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Elements of a Susquehanna Education

There are three major elements of course work at Susquehanna:

  • The Core curriculum forms the broad liberal arts base in preparation for specialized study in any field. Core courses are spread over four years and total about one-third of the graduation requirements.
  • Major programs build on the Core foundation and usually total another one-third of courses taken. Majors are designed to provide a broad introduction to the theory and practice of each field; students may choose departmental, interdisciplinary or self-designed majors.
  • Electives typically make up the remaining one-third of course work. These may be used to pursue one or more minors or a second major, to work in an internship, study abroad, or simply to develop individual interests, which may expand career options.

Reputation: Susquehanna offers the desirable qualities of a residential college and a challenging university. It is recognized as a national liberal arts college and, as such, is among the best institutions for undergraduate learning in the country.

Distinction: A Susquehanna education is distinguished by strong liberal arts and sciences programs enhanced by equally strong professional programs in areas like business, music and communications. Students receive the specific, in-depth preparation needed to succeed in graduate or professional school or a career. In the liberal arts tradition, students also develop strong investigative, communication, critical thinking, and teamwork skills — an intellectual toolkit to help one meet challenges and capitalize on opportunities to come.

Selectivity: Susquehanna admits students not only for their academic abilities but also for their potential contributions to the campus community. Artistic and athletic performance, leadership, and community service all enhance campus life. The university recruits faculty with excellent academic credentials – 93 percent hold the doctorate or terminal degree in their fields – and a proven commitment to teaching.

Residential Community: With about 80 percent of students residing on campus, Susquehanna is a community designed for living and learning. Several residence halls contain classrooms and faculty offices; others have seminar rooms and adjacent faculty apartments. Students organize campus activities and conduct student government - experiences that prepare them to take active roles in the larger world community. Opportunities for student involvement are wide-ranging, with more than 100 campus organizations including music and theatre performance groups, student-run radio and publications, nationally-recognized volunteer programs, and multicultural organizations such as the Black Student Union, the Asian Student Coalition and the Hispanic Organization for Latino Awareness. There are also 23 Division III varsity sports, as well as numerous opportunities for club and recreational sports and fitness.

Undergraduate: Faculty/student engagement is a priority at Susquehanna, where undergraduates are the university's sole focus. Faculty advisors are readily available and willing to spend time with individual students. Teaching is interactive. Classes are usually small and are taught by well-respected professors who encourage lively classroom discussion. Many professors from various disciplines invite students to collaborate on their research. Students often work together to solve problems, complete projects or conduct research. Programs foster personal development as well as academic competence.

University: There are three schools and a variety of interdisciplinary programs. The School of Arts, Humanities and Communications includes majors in both the liberal arts and those emphasizing practice and performance. Programs include liberal studies leading to elementary education certification, English, creative writing, history, modern languages, philosophy, religion, studio art, art history, graphic design, music, communications and theatre. Collaborative and independent research are hallmarks of the School of Natural and Social Sciences, which offers programs in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, mathematical and computer sciences, economics, earth and environmental sciences, physics, political science, psychology, and sociology. The Sigmund Weis School of Business, accredited by AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, focuses on a global economy with rapidly evolving technology as preparation for positions in accounting, information systems, economics and management.

Active Learning: Susquehanna’s faculty place a high value on effective communication; listening, writing and speaking are essential in professional and personal development. Students benefit from a sophisticated campus-wide data network, and faculty use new interactive technologies to maximize student learning. Courses focus on the intercultural nature of our world. The goals of the residence life program include understanding and appreciation for diversity and inclusiveness. All students have many opportunities for valuable experience-based learning. Internships, study off campus and abroad, leadership opportunities, and the university’s award-winning community service programs complement their studies.

History: Susquehanna opened in 1858 as the Missionary Institute of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the school became a pioneer in coeducation in 1873 when it merged with the Susquehanna Female College. In 1895, the Institute became Susquehanna University.

Affiliation: The university’s historical relationship and continuing affiliation with the Lutheran Church benefits Susquehanna and its students. There is an active, broad-based campus ministry. At the same time, the Lutheran tradition is a diverse and accepting one; the campus community welcomes individuals of all religious backgrounds and those with no religious commitments. Campus groups include Catholic Campus Ministry, the Gospel Choir, Hillel, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and Lutheran Student Movement.

Architectural image of campus »

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