Undergraduate Academic Policies

Attendance at Classes

A student must be registered for a course by the end of the drop/add period in order to attend the class.

The academic program at Arcadia University is organized mainly around classroom experiences. Thus, attendance is important. Arcadia University students accept the responsibility for attending scheduled meetings of their classes and completing their assignments on time. Each instructor has the responsibility of making clear to students his or her expectations concerning class attendance. Students are expected to attend all classes at the regularly scheduled hours immediately before and after vacations.

In cases of prolonged absences because of illness or other unavoidable circumstance, the likelihood of the student’s being able to make up the work missed will be determined through consultation between the Associate Provost of the Division of Student Success and the instructors concerned. It is the student’s responsibility to report extended absences to the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Success.

Arcadia University recognizes individual student choice in observing religious holidays that occur during regularly scheduled classes. Students should make arrangements with their instructors to make up work missed as a result of a religious observance, and instructors should make every reasonable effort to accommodate such requests.


The semester does not officially end until the last examination is completed. Examinations must be taken as scheduled except in cases of illness or other unavoidable reasons. Final critiques in art are considered examinations and are scheduled during examination week. Exceptions may be made only by petition to the Committee on Academic Standing and Petitions no later than the Wednesday after mid-semester. Unexcused absence from an examination or critique results in failure of the examination.

Sixth Week Evaluations

The purpose of the evaluations is to give a student a sense of how he/she is doing from the instructor’s perspective. All students are sent an e-mail explaining how to access their evaluations. Sixth Week Evaluation information details and a video are also available to students. The following key explains all of the possible grades and comments on the sixth week evaluations:


  • Q-Quality, above average
  • M-Making satisfactory progress, average
  • J-Jeopardy of failure, below average
  • N-No grade (due to insufficient information)


  • 01 - Good exam/quiz grades
  • 02 - Actively participates in class
  • 03 - Enthusiasm for the subject
  • 04 - Poor exam grades
  • 05 - Incomplete course work
  • 06 - Lack of participation in class
  • 07 - Difficulty wih the English language
  • 08 - Excessive tardiness
  • 09 - Various difficulties with written assignments
  • 10 - Excessive absences


Reports of grades are issued to students at the end of each semester. Most courses at Arcadia University are graded by the conventional letter system: A designates excellent quality of performance; B, good; C, satisfactory; D, poor but passing; F, failure. The addition of a plus or minus for each of the passing grades gives opportunity to differentiate performance within each of the stated grades.

In the case of an incomplete, the instructor determines the date for completion of the work, but this date may not be later than three weeks into the semester following the one in which the Incomplete was given. If the work is not completed at that time, the student or the instructor may petition for an extension of time.

A student can register for a maximum of 12 credits when entering a semester with an incomplete from the previous semester. If the work is not completed and an extension not granted, a grade will be assigned that reflects the work completed. Students should expect that this would usually be
an F.

Other grading symbols are used in some courses. Departments have the option of grading the senior seminar or practicum S (satisfactory) or U (unsatisfactory). S carries credit. The U is equivalent to F.

For classes taken in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021

With the approval of the adviser, the department and, when relevant, the chair of the department in which the course is taught, students who have received a grade of “C–” or below in a course during the 2020-21 Academic Year can repeat the course without additional credit in a subsequent semester if it is essential to their major or career goal. The higher grade would be used for GPA computation and would be considered the final grade for the course. A course can be repeated only once for a higher grade.  Courses receiving a S or P grading designation could not be repeated for a higher grade. Repeating examinations or completing additional work may not raise a permanent course grade. All final grades, including Fs, remain a permanent part of the student’s record.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Grade points earned for a course are determined by multiplying the number of academic credit hours by the grade point value of the grade received. Grade point values are as follows:

Letter A A- B+  B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
Value 4.0 3.7 3.3 3.0 2.7 2.3 2.0 1.7 1.3 1.0 0.7 0.0

The grade-point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total grade points by the total number of course credits for which the student has been enrolled. A minimum 2.0 cumulative and major GPA is required to graduate from the University. A+ grades may be recorded on student transcripts but are calculated into the GPA as 4.0. Courses graded S and those taken under the pass-fail option are not computed in the GPA. Thus, a student receiving one S and three Cs, or one P and three Cs, would have a GPA of 2.0. Grades earned in courses taken at other schools also are not computed in the GPA As an exception, however, courses taken through SEPCHE agreements and through The College of Global Studies at Arcadia University are computed in the GPA.

