Academic Program Information for Students

  • The following provides answers to many of the questions received from students about IUP’s academic reorganization and about faculty retrenchment. We hope you find it helpful as we navigate through these significant changes.

    Whatever degree you’re studying for right now, you can finish it.

    If you’ve already declared a major, you can finish that major—your degree requirements won’t change.

    Keep in mind that most majors will not be changing at all. If a major is renamed or moved between colleges, that won’t change its requirements. Programs that are merged, combined, converted, or split will see requirements change, but only for future IUP students.

    Current students have the option of switching to the new requirements or sticking with their current requirements. When we say we’ll have a “teach-out plan,” what we mean is that we’ll have a plan to provide every current student with the courses they need to finish their degree using the current requirements. That’s true even for programs that are closing.

    Detailed information about teach-out plans will be available well before the reorganization takes effect next fall. If you’re not sure about what’s happening with your major, you can check this list to see if yours is one of the ones that’s changing.

    You also have the choice to switch to the new requirements, if you’d like.

    Our new college structure will make some exciting new interdisciplinary academic programs possible. If one of those interests you, you can switch to the new requirements. (But do plan carefully with your advisor to make sure you don’t delay your graduation.)

    Your diploma won’t change.

    Some students have asked what degree program or major will be on their diploma after these changes. The answer is: IUP diplomas don’t show your area of study, and that isn’t changing. So, just as before, your diploma will show your degree, but not your area of study.

    Your transcript, however, does show your program of study. It will show whatever degree program or major you complete.

    Programs and majors outside of IUP’s focus areas are still important.

    The areas of academic focus designate areas where strong demand from students and employers lines up with subjects that IUP is particularly strong in. Those are the areas that can help IUP grow and thrive as an institution in the coming decades.

    Having areas of focus does not mean that IUP is becoming a technical institute. We are, and will remain, a university. We believe in the importance of a broad education that leaves all our students with an understanding of the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. That kind of diverse education enables our alumni to enjoy full, rich lives and to play constructive roles in their communities.

    Do we have areas of strength that are not covered by our focus areas? We absolutely do, and we’re proud of it. They are a core part of what makes IUP—IUP.

    No matter what your major, your academic department may see some faculty retrenchments.

    First thing: we use the word retrenchment because that’s the word used in our faculty contract. It means reducing our workforce because of financial necessity. It’s not a step anyone wanted to take. We’re losing gifted teachers, trusted student advisors, and respected researchers. We’re also losing important staff members and managers. But retrenchment is a step we need to take if we want to keep IUP going.

    Faculty retrenchments follow a process that’s outlined in our contract with faculty. The process generally follows reverse seniority, which means that our newest faculty members are most likely to lose their employment at IUP, regardless of college, department, or focus area.

    The result is that we expect to say goodbye to faculty members in many departments. That’s hard on departments and it’s hard on students. We’ll do everything we can to help students through these difficult transitions.

    Retrenchment is the beginning of a process.

    Our contract with faculty specifies that retrenchment notices to tenured faculty members had to go out in October, but any retrenched faculty members will remain at IUP until June. Between now and June, it’s likely that retirements or other changes will allow some of the faculty members who received notices to remain at IUP.