Academic Affairs Mission Statement
Academic Affairs Mission Statement
The Academic Affairs mission is to provide high-quality academic programs that support the mission and philosophy of DeSales University. Our academic foundation is a faculty with excellent academic credentials, technologically-enhanced pedagogical skills, and professional experience. Faculty members engage students in respectful dialogue with the Roman Catholic faith, reason, and human culture in an academic environment that is inquisitive, entrepreneurial, and agile. DeSales University’s academic programs help students discover and develop the gifts of intelligence, moral values, spiritual maturity, and practical skills to prepare them to contribute insightful solutions to real-world problems.
Undergraduate Education Mission Statement
The Undergraduate Education mission is to provide students with a liberal arts education according to the philosophy of Christian humanism. Through high-quality academic programs, individual attention, and community experience, students make a systematic study of academic disciplines in preparation for careers and/or graduate study and for life-long learning. Their undergraduate experience enables students to understand the relationships among academic disciplines, the values of Judeo-Christian tradition, and their own personal self-understanding.
Student Learning Outcomes for Undergraduate Education
The DeSales student who has completed the General Education Core and has completed his/her major will demonstrate:
- critical thinking and problem solving skills.
- competence in research, information literacy, technology, and written and oral communication.
- knowledge of Christian humanism in the Salesian tradition-with its distinction between wisdom and knowledge, truth and opinion-as this impacts both the student’s academic discipline and personal well being.
- the ability to function effectively in local, national, and global communities, respecting personal dignity and the common good according to Catholic social tradition.
- quantitative reasoning through an understanding of mathematical concepts and their application to the natural world and society.
- the scientific method and its application to the real world.
- knowledge of human culture as manifested in the liberal arts.
The DeSales student who has completed an undergraduate major will demonstrate:
- competence in studies related to his/her interests.
- preparedness for a career and/or graduate school, and lifelong learning.
An academic division is the basic administrative unit consisting of a community of teachers and scholars in related fields of specialized knowledge and organized to further its academic programs, to foster the growth and development of its faculty and students, and to cooperate with other academic divisions in accomplishing the University’s mission, philosophy, goals, and outcomes. The University is divided into the following five divisions:
- Division of Business
The Division of Business contains undergraduate majors in accounting, business administration, economics, finance, healthcare administration, human resource management (only in ACCESS), international business, management, management of information technology (only in ACCESS), marketing, pharmaceutical marketing, supply chain management, and sport management, and a master degree program in business (MBA).
- Division of Healthcare Professions
The Division of Healthcare Professions the master’s degree program in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS), the doctoral program in Physical Therapy (DPT), and the undergraduate majors (BS) of sport and exercise physiology, health science, and medical studies.
- Division of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
The Division of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences houses the departments of Education, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Philosophy and Theology. The Department of Education contains undergraduate majors in early childhood and elementary education and a master’s degree program in education (MEd). The Department of Humanities contains undergraduate majors in communication, English, healthcare communication, history, liberal studies, and Spanish. The Department of Social Sciences contains undergraduate majors in criminal justice, homeland security, law & society, political science, and psychology, and a master degree program in criminal justice (MACJ). The Department of Philosophy and Theology contains undergraduate majors in philosophy, theology, and marriage & family studies.
- Division of Nursing
The Division of Nursing contains an undergraduate major in nursing (BSN), a master’s degree in nursing (MSN), and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).
- Division of Performing Arts
The Division of Performing Arts houses the departments of Dance, Theatre, and TV/Film. These departments contain undergraduate majors in dance, theatre, and TV/film respectively.
- Division of Sciences and Mathematics
The Division of Sciences and Mathematics houses the departments of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, and Mathematics/Computer Science. The Department of Biology contains undergraduate majors in biology and neuroscience as well as tracks or concentrations in pre-Medicine/Dental, pre-Physician Assistant, pre-Veterinarian, Forensic Science, and Secondary Education. The Department of Chemistry and Physics offers a major in chemistry, and a biochemistry-molecular biology major is offered jointly by the Department of Biology and the Department of Chemistry and Physics. The Department of Mathematics/Computer Science offers undergraduate majors in mathematics, computer science, media studies, and master’s degree programs in information systems, cyber security, and data analytics.
Credit Hour Policy
The U.S. Department of Education (34 CFR Section 600.2) defines “credit hour” as:
“…an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:
(1) one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or,
(2) at least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (22 Pa. Code Section 31.21) states that a “semester hour represents a unit of curricular material that normally can be taught in a minimum of 14 hours of classroom instruction, plus appropriate outside preparation or the equivalent as determined by the faculty.”
DeSales University Credit Hour Policy
The number of credits is included with each course description in the Undergraduate Catalog and Graduate Catalog. DeSales University complies with the above standards for the assignment of credit hours as established by the U.S. Department of Education and by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In addition, DeSales University is in compliance with policies set forth by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, using acceptable and consistent methods for assigning credit hours to all courses and programs of study and conforming to commonly accepted practice in higher education.
The number of credits is included with each course description in the Undergraduate Catalog and Graduate Catalog. Information about the number of credits, meeting dates and times, classroom location, and mode of delivery is published online and made available to students prior to registration.
Unit of measurement
All DeSales University undergraduate and graduate courses are assigned credits as a unit of measurement for curricular material regardless of time frame or mode of delivery. A credit is the equivalent of one hour (50 minutes) of face-to-face classroom instruction per week for a semester of approximately 15 weeks. There is an expectation of two hours of outside study by the student for each hour of classroom instruction.
Outside Study Activities
Outside study activities may include readings, review of notes, written assignments or journals, group projects, preparation for quizzes or exams, vocal or instrumental practice, rehearsal for dramatic productions, quantitative problem solving, literature research, theatrical rehearsal, creation of lesson plans, review of films and/or dramatic productions, preparation for presentations, lab reports, preparation for clinical experiences, or other assigned work as appropriate to the student learning outcomes of the course.
