Jun 13, 2024  
2017-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Mission of the University

Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania is a regional state supported institution. It is part of the State System of Higher Education of Pennsylvania, which is made up of fourteen universities located in various geographic regions throughout the Commonwealth. Founded in 1871, Shippensburg University serves the educational, social, and cultural needs of students primarily from south-central Pennsylvania. The university enrolls students from throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Mid-Atlantic region, the United States, and various foreign countries as well.

Shippensburg is a comprehensive university offering bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, and Education and Human Services. The curricula are organized to enable students both to develop their intellectual abilities and to obtain professional training in a variety of fields. The foundation of the undergraduate curriculum is a required core of courses in the arts and sciences. These courses prepare students to think logically, read critically, write clearly, and verbalize ideas in a succinct and articulate manner; they also broaden students’ knowledge of the world, past and present.

The university’s primary commitment is to student learning and personal development through effective and innovative teaching and a wide variety of high-quality, out-of-class experiences. The ultimate goal is to have students develop to their utmost the intellectual, personal, and social capabilities they need to perform as competent citizens prepared to embark on a career immediately upon graduation or after advanced study. The personal attention given each student at Shippensburg is reflective of the strong sense of community that exists on campus and the centrality of students within it. The university encourages and supports activities that give students many opportunities to apply the theories and methods learned in the classroom to real or practical situations, such as faculty-student research and student internships. Student life programs and activities complement the academic mission and further assist students in their personal, social, and ethical development.

Committed to public service and community-centered in its relationships to the region, the university works closely and collaboratively with other organizations at institutional, programmatic, and individual levels to develop common goals, share resources, and invest cooperatively in the future of the region.

Brief History

Shippensburg University was established in 1871 as the Cumberland Valley State Normal School. The school received official approval by the state on February 21, 1873, and admitted its first class of 217 students on April 15, 1873. In 1917 the school was purchased by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

On June 4, 1926, the school was authorized to grant the bachelor of science in education degree in elementary and junior high education. The school received a charter on October 12, 1926, making it the first normal school in Pennsylvania to become a state teachers college. On June 3, 1927, the State Council of Education authorized the name change to the State Teachers College at Shippensburg.

The business education curriculum was approved on December 3, 1937. On December 8, 1939, Shippensburg State Teachers College became the first teachers college in Pennsylvania and the fourth in the United States to be accredited by the Middle StatesAssociation of Colleges and Secondary Schools (now Middle States Commission on Higher Education).

The State Council of Education approved graduate work leading to the master of education degree on January 7, 1959. On January 8, 1960, the name change to Shippensburg State College was authorized.

The arts and sciences curriculum was authorized by the State Council of Education on April 18, 1962, and the bachelor of science in business administration degree program was initiated on September 1, 1967.

On November 12, 1982, the governor of the Commonwealth signed Senate Bill 506 establishing the State System of Higher Education. Shippensburg State College was designated Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania effective July 1, 1983.


Shippensburg University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education; AACSB International-the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; ABET, Inc. (Computer Science); Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences; Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC); the American Chemical Society (ACS); the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE); the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP); the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS); the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC); and the National Council for Accreditation of Teachers (NCATE).

The Campus

Shippensburg University is located in the Cumberland Valley of south-central Pennsylvania, overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. The campus itself is situated on 200 acres of rolling land and is surrounded by a vast array of cultural and recreational sites.

Travel Time

The interstate highway system puts Shippensburg within reasonable travel time of numerous East Coast cities:

Harrisburg 45 minutes
Gettysburg 30 minutes
Baltimore 2 hours
Washington D.C. 2 hours
Philadelphia 2.5 hours
Pittsburgh 2.5 hours
New York City 4 hours


If your point of departure is …

East of Shippensburg: Use Pennsylvania Turnpike Exit 226 (Carlisle) to I-81 south. Take I-81 to Exit 29.

West of Shippensburg: Use Pennsylvania Turnpike Exit 201 (Blue Mountain) to Route 696 south.

North of Shippensburg: Take I-81 south to Exit 29.

South of Shippensburg: Take I-81 north to Exit 24.

Academic Programs

Shippensburg University offers a variety of undergraduate programs in three colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the John L. Grove College of Business, and the College of Education and Human Services.

The following table shows the number of students earning degrees and the average number of years taken to finish. These figures include students who entered as first-time freshmen from 2006 to 2008.

Program* No. Avg. Years
College of Arts and Sciences    
Art 68 4.42
Biology 135 4.29
Chemistry 15 4.14
Communication/Journalism 168 4.31
Computer Science and Engineering 44 4.50
Economics 18 4.67
English 90 4.31
Geography/Earth Science 111 4.53
History 118 4.39
Human Communication Studies 61 4.58
Interdisciplinary Arts 18 4.63
Mathematics 50 4.36
Modern Languages 20 4.23
Physics 30 4.57
Political Science 61 4.47
Psychology 208 4.31
Sociology 56 4.65
John L. Grove College of Business    
Accounting/Management Information Systems 178 4.22
Finance 159 4.27
Management/Marketing 397 4.32
College of Education and Human Services    
Criminal Justice 198 4.33
Exercise Science 70 4.45
Social Work 92 4.31
Teacher Education 395 4.12
University Total 2760 4.32
*Four-year programs only, suppressing departments with less than ten graduates    

Statements of Compliance

The Office of Social Equity, located in Old Main 200, coordinates the university’s compliance with laws and regulations relating to equal opportunity, sexual harassment, and “reasonable” accommodations for persons with disabilities. Any questions or complaints should be directed to the Executive Director of Social Equity at (717) 477-1161.

Equal Opportunity

Shippensburg University is committed to creating an environment free of discrimination for all of its employees and students. The Office of Social Equity at Shippensburg University assists the University in ensuring equal opportunity and access to educational, employment and contract opportunities for all persons including students, faculty, staff and administrators. The University will make every effort to provide these opportunities to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity. This applies to all members of the University community, all applicants for admission or employment and all participants in university-sponsored activities. The nondiscrimination policy sets clear expectations for an environment free of discrimination, defines discrimination and provides procedures for handling charges of discrimination.

Sexual Harassment

It is the policy of Shippensburg University to prohibit
discrimination on the basis of sex in any of its educational
programs or activities. This policy is in accordance with Title
IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

Prohibited sex discrimination covers sexual harassment including sexual violence. Sexual harassment is conduct that is sexual in nature and is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it adversely affects a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s activities or educational programs or creates a hostile or abusive educational environment. Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment, prohibited by Title IX, which includes conduct that is criminal in nature. Acts may include rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual coercion, unwanted touching, dating violence, and sexually motivated stalking.

Inquiries concerning the application of Title IX may be referred to:

Shippensburg University Title IX Coordinator
Cecil Howard
Office of Social Equity
Old Main 200, (717) 477-1161, cehoward@ship.edu
Department of Education
E-mail: ocr@ed.gov
400 Maryland Ave SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100
Phone: (202) 245-6700
Toll-free: (800) 421-3481
TTY: (800) 877-8339

Office of Disability Services

Shippensburg University is committed to serving all students, including those with documented disabilities. The Office of Disability Services (ODS) determines, coordinates, and provides reasonable and appropriate accommodations for eligible students who present current and comprehensive documentation. In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, ODS coordinates services as outlined by Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education and by Shippensburg University’s equity plans. Additionally, the office works with the Human Resource Office to coordinate accommodations for campus faculty and staff with diagnosed disabilities.

Located in Suite 324 Horton Hall, the Office of Disability Services is within the School of Academic Programs and Services and is easily accessible. For further information, visit the website at www.ship.edu/ods, or contact the office at (717) 477-1326 or the Director at (717) 477-1329.

Policy for Religious Observances for Students

Shippensburg University respects the principle of the separation of church and state, while promoting and encouraging a climate of dignity where individuals are not discriminated against or treated differently because of their religion or national origin.

To foster and advance the precepts of an inclusive environment, students desiring to participate in the religious observances of their particular faiths, creeds, or beliefs will be granted an excused absence from scheduled classes. Faculty will make appropriate accommodations for the excused absence(s), and students will be accountable for the material covered in class. Each academic semester students will be required to provide their faculty with the dates (in writing) of scheduled religious observances.

Access to Educational Records

In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (commonly known as the Buckley Amendment), Shippensburg University provides its students with privacy safeguards of their educational records. The university issues reports of progress including grades, written evaluations, and letters of warning directly to the student. A student may have access to all information pertaining to his or her educational records and academic status.

Under the provisions of the Buckley Amendment, the university may release directory information about current students without violating privacy rights. Directory information includes name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, enrollment status,
major, degree, and honors. Individual students may request this directory information not be released by notifying the Registrar’s Office.

Drug-Free Campus

Shippensburg University complies with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989 and has adopted a program to prevent the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by both its students and employees.

Campus Safety

In accordance with Pennsylvania’s College and University Security Information Act of 1988, Shippensburg University provides information relating to crime statistics and security measures to prospective students, matriculated students, and employees. The university will also comply with all campus safety provisions of the Student Right-To-Know and Campus Security Act of 1990.


Shippensburg University will compile graduation and completion rates for all undergraduate students as well as for undergraduate students receiving athletically related student aid. These rates will be reported to the U.S. Secretary of Education and will be disclosed to prospective students as required by the Student Right-To-Know Act.


Shippensburg University complies with consumer information requirements set forth in Section 493A of Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and its amendments.

Veterans Benefits

Shippensburg University complies with the requirements of Title 38, U.S. Code, Veterans Benefits.

Nonimmigrant Alien Students

Shippensburg University is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students.

Educational Diversity

As part of a public system of higher education, Shippensburg University is responsible for educating students to face the challenges of our ever-changing global society. Shippensburg University aims to create a campus culture that offers opportunities for increasing knowledge, awareness, and understanding of diversity and inclusiveness and promotes a climate that builds upon values that welcome and nurture all members of the university community. Creating an inclusive campus environment helps to prepare students to be productive public citizens in a society comprised of people with differingnational, racial, religious, and cultural backgrounds.

Shippensburg University seeks to attain these goals by offering academic and co-curricular activities that address the differences that have historically divided people and have led to unjust and discriminatory practices based on race, sex, religion, national origin, and sexual lifestyle. The university also remains committed to the recruitment and retention of a broad, inclusive student body, faculty, staff, and administration who represent a diverse range of interests, talent, and cultures. By working to accomplish these goals, Shippensburg University will ensure students receive an education that prepares them for the challenges of a global society with its diverse beliefs, attitudes, and ways of thinking.

Catalog Provisions

This catalog is intended to be a description of the policies, academic programs, degree requirements, and course offerings in effect for the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 academic years. It should not be construed as an irrevocable contract between the student and the university. Shippensburg University reserves the right to change any of the policies, procedures, or fees described in this catalog and to apply these changes to any or all of its students as it sees fit. The university may also choose to add or delete course offerings or degree programs at any time.