The College of Arts and Sciences

About the College

Mission Statement

By pursuing excellence in research and scholarship, we educate our students to become ethical professionals and citizens with knowledge of and appreciation for the fundamental interactions among the humanities, social sciences and the sciences in a fast-changing, challenging, and diverse world.

About the College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences was established in 1990. The educational objectives encompass a wide range of goals: to provide interdisciplinary study in the arts and sciences for our Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts majors; to offer Master of Science and Doctoral programs in selected areas of faculty and research strength; to promote research, scholarship, and creative activities which expand disciplinary boundaries and enhance faculty expertise and the quality of the University's instruction; to provide general educational courses for the University's undergraduates; and to improve the quality of life for the University's community through co-curricular programming in the arts and sciences.

Each major combines interdisciplinary study with hands-on, experiential learning to prepare students for a variety of careers, as well as graduate or professional school. All undergraduate majors in the College offer co-operative education program options, with special opportunities relating academic study to work experience, or internships. Additionally, students across the College are encouraged to work alongside faculty in research projects that relate to their academic and professional goals.

About the Curriculum

The College of Arts and Sciences is committed to providing high-quality education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences.

Bachelor of Arts Degree Programs

The Bachelor of Arts degree provides a broad-based liberal education while allowing students the option to apply their studies through Drexel's well-established co-operative education program.

The BA degree continues the Drexel focus on critical reasoning, a strong grounding in arts and sciences, and effective development of communication skills. The degree is intended to provide a solid liberal arts background for graduate study as well as for professional degrees in such areas as law, public policy, international relations, education, psychology, social work, public health, and medicine.

While the BA degree requires more liberal arts courses than the Bachelor of Science degree, it also allows more varied choices in the fulfillment of math and science requirements and requires study of a foreign language. The BA degree prepares students for an ever-changing and culturally diverse world, and provides them with the tools needed to be leaders in industry, arts, government, and human services.

Bachelor of Science Degree Programs

The College offers Bachelor of Science degrees in many of its majors. The BS degree is similar to the Bachelor of Arts degree, but requires more focused coursework in the sciences than the BA.

In several majors, both a BS and a BA are available. Both degrees provide the same foundation in the discipline. The BS is a more structured approach, while the BA allows for greater flexibility. Drexel's strong advising program helps students learn more about the degree options and which option matches each student's long-term goals.

Science and Mathematics Curriculum

All students in biology, environmental science, geoscience, chemistry, mathematics, and physics study similar subjects during the freshman year. This recognizes the fundamental knowledge common to those disciplines; it also allows for transfer between majors at the end of the freshman year without loss of time. Upper-class students in those disciplines are given the opportunity to take related electives in liberal, scientific, and technical fields.

The flexibility available in the elective programs, and the opportunity to complete an academic minor, permit students to prepare for continuing studies in graduate or professional school, for work in government or industry, or for a change in educational goals.

Generally the basic requirements in each major are completed prior to the senior year. Thus, for science and mathematics majors, the technical electives in the last year may be selected in some advanced specialty within the specific major, and free electives may be used for enrichment or to prepare for a change of field. Each student's elective program must be approved by an advisor from his or her major department.

Humanities and Social Science Curriculum

Students majoring in the humanities and social sciences complete similar sets of courses in the first two years. Some of these courses may be identical (the freshmen year English sequence) while others will vary by discipline, such as major-specific freshmen courses or the math and science requirements in the BA and BS options.

Students in the communication major will take at least one course in their proposed concentration of public relations, journalism, or technical communication in each term during the freshman year. More intensive work in the concentration begins in the sophomore year, as do elective options.

All humanities and social science students have a significant degree of flexibility, allowing them to complete disciplinary requirements, and, through free electives, to take a minor or perhaps another major to prepare for entry into graduate or professional school.

Secondary and Elementary Teacher Certification

The School of Education offers innovative curricula that combine academic majors with appropriate coursework to satisfy state requirements for certification in English, and sciences— including biology, chemistry, earth and space sciences, physics—as well as mathematics and elementary education. Students interested in the teacher education programs should contact the School of Education.

Accelerated Degree Program

The Accelerated Degree Program in the College of Arts and Sciences provides opportunities for highly talented and strongly motivated students to complete both an undergraduate degree and a master's degree in five years. Students generally enroll in a five year co-op program and replace the third co-op with courses to complete the graduate degree requirements; some majors require that students enroll for the four-year one co-op program. Students may be offered preliminary admission to such a program when they start at Drexel or can apply when they have completed 90 credits. In both instances, admission to the dual program must be approved before students complete 120 credits.

Accelerated Preprofessional Degree

The College accepts highly qualified and motivated students into accelerated BS/BA +MD and BS/BA +JD degrees. Students must apply to be admitted into these programs before starting at Drexel. For more information, students should contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Preprofessional Programs

Students wishing to prepare for admission to professional schools of medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, or public health may obtain preprofessional counseling and application assistance at the Steinbright Career Development Center. For health profession application assistance, students may call 215.895.2437. For law school admission assistance, students may call 215.895.1632.

Degree Requirements

Certification for graduation is provided by the individual department or program according to the requirements for each major, which are set forth in subsequent pages. The minimum number of credits required for the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science varies from one department and program to another but in no case does it exceed 192 credits of academic work with two to six terms of co-operative experience.

Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List on the Drexel University Writing Center page. Students scheduling their courses in Banner/DrexelOne can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term.

The Drexel Writing Center

The Drexel Writing Center (DWC) is dedicated to helping students, faculty, and staff, at all levels of experience and across all disciplines, in their development as writers.

  • The DWC works with writers at all stages in the writing process, from brainstorming ideas to polishing final drafts.
  • The DWC focus is on individual, one-on-one sessions that feature a conversational, collaborative relationship between the reader and the writer they work with.
  • Interaction with the DWC will help writers develop not just writing but critical thinking and reading skills.
  • While DWC readers do not perform copy-editing services, they will help students learn strategies for proofreading and editing their documents.

The DWC is located at 0032 MacAlister Hall and can be reached at 215.895.6633. Further information can be found at the Drexel Writing Center website.

English Language Center

As part of the College of Arts and Sciences, Drexel’s English Language Center offers an accredited intensive English program throughout the year. In addition to classes in academic skills such as essay writing and oral presentations, the Center offers the pre-MBA Global Business English program (GLOBE), English for academic purposes, TOEFL and iELTS preparation, and other subjects. Many graduate students begin their studies at Drexel in the English Language Center for a rigorous and supportive environment to develop or enhance their academic English language knowledge and skills. International teaching assistants are oriented through a summer course in the language, culture, and pedagogy of the U.S. classroom. Accepted graduate students have access to free oral communications courses, tutoring, and other academic skills workshops throughout the academic year.  

Some graduate programs within the COAS may accept students who are academically admissible but need further  English language study.  For more information, see the ELC website or contact the Center at:

English Language Center
229 N.
33rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: 215-895-2022
Fax: 215-895-6775
E-mail: elc@drexel.edu

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