Academic Period and Instructional Time
The traditional undergraduate academic year consists of a fall and spring semester that are approximately 15 weeks in length with an additional week for final examinations. One credit is awarded for one hour (50 minutes) of classroom instruction per week for the semester of approximately 15 weeks with a minimum of 14 hours of instruction. If a course meets for three 50-minute class periods or two 75-minute class periods per week, it is said to be a three-credit course and has a minimum of 42 hours of classroom instruction.
The ACCESS academic schedule consists of 10 sessions throughout the calendar year. The majority of the courses run for eight weeks, but ACCESS also offers a winter minimester that runs for 3 weeks, summer sessions that run for 3 weeks and 6 weeks, and 4-5 credit courses (e.g., Natural Science courses) that run for 12-14 weeks. Courses are offered either as hybrid or completely online and meet the same number of hours as equivalent full-semester courses by requiring more frequent meetings, longer meeting times, asynchronous/ synchronous online meetings, and/or utilizing instructional equivalencies (described below under online and hybrid courses).
The academic year for the DPT, MEd, and MSPAS programs consists of fall, spring, and summer sessions that are typically 14 to 16 weeks in length. The academic year for the MBA, MCJ, MSIS, MSN, and DNP programs consists of fall, winter, spring, and summer sessions. The fall, winter, and spring sessions are typically 12 weeks in length, and the summer session is 6 weeks in length. Regardless of whether the graduate programs consist of three or four sessions per year, courses meet the same number of hours as equivalent full-semester courses by requiring more frequent meetings, longer meeting times, asynchronous/synchronous online meetings, and/or utilizing instructional equivalencies.
Assignment of credit hours for each course is determined by the program/major based on the amount of work required to achieve the course’s student learning outcomes. Undergraduate and graduate students are provided with a course syllabus that conforms with the DeSales’ “Credit Hour Policy.” Faculty are required to submit to Division Heads all course syllabi prior to the start of the semester/session allowing time for review and approval. Final review and approval is made by the dean of undergraduate education for undergraduate courses and the dean of graduate education for graduate courses. In addition, existing courses are evaluated for compliance with federal and state regulations during each program’s five-year self-study and assessment.
New Course and Approvals
For the approval of a new course, the “Petition to Present a New Undergraduate (Graduate) Course” is completed by a faculty member and approved by the chair of the major (if applicable), department chair (if applicable), and division head, and is reviewed for compliance by the dean of undergraduate education for undergraduate courses and by the dean of graduate education for graduate courses. This petition must be accompanied by a syllabus which conforms to the “Instructions for Drafting a Course Syllabus” and to the “Credit Hour Policy.” New courses that request inclusion within the core curriculum must receive additional approval from the General Education Core Curriculum Committee.
Minimal Amount Of Student Activity Per Credit For Face-To-Face Classroom Instruction
||Minimum Contact Time per Week
||Minimum Instructional Time for 14 Weeks
||Minimum Out-of-Class Student Work per Week
||Minimum Out-of-Class Student Work for 14 Weeks
||Total of Contact and Out-Of-Class Student Work For 14 Weeks
Below are the general guidelines for assigning credit hours to a particular method of instruction.
Face-to-Face Classroom Instruction
Face-to-face courses in the undergraduate and graduate programs utilize lectures, discussions, demonstrations, or other methods of instruction. DeSales University’s traditional academic year consists of a fall and spring semester that are approximately 15 weeks in length with an additional week for final examinations. One credit is awarded for one hour (50 minutes) of classroom instruction per week for the semester with a minimum of 14 hours of instruction.
The table above displays the minimal amount of student activity per credit for face-to-face classroom instruction.
Online and Hybrid Courses
Through a combination of in-class contact hours and online activities, online or hybrid courses must provide the “instructional equivalent” of the number of in-class contact hours delivered in a traditional classroom setting. In the case of a fully online class, all of the instructional hours are calculated through “instructional equivalencies.” DeSales’ formal policy (Documentation of Instructional Equivalency Hours for Online and Hybrid Courses) as well as guidance for instructors (Credit Hour Instructional Equivalency Calculation for Online and Hybrid Courses) are posted for the university community on the MyDSU portal under “Policies & Procedures” in the “Distance Education and Instructional Technology” folder. Online and hybrid courses have the same quality, assessment, learning outcomes, requirements, etc. as courses offered face-to-face. Templates are used for consistency of syllabi across multiple versions of the same course and in the organization of content in Blackboard. A thorough review process is in place whereby the appropriate division head or department chair examines the course syllabus for each online or hybrid course to ensure that the content and rigor is equivalent to that of any classes with the same course number that are offered in the traditional face-to-face classroom setting. Additionally, the Center for Educational Resources and Technology reviews each course for proper set-up and use of technology in Blackboard. Instructors are contacted to update or enhance course material as needed.
Laboratory Components of Courses
Laboratories are components of particular face-to-face courses. The laboratory portion of a course is the “hands on” component that supports the didactic (classroom) component of the course. Generally, one credit is awarded for two or three hours of laboratory per week. Online laboratories provide the instructional equivalent of the number of in-class contact hours.
Internships are supervised learning experiences that take place outside the classroom for which academic credit may be granted. Internship applications are reviewed and approved by the coordinator of experiential learning and the student’s faculty supervisor. Students with a GPA of 2.5 or above are eligible to complete an internship(s) for academic credit. Internship applications for more than three credits must also be approved by the student’s division head and the dean of undergraduate education. Internships are graded pass-fail. Credits awarded are based on the following total hours worked during the internship:
|Number of Credits
||Number of Total Hours Worked During Internship
||135 to 150 hours
||270 to 300 hours
||405 to 450 hours
||540 to 600 hours
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) requires 170 hours of supervised clinical field hours prior to student teaching. Education students seeking certification complete a series of supervised, 1-credit clinical field courses that, when combined, meet the 170 hour requirement. PDE requires a 14-week in-school experience for completion of program requirements for student teaching. During the 14-week in-school experience, 12 credits are awarded for a minimum of 64 days of student teaching.
