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The Masland Library provides materials and services to students, faculty, and staff of Philadelphia Biblical University. Materials include more than 150,000 volumes of books, reference works, and periodicals, and materials in other media, including 40,000 e-books. The Library houses special collections as well as rare books and archival materials. Two computer labs are available for use by students. An up-to-date teacher education curriculum lab, two conference rooms, and the Writing Lab provide opportunity for students’ research and review.
Four professional librarians and other library staff are available for reference consultation, bibliographic instruction, and other assistance. A valid University ID card provides access to the library. The library catalog and online electronic databases can be accessed through the library’s web page (www.library.pbu.edu), which also contains important information regarding library policies, hours, and staff.
The bookstore serves students in the rental or purchase of textbooks and school supplies and offers students a selection of other publications. Texts and other items can be rented or purchased online at www.pbubookstore.com.
Academic Resource Center
Instruction and coaching on topics, including organization, time management, effective note-taking, reading and test-taking strategies, and learning preferences, are available to all PBU students through the Academic Resource Center. In addition, disability services for students with classified and documented disabilities are provided through the Center.
The University operates on a semester calendar with the first semester concluding prior to Christmas and the second semester concluding in the middle of May. Each semester is 15 weeks long which includes one week for examinations.
The University conducts a J Term and modular summer sessions in addition to the two regular academic semesters. These provide an opportunity for students to advance in their programs, take additional courses not available in the regular program, or make up deficiencies.
The Degree Completion program utilizes a continuous modular schedule with semesters beginning in March and September.
Philadelphia Biblical University follows the 4.0 grade point system and requires a 2.0 (C) average for graduation in undergraduate programs. Grades and their interpretation are as follows:
||Grade points per semester credit
||Course withdrawal while failing
||Course withdrawal while passing
||Satisfactory (in non-credit courses)
||Unsatisfactory (in non-credit courses)
||No grade reported
An incomplete grade may be issued by a faculty member in lieu of a final grade when course requirements have not been met by the end of the semester. An Incomplete Grade Contract must be completed by the faculty member and signed by the student. If the course remains incomplete after the stipulated deadline, the grade is automatically changed to F (failing). A maximum of 12 weeks will be allowed for completion of course requirements. Removal of an I or NR is the responsibility of the student. No student may graduate with an I or NR in any course.
Withdrawal From Course
Students may withdraw from a course, for a fee, through the end of the first two-thirds of the course with approval from the faculty member and academic advisor. Official forms are required and are available from the Registrar’s Office.
The course from which a student withdraws will be graded with a WP (withdrawal while passing), a WF (withdrawal while failing), or WA (withdrawal from audit course).
Refund from course withdrawal applies only when the withdrawal is official, and the student is taking fewer than 12 credits or more than 18.
If withdrawal from a course drops a student below 12 credits, tuition and financial aid will be adjusted accordingly.
Withdrawal From University
Students are considered “students on record” until they complete official withdrawal procedures or are notified that they have withdrawn themselves by default. All pertinent school regulations are binding until official withdrawal procedures have been completed or notification has been received from the University of withdrawal by default. The preferred procedure is to complete the University Withdrawal form, which includes an interview in the Office of Student Life, and submit it to the Business Services Office. However, an oral statement of intent to withdraw from the University made to the Registrar’s Office will also be considered official.
A refund will not be given (see Refund Policy) until the official withdrawal procedures are completed.
Upon official withdrawal from the University, the student’s academic record will show W grades for all courses in progress. Failure to complete the necessary withdrawal procedures results in a final grade of F for all courses.
The University requires attendance at a minimum of 70 percent of class sessions, whether credit or audit. All absences for any reason are to be included in the 30 percent allowed, i.e., illnesses, personal problems, field trips, sports events, etc. Students who do not attend 70 percent of class sessions will receive a failing grade for the course. Professors may set attendance requirements higher than the 70 percent established by the University.
Good Academic Standing
A student is considered to be in good academic standing when he or she meets the following qualitative criteria.
Students who fall below these qualitative thresholds will be placed on academic probation.
At the end of each term, academically deficient students may be dismissed at the discretion of the dean of the respective school, who considers the merits of each case employing the following as a general guideline:
Students dismissed for low academic achievement may appeal the decision to the respective dean or chair, or they may reapply for admission after a period of one academic year.
Qualification for class standing above the freshman class is as follows:
Fifth-Year Seniors: Those who have completed at least 128 credits by September registration.
Seniors: Those who have completed at least 90 credits by September registration.
