head-nursing.jpg
Sector and Free Elective Requirements
In order to prepare students for leading roles in the highly diverse and rapidly expanding health care field as well as related disciplines, students are required to complete a set of liberal arts requirements as part of the BSN curriculum, including five course units from the Sectors offered by the College of Arts and Sciences.  A list of sector courses is available online at http://www.college.upenn.edu/.  In addition, students must take one free elective course.
Writing and Language Requirements
It is recommended that students begin completion of the Writing and Language requirements as early as possible in their academic program.
Writing Requirement
Students fulfill the Writing Requirement in the School of Nursing by completing one of the following:
 1. A Critical Writing Seminar, offered in a variety of disciplines
 2. English 011 (International Students Only)
A comprehensive list of Critical Writing Seminars can be found online at http://www.writing.upenn.edu/critical/.
Language Requirement
Students must demonstrate level IV proficiency (typically, two beginner levels of the language and two intermediate levels) to complete the language requirement.  Thus, students should complete the language requirement by the end of their fourth semester, or earlier in the case of those who place into courses beyond the first level.  To fulfill the language requirement or to determine the appropriate level of language to be taken, students may take and submit scores for one of the following:
 — SAT II – Language Achievement Test
 — Advanced Placement offered in French, Spanish, German, and Latin (usually a 5 on the AP exam will exempt a student from the language requirement and award the student one course unit toward the 40.5 course units required for graduation).  Students should check with the appropriate language department about the awarding of AP credit, as there are differences from department to department.
All other incoming students will have the opportunity to take a University of Pennsylvania departmental placement exam during New Student Orientation.  Results of the placement exam will indicate the course level to be taken or whether the student has placed out of all four levels and is exempt from the language requirement.  Information regarding language placement exams is
sent to all first-year students in their advance registration packets.
Incoming first-year students who fulfill all four levels of the language requirement by successful completion of the above mentioned tests must take either four additional language courses or four free electives (necessary to reach the 40.5 course units required for graduation).  Exception:  If Advanced Placement (AP) credit is awarded, the student may need only three additional language courses or free electives.
Incoming first-year students who fulfill only part of the language requirement must take the remaining language courses and free electives.  Language courses may be taken on a pass/fail basis.  
Students interested in Spanish have the option to take Spanish for Medical Professionals.  This course includes an emphasis on medical vocabulary and introduces students to the fundamentals of practical Spanish usage in medical situations.  Equivalent course numbers can be found in the School of Nursing Undergraduate Handbook, available online at http://www.nursing.upenn.edu/ students/handbooks/.
ACADEMIC ADVISING
The School of Nursing faculty advising system is designed to assist students in thinking critically about their overall academic program and course selection, to help connect students with a professional mentor outside of the classroom, and to provide a vehicle for linking students with other campus resources as appropriate.
All undergraduate nursing students are assigned to a faculty advisor upon matriculation into the School of Nursing.  Students must meet with their faculty advisor at least once per semester, during advance registration, to discuss their curricular plans and to obtain permission to register.  In addition, professional staff advisors in the School of Nursing Office of Student Services provide advisement to undergraduate nursing students regarding special academic options, study abroad, and personal issues, among other areas.
ACADEMIC OPTIONS
The School of Nursing offers a number of special academic options through which undergraduate students can customize their education to meet their individual interests and goals.  These options include dual and joint degree programs, minors, honors programs, independent study, research, study abroad, and submatriculation.  These options supplement and enrich the basic framework upon which nursing students build their education.  Enterprising students may integrate one or more of these options into a coherent course of study to fulfill their particular academic and intellectual needs.