Independent study courses permit a student to study independently and periodically with a faculty member. Independent study proposals are reviewed and approved by the faculty supervisor, the department chair (or division head), and the dean of undergraduate education for undergraduate students and by the faculty supervisor, program director, and dean of graduate education for graduate students. Credit hours are assigned based on the amount of academic activity associated with the course, the faculty supervision, and the amount of outside study (defined above under outside study activities). Most independent study courses are approved for 3 credit hours.
At times a student may wish to take a course which is listed in the undergraduate or graduate catalog but which is not scheduled to be offered in a given semester. The student may ask a full-time faculty member (usually one who has previously taught the course) if he/she is willing to offer the course tutorially. Tutorials must match the minimum instructional time and minimum out-of-class student work per week assigned for face-to-face classroom instruction. Tutorial proposals are reviewed and approved by the advisor, the department chair (or division head), and the dean of undergraduate education for undergraduate students and by the advisor, program director, and dean of graduate education for graduate students.
Supervised Clinical Experience
For undergraduate nursing (NU) courses, including the required senior-level clinical internship, the credit hour assignment for a supervised clinical experience is based on the following required minimum total clinical hours:
|Number of Credits
||Minimum Number of Total Clinical Hours Required During Nursing Course
||45 hours total
||90 hours total
||180 hours total
For the Physician Assistant, Nursing, and Physical Therapy graduate programs, credit for clinical experience is generally determined by their specific accrediting agencies (see the Graduate Catalog).
Practicum/Studio Courses, Applied Music, and Ensembles
Practicum/studio courses, applied music lessons, and ensembles in the Division of Performing Arts (theatre, dance, tv/film) are assigned credits based on the learning outcomes and student workload expectations within a specified period of academically-engaged time as determined by the program/major.
Research in the Biology Department and the Chemistry and Physics Department
During research courses, students conduct research in collaboration with a faculty member who has expertise in the subject matter. In the Departments of Biology and Chemistry & Physics, one credit is awarded for a minimum time commitment of 3 hours per week for at least 14 weeks.
The Curriculum Degree Requirements:
The minimum course load required for graduation is 40; the minimum credit hours, 120. In addition, 3 one-semester, one-credit courses in physical education are required. A course that is listed for fewer than three credit hours may not be counted as one of the 40 courses required for graduation unless the courses are part of an approved series (e.g. TR 3611/3612/3613, DA 305/306)
The maximum number of one-credit courses from the performing and fine arts that a student may take for credit and be applied toward the 40-course graduation requirement is 12. To graduate, each student must also satisfy the following:
- Achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 for all courses presented for the degree.
- Achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 for courses required in his/her major and offered by the major. In the Business majors, the minimum average 2.00 GPA must also be attained in all concentration courses. Some majors, such as Education, Health Science, Medical Studies, and Nursing, require a higher GPA as a component of their progression policies and/or as a prerequisite to their professional phases. For more information about these requirements, please see the individual Programs of Study by Division .
- Ordinarily, complete a minimum of 15 courses at DeSales University.
It is the student’s responsibility to see that all of the graduation requirements are fulfilled.
The Undergraduate Curriculum
The undergraduate curriculum consists of three components:
- General Education Core
- Electives or Minor
I. General Education Core
The General Education Core consists of a maximum of 16 courses (plus 3 one-credit physical education courses) and is designed to offer each student a broad appreciation for human life and learning. It is structured around four elements:
- Basic Requirements: 2 courses (Composition & Rhetoric 1 and 2), offered by the English faculty, that develop foundational skills: thinking, reading, writing, speaking, and research; plus 3 physical education courses: PE 100 Foundations, that explores broad concepts of total fitness, and 2 other courses that teach specific sports for life-long activity. Note: PE 100 is a graded course.
- Cultural Literacy: 6 courses that develop sequentially an appreciation for human culture, especially our Western heritage, offered by the history, political science, foreign language, art, music, English, and philosophy faculty.
- Modes of Thinking: 5 courses that present the processes that professionals in broad domains of intellectual activity (literature, mathematics, natural science, philosophy, and social science) use as they attempt to contribute to human learning. These courses explore issues like: What information is important? What questions are asked? How are data processed? What conclusions can be reached? What are the values and limitations of the discipline?
- Christian Values and Theology: 3 courses that encourage students to reflect upon the meaning and value of the Catholic faith, to live in a manner consistent with Catholic teaching and tradition, and, in light of that faith and teaching, to evaluate human action and decision, to make moral choices, and to accept responsibility for them. The Values Seminar is a capstone for the General Education Core.
Under the General Education Core each student must complete:
- Basic Requirements:
- EN 103 and EN 104
- PE 100 (Graded), plus 2 courses from those designated as “Activities Courses.” Additional information about the physical education requirements follows below.
- Cultural Literacy:
- 2 courses studying a foreign language other than English, numbered consecutively within the same language (e.g., SP 101 , and SP 102 ; FR 102 and FR 201 ; etc.). This requirement may also be fulfilled in one of the following ways: 1) study abroad, 2) two world cultures courses or one world cultures course and one approved course with an international travel component when the student completes the travel that is part of the course. The dean of undergraduate education will decide whether a particular course or experience satisfies the study abroad option. Please note: taking one foreign language course and one course with an international travel component, together, does not satisfy this requirement. Similarly, taking two separate language courses (e.g., SP 101 and FR 101 ) does not satisfy this requirement. Students who have earned a high school (or equivalent) degree from any school whose chief instructional language is not English will be awarded six credits and will be exempt from the foreign language/world cultures requirement. Additional information for students who intend to complete this requirement with foreign language courses follows below.
- A two-course sequence, Humanities I and II, offered by either the history or political science faculty: HI 201 , HI 213 or PO 201 (Humanities I) and HI 202 , HI 214 , HI 262 , or PO 202 (Humanities II). PO 201 is not open to students who have taken HI 201 , and PO 202 is not open to students who have taken HI 202 .
