Three-Year Degrees

About the Program

The three-year degree provides an accelerated path for students who are able and willing to complete their bachelor's degree within a shorter time. The three-year degree not only lightens the financial burden on students and parents who are seeking ways to reduce college costs, but also provides students with opportunities to engage with faculty members and/or administrators in special activities and events.

This degree is offered in: Psychology, International Studies, Business Administration, International Business and Culture, and Media and Communication

What Makes the Program Unique?

Two summer experiences: The experiences can include study abroad, internships or service learning. 

GPA Requirements: Once enrolled in the program, a student needs to maintain a minimum GPA of a 3.0 overall to remain in good standing within the program and be allowed to take a course overload without petitioning for an exception to academic policy.

Time Savings: Students earning a three-year degree can enter the job market or attend graduate school a year earlier.

Summer Experiences

Students not transferring in any Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) or College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or Excelsior College Examinations credit, will need to enroll in a total of twelve (12) credits during the summer sessions to graduate in three years. These credits can be achieved through a study abroad experience, classes, internships or service learning projects.  (Students will need to check the requirements in their major as certain three-year programs may require specific experiences.)

Examples of Summer Experiences for a Three-Year Student

Summer One: During the first summer, students could participate in a service-learning project in a community different from the one in which they were reared. There is a vast range of possibilities including: working with an NGO (non-governmental organization) in another country that is providing medical or educational services; volunteering at a clinic or school enrichment program in a low-income neighborhood in Philadelphia; or working with an environmental group on issues of pollution and sustainability. In their reflections on their experiences, students focus on issues related to their majors. For example, a communications major volunteering in a school enrichment program in North Philadelphia would address issues relevant to the field of communications such as how could the program management let the public at large know about the good work they are doing.

Summer Two: In the second summer, students could participate in an internship experience away from the Arcadia campus. Like the first summer experience, there is a reflection component in which students are asked to examine how the work they are doing in this experience is related to their major. Possible sites include a psychology research laboratory for a psychology major, working with an NGO (non-governmental organization) in another country for an international studies or international business and culture major, or working with a media organization in the Philadelphia. Philadelphia region for a media and communications or business major.

These experiences will be set up individually by each student working with his or her departmental and three-year program advisers. They will consult with staff from The College of Global Studies and with the Director of Global Connections in order to take advantage of the numerous settings and programs already in place, both within the United States and abroad.


Due to the pressure and intensity of fitting all requirements into three years, this program is intended for students with high academic ability. Admissions criteria are the same as for the Honors Program. Incoming first-year students who score 1900 (old SAT), 1350 (new SAT) or better on the SAT or 29 or better on the ACT and are ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school class (if their school ranks students) will be considered for admission into the program.

Course Requirements

Except for the two summer experiences listed above, the course requirements for each major are the same as those for the four-year program in that major. For specific course requirements, please see that majors section in the catalog. Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA to stay in the program.