Academic Guide for Undergraduate Students

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Academic Honors

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Deans Honors List

The Dean’s Distinguished Honor List and Dean’s Honor List, calculated twice yearly, 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 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 GPA of 3.9 or higher. The Dean’s Honor List consists of students with a term GPA of 3.67 to 3.89.


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Graduation Honors

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

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Honors and Professional Societies

Phi Kappa Phi

The primary objective of the national honor society of Phi Kappa Phi is to recognize and encourage superior scholarship in all academic disciplines. Phi Kappa Phi is an honor society, not an honorary society or fraternity. Membership is earned by meeting criteria established by the national organization. Undergraduate students may be considered for election to Phi Kappa Phi if they have senior status, have a minimum of 24 graded semester hours at Arcadia University, and are in the upper 10 percent of their class, or if they are in their junior year and are scholastically in the upper 7.5 percent of their class.

Arcadia University also has established chapters of the following professional honor societies that elect to membership students with exceptional interest and achievement in special fields:

  • Kappa Delta Pi (Education)
  • Phi Alpha Theta (History)
  • Phi Beta Delta (International Studies)
  • Pi Delta Phi (French)
  • Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science)
  • Psi Chi (Psychology)
  • Sigma Beta Delta (Business Administration)
  • Sigma Delta Pi (Spanish)
  • Sigma Tau Delta (English)
  • Sigma Zeta (Computer Science and Mathematics)
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Prizes and Awards

Undergraduate and Graduate students are recognized for academic excellence at Honors Convocation, an annual academic event held each spring. Special awards and prizes are awarded to students in recognition of their outstanding academic achievement.

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Academic Policies

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Academic Advisers

A faculty member will be your academic adviser if you have selected a major. Undeclared students will be advised by a professional adviser within the Undergraduate Studies Office. You and your adviser will discuss the various programs and opportunities available within your interests and objectives and will approve the final selection of your courses each semester. First-Year students are assigned an adviser for the year based on their tentative choice of major. A student may select, or the department chair can assign, an adviser at the time of official declaration of major early in the sophomore year. You are encouraged to make appointments with your academic adviser to talk about your academic concerns. Office hours for advisers are typically posted outside faculty offices.

Resource or Special Interest Advisers
  • ACT 101/Gateway Program Advisers – Cristina Cintron-Marsh, Anthony Reyes
  • Learning Resource Network – Jennifer Smull, Kathryn Duffy, Jessica Holdren
  • Professional Advisers – Cristina Cintron-Marsh, Kay Greene, Bruce Keller, Anthony Reyes
  • International Student Adviser –Jessica Doyle
  • Honors Program – Helene Klein
  • Global Connections Options - Joanne Lucena
  • Law and Public Policy – Chris Cerski
  • Pre-Med – Sheryl Smith
  • Pre-Nursing – Megan Wright
  • Pre-Physician Assistant Studies – Erin Wolf
  • Pre-Physical Therapy – Marty Eastlack
  • Pre-Vet – Sheryl Smith
  • Study Abroad Programs – Office of Global Engagement
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Academic Amnesty


A student 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.  However, if a student passes any courses fulfilling AUC requirements during the discounted semester, those AUC requirements will be applied.  A student would be able to apply for amnesty after completing at least one semester in good academic standing.  A student can only be granted “academic amnesty” once in his/her academic career at Arcadia.

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Academic Honesty

Code of Academic Responsibility

The life of any community depends on the integrity and personal honesty of its members. An academic community must pay special attention to the values which define the nature of the academic life. Historically, these have included the right to freedom of inquiry, a commitment to truth, and respect for the freedom of inquiry of others.

A distinguishing characteristic of an academic community is the way it combines competitive and cooperative values. On the one hand, education is a shared task and progress comes through cooperative efforts. Toward that end, Arcadia University encourages peer review—discussing ideas with peers, reading drafts of their work, and so on.

On the other hand, new ideas are the currency of the community, and it is important to acknowledge the individual ownership of ideas. It is a serious violation of the norms of the academic community to appropriate the ideas of other people without credit or permission, and it is important to learn to discriminate between exploitation and the legitimate use of the ideas of others.

The most general rule is that any use of another person’s ideas—whether the source is published or not—should be acknowledged fully and in detail. Since disciplines show some differences on how this should be done, instructors should be consulted as to the form and nature of the acknowledgments required by each field.

