Entering Freshmen Admission

Entering Freshmen Admissions

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Historically, Arcadia University has emphasized the importance of individual students and their individual talents and strengths. The University's admissions program reflects this same commitment. Students are selected on the basis of educational preparation, intellectual promise and potential.

During the admissions process, Enrollment Management counselors carefully review each candidate's credentials. Particular emphasis is placed on candidates' academic records, including the types of programs followed and the grades and class rank earned. The application essay, standardized test scores, transcripts, and counselor and teacher recommendations are required. Character references, participation in school and community activities, work experience and any other supporting credentials presented by the student are considered in the evaluation. The result is a highly individualized approach to the selection of students.

For students who graduated from high school five or more years ago, attention is given to academic records and life experience, including work and military service.

Prospective students are encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible in the academic year. Applicants are notified of the admission decision on a rolling basis, usually within several weeks from the date of completion of their application.

Full-time vs. Part-time Student

Students who want to enroll on a full-time basis will pursue, on average, 16 credits per semester (with a minimum of 12 credits) on a matriculated basis. A student who wants to enroll in part-time study for day or evening programs can do so either as a degree-seeking matriculated student or as a Special Status non-matriculated student.

Secondary School Preparation

Generally, freshmen offered admission to Arcadia University have completed an academic or college preparatory program in a secondary school. The Office of Enrollment Management assesses each applicant's records individually and considers past achievement as well as ability and promise when making admissions decisions.

Recognizing the value of a well-rounded and balanced education, the following distribution of secondary school units is recommended:

English 4
History and Social Studies 4
Mathematics 3 (including Algebra II and Geometry)
Modern Language 2 (in one language)
Laboratory Science 3
Additional units in modern language, mathematics and laboratory science are desirable as electives.

A strong background in the sciences and mathematics is recommended for students interested in Pre-Physical Therapy, Pre-Physician Assistant, Pre-Medical and other pre-health professions programs or the combined Engineering program.

Candidates whose high school programs have not followed the recommended pattern, but whose total credentials show evidence of potential for success at Arcadia University, are invited to apply with the assurance that their records will be given full and careful consideration.

Personal Meetings

Prospective students are encouraged to visit the University to meet with an Enrollment Management counselor for a one-on-one meeting and to take a student-guided campus tour. Although it is not required, the one-on-one meeting is a great opportunity to discuss college plans and to learn firsthand about the special qualities and characteristics of the campus. Students may schedule an appointment at any point during the admissions process, either before or after applying for admission. The visit is most meaningful on weekdays when classes are in session. For those who are unable to visit the campus on weekdays, appointments may be scheduled on select Saturday mornings from September through May. Parents are welcome to accompany the student on the visit and will be invited into the meeting to have their specific questions and concerns addressed.

Students who graduated from high school five or more years ago are encouraged to meet with a member of the Enrollment Management staff. The one-on-one meeting is a forum to discuss educational and career goals and to review how the Enrollment Management staff might assist the student in making a smooth transition to college.

Choice of Major

Freshmen may enter Arcadia University with or without a field of specialization in mind. In most cases, it is not necessary to make a choice at the time of admission. Indication of interest in a particular field at the freshman level is considered subject to change, and formal declaration of a major is usually made in the sophomore year. However, some pre-professional programs, such as Pre-Physical Therapy, Pre-Physician Assistant, and International Peace and Conflict Resolution, and some majors such as Education, Scientific Illustration and Fine Arts, have specific requirements or call for particular attention to the courses taken from the start of the freshman year. Students considering these programs are urged to check the appropriate catalog pages for further information concerning requirements and to meet with their advisers as early as possible to plan their schedules.

Advanced Placement

Students who have earned scores of three or higher on Advanced Placement examinations of the College Board will be awarded credit toward the bachelor's degree for courses comparable to those offered at Arcadia University. Those interested in learning more about Advanced Placement courses or examinations should obtain information from their high school guidance office or by contacting the College Board by phone at 609-771-7300 or online at www.collegeboard.org.

Another means by which incoming students can earn advanced credit is through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or Excelsior College Examinations (formerly known as ACT PEP and Regents Examinations). (See page 46.) Inquiries about advanced placement and credit should be addressed to the Arcadia University Registrar at 215-572-2100.

International Baccalaureate

Arcadia University reviews and evaluates International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level courses on an individual basis. Normally, University course credit is granted for scores of 5 or higher in courses that are applicable to the degree program. Full IB diploma holders also are evaluated on an individual basis. No credit is given for subsidiary-level courses.

Honors Program

Freshmen who score 1870 (all three sections) or better on the SAT or 28 or better on the ACT composite and are ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school class (if their school ranks students) will be considered for admission into the program. Transfer students with a GPA of 3.35 or better will be reviewed. Also, current full-time Arcadia students can self-nominate for the program if they have a 3.35 GPA or higher. Credentials from all groups are reviewed for demonstrated excellence in academics, leadership, and service. There is no separate application for admission into the Honors Program. Final decisions are based on the credentials of the candidates and the availability of space within the program.

Learn more about the Honors Program at www.arcadia.edu/honors.

Three-Year Degree Programs

The three-year degree format provides an accelerated degree path for students who are able and willing to complete their degree programs within a shorter time. Due to the pressure and intensity of fitting all requirements into three years, this program is intended for students with high academic ability.

Admission criteria are the same as for the Honors Program. Entering freshmen who score 1870 or better on the SAT or 28 or better on the ACT and are ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school class (if their school ranks students) will be considered for admission into these programs.

Learn more about Arcadia's three-year degree programs.


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Office of Enrollment Management
450 S. Easton Road
Glenside, PA 19038

Monday through Friday,
8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

(1-877-272-2342) or