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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 advisor or college dean.
Please note that some academic departments (e.g., pharmacy, occupational therapy, physical therapy) have additional requirements that are delineated 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 USP Student Handbook . Academic policies and procedures specific to graduate students, however, are cited in the College of Graduate Studies Policies and Procedures Handbook , which is available in the Office of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, located in the McNeil Building, Room 105.
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A total of 23 entry-level programs of study are available to undergraduates at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia College of Pharmacy—
offers the entry-level doctor of pharmacy, a six-year program. Other majors offered are four-year programs leading to the BS degree in pharmacology and toxicology and in pharmaceutical sciences.
Misher College of Arts and Sciences—
offers programs in biochemistry, bioinformatics, biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental science, humanities and science, microbiology, pharmaceutical chemistry, physics, pre-medical track, and psychology. All are four-year programs leading to the BS degree except that the pre-medical track is offered in the context of a major such as biology.
Samson College of Health Sciences—
offers four-year bachelor of science in health science (BSHS) programs in exercise science and wellness management and in health science, as well as a BS in medical technology. There is a five-year program of study offered in occupational therapy, leading to a BSHS and a master of occupational therapy. For students with a bachelor’s degree, a two-and-a-half-year master’s degree in occupational therapy is offered. The physical therapy program offers a six-year program, leading to a BSHS as well as a doctor of physical therapy. The program in physician assistant studies leads to a BSHS from University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and an MS from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Mayes College of Healthcare Business and Policy—
offers a four-year BS program in pharmaceutical marketing and management.
students may also enter USP as undeclared majors and pursue an open curriculum for the first year as they explore a number of programs of study. See Declaring a Major below.
Declaring a Major
Students attending University of the Sciences in Philadelphia usually declare a major field of study during the admission process. All degree programs are described in detail later in this catalog.
Qualified students may also enroll at USP in the undeclared major program. This option enables the student to formally begin academic studies while gaining more information on which to base a decision regarding a specific major field of study. In consultation with the dean of Misher College of Arts and Sciences, each student in the undeclared program is expected to apply for a specific major by April 15 (April 1 for Philadelphia College of Pharmacy) of the student’s first year at the University. Students may continue undeclared status into a second year with approval of the dean of Misher College of Arts and Sciences. At the end of the second year, students will need to select one of various other majors available at USP and be accepted into that major. Students can remain in the undeclared option program no longer than four full-time (12 credits or more) semesters (excluding summer sessions) or through the end of the U3 year, whichever comes first. At this time, students must declare a major or they will be dropped from the rolls. More information on the undeclared option can be found in the section on Misher College of Arts and Sciences. Students may elect the undeclared major while considering a new choice of major.
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 college dean by the following dates: not later than April 15 for the fall semester, not later than October 15 for the spring semester, and not later than February 15 for the summer session for programs that accept summer changes. Programs offered in Philadelphia College of Pharmacy accept applications for change of major only for April 1 (all programs) and October 15 (all programs except pharmacy) consideration.
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 program must be reevaluated and approved to continue the minor by the minor advisor, chair of the minor department, and chair/programdirector or dean of the new major program.
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.
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 last year of didactic work. 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 bond 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 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 6 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. Determination of successful completion of the minor will be accomplished 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, chair of the minor department, and chair/program director or dean of the new major program.
Double Degrees and Double Majors
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Students wishing to earn two degrees or pursue two majors must be accepted by both of the degree programs. 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:
||One of the following:
||The Core Curriculum: Courses taken to fulfill the Core Curriculum requirements may be used for both degrees or majors. Courses taken to fulfill the Core Distribution Elective(s) may not be required by either degree program or major and may not be from the department(s) offering the degree programs or majors.
||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.
Neither double degrees nor double majors may be earned for programs that are offered within the same department. An exception is made for semiautonomous, cross-disciplinary programs that have an affiliation with one of the departments in which the other major or degree is being sought, such as bioinformatics or medical technology.