The Institution

Philadelphia University and its "Liberal-Professional" Mission

Since its origins as the Philadelphia Textile School, Philadelphia University has always had a practical, professional focus. As the institution has grown and evolved, it has redefined the idea of professional education through a curriculum that provides each graduate with a firm grounding in the liberal arts and sciences, with the understanding that successful professionals must be life-long learners with the skills to understand and adapt to the constant flux of the global business environment. A "liberal-professional" education has become the hallmark of Philadelphia University, and forging stronger connections between these two aspects of our students' learning is the goal of our ILP initiative.

Mission Statement:

Since 1884, Philadelphia University has offered professional education in a variety of fields. Founded to raise the art and technology of the American textile industry to international standards of quality, the University has maintained its commitment to academic excellence while greatly expanding its undergraduate and graduate programs. The University's unique blending of the liberal arts and sciences with professional studies prepares graduates for successful careers in areas that include architecture, business, design, fashion, health, science, engineering and textiles.

At the University, students, faculty and staff form close relationships in an environment that encourages personal and intellectual growth. Students gain professional skills combined with a broad general education that enables them to thrive in diverse and changing contexts and to maintain a global perspective. While outstanding teaching is central to its mission, the University also encourages research and professional practice as a basis for faculty and student development and as a service to industry and society.

Through its dedication to maintaining a community that is varied and intellectually stimulating, and a campus rich in learning resources and natural beauty, the University enables students to establish a foundation for success, lifelong learning and active citizenship.

Core Curriculum in Liberal Arts and Sciences: The College Studies Program

All undergraduate degrees at Philadelphia University include the same 4-year progressive general education curriculum, known as the College Studies Program. This core curriculum begins with a first-year writing seminar and is carefully sequenced to build knowledge and skills, culminating in a senior capstone course required for all graduates: Contemporary Perspectives.

The College Studies grid
This grid illustrates the structure of the College Studies program and lists the various course choices available in each category of the curriculum

Flowchart illustrating the College Studies curriculum
This chart illustrates the sequencing and connections between the courses that comprise the College Studies program.

Existing Integrative Learning Initiatives at Philadelphia University

Prior to the start of our ILP initiative, Philadelphia University already had a number of programs in place that contributed to our goals of integrative learning across the curriculum.

The First Year Experience

Information Literacy Initiative


Senior Capstone: Contemporary Perspectives

Tom, Susan, and Marion at Carnegie Foundation, Palo Alto, July 2004
Tom, Susan, and Marion at Carnegie Foundation, Palo Alto, July 2004

The Integrative Learning Project Team for Philadelphia University

The team members for the ILP initiative at Philadelphia University:

  • Susan Frosten, Associate Professor of Architecture
  • Marion Roydhouse, Dean, School of Liberal Arts
  • Tom Schrand, Associate Professor of History, ILP team leader