2012-2014 Graduate 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 14 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 southcentral 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 which 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 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 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 States Association 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); 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).

Office of the Graduate Dean

The Office of the Graduate Dean, located in Old Main 310, 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. Contact the office by calling (717) 477-1231 or sending e-mail to gradsch@ship.edu.

Office of the Registrar

The Office of the Registrar, located in Old Main 110, 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. Contact the office at (717) 477-1381.

The Campus

Shippensburg University is located in the Cumberland Valley of southcentral 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 Times

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


1 hour


1 hour


2 hours

Washington, D.C.

2 hours


2.5 hours


3 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

In compliance with state and federal laws, including Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania is committed to human understanding and provides equal educational, employment, and economic opportunities for all persons without regard to race, color, sex, national origin, age, or disability.

Sexual Harassment

In compliance with federal and state laws, Shippensburg University prohibits behaviors which assert unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which can constitute sexual harassment. Shippensburg University is committed to civil rights and will promptly investigate allegations of sexual harassment and take appropriate corrective action in cases of valid complaints.

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 delivers services as outlined by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and by Shippensburg University's equity plans. Additionally, the office works in coordination with the Human Resource Office to provide accommodations to campus faculty and staff with diagnosed disabilities.

Located at 120 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) 477-1364 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.

Veteran’s Benefits

Shippensburg University complies with the requirements of Title 38, U.S. Code, Veteran’s 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 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 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 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 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.