John Cabot University: the Academic Experience

Frequently Asked Questions


What does it mean that John Cabot University is an American liberal arts university?
What degrees are offered at John Cabot University?
How is the curriculum organized?
How does American classroom instruction differ from the typical European model?
Who are the professors at JCU?
What grading system does JCU employ and what does it mean?
Is John Cabot University accredited?

What does it mean that John Cabot University is an American liberal arts university?
All academic work at a liberal arts university emphasizes the development of intellectual skills, such as creativity, critical thinking, and written and oral communications. Particular attention is given to developing the skills to research, assess, and appropriately utilize the large amount of information that is available today.

The Bachelor of Arts degree in the American liberal arts tradition values both breadth of study as well as specialization within a major field. For breadth of study students complete Proficiency Requirements in English, Mathematics, and Foreign Language and General Distribution requirements in Mathematics and Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, and the Fine Arts. For specialization students complete core courses and elective classes in their major field of study. Students may complement their major with a minor area of study.

While you will eventually choose an area of concentration--a major--there is a wide range of required courses you'll take during your first two years that will expose you to many subjects. We strongly believe that academic diversity prepares you to make better decisions regarding your area of specialization and encourages the sort of creative, flexible thinking required of successful citizens in today's world.

What degrees are offered at John Cabot University?
John Cabot University offers degrees in Art History, Business Administration, Classical Studies, Communications, Economics and Finance, English Literature, History, Humanistic Studies, International Affairs, International Business, Italian Studies, Marketing, and Political Science.

How is the curriculum organized?
To graduate from John Cabot University with a bachelor's degree, you must earn at least 120 credits. Typically, one class is worth three credits, which reflects the number of academic hours (45 minutes) spent in class each week.

Most students enroll in five classes every semester (one-half of the school year), earning a total of 15 credits. If you enter JCU with zero credits, as do many American high school graduates, you will typically earn enough credits to graduate in four years (eight semesters) of study.

Many European and a few American students do come in with transferred credits and are able to graduate in less time.

American colleges and universities often apply the following titles to students to define progress toward graduation: Freshman (first year in college 0 to 30 credits), Sophomore (second year in college 31 to 60 credits), Junior (third year in college 61 to 90 credits) and Senior (fourth and final year in college 91 to 120 credits).

How does American classroom instruction differ from the typical European model?
American liberal arts universities pride themselves on the personal attention they give to students. At JCU you will be assigned a faculty advisor, who not only guides you through your choice of courses, but remains available to help with other problems, and provide important guidance on internships, graduate school decisions and jobs.

JCU classes generally have between 10 and 25 students (an average of 15). These smaller numbers permit professors to conduct discussions that elicit students' ideas, requiring them to defend their opinions. The JCU liberal arts program places great emphasis on student participation with in-class presentations and discussion, projects and research papers as a normal part of the learning experience. Nearly all upper level courses require that students learn how to access and make sense of the large amount of information available on the internet. There is also a practical component that underlies many courses that includes analysis of business cases and presentation of material. Requirements such as these help you develop critical thinking, communication, and research skills which are now a necessary part of career development.

Who are the professors at JCU?
John Cabot University prides itself on the geographic diversity not only of its students, but also of its faculty. The faculty of John Cabot University have earned degrees from such internationally respected colleges and universities as Harvard University, Rutgers University, Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, the University of Rome "La Sapienza," New York University, Stanford University, The London School of Economics, and Oxford University.

As part of the hiring process, JCU professors must demonstrate their teaching excellence and are periodically evaluated to ensure continued teaching excellence and best practices.

What grading system does JCU employ and what does it mean?
JCU uses the grading system used by most liberal arts schools in the United States where professors ascribe letter grades (A,B,C,D, or F, sometimes followed by a + or -) based on a 100 percent scale assessing students' work. Then following U.S. university practice, JCU translates these letters into numerical values on the 4.00 scale with 0.00 being the lowest (F) and 4.00 being the highest (A).


See the following table for a grading reference:

Outstanding A 4.00
A- 3.67
Above Average B+ 3.33
B 3.00
B- 2.67
Average C+ 2.33
C 2.00
C- 1.67
Below Average D+ 1.33
D 1.00
D- 0.67
Failure F 0.00
 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JCU uses these numerical values to compute your semester and cumulative grade point averages. The semester GPA (grade point average) represents the average of all classes taken in a semester. The cumulative GPA averages all classes taken at JCU. Individual classes are weighted in calculating your GPA based on their number of credits.
Students may access their grades online. The online transcript shows: a letter grade for each course, semester GPA, and cumulative GPA. Students at JCU who do not maintain a 2.00 cumulative GPA do not qualify for graduation.

Are there any guidelines for what grades mean at JCU?
Yes, we present the following guidelines to students to provide them with a general idea regarding how letter grades are assigned at JCU. While each individual course may have different assessment criteria for each grade depending upon the material being taught, the general sense of academic expectations remains.

Grade             Description of Academic Work
A Work of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
B This is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised. There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluate theory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student's own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture and reference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
C This is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings. This level of performance demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.
D Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included. In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
F This work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

 
Is John Cabot University accredited?
Yes. John Cabot University is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (www.msche.org),  one of the United States' major accrediting bodies. The academic degrees conferred by John Cabot are recognized for admission to the + 2 in Italian universities, pending further requirements, when accompanied by the Dichiarazione di Valore.