The information, academic policies, and procedures outlined below are designed to guide students during their studies. They do not constitute a binding contract and may be changed at any time. For assistance with these policies and procedures, see your adviser or college dean.
Please note that some academic departments (e.g., pharmacy, occupational therapy, physical therapy) have additional requirements that are delineated in the individual college or program sections of the University Catalog and in department handbooks or publications. Comprehensive information on academic requirements, clinical education, and professional behavior is available from the individual departments.
All graduate students are expected to abide by all University policies including the Student Code of Conduct outlined in the Student Handbook.
Declaring a Major and the Undeclared Programs
All students must be enrolled in an academic program (major). Students who are not enrolled in a degree-granting program must enroll in an undeclared program.
The undeclared programs include Misher Pre-Professional Studies and Undeclared Transitional.
While students attending University of the Sciences often declare a major field of study during the admission process, matriculating students may enroll at the University in the undeclared program, Misher Pre-Professional Studies. This option enables students to begin their academic studies while gaining more information on which to base a decision regarding a specific major field of study. Students in this program are seeking a baccalaureate or first professional degree and are expected to complete such a degree. Therefore, they must apply to bachelor’s or first professional degree programs at USciences
no later than April 1 of their second (U2) year at the University, and they must change their major to a degree-granting program no later than the end of the drop-add period of the fall semester of their third (U3) year.
Students also may elect to enter an undeclared program while considering a new choice of major. Students in their first (U1) or second (U2) year may choose to enroll in Misher Pre-Professional Studies or in the Undeclared Transitional program. Students in their third (U3) year or later will enroll in the Undeclared Transitional program. All these students are expected to consult regularly with their advisor so that they can move
into a degree-granting program expeditiously.
Students can remain in an undeclared program no longer than four full-time (12 credits or more) semesters (excluding summer sessions) or through the end of their third (U3) year, whichever comes first. Students who have not declared a major by this deadline will be administratively withdrawn.
Changing from one major field of study to another major at this University is often possible, but it is neither automatic nor guaranteed.
Following consultation with his/her academic advisor, the student intending to change his/her major should meet with the college dean and program director responsible for the degree program into which
the student desires to transfer.
Formal requests for change of major must be submitted to the student’s prospective program director and college dean using the Change of Major Form (available from the Registrar’s office). Requests for changes can be made at any time to:
- Misher College - all majors
- Philadelphia College of Pharmacy - Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacology & Toxicology only
- Samson College - Health Science and Exercise Physiology only
Deadlines for the other majors are:
- Occupational Therapy (DrOT) program (Samson College) - no later than February 15 for the summer session, not later than April 15 for the fall semester, and not later than October 15 for the spring semester.
- Pharmacy (PharmD) program (Philadelphia College of Pharmacy) - not later than April 1 for entry in fall semester.
- Physical Therapy (DPT) program (Samson College) - not later than February 15 for the summer session, not later than April 15 for the fall semester, and not later than October 15 for the spring semester.
A change of major is subject to approval of the appropriate program director(s) and college dean(s) and is based on a review of the student’s academic record, other qualifications for acceptance into the degree program under consideration, and space availability.
Approved change-of-major forms must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office no later than the end of the drop/add period in order to be effective for a given term.
Students who change their major while being enrolled in a minor (or specialization) program must be reevaluated and approved to continue the minor (or specialization) by the minor (or specialization) advisor and the chair of the minor (or specialization) department, followed by the chair/program director or dean of the new major program. Minors are not granted until graduation, therefore, this procedure must be followed even if requirements for the minor have been completed prior to the change of major request.
An academic minor is a selection of courses, usually with a common theme, that enables the student to develop a degree of formal expertise in an area outside of the student’s major. It is intended to supplement the student’s academic training by broadening the scope of knowledge and experience beyond that obtained from courses required for the student’s major degree.
