John Cabot University: the Academic Experience

Frequently Asked Questions about Academics at John Cabot University

Please contact [email protected] should you have further questions about academics at JCU.

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.

John Cabot University offers:

  • Bachelor of Arts Degree 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.
  • Associate of Art Degree, a two-year program available in every major and minor field of study at John Cabot University.
  • Master of Arts in Art History

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 spent in class each week.

Most students enroll in five classes every semester, 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).

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 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 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 a necessary part of career development.

John Cabot University prides itself not only on the diversity 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, 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.

JCU uses 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:

Grade Letter Grade Point
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.

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.

Yes. The 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) 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 are recognized for admission to the + 2 in Italian universities, pending further requirements, when accompanied by the Dichiarazione di Valore or the Statement of Comparability.