- 1 course from those designated as “Humanities III: Great Works of Art or Music” offered by the art and music faculty: FA 330 , FA 331 , FA 332 , FA 333 , FA 334 , FA 335 , FA 336 , FA 350 , FA 362 , FA 364 , FA 366 , FA 368 , FA 370 , HI 303 , SP 341 (Study Abroad Only). (Prerequisites: Humanities I and Humanities II)
- 1 course from those designated as “Humanities IV: Great Works of Literature” offered by the English, foreign language, philosophy, and political science faculty: ED 313 , EN 250 , EN 255 , EN 260 , EN 265 , EN 285 , EN 345 , EN 350 , EN 358 , EN 359 , EN 365 , EN 370 , EN 372 , EN 375 , EN 376 , EN 377 , EN 380 , EN 382 , EN 384 , EN 388 , SP 441 , SP 470 , SP 471 , (Prerequisites: MOT/Literature, Humanities I, Humanities II); EN 345 , EN 365 , EN 255 (Prerequisites: EN 110 or permission of the instructor, Humanities I, Humanities II); SP 441 , SP 470 , SP 471 (Prerequisites: MOT/Literature, Humanities I, Humanities II, a Spanish course at the 300 level or equivalent; PL 340 , PL 345 , PL 350 , PL 355 , PL 360 , PL 370 , PL 375 ; PO 302 ; TH 355 , TH 356 (Prerequisites: TH 109 , Humanities I, Humanities II).
- Modes of Thinking: (MOT)
- 1 course from those designated as “Modes of Thinking: Literature” offered by the English faculty: EN 110 , EN 112 , EN 115 .
- 1 course from those designated as “Modes of Thinking: Mathematics” offered by the mathematics faculty: MA 107 , MA 109 , MA 110 , MA 111 , MA 112 , MA 121 .
- 1 course from those designated as “Modes of Thinking: Natural Science” offered by the biology and chemistry faculty: BI 209 , BI 242 , CH 209 , CH 212 , PH 208 . Not open to majors in biology, chemistry, or medical studies.
- PL 109 .
- 1 course from those designated as “Modes of Thinking: Social Science” offered by the business, political science, psychology, sociology, and criminal justice faculty: EC 112 , EC 209 , PS 109 , PO 103 , PO 109 , CJ 109 , LG 109 , SO 109 .
(For the General Education Core, a student is exempt from the Modes of Thinking requirement for the course that is within his/her major field; e.g., a political science major does not have to take a Modes of Thinking: Social Science course, a computer science major does not have to take the Modes of Thinking: Mathematics course.)
- Christian Values and Theology:
- TH 109 .
- 1 course from those designated as “Intermediate Theology” offered by the theology faculty.
- 1 course from those designated as “Values Seminar” offered by the business, natural science, nursing, philosophy, politics, and theology faculty. The Values Seminar is ordinarily taken during the senior year.
Recommended matrix for the General Education Core:
|First Year :
||EN 103 and EN 104
||MOT Social Science
||Two Foreign Language/World Cultures courses
||Physical Education Activities course
||Humanities I and Humanities II
||Physical Education Activities course
||Humanities III & Humanities IV
||MOT Natural Science
Students who take a General Education Core course that fulfills more than one General Education Core requirement may only use the course to fulfill one General Education Core requirement. For example, if a world cultures course also fulfills a Humanities III requirement, the course may only be used to fulfill one General Education Core requirement-either the world cultures requirement or the Humanities III requirement, but not both.
The physical education program provides instruction in a variety of individual and team activities to meet the present and future needs of students. Concepts of total fitness are emphasized to promote student interest in the development of sound habits and behavior patterns related to a more active lifestyle.
The physical education requirement consists of two major components: PE - 100 Lifetime Fitness and Wellness and two activities courses. The purpose of this program is to help students balance their physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs and relationships.
Physical education requirements are in addition to the forty courses required for graduation. The two activities courses may be satisfied by taking any of the physical education activities courses beyond PE 100 or by choosing any of the following options:
- Any dance technique course may be substituted for an activities course requirement. One 3-credit dance course can satisfy both activities requirements.
- All varsity players can fulfill their two physical education activities requirements by participating in varsity sports for two seasons. They must register for the course during registration. When students have satisfactorily completed that sports season, the head coach will submit the grades to the registrar.
- Veterans are excused from one semester of physical education for every six months of active service. ROTC matriculants are excused from one semester of physical education activity for each ROTC field course taken. PE 100 is required for all traditional
- For medical studies majors, PE-619 satisfies the PE-100 general education requirement.
- ACCESS students are exempt from the physical education requirement.
Foreign Language Placement at DeSales
DeSales University offers courses in Spanish, French, and Italian. Students choosing to satisfy the foreign language and world cultures general education requirement with one of these foreign languages must follow the placement policies below.
First-year students who choose Spanish as their preferred Foreign Language/World Cultures general education course requirement must follow these placement guidelines:
- Students who are taking Spanish for the first time should register in Spanish 101.
- Students who have studied Spanish in high school and who wish to continue the study of the same language must take the Spanish Language Placement Test. Test score will determine the course level most appropriate for each student’s current academic experience and proficiency. Students cannot register in classes below their proficiency level, as determined by the Spanish Placement Test.
- Students who wish to take a higher level course than indicated above, or students whose native language is Spanish, must consult with a member of the foreign language faculty for proper placement.
- Students who are native/heritage Spanish speakers are not eligible to take the test. They will be placed in SP-211 Spanish for Heritage Speakers I.
All courses in Spanish can help to satisfy the Foreign Language/World Cultures requirement. The two courses must be taken in the same language and must fall at the student’s level of ability, as determined by the above guidelines. Students wanting to challenge the foreign language requirement must consult with a member of the foreign language faculty. A student may not challenge foreign language courses at the 101 or 102 level. A student will not receive credit for challenging foreign language courses at the 201 or 202 level after having successfully completed a more advanced class in the same language.
Students who have studied French or Italian in high school and who wish to continue their study must follow these placement guidelines. This policy applies to all students, not just first-year students.