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

Attendance at Classes

Because instructional methods, expected class participation and the nature of the courses vary, no fixed number of absences is applicable to all situations. Each instructor is responsible for making clear to the class at the beginning of the semester his or her policies and procedures in regard to class attendance and the reasons for them. It is expected that the instructor’s policies in this regard will be consistent with the conduct and the objectives of the course, including the emphasis placed on student contributions to the class sessions. You are responsible for work missed because of absence. In the event of illness, it is the student’s responsibility to contact appropriate faculty. With the student’s permission Student Health Services will confirm illness via telephone if contacted by faculty. Absence from class because of University-approved events (e.g., varsity athletic events, conferences) must be approved by the faculty member teaching the class. If students wish to miss class in order to participate in an approved event, they have the following responsibilities:

  • Content faculty at the earliest possible time to discuss anticipated class absences and to request permission to be excused from class.

  • If permission is given, arrange in advance to make up or compensate for work that will be missed.

In cases of prolonged absence from classes because of illness or other emergencies, the likelihood that you will be able to make up the work satisfactorily shalls, be determined through consultation among the instructors involved. It is your responsibility to report extended absences to the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Success.

Absences Before and After Vacations

Classes meet at the regularly scheduled hours immediately before and immediately after vacation periods, and you are expected to be present. Each instructor is responsible for holding class meetings before and after vacations, as at other times, and for setting whatever penalty he or she deems necessary for unexcused absences.

Religious Holidays

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

Field Trips

Field trips should be scheduled whenever possible during hours when conflicts with other classes are not involved. Participation under these circumstances may be required. (Advance notice must be given if an evening field trip is required.) However, the scheduling of certain field trips is dictated by the time the experience is available. When such trips conflict with your classes, participation is voluntary. Consult with your instructors as to the advisability of missing classes for a field trip in terms of your academic programs. Faculty members shall not be under any pressure from other faculty members to excuse students from classes for field trips. Faculty members shall not exert pressure on any students to absent themselves from other classes.

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Classification of Students

A day program student with normal progress will have accumulated the following credits:

  • End of freshman year – 32 credits
  • End of sophomore year – 64 credits
  • End of junior year – 96 credits

However, for financial aid purposes, students who have earned between 27-56 credits will be classified as sophomores; those who have earned between 57-86 credits will be classified as juniors. For senior status, 87 credits are required. A total of 128 credits is required for graduation. 

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 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 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.

Associate Provost, 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.

Withdrawal from the University

If you wish to withdraw from the University, you need to notify the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Success and complete the appropriate forms. For purposes of refunding payment for board, the official withdrawal date is the date you leave the residence hall and submit the withdrawal form. See the undergraduate catalog for the refund schedule.

If you intend to withdraw at the end of a semester, submit a withdrawal form as soon as your plans are definite.

The University may, upon recommendation of the University professional staff, request a student to withdraw for medical or psychological reasons.

Dismissal from the University

The University reserves the right to dismiss a student any time for unsatisfactory academic performance or for conduct detrimental to the University or to the welfare of other students.


Application forms for readmission can be found online and must be submitted 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 15th  for Fall and December 15th for Spring or Summer.

For the 2022-2023 academic year, August 12, 2022 is the application deadline for all students seeking readmission in the fall semester.  January 5, 2023 is the application deadline for all students seeking readmission for the spring semester.  

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.

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Declaration of Major

You are asked to make a formal declaration of your major field in the fall of your sophomore year. Forms for this purpose and for declaring a second major are provided by the Registrar’s Office.

If you wish to change your major, secure the appropriate form from the Registrar's Office. The change must be approved by the chairs of the departments concerned and by the Registrar. A change made later than the beginning of the junior year might mean that additional courses would be required.

Note that some programs, such as Education, Science Illustration and Fine Arts, have specific requirements that should be taken in the first year. Students interested in Pre-Health programs such as Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant, must also carefully plan their schedules. If you are considering these programs, you are urged to check for further information concerning requirements and to meet with your adviser as early as possible to plan your schedule.

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Examinations and Make Ups

Regularly Scheduled Examinations

Instructors are expected to announce the date of hourly tests and mid-term examinations well in advance. The policy of the University regarding final examinations is as follows:

The semester does not officially end until the last examination is completed. Do not schedule conflicting off-campus commitments until after that date.

Examinations are to be taken as scheduled except for illness or other unavoidable reasons. Final critiques in Art are considered to be examinations and are scheduled during the examination week. Exceptions may be made only by petition to the Dean of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies; the student must provide the approval of the course instructor as well as other required signatures. This petition must be submitted no later than seven weekdays before final exams begin. Unexcused absence from an examination or critique results in failure of the examination.