Juniors: Those who have completed at least 60 credits by September registration.
Sophomores: Those who have completed at least 28 credits by September registration.
Transfer credit will be awarded for university-level work successfully completed at a CHEA recognized, accredited postsecondary institution when appropriate to the student’s degree program. University-level work successfully completed at a non-accredited postsecondary institution and appropriate to the student’s degree program will be evaluated on an individual basis. The following procedures will be used in evaluating and transcripting transfer credit:
- The Registrar has the responsibility of determining transfer credit.
- Only courses in which a “C” (2.00) or above has been earned will be evaluated for transfer credit.
- In evaluating work taken at a postsecondary institution for transfer credit, the following factors will be considered:
- The content of the course and how well it matches with the content of a course in PBU’s curriculum. The Registrar should consult with the chair of the department in which the course is offered when specific information on course content is needed.
- The characteristics of the institution or agency which awarded the credit (i.e., accredited/non-accredited, domestic/foreign, collegiate/non-collegiate).
- The characteristics of the credit reported on the transcript (i.e., level/basis of credit).
- The appropriateness of the credit to the student’s degree program.
- Credits will be computed from a “quarter hour” system to credit hours by multiplying by 0.67.
- Transfer credits will be applied to a student’s permanent record after the student has enrolled and official transcripts have been received.
- PBU course number, title, and hours for which transfer credit is granted will appear on the student’s permanent record, not grades or grade points earned. If a block transfer of credits is awarded (e.g., in the Bible Ministries program), the total hours for which transfer credit is granted will appear on the student’s permanent record.
- Courses noted in the University catalog as being required in residence are not covered by this policy.
- If a student desires to appeal a decision of the Registrar, appeal should be made to the Provost, not to the faculty or a committee of the faculty.
Transfer Credits After Matriculation
Current students may take a course at another institution to meet a graduation requirement at PBU. However, they must obtain approval prior to enrolling in the course. Prior approval is obtained by submitting a completed Planned Transfer Credit form to the Registrar’s Office.
Credit will be granted for up to 12 credits taken by CLEP (College Level Examination Program). The subject matter must be appropriate to the student’s PBU curriculum. A minimum score of 50 is required for credit to be awarded.
A maximum of twelve credits of the Arts and Sciences core curriculum may be taken at other academic institutions by PBU students from the time they first matriculate at the University until they graduate. This limit includes both planned transfer credits and CLEP. Credits earned prior to matriculating at PBU are not counted toward this limit.
All transfer credit, including planned transfer credit, CLEP, and credit for prior learning, must be completed prior to the semester in which a student will graduate. In addition, official transcripts of this transfer credit and/or other required paperwork must be received by the Registrar’s Office prior to the graduation application deadline for that semester.
The University confers baccalaureate degrees on students who have fulfilled the following conditions:
- Completion of one of the programs offered by the University with a grade point average of 2.0 (C) or above. A minimum of 60 credits must have been taken at Philadelphia Biblical University (39 credits for degree completion program).
- Evidence of dependability and progress in Christian ministry as mutually evaluated by the directors of the University Ministry Center and the candidate’s chosen program.
- Approved Christian character as evidenced by stability, maturity, and cooperation.
- Approval of the faculty and board of trustees.
- Submission of a completed application for graduation.
A full academic load for undergraduate students is 12 to 18 credits during the regular semester and four credits during J Term or summer session. Students wishing to take more credits may do so according to the semester overload policy, which states the student must have a 3.0 GPA to take 19 to 21 credits and a 3.5 GPA to take 22 credits or more.
Traditional undergraduates who carry a minimum of 12 credits and whose semester grade point average is 3.50 or higher, and who are approved by the Office of Student Life and the University Ministry Center will be placed on the Honor Roll the succeeding semester.
Traditional undergraduates who carry a minimum of 12 credits, and whose semester and cumulative grade point averages are both 3.50 or higher, and who are approved by the Office of Student Life and the University Ministry Center will be placed on the Dean’s List the succeeding semester.
Undergraduate candidates who have completed at least 90 credits in residence are eligible for graduation honors. Those who attain a scholastic average of 3.50 graduate Cum Laude. Those who attain a scholastic average of 3.75 graduate Magna Cum Laude. Candidates who attain a scholastic average of 3.90 graduate Summa Cum Laude.
Delta Epsilon Chi
Graduation candidates who have a scholastic average of 3.3, and who evidence approved Christian character and leadership abilities are eligible for nomination into Delta Epsilon Chi, the honor society of the Association for Biblical Higher Education. Membership in the society is by vote of the faculty and is limited to 7 percent of the total graduating class. Graduation candidates must have completed at least 90 credits in residence to be eligible for nomination.