Years of high school Minimum level
0-2 years FR/IL 101
3 years FR/IL 102
4+ years FR/IL 201
Students who wish to take a higher level course than indicated above may consult with a member of the foreign language faculty for proper placement or may choose to complete a placement test online to determine whether or not they are eligible. However, this test may not be used to place into a lower level course.
The major is designed to offer the student a thorough and systematic study of one subject area and to provide her/him with an integrated grasp of its content, methodology, and bibliography. The major ordinarily controls a maximum of 16 courses which may be in more than one discipline. Normally, no more than 12 of the 16 courses may be in the major discipline itself. The remaining courses taken as a part of the stipulated maximum of 16 in the major are considered major controlled electives and must be chosen from within or outside the major, at the discretion of the program’s faculty. The graduation requirements for the major are determined by the catalog year in effect at the time of the student’s official acceptance to the major.
A student must complete five courses in the major at DeSales University. [There are several professional programs, e.g., nursing, physician assistant studies, and education, that may have additional requirements coming from their individual accreditation agencies. Please check with the chair or director of such programs.] Where personnel permits, departments offering majors provide various course sequences within the major designed to accommodate the student with differing or undetermined career interests. Each major provides a recommended matrix for the courses in its program of studies.
More information about DeSales University majors is available at ”Undergraduate Programs (A-Z) .”
III. Electives or Minor
In fulfilling the 40-course graduation requirement, a student may select elective courses or complete a minor.
Electives are chosen by the student under the guidance of the academic advisor. Normally, electives provide opportunities for learning in academic areas of special interest outside the student’s major or supplement academic areas in which the student’s background is deficient.
A student who wishes to complete a minor must choose one from among the subject areas listed below. The minor consists of 6 courses and will be indicated on the student’s permanent record. Students may not take courses required for the minor under the pass-fail option. A G.P.A. of 2.0 or higher is required in the 6 courses required by the minor, at least 3 of which must be completed at DeSales University. The student is responsible for scheduling his/her minor program in such a way that he/she can take the required courses as they are available during the four-year period. After degree conferral, a minor may be added within one year. Students who seek to add a minor after graduation, however, may not be eligible for additional financial aid. The choice of a minor should be made in consultation with the student’s advisor. Please note that in some cases scheduling conflicts between required major and minor courses may occur, preventing a student from completion of a minor. Tutorials and independent study courses are not considered an acceptable way of resolving such conflicts. For this reason, a student would do well to begin taking appropriate courses as early as possible in his/her collegiate career. Additional information and “Completion of a Minor” forms are available in MyDSU under the Forms and Documents heading as well as in the academic affairs office. Courses used to satisfy area of emphasis in the liberal studies program may not be applied toward a minor.
More information about DeSales University minors is available at Undergraduate Programs (A-Z) .
No specific major is required for admission to law school. However, the law and society major has been specifically designed to meet the needs of students who hope to go to law school or who are interested in the role of law in American society. There is also a minor in law and society. In addition, the criminal justice, history, and political science majors have tracks developed to accommodate students who plan to attend law school.
Students interested in law school are given assistance in preparing for the LSAT, in the completion of law school applications, including their personal statement, and in identifying law schools that are most likely to meet their needs. The St. Thomas More Society provides students with extra-curricular activities that help prepare them for law school or other careers in law-related fields. An Advisory Council consisting of a judge and several practicing lawyers provides assistance to the program and to students. Students who are interested in law school are urged to contact the pre-law advisor in the department of social science, early in their college careers, and are encouraged to participate in the student club for pre-law students, the St. Thomas More Society.
All students interested in law should contact the pre-law advisor in the Department of Social Sciences.
Pre-Medicine, Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Pharmacy, and Pre-Veterinary
Beginning in their first year students who are interested in pursuing a career in the health professions should meet regularly with the pre-professional health professions advisor in addition to their academic advisor. The pre-professional health professions advisor will provide course selection guidance to prepare students for standardized exams required for entry to graduate programs in the health professions. The pre-professional health professions advisor will also provide assistance regarding affiliation agreements with Temple University (M.D.), Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O. and Pharm.D.), and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O. and Pharm.D.)
Students who wish to prepare for entrance into a professional health program, including medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and veterinary, are advised to pursue a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in biology, biochemistry-molecular biology, or chemistry. Although there is no prescribed major for students who are interested in pursuing medical or dental school, the Department of Biology offers tracks in biology, specifically the B.S. in Biology (Pre-Med/Pre-Dental Track) and the B.S. in Biology (Pre-Vet Track).
The Faith and Reason Honors Program
The Faith & Reason Honors program establishes an arena for academically advanced students to explore questions and examine ways in which to integrate faith and culture. This highly selective and competitive program offers opportunities for challenging, reaching, and learning beyond the traditional curriculum. Through this program, students build strong, lasting, and meaningful relationships with senior faculty at DeSales University.
The four-year honors program includes three major components: Liberal Studies seminars, cultural experiences, and an Honors Thesis.
Liberal Studies seminars are one-credit learning experiences about fundamental questions that pervade human life, including conversations about the human person, God, the world, beauty, truth, and goodness. The seminars meet weekly and are hosted by one or more senior faculty members who select readings chosen from classical and contemporary texts that reflect a variety of academic disciplines. Students who participate in the seminars regularly and actively receive an “A” for the course and one credit for each seminar. Honors students complete six seminars, which fulfill two free elective requirements toward graduation. (Credits earned for these seminars do not fulfill any General Education requirements.)
Cultural experiences involve off-campus learning opportunities. Honors students are required to participate in at least one experience each semester of the program. These experiences include trips to museums, lectures, shows, historic sites, and other places of cultural interest.
The Honors Thesis is the culmination of the program. Under the direction of a faculty advisor, honors students research and write a 30- to 50-page paper. Students earn three credits for this work as an “independent study” course. Students present their work publicly during the annual Honors Colloquium. The best thesis each year, as judged by the Review Committee of the Salesian Center for Faith & Culture, receives the annual “Faith & Reason Award.”
