Spring 2021 Update 
    May 31, 2023  
Spring 2021 Update [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Arts and Sciences


Science Building Room 127
p - 516.877.4118
f - 516.877.4191

Vincent W. Wang, Dean
College of Arts and Sciences


Ruth McShane, Senior Assistant Dean Part Time
Salvatore Petrilli, Associate Dean for Academic Operations and General Education
Margaret Lally, Associate Dean
Blyth Daylong, Executive Director, Performing Arts Center

Philosophy of the College

When Adelphi College was founded in 1896, it was committed to the belief that all frontiers of learning could be advanced. It was the challenge of each succeeding generation of students to learn from the great minds of the past and, when the lessons were learned, to go beyond them. This continuum of learning, in which the past comes alive and the future becomes enabled by it, has been Adelphi’s mission from its inception.

As Adelphi University has developed over more than a century, it has maintained this philosophy of liberal education-most centrally in the College of Arts and Sciences. It is here that the University offers its students not merely learning in specific disciplines, but the liberal education that permits the disciplines to be seen in proper perspective. In addition to offering specialized study, the College offers to explore something else: why.

Arriving at this “why” is the obligation of the humanities, those studies that preserve and interpret the intellectual and cultural heritage of the world throughout the centuries. Literature is part of this heritage, as are philosophy, history, fine arts, music and drama, language and linguistics, and the bedrock sciences of chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics. Each of these fields is studied on its own terms and with its own goals, which often include solid practical application and career opportunities. But they also interrelate with and illuminate each other in vital ways.

The skills a student develops in the course of a liberal education are those that are proper to each field in which she/he studies-fluency in languages, adeptness in mathematics, competence in the employment of chemistry, and so forth-but there are also powers, which one may call skills, that cut across all disciplines: research competence, analytical skills, critical thinking, and the ability to express verbally, in writing, and on the screen what one has learned. These are the components of a liberal, humanistic education. The faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences would have its students develop in the broadest possible manner. Classroom learning is a part of the student’s education, but that learning should always be pushing the student beyond the classroom, stimulating him or her to explore that which has yet to be revealed. Thus the student is encouraged to pursue original research, to undertake collaborative work with peers and mentors, to study in a variety of internships both here and abroad, and to avail himself, or herself of the opportunities that the University offers to meet visiting artists, scholars, and world figures.

This is the College of Arts and Sciences’ way of bringing about the promise of the University’s motto, “The truth shall make us free.”

Undergraduate Information

Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees

Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences lead toward the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.), or Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degrees, with a major in a particular area of concentration. Some students may also choose to take a second major or a minor, and some departments offer combined bachelor’s-master’s programs. Details of each department’s program offerings are included in the pages that follow. Every student is required to complete a minimum of 120 credits of academic work (with a maximum of 2 credits in physical education activity classes) in order to be awarded a bachelor’s degree. To be eligible for a degree, the student must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA.

Language Requirement for Students in the College of Arts and Sciences in a Bachelor of Arts Degree and/or in the STEP Program.

All entering students in the College of Arts and Sciences enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts degree program are required to demonstrate Level IV competence by passing a Level IV course in language other than English. Level IV competence means demonstrating levels of reading, writing, listening and speaking skills equivalent to two years of college-level study as defined by ACTFL (American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages) This language requirement must be completed before graduation, but students are encouraged to fulfill it as early as possible.

Entering students are required to take an on-line placement test. Based on the placement test results, the faculty of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures will determine the appropriate course placement for students. Tests will be offered in the following languages: Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.

Acceptable Equivalents and Exemptions

  1. A three-credit, fourth-semester course in a foreign language from an accredited four-year institution of higher learning.
  2. An Adelphi competency test score equivalent to passing a Level IV language course. Competency tests will be administered on campus at a mutually agreed time and supervised by the faculty of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures.
  3. Students who have completed three years in a high school where the primary language is one other than English will have satisfied Adelphi’s language-competence requirement.
  4. Current policies covering high school Advanced Placement courses and college-level course equivalents, as well as the normal petition review process, will be honored as before.
  5. Passing a fourth-semester course in American Sign Language will be considered as having satisfied the language requirement.
  6. For students who enter Adelphi as Bachelor of Arts STEP students Level IV competence must be reached by passing a Level IV language course or by meeting acceptable equivalent.


*A student who may have been previously required to meet only Level III language competence under the “Special Provision” clause will have to comply with the Level IV requirement if STEP program status is lost.


Concentration in an area of inquiry assures that the student becomes knowledgeable in a specialized field. This area of concentrated study is known as the major. Undergraduate students are expected to complete no less than one quarter of their academic work in their major. The specific requirements for each major in the College are found under the individual program headings.

Second Majors and Minors

Students who wish to complete the degree requirements of two departments may do so with permission, as long as they are able to fulfill General Education requirements and the requirements of both majors. Students may also have a second major in a department not located in the College. A College student, for instance, might have a second major in the Robert B. Willumstad School of Business or Gordon F. Derner School of Pscyhology. The student can, however, be a candidate for only one degree. Most departments in the College of Arts and Sciences offer a series of courses (18 to 24 credits) that constitute a minor. In consultation with a faculty adviser in the department, the student is able to pursue a minor to complement the major field of study.