While obtaining a minor is not a requirement, a minor can offer several advantages, such as enhanced job opportunities, increased potential for advancement and/or greater opportunity for more challenging assignments, and the demonstration of a broader academic background that may increase the student’s chances of being accepted into graduate or professional school. The student’s transcript will note that the student is enrolled in a minor program. Satisfactory completion of the requirements for the minor will be noted only on the student’s transcript, not on the student’s diploma when the degree completion is recorded.
To be eligible for acceptance into a minor program, a student must:
- Be in good academic standing.
- Obtain the approval of the student’s academic advisor and major program director and/or dean.
- Obtain the approval of the chairperson of the department offering the minor program.
A student should apply to participate in a minor program early in his/her academic career, usually by the fifth semester of college work, but no later than the end of the drop/add period of the first semester of the academic year in which the bachelor’s degree will be awarded. A student may enroll in a minor program offered by his/her major department as long as the requirements for the minor (listed below) are met.
In addition to any introductory courses (course numbers ranging from 100-199) in the area of the minor, a minimum of 18 credit hours of coursework having a common intellectual theme is required for a minor. Of the 18 credits, a minimum of 12 credits of minor coursework must be completed in addition to any courses (required courses or program electives) included in the major curriculum. Students may complete more than one minor, provided a minimum of 12 credits of coursework be completed in addition to any courses required in the major curriculum and any other minor curriculum(s). General education coursework and free electives may be used to fulfill minor requirements without restriction. An academic minor is designed by the faculty of the offering department(s) and approved by the appropriate college council(s). The student must achieve a cumulative average of 2.00 in all the courses taken as part of the minor. Up to six semester hours of coursework, with an earned grade of “C” or better, taken at another accredited institution, may be applied to the course requirements of the minor upon prior approval of the chairperson(s) of the department(s) offering the minor.
Information regarding the academic status of a student in a minor program should be forwarded by the chair of the department offering the minor to the faculty advisor, program director, appropriate college dean, and registrar.
The requirements for the minor must be completed before graduation with a bachelor’s degree. Successful completion of the minor will be determined by the department chair(s) and college dean(s) of the minor program.
Students who change their major while being enrolled in a minor program must be reevaluated and approved to continue the minor by the minor advisor, and the chair of the minor department, followed by the chair/program director or dean of the new major program. Minors are not granted until graduation with a bachelor’s degree; therefore, this procedure must be followed even if requirements for the minor have been completed prior to the change of major request.
Double Degrees and Double Majors
Students wishing to earn two degrees or pursue two majors must be accepted by both of the degree programs. The addition of the second major requires the approval of the dean(s) and program directors of each major.
Students may earn two baccalaureate degrees, one baccalaureate and one entry-level professional degree, or one degree with two majors by completing the following:
||General Education Requirements: Courses taken to fulfill General Education requirements may be used for both degrees or both majors. Courses taken to fulfill the General Education Unrestricted Elective may not be required by either degree program or major and may not be from the department(s) offering the degree programs or majors.
||Required courses of the degree programs or majors: All required courses for both degrees or both majors must be completed with the exception of when the degree programs or majors require different courses (or course sequences) on the same topic. In such cases, the student must take the course (or course sequence) with the higher number of credits. If both courses have the same number of credits, the course selected must have written approval of both program directors.
||Elective courses of the degree programs or majors: Students pursuing two degrees or two majors may not use courses required by one of the degree programs or majors to fulfill elective requirements of another degree program or major. Courses that are electives in both degree programs or both majors may be used to fulfill the elective requirements of both degrees or both majors. Exceptions may be made only with the permission of both program directors and of the college dean(s) to whom they report.
Completion of Degrees
A degree may be awarded once all requirements for that degree are met:
- A double major is awarded when the student has satisfied the requirements for earning a degree and all requirements for both majors are met.
- The first degree of the double degree may be awarded when the student has completed the requirements of that degree. The second degree may be awarded once the student has earned the credits for the
second degree, including the minimum 30 credits beyond what is required for one of the degrees.