Department chairs, academic advisors, and the University registrar are available to assist students in course selection and planning. However, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all courses are taken and all course requirements are met satisfactorily.
Student Education Records
The student’s academic records are maintained in the Registrar’s Office. Included are high school transcripts, SAT and/or ACT scores, Advanced Placement (AP) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) test scores, transcripts from other collegiate institutions, and PBU academic records. Application to the University, recommendations, correspondence, and other admissions documents are kept in a file located in the Admissions Office prior to enrollment and in the Office of Student Life while the student is enrolled. These documents are moved to the Registrar’s Office when the student is no longer enrolled at the University.
Notification of Rights Under FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the University may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. The University considers some information to be directory information which may be disclosed to others without student permission. This includes items such as name, address, telephone number, email address, dates of enrollment, classification, degree(s) received, awards, honors, program of study, previous institutions attended, date and place of birth, participation in activities, height and weight of members of athletic teams, and photographic image of the student. However, if a student does not want this information released, he or she must fill out the Request to Withhold Directory Information form. This form must be filled out each year by October 15 in order for the University to withhold this information.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education (Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20202-5920) concerning alleged failures of Philadelphia Biblical University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
Because the University is a biblical university, the undergraduate baccalaureate degree programs are structured to provide every student with a thorough grounding in Bible and theology. In the 36 credits of specified Bible and theology requirements, the English Bible, the major doctrines of the Christian faith, and church history are studied. Depending on the professional program, additional Bible and theology credits may be stipulated for graduation. Thus every student, regardless of professional specialization, is a Bible major.
The curriculum also provides the student with a complementary foundation in arts and sciences through a knowledge of the history, language, behavior, expression, and thought of both past and present cultures. The curriculum in the School of Arts and Sciences has been planned to develop the student’s intellectual resources, thus aiding in the formulation of a biblical world and life view. Courses have been carefully selected to achieve these purposes and to complement the student’s professional goals. Students take a cross section of arts and sciences subjects, totaling 43 credits.
To complete the undergraduate curriculum, most students specialize in an elected professional area. These professional programs are designed to equip the student with a foundational knowledge of the history, philosophy, content, literature, and skills in each respective field. In the four-year programs, at least 27 credits are devoted to professional study; however, departmental requirements of particular arts and sciences courses promote further strengthening of the professional program. The curricula in these professional programs provide a balance of theory and skill courses. Electives allow students to adapt the program to a specific area of vocational interest.
Under the direction of the chair of each professional program, classroom study is complemented by required field experience totaling approximately 100 hours. Also, in conjunction with the chairs of the professional programs, the University Ministry Center designs, implements, and oversees field experiences of service and witness for each student.
In the four-year program leading to the B.S. in Bible degree, at least 120 credits are required for graduation. The five-year programs require additional credits for graduation and offer an additional B.S.W. degree in the social work program, a B.Mus. degree in the music programs, a B.S. in Education degree in the elementary education program and some secondary education programs, or a B.S.B.A. degree in the business administration program. Certain programs are available in a dual-level format in which a student concurrently earns both a B.S. in Bible and a master’s degree.
The undergraduate academic areas of the University are organized according to the following schools and departments:
Department of Christian Counseling
Department of Social Work
Degree Completion Program
School of Bible and Ministry
School of Arts and Sciences
Department of Humanities
Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Department of Physical Education
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences
School of Business and Leadership
School of Education
Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education
Department of Secondary Education
Department of Health and Physical Education
School of Music and Performing Arts
Course Numbering System
The University code for course identification uses a three-letter prefix to identify the subject field or content, and a three-number combination that indicates the normal year the course should be taken (100 courses in freshman year, 200 courses in sophomore year, 300 courses in junior year, 400 and 500 courses in senior years). A course whose number begins with 0 does not count toward graduation, but may have credit value. A course number ending in “D” signifies a course in the degree completion program. The three-letter prefix codes for courses are as follows:
ECH/Early Childhood Education
HPE/Health and Physical Education
MAB/Music - Applied Brass
MAC/Music - Applied Composition
MAG/Music - Applied Guitar
MAO/Music - Applied Organ
MAP/Music - Applied Piano
MAS/Music - Applied Strings
MAV/Music - Applied Voice
MAW/Music - Applied Woodwinds
MAX/Music - Applied Percussion
TSL/Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages