About JCU

Frequently Asked Question


John Cabot University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 1007 North Orange Street, 4th Floor, MB #166, Wilmington, DE 19801. (267-284-5000) www.msche.org. The MSCHE is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

The academic degrees conferred by John Cabot may be recognized for admission to the +2 in Italian universities, pending further requirements, when accompanied by the Dichiarazione di Valore or the Statement of Comparability. Learn more about our accreditation and memberships

JCU’s Frank J. Guarini School of Business received accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) in 2022.

All academic work at a liberal arts university emphasizes the development of intellectual skills, such as creativity, critical thinking, and written and oral communication. 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. Learn more about Proficiency and General Distribution Requirements.

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.

All of the classes are in English (except for advanced foreign language and literature classes).

We require evidence of English language proficiency from students who have not spent at least two years studying in an English language high school or university. You may send your TOEFL scores to us directly - our TOEFL code number is 0784. Among the tests approved, we also accept Duolingo English Test. All Duolingo exam scores will be reviewed by the JCU English Department and Admissions Committee to determine the applicant’s English proficiency level. Find out more about our English Language Proficiency Requirements.

John Cabot University offers merit-based scholarships and need-based grants to degree-seeking students from all over the world. We also participate in the U.S. Title IV Program for Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized and Parent PLUS and GRAD PLUS loans.

Study Abroad scholarships are offered to qualified study abroad students. Study abroad students may also be able to transfer existing financial aid packages to JCU.

Learn more about financial aid at JCU.

To recognize the important role visiting students have in promoting JCU's mission, scholarships that range from $500 to $2,000 are available for visiting students who qualify. Find out more about Study Abroad Financial Aid and external scholarship opportunities.

A Consortium Agreement between John Cabot University and your home institution may be established in order to transfer your financial aid. Students should contact the Financial Aid or Study Abroad office of their home University to find out the policies on financial aid transfer, and visit the John Cabot website. Please submit consortium agreements and direct any specific questions to [email protected].

John Cabot University welcomes U.S. Veterans and dependents of Veterans and we are proud to certify enrollment to students studying on the GI Bill. Learn more about Veterans Aid and Education Benefits at JCU.

It's possible that you can receive credit for college-level work completed in secondary school or through independent study. Advanced standing may be awarded for the Italian maturità, International Baccalaureate diploma, or other 13-year national university entrance certificates. Students who have an Italian maturità conferred by an equipollenza may not receive advanced standing if the original diploma was received after only 12 years of education. Advanced standing may be awarded for passing grades in the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or Advanced Placement examinations with a score of 4 or above. Learn more about credit transfers.

If you plan to study for a semester or longer, are from the United States or another country that is not a member of the European Union, you need a student visa before entering Italy. A student visa is mandatory by Italian law and must be obtained before you arrive. Applying for a student visa is a completely separate process from applying to John Cabot University. During the summer sessions, citizens of the United States or the following countries do not need a study visa, as students may stay in Italy for under 90 days without a visa. Learn more about student visas.


JCU offers Bachelor of Arts in Art History, Business Administration, Classical Studies, Communications, Economics and Finance, English Literature, History, Humanistic Studies, International Affairs, International Business, Italian Studies, Marketing, Political Science, and Psychological Science.

An Associate of Arts degree, a two-year program available in almost every major and minor field of study at John Cabot University, is also available.

Additionally, JCU offers a Master of Arts in Art History and in Fall 2024, a Master of Arts in International Affairs will be launched.

To graduate from John Cabot University with a bachelor's degree, you must fulfill all academic requirements, earn an overall minimum grade point average of 2.00 in all courses taken at the University, with no more than two grades lower than C- in core courses and have earned at least 120 credits. Typically, one class is worth three credits, which reflects the number of academic hours spent in class each week.

Most students enroll in five classes every semester, for a total of 15 credits. If you enter JCU with no transfer credits, as most American high school graduates, you will typically be able to earn enough credits to graduate in four years (eight semesters) of study.

Pending previous coursework and/or a 13-year secondary school diploma, students may be granted transfer credits upon entry and may therefore be able to complete their degree in less than four years. 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).

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

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 provide important guidance on internships, graduate school decisions, and jobs.

JCU classes generally have between 10 and 25 students (an average of 15). These small 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 discussions, 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 today. There is also a practical component to many courses that includes analysis of business cases, scholarly arguments, and presentation of research materials. Requirements such as these help you develop critical thinking, communication, and research skills, which are now necessary for career development.

Placement exams in English composition and math are administered to incoming, degree-seeking students to determine their proficiency and placement in these two areas. In addition, language placement exams are administered to students online in order to determine proper course selection. All placement exams are made available during Orientation Week as well as at scheduled intervals before the semester begins.

JCU Placement Test Policy for Composition classes EN 103, 105, 110: all students are required to take a placement test in composition on admittance to the University. This test is administered online and students receive information regarding the test by email. Students are responsible for taking the test when notified. Those students who fail to take these tests will automatically be placed in EN 103.

Students who register late as degree-seeking students at John Cabot: students who are admitted to the University after the scheduled dates of the Composition placement tests have the choice to either take an automatic placement in EN 103 or they can wait to take the placement test in the following semester when it is scheduled.

Where the student’s failure to take the placement test is due to an administrative error, a placement test can be arranged at the discretion of the coordinator of the exam.

Learn more about placement exams.

JCU utilizes the grading system used by most liberal arts schools in the United States, where professors ascribe letter grades for students' performance (A, B, C, D, or F, sometimes followed by a + or -) based on a 100 percent scale. 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:

Designation Interpretation Numerical Value
A Excellent 4.00
A-   3.67
B+   3.33
B Good 3.00
B-   2.67
C+   2.33
C Satisfactory 2.00
C-   1.67
D+   1.33
D Poor but Passing 1.00
D-   0.67
F Failing 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. A student whose cumulative grade point average at the University falls below 2.00 will be placed on academic probation. Students placed on academic probation then have two regular semesters to remove themselves from probation (or just one semester, in the case of conditional admits). If they fail to do so, they will be dismissed from the University. Students who are dismissed can appeal the dismissal. Their appeal will be evaluated by the Academic Council and Admissions Committee. Students on academic probation are not eligible to hold office in student organizations, nor to represent the University in any official capacity. 

We present the following guidelines to students to give them a general idea of how letter grades are assigned at JCU. While each individual course may have different assessment criteria for each grade depending on 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.

John Cabot University's Study Abroad program, Going Global, offers degree-seeking students the opportunity to study at universities throughout the world. This allows you to acquire educational and life experience in another country and better prepare yourself for life as a global citizen, an international career, or prestigious graduate school. John Cabot University has agreements with a number of outstanding universities in the United States and other countries.

JCU is a U.S. regionally accredited University so credits earned here may transfer to your home school, allowing you to stay on track for graduation. Course syllabi are available online. Please check with your academic advisor and/or Study Abroad office for details. Questions about courses can be directed to [email protected]

Students who earn degrees at John Cabot University are well-prepared to enter the international workforce. Our alumni are hired by multinational companies, universities, financial institutions, and diplomatic organizations.

JCU graduates are also accepted into some of the finest graduate and professional schools in the world, including Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, the London School of Economics, King's College London, Oxford University, and Università Bocconi.


Students seeking disability accommodations should identify themselves at the time upon confirming their intentions to enroll at John Cabot University. Students requesting accommodations for medical or physical disabilities should contact the Dean's Office directly, and students requesting accommodations for learning disabilities should get in touch with the Coordinator for Disability-Related Academic Accommodations, Professor Carmen Franzese. Learn more about our disability policy.

John Cabot University offers apartment-style housing for students. There are a few housing options: the Gianicolo Residence, the Trastevere Apartments, and the Lungara Apartments. On semesters with high enrollment, students may also be placed in neighborhood apartments in convenient locations.

Thanks to Rome's public transportation system, no apartment is more than a short tram or bus ride away from JCU, and most are within easy walking distance. Shared apartments have fully equipped kitchens, bed and bath linens, and a washing machine. Amenities also include WiFi and 24-hour security in our residences. On-call JCU staff and a community of Resident Assistants provide support for students during their stay at JCU.

Learn more about our housing options and prices.

To secure their place in housing, students must complete the housing application and pay a housing deposit.

The meal plan is available to all enrolled students and can be used only at the Tiber Cafe on the Frohring Campus. Students are issued meal plan points on their JCU ID card. The points can be used to purchase any item at the Tiber Cafe.

Full details about dining services.

Fresh food markets are also plentiful near JCU and many of our students become excellent cooks while studying here. We also offer cooking classes so students can learn to cook Italian style.

JCU classes are held Monday through Thursday, so there are plenty of long weekends available to travel, explore or just relax in a Roman piazza. Some of the most magnificent and historic cities in Italy and Europe are within easy train or plane distance from Rome.

JCU maintains a 24-hour emergency phone line. This number can be found on the back of students' JCU ID card. The JCU staff member who answers will make every possible effort to assist the student and direct him/her to the proper agency or service.

The emergency phone is (+39) 331 656 1907.

At Orientation, we also provide students with numbers to handle emergency situations such as fire, theft, or serious illness.

The Italian National Health system provides Italians and foreign nationals alike with free emergency treatment in public hospitals and associated clinics. Italian law requires that all non-Italian students living in Italy have medical insurance, whether they need a Permit to Stay or not. John Cabot University works with Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) to assist students in obtaining high-quality health insurance that will fulfill their immigration requirements.

For the convenience of the student body, John Cabot has an English-speaking general practitioner on campus twice a week. The service is free of charge. The Office of Health and Wellbeing is also available to help students arrange medical care and appointments with English-speaking doctors and specialists off campus. We advise students who take medications to bring enough with them for the duration of their studies; Italy does not allow shipments of medication from non-European Union countries.

John Cabot University works with a team of professional psychologists, providing free counseling services to students having difficulty adjusting or other personal problems.