The Code of Academic Responsibility

Each student accepts the responsibility of maintaining high standards of integrity in his or her academic performance. It is the responsibility of all students to uphold the code through the procedures set forth by the University as outlined in the Student Handbook.

Academic Standing

To have satisfactory academic standing, students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and a GPA of 2.0 for the previous semester’s work. Students who fall below these averages will be placed on academic warning, placed on academic probation, or academically dismissed from the University by the Committee on Academic Standing and Petitions, using criteria listed below.

In order for a student to participate in varsity sports, be an officer of a student organization, a class officer or a senator, a student must be in good academic standing with the University.

Although students on probation are given the opportunity to achieve satisfactory standing, they are on notice that they could become academically dismissed from the University. Students may be continued on warning or probation for a subsequent semester, but they must show progress or they may be academically dismissed from the University. A student is academically dismissed to return only after thorough study, with careful attention given to the likelihood that the student can fulfill the graduation requirement of a 2.0 cumulative GPA and a 2.0 GPA in the major.

Academic standing is determined at the end of each semester, with the criteria applied to both the semester and cumulative GPAs.

First-Year Students (freshmen, 1-26 credits)

  • Are placed on Warning when either GPA is between and including 1.75 to 1.99.
  • Are placed on Probation when either GPA is below 1.75.
  • Are subject to Academic Dismissal, generally, when either GPA is below a 1.62.

Upperclass students (sophomores, juniors, seniors)

Are placed on Probation when either GPA is below 2.0.

  • Are subject to Academic Dismissal when the student is on probation for three semesters in his/her career at Arcadia University, or the cumulative GPA is below a 1.8 (sophomore), or the cumulative or major GPA are below a 2.0 (junior or senior).
  • Are considered in Jeopardy when the student is a first semester sophomore or higher and has an overall and current semester GPA of a 2.0 or above, but has a major GPA below a 2.0. There are no sanctions associated with this category as there are currently with the academic probation category. Students who fall into this category would be assigned to a member of the Academic Affairs staff for advising. A student may request reconsideration of an academic dismissal decision. Such a request must be submitted in writing and received by the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Success. In addition to the written request, a student may appear in person before the Committee on Academic Standing and Petitions. A personal appearance is purely voluntary. An exemption from academic dismissal is granted only in those cases where a student’s academic performance was affected by extraordinary circumstances of which the committee initially was unaware. These circumstances need to be described in the letter requesting reconsideration.

Parents of dependent students who are on warning or probation or are academically dismissed will be sent a letter concerning the academic status of the student.

In addition to GPA, students also must be making adequate progress toward the degree to have satisfactory academic standing. Therefore, students who have an excessive number of course withdrawals for two consecutive semesters will have their records reviewed by the Committee on Academic Standing and Petition. Excessive number of course withdrawals is defined as 50% or greater of the student’s course load.  After review, a student may be dismissed from the University if it is determined that they are not making adequate progress.  Students with excessive withdrawals who would like to remain or become resident students must appeal to the Director of Residence Life for permission to do so.

Academic Amnesty

A student whose cumulative GPA is below that required for satisfactory academic standing may petition the Committee on Academic Standing not to count one semester’s work in the cumulative GPA. The grades and courses taken during that semester would remain on the transcript. No credits earned during the discounted semester would apply toward the number of credits required for graduation. The student has to repeat the semester, either at summer sessions elsewhere or on campus. A student would be able to “declare amnesty” only once in his/her career at Arcadia.