Request for Changing Date and/or Time for a Final Examination

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 Dean of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies; the student must provide the approval of the course instructor as well as other required signatures. This petition must be submitted no later than seven weekdays before final exams begin. Unexcused absence from an examination or critique results in failure of the examination.

Make-up Examinations

Permission to make up hourly tests from which you have been absent is at the discretion of the instructor.

If you are unable to appear for a final examination, inform the instructor in advance if possible or as soon after the examination as practicable. If you cannot reach the instructor, notify the appropriate Dean. If notification has not been given, you will not be permitted to make up the examination, and the grade on the examination will be F.

If a final examination or other work to be made up cannot be completed within the scheduled examination period or before final grades are due, an incomplete grade may be sent and the usual procedures for the incomplete grades followed.

Arrangements for taking make-up examinations may be made through the instructor, Department Chair, or Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies.

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Exceptions to Academic Policies

Unless otherwise noted, exceptions to academic policies may be made only with the approval of the appropriate Dean. If you wish to petition for exception, please complete and submit this form: PETITION FOR EXCEPTION TO ACADEMIC POLICY.

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Global Engagement 

With over 75 years of experience in the field of international education, Arcadia has many opportunities for Global Engagement you can take advantage of as an undergraduate.  For more information connect with staff in the Division of Civic & Global Engagement. 

These include:

Preview - This signature program is offered to all first-year and new transfer students.  Previews are two-credit courses, held in the spring semester, that include field study during spring break. To participate, first year students must complete the fall semester in good academic and disciplinary standing and be passing the Preview course prior to departure.  More information about Preview is released at the Study Abroad in September and via FAQs. The travel fee is $795 and includes airfare, accommodation, transportation, excursions, and some meals.   

Summer and Semester Study Abroad - Arcadia University's approved study abroad programs are designed to excite and inspire your personal goals, your global vision and your academic passions.  You have the opportunity to explore new cultures, gain international internship experience, earn credit towards the major and Arcadia undergraduate curriculum, learn outside the classroom and become part of local communities in which you study.  Take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad with Arcadia by exploring your program options and speaking with a study abroad adviser.  You can also connect you with a STAMP (study abroad peer mentors) to hear first-hand what study abroad is all about.  Costs for a semester abroad, tuition, fees, and housing, is the same as a semester in Glenside.  Cost for the summer varies depending on location and length.   

Global Field Study - These are four credit courses, for upper division students, that include an off-campus component of 7-14 days.  A variety of Global Field Study courses are offered each fall and spring semester, dependent upon faculty, research and study interests. Courses are open to juniors/seniors and graduate students.  The travel fee ranges between $2000-$4000 and includes airfare, accommodation, transportation, excursions, and some meals

Eligibility for all programs include:

  • Being in good academic, disciplinary, and financial standing prior to departure. 

Eligibility for a semester abroad include:

  • A minimum of 12 credits in the semester prior to studying abroad. 
  • A minimum prerequisite GPA of 2.5 (various by program).
  • Endorsement from your academic and study abroad adviser.
  • Mandatory attendance at a pre-departure orientation in Glenside.
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Final Grades

Final Grades

Grades are reported to the Office of the Registrar and become immediately available through Self Service. Responsibility for the grade given rests exclusively with the instructor and the department concerned with the instruction. If all financial obligations to the University have not been met, you may not be able to view your grades on Self Service, your transcript will not be released, and your degree may not be granted.

Sixth week evaluations are reported for all new students in all academic course work. These sixth week evaluations are for counseling purposes only and do not become part of your permanent record.

After the first year, you will be advised at the sixth week reporting time only if your work is below C quality or if there are any negative comments from the instructor in any course.

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Online Courses

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 requirements may be suspended if online or all modes instruction is the dominant mode of instruction for the University.  



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Registration Procedures

Registration Instructions for Arcadia 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. For those students that have previously attended Arcadia but have not registered for any courses, no new registrations after the first week of classes is permitted. Students that are currently registered and are changing their course schedule during drop/add would not be impacted by this policy.

Current students register in April and November for the succeeding semester. Students in the Honors Program, or any student receiving Veterans 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 identified by the Department of Athletics as being a student-athlete will be scheduled as though 32 credits have been added to their already completed credits in order to determine their first day of priority registration. Student-athletes should contact the Department of Athletics or the Registrar’s Office for more information.

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.

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 Studies. 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.