Interdisciplinary Majors

A student may design and complete an individualized major course of study involving two or more departments. Such study is carefully guided and supervised by a faculty committee and represents an exceptional opportunity for the student whose academic interests are better served by a multi-disciplinary design. See the program section, “Interdisciplinary Studies .”

Double Majors

Students who wish to complete the degree requirements of two departments in the College of Arts and Sciences or between Schools may do so with the permission of the chair of each department or School. The forms for declaring a double major are available in the Office of the University Registrar and should be returned to that office after obtaining all necessary signatures. Double major students are candidates for a single degree only and must indicate the degree toward which they are working. If a course fulfills the requirements of two departments, the course may be accepted as fulfilling requirements of both departments toward the completion of the double major.


Many departments offer academic minors. Students are encouraged to declare a minor by the end of the junior year and must do so no later than the start of the second semester of their senior year. To receive official recognition and have the specified minor listed on their final transcript, students must complete a Change of Major form available from the Office of the University Registrar and obtain written permission from the departmental chair of the minor or the Dean. Minors must include a minimum of 18 credits. Pass/fail grades may not be included in the minor and students must achieve a minimum 2.0 GPA in their minor in order to qualify for the minor.

For students who declare an interdepartmental minor in Fall 2010 or later, the requirements for an interdepartmental minor cannot be met with more than 4 credits from the department of the student’s major unless such course work is in addition to the requirements for the major.

Independent Study

Independent study is open to juniors and seniors only and no student may take more than 12 credits of independent study. Students should consult with their academic adviser about the regulations governing independent study. Permission forms for Independent Study are available from the Office of the Dean of the College.

Waiver of Academic Regulations

Written requests for waivers from the College of Arts and Sciences regulations are submitted to the Office of the Dean of the College for consideration by the Academic Standards Committee of the College.

Graduate Information

Long before Adelphi was a University composed of many distinct schools, it was Adelphi College, founded in 1896 and distinguished by its progressive commitment to liberal undergraduate learning. Today the chief heir and champion of that commitment is the College of Arts and Sciences. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is a division of the College.

The faculty of the College place a high priority on their students’ intellectual development in and out of the classroom. Graduate study at Adelphi challenges and advances students’ ability to undertake original research or creative work, develop first hand facility with the most recent technology, undertake collaborative work with peers and mentors, engage in internships, and hone communicative skills.

Aware of the expanding number of non-traditional students seeking graduate study, the University schedules graduate programs to be as convenient for the part-time student as possible. We invite you to explore the graduate study options available in the College of Arts and Sciences. Each department’s programs provide excellent preparation for further study or careers in a particular field.


Applicants to graduate programs may enter in January and September, and also in summer session.

Requirements for Advanced Degrees

Curricular and Other Academic Requirements

Students are responsible for observing all requirements and regulations that pertain to the degree they are seeking. Students should, therefore, familiarize themselves thoroughly with the requirements and policies outlined in this Bulletin, as well as the supplemental requirements and policies of the departments in which they are studying. Any exceptions to these policies must be approved by the department and by the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in writing and filed in the Graduate Office in Science 127. The student is advised not to depend upon oral agreements if exceptions are to be made.

Credit for Graduate Study at Other Institutions

In no case will a master’s degree earned in the College of Arts and Sciences be awarded unless the student has satisfactorily completed a minimum of 24 credits of approved graduate study at Adelphi University; most degree programs require more than 24 credits earned at Adelphi. Once having been admitted to graduate study in the College and undertaken a program of study, students may take courses and transfer credits with a grade of A or B from another university only if authorized to do so by the department and the dean of the College prior to registering for graduate study in the other university.

A maximum of 6 graduate credits taken in other approved graduate institutions may be applied toward meeting the requirements of the master’s degree. Any application of transfer credit toward an advanced graduate degree must have the express approval of the department concerned and the dean.

Candidacy for a Second Master’s Degree

Students who have been awarded a master’s degree in one field may be allowed to continue advanced study for another master’s degree, provided that it is in a separate, independent discipline. In so doing, they must apply and meet the admissions requirements of the chosen graduate program. A maximum of six graduate credits earned by the student in completing the requirements of the first master’s degree may be applied toward the second master’s degree. Such application of credit must, however, be designated for specific courses and be approved by the candidate’s adviser and the Dean. Also, the courses for which such transfer of credit is granted must have been taken within five years of the completion of the second master’s degree. At a minimum, the equivalent of a full year of additional graduate study must be successfully completed to qualify for the award of an additional master’s degree.

Admission of Auditors

The admission of students who want to audit graduate courses is possible only in exceptional cases. Students seeking admission as auditors must meet admission requirements and complete registration (including full payment of tuition and other fees) in the same way as the candidates for admission to graduate standing. Students admitted as auditors may request a change in their status, allowing them to earn credit for courses, provided that the request is approved by the instructor and submitted to the dean no later than the fifth meeting of the course.