Academic Honors

The Dean’s Distinguished Honor List and Dean’s Honor List recognize students who have attained high GPAs during the previous term. “Term” is defined as a semester for full-time students (12 earned credits or more) and the previous 12-month period (including summer) for part-time students. Part-time students must have earned a minimum of 12 credits during the previous 12-month period to qualify for either Honor List. Students are placed on the Dean’s Distinguished Honor List with a term GPA of 3.90 to 4.0. The Dean’s Honor List consists of students with a term GPA of 3.67 to 3.89.

Seniors with a 3.60 average in courses in their major and a 3.00 cumulative average are eligible to be considered for departmental honors. Those with outstanding records are graduated cum laude (3.67 cumulative average), magna cum laude (3.78) and summa cum laude (3.90). All undergraduate Arcadia University coursework is included in consideration for graduation honors. All transfer students with 60 or more Arcadia University credits are eligible for honors.

Acceleration/Early Graduation

Students with strong academic records who want to accelerate completion of the degree program should work closely with the adviser and begin planning early in their college career. Acceleration may be accomplished in the following ways or combinations of them: admission with advanced placement credit, credit by examination, summer courses, or course overloads during the regular semester.

Fulfillment of Graduation Requirements

Faculty advisers and the Registrar are available to assist students in planning their programs; however, the ultimate responsibility of meeting all requirements for the degree or certificate rests with the individual student. The student must notify the Registrar’s Office in writing of his or her intention to complete the degree or certificate requirements during the semester before the one in which the degree or certificate is to be completed.

Participation in Graduation Ceremonies

Students are permitted to participate fully in graduation ceremonies (Commencement) if they have met all academic requirements and obligations to the University. Students who are within one course (four or fewer credits) of meeting all academic requirements and have earned at least a 2.00 cumulative and major GPA at the time of the graduation program printing deadline may petition to participate in the graduation ceremony. The student completes the Petition for Exception to Academic Policy and submits it to the Associate Provost of the Division of Student Success. For the petition to be granted, there must be evidence that it is possible for the student to complete the remaining course no later than December of the year of the graduation ceremony. If the petition is granted, the student is permitted to participate fully in the graduation ceremonies. However, the student’s name is listed in the graduation program with parentheses indicating that all degree requirements have not yet been satisfied.

Credit Hour Policy

See Credit Hour Policy in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Transfer Students

Transfer credit is granted for college-level work completed at another accredited institution if the course content is comparable to that offered at Arcadia University or appropriate for the degree program. The following policies govern the transfer of undergraduate credits:

  • Credit will not be granted for courses in which grades below "C-" are earned. A maximum of 90 credits may be transferred from a four-year institution, or 75 credits from a two-year institution.
  • To qualify for a degree, students transferring from another college or university must fulfill the Arcadia University Curriculum and departmental requirements, either by transfer credit or by courses completed at Arcadia University. Students are required to complete at least half the credits for their major and concentration at Arcadia University, although more may be required for certain majors or concentrations. Students also are required to complete at least half the courses for a minor at Arcadia University, although more may be required for certain minors. Transfer students presenting more than half the credits for a major or concentration should see the department chair to identify appropriate courses.
  • The Enrollment Management staff provides credit evaluations for transfer students to help facilitate the transition to Arcadia University, but final approval of transfer credits rest s with the Registrar and the department chairs of relevant academic programs.
  • Assignment or exemption for English composition is determined by performance on the Arcadia University Writing Inventory or by a transfer credit evaluation. Assignment or exemption in Mathematics and Modern Language is determined by performance on a placement examination administered by the University or by a transfer credit evaluation.
  • Ordinarily, undergraduate students must be enrolled in the University for the final three full semesters (or the equivalent) of their program and complete at least the upper half of credits for their major or concentration at Arcadia University. Certain majors may require more. For day programs, it is 48 credit hours, while for degree completion programs, it is 45 credit hours. With departmental approval, students transferring to the University may complete requirements for the degree with fewer credits, but a minimum of 32 credit hours are required for day programs and 30 credit hours are required for degree completion programs; these 32 or 30 credit hours, respectively, represent actual course completions in the upper half of the major and may not include credit by examination, credit for prior learning, waiver, or transfer credit.
  • 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.
  • To qualify for a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate, students must fulfill the departmental requirements for the certificate. Generally, at least half the courses required by the department must be completed at Arcadia University.