Adding or Dropping a Course

If you need to make a change in course registration after your initial registration, complete the appropriate drop or add electronic form available on the  Office of the Registrar website. Your faculty adviser must approve the change via the electronic form. The completed form must be requested within the drop/add period stated in the current University catalog and academic calendar. Courses may not be added after the drop/add period. A student must be registered for a course by the end of the drop/add period in order to attend the class.
Withdrawing from a Course after the Drop/Add Period

With the approval of your adviser, you may withdraw from a course any time during the first ten weeks of the semester without academic penalty. Students use the Withdraw from Course (after drop/add) electronic request form available on the Office of the Registrar website. The course remains on the student record and is assigned a non-punitive final grade of "W" for withdrawal. After the first ten weeks of the semester your academic adviser, the department chair, the course instructor and the appropriate Dean must also approve withdrawal from a course by using the Withdraw from Course after Withdrawal period (after the eleventh week of the semester) electronic request form available on the Registrar’s Office website. Notice of withdrawal will be accompanied by a passing or failing notation (WP/WF) that will be included on your grade report. A grade of F is recorded if you stop attending a course without approval or without completing the official procedures for withdrawal from school. Petition forms are available on the Registrar’s Office website.

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/electronic form or email request 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.


If you are a full-time student, you can audit courses with the approval of your faculty adviser and permission of the instructor. The course is recorded on your permanent record and the instructor assigns a final grade of “AU”. Part-time students may request to audit one or two courses on a non-participatory basis during the regular semesters for a fee (one credit). Auditing is not typically permitted during Summer session.

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Requests for transcripts (copy of permanent record) must be made in writing.  Procedures may be found here. Official transcripts (bearing the seal of the University) may be issued to you, but are deemed "unofficial" if the digital transcript is received by you, or if the sealed envelope of a printed copy is opened. Official transcripts may also be sent directly to another college, employer, etc., at your request. You may request an unofficial transcript for your records by requesting an official copy and opening it, or print one from Self Service while currently enrolled.

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Special Programs

Domestic Global Connections Options The Washington Semester 

In cooperation with The American University, Arcadia University participates in The Washington Semester Programs that are designed to give selected undergraduates a better understanding of national and international affairs through a study of government in action. Students spend one semester at The American University during their junior or senior year and register for one of several formal programs: The Washington Semester in National Government, The American Politics: Public Law Semester, The Foreign Policy Semester, The Peace and Conflict Resolution Semester, The Economic Policy Semester, The Washington Journalism Semester, The Criminal Justice Semester or The Art and Architecture Semester. The programs combine seminars, internships and research in a full semester of academic work in Washington, D.C. The student’s enrollment remains at Arcadia University and financial aid is available.

Global Connections, Experience, Reflection 

There are many ways to fulfill the Global Connections Experience – as close by as the Won Buddhist Temple in Glenside or as far away as Capetown, South Africa. In each case, students are engaged in a sustained, semester-long cross-cultural experience and are involved in ongoing reflection during the experience (typically through enrolling in GCR 101).

Students can participate in courses on the Glenside campus that have an experiential component in order to fulfill the Global Connections Experience. If a student participates in a course-based experience, he or she is expected to complete 40 additional experiential hours either in the same community as the course-based experience or in a context or organization that addresses the same issue or topic the student is exploring. Most of these experiences also include the Global Connections Reflection (GCR) within the course. Some of the courses currently available that include this experiential component include:

  • ID 228: Shakespeare with Seniors 
  • ID 330: Inside Out Prison Exchange Program 
  • ID 325: Artist in the Community
  • ID 226: Teen UpRise Mentoring Experience
  • RE 114: Living Religions of the World

The University also has opportunities that combine short-term study away with a local or online semester-long sustained experience. Some of these have included GFS and Preview courses that include short-term travel to Dominica, Ecuador, Chile, Ghana, and Los Angeles.

GCR 101 - Global Connections Reflection (2 credits, fall, spring, summer): This course is the companion course to the Global Connections Experience (unless the GCR reflection component is embedded in a 4-credit course and coded as "GR" on the course schedule). This is a key Curricular Experience in Arcadia’s Undergraduate Curriculum. All students complete this course while engaging in an experience in a cultural context different from the one in which they grew up (locally, nationally or internationally). This course assists students in reflecting on the interconnections, interdependence, and inequality they encounter during the experience in working to understand the world and their place in it. This course should be completed before student's second semester of their senior year. International students are expected to complete GCR 101 by the end of their first year at Arcadia. Their Arcadia experience is their study abroad. If students fail GCR 101 they must take the class again with a different international or local experience. Students cannot complete GCR 101 retroactively. 

Co-requisites: While taking this course, students must be involved in an approved Global Connections Experience. There are no prerequisites. For further questions about any of the domestic global course offerings or options, please contact the Director of Global Learning. 

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