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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

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ARCHIVE - Bachelor of Philosophy Degree (B PH)

Begin Date: Summer Session 1991
End Date: Fall Semester 1998

Bachelor of Philosophy Degree (B PH) - (ARCHIVE)


The Bachelor of Philosophy degree is designed to allow students to plan their own programs in conjunction with a faculty preceptor and is intended for those few students for whom the present degree requirements are restrictive and not responsive to their needs. While the educational goals of most students are adequately met by existing degree programs, those who can demonstrate that the usual requirements of conventional programs prevent them from adequately meeting their goals may apply. An important standard for admission to the Bachelor of Philosophy degree program will be the ability of students to demonstrate that their stated goals are viable and worthy of a college degree.

The faculty preceptor is responsible for assisting the student in planning the program and in achieving the proposed goals. The preceptor must be able to certify to the Bachelor of Philosophy Degree Committee that the student has achieved the stated goals. The basis of this certification might be a comprehensive examination (written or oral), a written report, a public seminar to performance, the presentation of a paper to a national meeting of a professional society, etc. A faculty member may serve as preceptor for only one student at any given time.

The program is administered by an intercollege committee under the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education. The Bachelor of Philosophy Degree Committee is responsible for selecting the students and their preceptors for the program, annually examining the progress of all students in the program, and approving the completion of the degree based on the certification made by the faculty preceptor.

Requirements for Admission
1. An entry interview with the candidate, the preceptor, and the members of the Bachelor of Philosophy Degree Committee is required prior to admission to the program. This preliminary interview provides an opportunity for the candidate to discuss and justify the intended use of the Bachelor or Philosophy degree program, and the unique circumstances that surround the applicant.
2. Second-, third-, and fourth-semester students may apply; those selected will begin their programs the following semester. Exceptions may be approved by the committee.
3. Evidence of successful completion of course work requiring independent research is required. In addition, the committee will consider the applicant's cumulative grade-point average as an index of academic performance and responsibility. Applicants must possess the capability of performing at a 3.0 minimum level.
4. Approval of the student's program by the committee is required.

Requirements for Graduation
1. Satisfactory completion of General Education.
2. Satisfactory completion of a program approved by the committee: (a) a minimum of 120 credits to include at least 18 credits at the 400 or 500 level; (b) certification by the faculty preceptor; (c) and approval of a thesis, or thesis equivalent, by the faculty preceptor.
3. Approval by the committee for graduation.

The Pennsylvania State University ©1998

The University reserves the right to change the requirements and regulations listed here and to determine whether a student has satisfactorily met its requirements for admission or graduation, and to reject any applicant for any reason the University determines to be material to the applicant's qualifications to pursue higher education. Nothing in this material should be considered a guarantee that completion of a program and graduation from the University will result in employment.

Last Revised by the Program: Fall Semester 1998

Original proposal in records at Pattee

Review Date: 9/15/98



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