Academic Program Definitions

Academic programs fall into six inter-related groups: majors, minors, specializations, certificates, certifications, and elective areas of study. These program areas are defined below.

Majors

 

Areas of study in a formal discipline for which a degree is awarded; for example, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History, a Bachelor of Social Work Degree in Social Work, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics, or a Master of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy.

Minors

 

Focused programs of study which involve specific clusters of courses around a general area of study. Minors are not associated with particular degree programs and are therefore open to all undergraduate students. For example, minors are available in writing, philosophy, and religious studies.

Specializations

 

Specializations are focused programs of extended study closely associated with a specific degree program. Specializations are generally available only to students who have been accepted into the major for the specific degree, for example, BA, History (Pre-law) or BS, Biology (Pre-medicine).

Certificates

 

Certificates are awarded to students who complete specified coursework independent of a defined degree program. Certificate programs are offered in addictions counseling, child welfare services, gerontology, informatics and diagnostic medical sonography. A graduate level pediatric certificate is available for practicing occupational and physical therapists.

 

 

NOTE: Completion of a certificate program does not equate to certification in any of the programs.

Certifications

 

Certifications are prescribed programs of study designed to meet requirements of official agencies which recognize the certification as a valid credential. For example, certifications are available in early childhood education which is recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Elective Areas of Study

 

There are clusters of courses which are not as a group directly associated with a specific degree program. Elective courses are intended to augment the liberal arts background of any interested students. For example, electives are available in philosophy or sociology.