Participation in the honors program is by invitation and application only. Each fall semester, invitations to apply to the program are extended to members of the first-year class who have received presidential or trustee scholarships. Applications require a letter of intent from the student and a recommendation from a faculty member or the student’s academic advisor. Only 15 students are admitted to the program each year.
Honors students who complete all components of the program have their participation noted on their university transcripts and receive special recognition of their accomplishment at the Commencement exercises.
Military Science is part of the United States Cadet Command. As such, it sponsors the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Program. Classes are taught under the auspices of the Lehigh Valley Steel Battalion ROTC program, which is the local headquarters for ROTC and military science instruction. They are taught at Jordan Hall on the campus of Lehigh University. All Military Science courses except ML-101 satisfy one Physical Education activity course at DeSales. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding the Military Science program.
There are no rigid time requirements for the DeSales University degree. It is possible for a superior student to shorten the time ordinarily required to complete the undergraduate degree by as much as one year. This can be done by taking advantage of the various credit-by-examination procedures, the overload policy, and by attending college during the summer months.
DeSales University will grant a second baccalaureate degree to students who have already received a baccalaureate degree from DeSales University or another accredited institution, and who wish to earn a degree in a different major field of study.
To be eligible for admission to this program, the student must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 from the first institution. In addition, the department chair and/or division head of the new major must accept the student into the second degree program (some departments have specific limitations, e.g., business) and approve the student’s program of study.
To graduate from this program, the student must satisfy the requirements of DeSales University’s General Education Core and the requirements of the academic majors, in accordance with the DeSales course-transfer policy. The student must complete at least ten three-credit courses toward the second degree at DeSales University; at least five of these courses must be in the major field of study. Graduates of DeSales University must complete a minimum of ten three-credit courses beyond the conferral date of their most recent DeSales degree. The student also must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 both in the major field of study and in all courses taken at DeSales University. (Students who have graduated from DeSales University under the old curriculum will be seen as having completed the General Education Core for the purposes of this policy.)
Accelerated Post-Baccalaureate Professional Programs
Accelerated post-baccalaureate professional programs grant professional degrees (and/or certification) in preparation for professional licensure to individuals already holding undergraduate degrees. DeSales University offers an accelerated post-baccalaureate BSN program.
Independent Study Program
Juniors and seniors whose cumulative grade point average is 2.0 or better may, if they choose, take one course per year of independent study. Each department regularly lists one 3-credit course, usually numbered 499, for independent study.
The student who wishes to matriculate in this course must develop an independent study project, secure a project advisor, who, for day students, must ordinarily be a full-time faculty member, and obtain the approval of the project advisor, the department chair, and/or the division head, and the dean of undergraduate education before registration for the term in which the student intends to complete the project. These approvals must be obtained on an official form available in the academic affairs office or online. Successful completion of the course will consist of fulfilling all requirements and satisfying the standard of evaluation previously agreed upon by the student and his or her project director. The course designation and number and the project title will be entered on the student’s transcript when successful completion has been certified by the project advisor.
At times a student may wish to take a course which is listed in the Undergraduate Catalog but which is not scheduled to be offered in a given semester. The student may ask a full-time faculty member (usually the one who offers the course) if he/ she is willing to offer the course tutorially. If the faculty member agrees, the student completes the Application for Tutorial form available in the academic affairs office or online, obtains the appropriate signatures, and submits the form to the registrar at the time of registration. (A tutorial differs from an independent study project because a tutorial is simply a different mode of offering an already existing course, while an independent study project requires the student and the faculty member to design a new project.) Ordinarily, students are not permitted to complete more than two tutorials within one semester.
Academic Policy Regarding Internships
Internships are planned and supervised learning experiences that take place outside the classroom, preferably at off-campus sites, for which academic credit is granted as an added dimension of the student’s academic major. The program is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors who have completed course work that, in the judgment of the faculty supervisor, is required by the nature of the internship proposal. Students with a GPA of 2.5 or above are eligible to complete an internship for academic credit. If a student intends to receive more than 3 credits for an internship, if it results in an overload for the semester, or if a student’s GPA is between 2.0 and 2.49, approval must be sought from the student’s division head and the dean of undergraduate education. During a student’s academic career, they may complete more than one credit-bearing internship if it is approved by the faculty supervisor and Coordinator of Experiential Learning and follows the policies of the internship program. Students must be in good academic standing and not on academic probation to be approved for a credit-bearing internship.
The Coordinator of Experiential Learning and/or the student’s faculty supervisor can provide resources to assist the student in identifying possible internship sites. Assignments and duties of the student intern should constitute a new, meaningful, and challenging experience. Menial tasks must not comprise a major part of the internship. Questions should be referred to the Coordinator of Experiential Learning or the student’s faculty supervisor. The Coordinator of Experiential Learning administers the program’s policies and procedures. The Career Development Center staff can aid the student in preparing a resume and in interviewing with the sponsoring employer. The faculty supervisor ensures that the internship is a worthwhile academic experience. This is done, in part, by carefully reviewing the student’s learning contract containing the internship’s objectives and methods for evaluating student performance. The employer supervisor at the work site develops a description of the student intern’s job responsibilities and project assignments, provides orientation and job training for the student, supervises the student’s work, and completes a final evaluation of the student’s performance. An offer letter should be provided by the employer. All students must complete the asynchronous, mandatory orientation, sign a program agreement that states their understanding of program requirements, and complete a pre-assessment.
All students must provide an internship application, and submit a resume and an offer letter/e-mail to the Coordinator of Experiential Learning before they can be registered by the Registrar’s Office for an internship. In addition, students must be enrolled in the college’s student accident insurance plan or have similar coverage under a family or personal accident insurance plan. All students must register for internships according to the class registration deadlines posted in the Undergraduate Catalog (typically the last day for dropping and adding courses). It is assumed that students are not paid for internships. In cases where salary may be provided to the student, the faculty supervisor and Coordinator of Experiential Learning must concur that the learning objectives and nature of the internship are satisfied first rather than salary consideration.