Academic Advisement and Thesis Research

Upon beginning study for the master’s degree, students will be assigned an academic adviser. The adviser will approve the student’s program of study and advise with regard to degree requirements and academic policies and regulations. In programs where a thesis is required students must be sponsored by a member of the graduate faculty of their department. The sponsor advises the candidate in the planning of the thesis research and the writing of the final report. Specific procedures for the review of thesis proposals vary with departments and should be clarified in advance by the candidate with the sponsor. After having written the thesis, the candidate will be examined on the thesis. The examination committee will consist of the thesis sponsor and at least two additional members of the faculty, one of whom is preferably from outside the student’s department. The sponsor arranges for the examination with the approval of the departmental chair and reports the results. The original copy of the thesis, certified on proper forms as approved in format and content, must be deposited in the Dean’s Office, College of Arts and Sciences, in accordance with the deadlines established by the College. Upon deposit of the thesis, the candidate must arrange for its reproduction and publication.

For further instructions and information on the master’s thesis or dissertation requirements, students should consult with the chair of their department.

Foreign Language Requirement

Although proficiency in a foreign language is not required for current graduate Arts and Sciences degrees, reading proficiency in a language other than English is strongly recommended for those intending to pursue the Ph.D. Foreign language examinations are held during the early part of November and April every year. The student must request a department chair to make arrangements with the foreign language department concerning examinations no later than October 1 or March 1. Examinations will consist of the translation into English of foreign language texts of journal articles in the student’s major field. No special makeup examinations will be available for a failing candidate; however, candidates may repeat the examinations as regularly scheduled. The foreign language proficiencies may also be met by presenting satisfactory scores on the graduate language examinations of the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey. Students wishing to enroll in any of the undergraduate courses in foreign languages offered by the University should consult the Undergraduate Bulletin. Special examinations in computer language and programming must be arranged through the departmental chair with the director of the Computing Center.

GPA Required for Graduation

A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for all graduate students for graduation. The doctoral program in Social Work requires a minimum GPA of 3.3 for graduation.

Graduate Courses, Credits and Grading

Numbering of Courses

Hyphenated courses (e.g., CHE 631-632) are yearlong courses. Credits earned for the first half of a yearlong course may be applied toward fulfillment of degree requirements only upon satisfactory completion of the second half of the course. Comma courses (e.g., BIO 611, 612) are courses that extend over two semesters. Degree credit will be granted, however, for satisfactory completion of only one semester’s work in such courses.


Most graduate courses are scheduled for late afternoon and evening hours in order to permit part-time (maximum of six credits) students to earn an advanced degree while employed or engaged in supervised work in their field.

Grading Policies

Grade Roster for Graduate Study:

A, B - Acceptable for credit toward degree requirements
C - Unacceptable for credit toward degree requirements

Pass/Fail (primarily for fieldwork, clinical practice, student teaching, and individual study)
P - Acceptable for credit toward degree requirements
F - Unacceptable: student subject to termination of degree candidacy and dismissal

IP - Denotes thesis or dissertation In Progress.

Grades and credits determined on completion of course requirements.

The grade of C is substandard for graduate study. Credits earned with a grade of C will not normally be accepted as applicable toward fulfilling degree requirements and may serve as grounds for dismissal from candidacy. Exceptions may be made when, in the judgment of the faculty, the student’s performance in certain other course work or areas of the program has been sufficiently outstanding to offset the work of C quality. The student is held responsible for ascertaining and fulfilling the policy of the department with respect to the acceptability of credits earned with a final grade of C. There is no grade of D in the College of Arts and Sciences graduate programs. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation.  A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation.  Students earning less than a 3.0 for a semester will be put on probation.

The grade of P (passing or satisfactory) is used primarily for fieldwork, clinical practice, student teaching, or individual study. In such courses, use of the Pass/Fail option is at the discretion of the instructor. In other types of courses a Pass/Fail option can be employed only under exceptional circumstances. Permission must be granted by the course instructor, the student’s major department, the department offering the course, and the dean. A student earning a grade of F is subject to termination of degree candidacy and dismissal from further graduate study.

Students enrolled in thesis or dissertation research and selected other courses may receive a report of IP (In Progress) if they are making satisfactory progress. The IP may be assigned only for research courses that are designed to take longer than one semester. The research project must be completed within two years. A final grade and credits will be assigned upon acceptance of the thesis or dissertation by the student’s advisory committee or upon completion of requirements in the course for which the IP was originally reported. If it is not completed within that time the student will be withdrawn from the class and a W will be placed on the students record.

Independent Study

Permission for Independent Study forms are available from the Office of the Dean of the College. Students should consult with their academic adviser about the regulations governing independent study.

Credit for Courses

If a student repeats a course, both grades will appear on the transcript and will be used in computing the GPA. Credits will be counted only one time toward graduation.

Waiver of Academic Regulations

Requests for waiver of any academic regulation must be made in writing to the Dean of the College. Waiver requests should fully explain the reasons for the petition and include all pertinent documentation. Waiver requests will be considered by the Dean’s Office and the Academic Standards Committee of the College.

Programs of Study

The College of Arts and Sciences offers the following programs: