Jun 23, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate 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, 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. Doctoral programs are offered in the College of 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 the utmost 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 to 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.

Mission of the School of Graduate Studies

Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania offers doctoral, master’s, post-baccalaureate and post-master’s programs that encourage intellectual excellence, research and scholarship while emphasizing the development of applicable professional skills. The mission of the School of Graduate Studies is to create an atmosphere of intellectual curiosity, academic freedom, diversity, independent scholarship, and creative investigation for its students by offering programs that are:

  • Current and flexible;
  • Responsive to regional needs;
  • Responsive to individual needs and career goals;
  • High quality and affordable;
  • Taught by qualified and engaged faculty;
  • Applied and professional;
  • Appropriately interdisciplinary;
  • Designed to enhance critical analytic skills; and
  • Focused on new concepts and best practices.

These programs are designed to provide advanced study that allows students to enter or advance within a profession, but they may also serve as preparation for pursuit of a doctorate or other advanced degree.

Goals and Objectives

Each program in the School of Graduate Studies embraces the values of quality, integrity, collaboration, efficiency, innovation, creativity, inclusiveness, and a belief in the actualization of individual potential. The programs build on the knowledge and skills gained in baccalaureate programs to prepare students for entry into professional fields, to ensure competence to perform at advanced professional levels, and to encourage lifelong learning in an increasingly diverse society. Academic excellence and the development of professional skills are achieved through a strong commitment to the following objectives:

  • Varied and flexible course times and delivery;
  • Close faculty/student relationships;
  • An interactive learning environment;
  • Opportunities for independent and collaborative scholarship;
  • Appropriately sized classes;
  • Applied practica and internships;
  • Degree requirements that ensure academic integrity;
  • Opportunities for integration of knowledge and the applications of technology;
  • Fostering high ethical standards;
  • Development of problem-solving skills.

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 a Bachelor of Science in Education 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 States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (now Middle States Commission on Higher Education).

The State Council of Education approved graduate work leading to a Master of Education 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 a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration 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.

Today, Shippensburg University is a comprehensive university offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, and Education and Human Services. Where we first served the educational needs of students from south-central Pennsylvania, we now instruct students from across the entire Commonwealth, twenty states, and fifteen countries. We are part of the State System of Higher Education, which is made up of fourteen universities throughout Pennsylvania.


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 (ACJS); 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 Teacher Education (NCATE)*. 

* NCATE recently merged with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and as a result, Shippensburg University will be completing a CAEP institutional review.

Office of the Graduate Dean

The Office of the Graduate Dean, located in Old Main 308, provides a number of services to graduate students including coordination of graduate assistantships. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday during the academic year. Summer hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. To contact the office, call (717) 477-1148.

Office of Graduate Admissions

The Office of Graduate Admissions, located in Old Main 105, provides all services related to recruitment and admission application processing. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday during the academic year.  Summer hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.  To contact the office, call (717) 477-1213 or sending e-mail to gradadmiss@ship.edu.

Office of the Registrar

The Office of the Registrar, located in Old Main 111, provides the following services: scheduling and registration, verification of graduate enrollment, application for graduation, requests for withdrawal, and application for change of program, name, and address. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday during the academic year.  Summer hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. To contact the office, call (717) 477-1381.

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 210 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.

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 non-discrimination 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:

Dr. Stephanie Jirard

Assistant Provost for Graduate Affairs
Chief Diversity Officer and Title IX Coordinator

Office of Social Equity

Old Main 200, (717) 477-1161,


Department of Education
Web: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html
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 Accessibility Resources

Shippensburg University is committed to serving all students, including those with documented disabilities. The Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR) determines, coordinates, and helps facilitate the provision of 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, OAR 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 Resources Office to coordinate accommodations for campus faculty and staff with documented disabilities.

Located at 252 Mowrey Hall, the Office of Accessibility Resources is part of the Elnetta G. Jones University Center for Student Success and Exploratory Studies, with an office space that is easily accessible. For further information, please visit the website at www.ship.edu/oar.  Calls may be directed to OAR at (717) 477-1364, or general inquiries via email to oar@ship.edu 

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

Shippensburg University has developed policies and implemented procedures to increase safety awareness and provide precautionary measures for all current students, prospective students and employees.  Information on crime statistics is also provided to all campus members.  This information is prepared in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act, Title IX, and the Violence Against Women Act.  The Pennsylvania College and University Security Requirements (Chapter 33), the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990, and the Accuracy in Campus Crime Reporting Act of 1997 are also resourced.  The Shippensburg University Campus Safety & Security/Fire Statistics Report may be accessed by visiting:  http://www.ship.edu/globalassets/police/safety-and-security-report.pdf.


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.

Individuals may request public records from Shippensburg University under the Right-to-Know Law, as amended, 65 P.S., sections 66.1 - 66.9. The guidelines for submitting Right-to-Know requests can be found at http://www.ship.edu/right_to_know/.


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.

The university is approved for training veterans under the Montgomery G.I. Bill® as administered by the Veterans Administration. For further information, contact the Veterans Services Office at (717) 477-1164 or visit www.ship.edu/veterans.

Shippensburg University permits any covered individual to attend or participate in the course of education during the period beginning on the date on which the individual provides to the educational institution a certificate of eligibility for entitlement to educational assistance under chapter 31 or 33 (a “certificate of eligibility” can also include a “Statement of Benefits” obtained from the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) website  e-Benefits, or a VAF 28-1905 form for chapter 31 authorization purposes) and ending on the earlier of the following dates:

    The date on which payment from VA is made to the institution.

    90 days after the date the institution certified tuition and fees following the receipt of the certificate of eligibility.

Shippensburg University will not impose any penalty, including the assessment of late fees, the denial of access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities, or the requirement that a covered individual borrow additional funds, on any covered individual because of the individual’s inability to meet his or her financial obligations to the institution due to the delayed disbursement funding from VA under chapter 31 or 33.

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 differing national, 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 identity. 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 2020-2021 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.