Internships are ordinarily three credits (one course) per semester, and a student may not register for the same internship in successive semesters. Internship proposals for more than three credits during the regular academic year must include additional complex job responsibilities and must be approved by the Coordinator of Experiential Learning, the student’s faculty supervisor, the division head, and the Dean of Undergraduate Education. Credits awarded are based on the following number of total hours worked during the internship and all internships are graded pass-fail:
3 credits (1 course) - 135 to 150 hours total
6 credits (2 courses) - 270 to 300 hours total
9 credits (3 courses) - 405 to 450 hours total
12 credits (4 courses) - 540 to 600 hours total
ACCESS students may complete an internship with their current employer with the approval of the Coordinator of Experiential Learning and the faculty supervisor. For the internship to be approved, the following criteria must be met:
1) The proposed work experience must be different from the student’s current day-to-day job
2) The student must be supervised by someone other than the student’s immediate supervisor.
ACCESS internship proposals for more than three credits must include additional complex job responsibilities and must be approved by the Coordinator of Experiential Learning, the student’s faculty supervisor, the division head, and the Assistant Dean of Adult & Continuing Education.
Traditional students taking internships during the fall or spring semester will be charged the appropriate full-time or part-time rate. Traditional students taking internships during the fall or spring that preclude them from taking courses on campus (e.g., due to location or time frame) will still be charged the appropriate traditional day rate. Traditional students taking internships in the summer will be charged the ACCESS rate. ACCESS students taking internships during the fall, spring, or summer will be charged the ACCESS rate.
Students must provide their own transportation to internship sites.
Exceptions to any of the program’s prerequisites and requirements are referred to the division head and the Dean of Undergraduate Education or Assistant Dean of Adult & Continuing Education for final determination and decision. Requests for exceptions must be made before the time of registration for an internship.
*DeSales University complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 with respect to the accommodation of disabilities. The University will provide reasonable accommodations, so that students can fully participate in the academic life of the University, including participation in approved internships.
A student who wishes to major in two areas is responsible for designing a program of studies which satisfies the degree requirements for each of these majors. The appropriate department chair or division head must approve the student’s program of studies, designating one area as the official major, which determines the degree (BA or BS). The degree will be awarded only in the official major. Upon completion of all the graduation requirements of the other major, a notation will be made on the student’s permanent record. DeSales University does not guarantee that the student can complete the dual major in four years, and its completion may require additional semesters. The student who takes advantage of this option will be assigned a separate academic advisor for each major. After degree conferral, a dual major may be added within one year. Students who seek to add a dual major after graduation, however, may not be eligible for additional financial aid.
If either major is within the Division of Business, at least five courses used to meet the requirements of the second major must be distinct from the courses used to meet the requirements of the official major. A triple major consisting of three Division of Business majors is not permitted.
International Study (Study Abroad)
DeSales University encourages qualified students to study abroad. Currently, the University offers the opportunity to study in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Switzerland, and Monaco. Detailed information about these and other programs are available from the Office of International Learning. Study abroad must be planned well in advance and receive the approval of the appropriate division head and the student’s academic advisor, the director of financial aid, and the director of international learning.
Certain regulations governing the status of foreign institutions, the acceptance of creditable courses, the relevance to a student’s objectives and major field of study, the student’s academic record, foreign language competence at least at the intermediate level, and other factors must be thoroughly explored before permission for the year, semester, or summer session is given. Study abroad opportunities during the academic year are usually open to students who have at least sophomore or junior year status, and ordinarily a 2.75 cumulative GPA overall. Students interested in study abroad must plan early, review their plans with their academic advisor and the director of international learning, and observe the deadlines published by the Office of International Learning.
Information about financial aid procedures is available from the director of financial aid and through the Office of International Learning. Please note that DeSales University merit-based scholarships/grants that are non-need related are not applicable to the cost of study abroad for programs not offered by DeSales University, but need-based aid is applicable. Students who study abroad for a semester but enroll in a course at the University will be assessed a tuition charge at the part-time traditional undergraduate rate per credit hour.
DeSales Semester Study Abroad Program in Rome
Full-time DeSales University students are encouraged to study abroad during the fall semester of their sophomore, junior, or senior years in DeSales University’s program in Rome, Italy. Detailed information about this program is available from the program coordinator, Professor Elizabeth Rosa.
The programs listed below are offered as certificate programs. These are available to ACCESS students who desire a systematic knowledge in one or several areas related to their current interests and plans. For complete details about the objectives and requirements of these certificate programs, students should contact the ACCESS office.
More information about DeSales University certificates is available at Undergraduate Programs (A-Z)
DeSales University does not consider extracurricular activities as a body of exercises totally distinct from the academic program, but views them rather as an integral part of the liberal education which it offers. It sees and encourages participation in extracurricular activities as an opportunity for exercise in the skills and attitudes which it endeavors to impart to the student through its academic program. Viewed in this context, extracurricular activities form an integrated and significant element in the academic program of DeSales University. Student publications and debating provide opportunities for exercise in the skill of intelligent self-expression; intramural athletics furnish occasions for the exercise of skills learned in the physical training program; social events advance the development of the student’s social personality; attendance at lectures supplements the general cultural training received; and religious activities provide the opportunity for the concrete expression of that total religious commitment which the theology program of DeSales University seeks to inspire.
Student Advisement Program
Individual attention is one of the major benefits offered by DeSales University to its students. DeSales University’s Student Advisement Program constitutes a major part of this benefit. The program’s purpose, simply stated, is to help each student as an individual in every way possible to derive maximum benefit from the educational experience here. This means the advisor counsels the student in effective methods of learning and seeks to remove any known obstacle (academic, disciplinary, psychological, personal) to the learning process by appropriate referrals.
Each advisee is assigned an advisor in his/her department. Students who have not declared a major are assigned to an advisor who works specifically with students in the exploratory studies program. Exploratory studies students remain with the same advisor until they declare a major. Efforts are made to provide continuity, vis., to keep the same group of advisees with the same advisor over their sophomore, junior, and senior years.