Articulation Agreements

Core-to-core agreements and/or Program-to-program agreements exist with several community colleges and a variety of undergraduate majors, including:

  • Bucks County Community College (www.bucks.edu)
  • Burlington County College (www.bcc.edu)
  • Cecil Community College (www.cecil.edu)
  • Community College of Philadelphia (www.ccp.edu)
  • Delaware County Community College (www.dccc.edu)
  • Lehigh Carbon Community College (www.lccc.edu)
  • Montgomery County Community College (www.mc3.edu)
  • Northampton Community College (www.northampton.edu)

New schools and programs are periodically added to this list. For more information, call 1-877-ARCADIA (1-877-272-2342) or email the Transfer Coordinator. 

Residence Requirement

Generally, students must complete the equivalent of the final three semesters of coursework at Arcadia University for the bachelor’s degree. For day programs, it is 48 credit hours, while for degree completion, it is 45 credit hours.

Withdrawal or Dismissal from the University

Notification of withdrawal from the University must be given in writing. Forms for this purpose are available in the Registrar’s Office. Full-time and part-time students withdrawing from the University should meet with the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies before completing the withdrawal form. Explanation of refund policy.

The University may, on recommendation of the University physician, request a student to withdraw for reasons of health. The University reserves the right to dismiss at any time a student whose academic performance is unsatisfactory or whose conduct is detrimental to the welfare of other students.

Leave of Absence Policy

A full-time or part-time undergraduate student or graduate student who encounters unforeseen emergency circumstances, may apply for a leave of absence during the current semester, provided the leave period is 15 weekdays or less. Students who need to request a leave of absence should complete the Request for Leave of Absence Form (“LOA Form”) available on the Registrar’s webpage. Service members called to active duty should use a Petition for Exception to LOA Policy.

Students granted a leave of absence continue to be charged the regular tuition rate and any financial aid, as originally allocated, will remain the same (for information about other fees please contact the business office). Should the student not return within the specified period indicated on the LOA Form, they will be required to officially withdraw from the University and should immediately contact the Registrar’s Office to complete a withdrawal form. In cases of withdrawal, tuition charges and applied aid will be determined according to the University’s regular refund policy for withdrawing students.

Meeting individually with professors and completing missed coursework due to a leave of absence is solely the responsibility of the student. An approved leave of absence does not guarantee that a student will be able to continue and satisfactorily complete an enrolled course as according to the criteria of individual faculty or course policies as indicated by the course syllabus. Undergraduate students who experience difficulty contacting their faculty members should contact the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Success, and Graduate students should contact the Associate Provost of the Division of Student Success.  Students must consult with their financial aid counselor regarding any possible impact on satisfactory academic progress and loan repayment/grace periods in advance of beginning an approved leave of absence.

The Associate Provost of the Division of Student Success and the Dean of Students, or their designees, will review the LOA Form and will either accept or deny it, based on the individual circumstances of the student and the predicted likelihood that the student will return to classes at the end of the approved leave period.


Application forms for readmission are obtained online and/or from the Registrar’s Office and submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Success by deadlines stated on the form. Forms will be reviewed by a committee consisting of the Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Success, Associate Dean of Students, and Associate Registrar. This committee will seek input from appropriate campus constituents as necessary for each review when making a decision. This committee will establish criteria for readmission. If a former student’s Grade Point Average was under 2.0 at the time of leaving Arcadia University, the deadline to apply for Fall readmission is May 15. For all other former students, the deadlines to apply for readmission are June 15 for Fall and December 15 for Spring or Summer.

If students have taken coursework at another institution, they will need to submit an official transcript. Any Arcadia University course that is more than 10 years old shall be treated as transfer credit at the time of readmission.