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.



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.



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.



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.



Certificates are awarded to students who complete specified coursework independent of a defined degree program. NOTE: Completion of a certificate program does not equate to certification in any of the programs.



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.