One of the advisor’s major responsibilities is academic programming. While the ultimate responsibility for fulfilling all course requirements belongs to the student, students should always consult their advisors for guidance in academic matters. At a minimum, advisees must meet with their advisor once per semester to discuss course registration for the following semester and to receive registration clearance. However, students are encouraged to schedule additional appointments with their advisors as needed. The student advisement program is under the supervision of the Director of the Academic Success Center.
Academic Success Center
The Academic Success Center (ASC) offers a wide variety of services to assist undergraduate students (traditional, ACCESS, accelerated BSN, and graduate students) in achieving their academic goals. Services available for all undergraduate students include peer or professional tutoring in specific subjects, and coaching in general academic skills such as study techniques, reading comprehension, and time management. Assistance with written essays and research papers is available for students, including distance and graduate students, via the Writing Center. The ASC also sponsors workshops for all students on methods of studying more effectively.
Gateway To Success
Gateway To Success (GTS) is a program designed to help underprepared students adjust to the academic rigors of university life. It provides support in areas such as academic advising, curriculum planning, goal setting, tutoring, and student development.
First-year students complete a summer program during which they are oriented to the campus and prepared for the University’s academic requirements. These students participate in social events, academic workshops, and career programs. Staff members also help students to emerge as campus leaders and to graduate with marketable skills. Candidates for this program are identified during the admissions process.
Accessibility for Students with Disabilities
In accordance with federal law, a “person with a disability” is defined as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. The Office of Student Accessibility (OSA) works closely with students who self-identify as having learning disabilities, physical disabilities, psychological disabilities, temporary injuries, food allergies, and/or other medical conditions. Specifically, the OSA collaborates with students, faculty, and pertinent campus offices in order to ensure equal access to University programs, services, and activities.
Policies and procedures have been developed to provide students with as much independence as possible and to promote self-advocacy. We offer strategies and sessions in effectively transitioning into the higher education environment, executive functioning skills, time management and organizational skills, study skills, note taking skills, and appropriate coping strategies.
DeSales expects that students who plan to attend the University will have already acquired compensatory strategies. Students with disabilities, similar to their peers without disabilities, must be qualified based on all academic and non-academic criteria for admission to the University, continued enrollment, and graduation from the University.
The process begins with an interactive dialogue between the OSA and the student to determine appropriate and reasonable accommodations. Accommodations are not retroactive. The university does not provide, nor is financially responsible for personal care attendants.
All questions, documentation, and requests concerning academic, residential, or dining accommodations should be addressed with the Office of Student Accessibility (OSA). For more information, please contact the OSA or visit www.desales.edu/accessibility.
Internal Grievance Procedure
DeSales University has an internal grievance procedure providing for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and their implementing regulations. Section 504 states that “no otherwise qualified individual in the United States, shall, solely by reason of his/her handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” (PL 93-112, 2973) Complaints should be addressed to the Section 504 compliance officer who has been designated to coordinate ADA compliance efforts:
Mr. Peter M. Rautzhan
Associate Vice President of Administration and Planning
Section 504 Compliance Officer
2755 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034
610.282.1100, ext. 1265
- A complaint should be filed in writing. This complaint should contain the name and address of the person filing it and briefly describe the alleged violation of the regulations.
- A complaint should be filed within 60 days after the complainant becomes aware of the alleged violation.
- An investigation, as may be appropriate, shall follow a filing of complaint. The Section 504 compliance officer shall conduct the investigation. This investigation shall be an informal but thorough investigation, affording all interested persons and their representatives, if any, an opportunity to submit evidence relative to a complaint.
- A written determination report as to the validity of the complaint and a description of the resolution, if any, shall be used by the Section 504 compliance officer and a copy of the report shall be forwarded to the complainant no later than 60 days after the complaint is filed.
- The Section 504 compliance officer shall maintain the files and records of the DeSales University relating to the complaints filed.
- The complainant can request a reconsideration of the case in instances where he or she is dissatisfied with the resolution. The request for reconsideration should be submitted in writing within fourteen (14) days of the receipt of the determination report to the provost of DeSales University.
- The right of a person to a prompt and equitable resolution of the complaint filed here under shall not be impaired by the person’s pursuit of other remedies such as the filing of an ADA complaint with the responsible federal department or agency. Use of this grievance procedure is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies.
- This procedure shall be construed to protect the substantive rights of interested persons to meet appropriate due process standards.
High School Scholars
The DeSales University High School Scholars Program enables high school students to take college courses for credit, tuition free, on the University campus. Highly talented and motivated students who are nominated by their high schools may take one day course during the regular fall and/or spring semester, on a space-available basis. This high school/university articulation program promotes communication and cooperation between basic and higher education while enriching and expanding the curriculum for students capable of completing college courses while still in high school.
Complete application information, including conditions and procedures, is sent to local high school guidance counselors each semester. Students are nominated by their high school guidance counselor, principal, or a screening committee designated at their school. Each participating school may nominate at most two students and two alternates per semester.
The chairs of the departments offering the requested courses review the applications and recommend acceptance or denial to the associate dean of academic life. A department chair may request a personal interview or telephone conversation with the student applicant. The department chair determines the student’s placement on the basis of the student’s course request, course enrollments, and the student’s background. After reviewing the student’s application and the chair’s recommendation, the associate dean of academic life will notify the student and the nominator as to his decision. DeSales University will endeavor to accommodate qualified applicants, but it cannot guarantee admission to the requested courses. Ordinarily, the student will be limited to one course per semester.
The student will not be charged tuition but will be responsible for the cost of textbooks, laboratory fees, and other course materials, if applicable, and transportation. Participants will be expected to adhere to the attendance policy of the course and to the University calendar. The course must be taken for a letter grade, not for pass/fail or audit.
High School Dual Enrollment Program
The DeSales University Dual Enrollment Program enables high school students, juniors or seniors, to take college courses for credit at a reduced rate. Available courses include both online and on-campus options. An online application, eligibility criteria, course offerings, and updated costs are all available at www.desales.edu/dualenrollment.