Curriculum requirements are defined by courses rather than credits. Most courses that fulfill Undergraduate Curriculum requirements carry 4 credits. For example, most courses that fulfill an Area of Inquiry or Intellectual Practice requirement carry 4 credits. However, there are some exceptions. The Global Connections Experience is often fulfilled through a semester abroad or through a semester-long domestic exchange with a partner university. When done away from campus (either internationally or domestically), the “experience” is connected to the semester as a whole that one is away from campus, rather than connected to a specific course. The Global Connections Reflection is often fulfilled by completing a specific 2-credit Reflection course during one’s Global Connections Experience. In addition, 3-credit courses also sometimes may fulfill Undergraduate Curriculum requirements when appropriate.

Courses Taken at Other Institutions

Students also can fulfill curricular requirements through courses taken through study abroad/study away, Advanced Placement, college courses completed during high school, International Baccalaureate or summer courses at other institutions. These courses carry the same designations as their equivalents within the Arcadia University system when available. If not available students may petition to have a course count for a particular designation.


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