PCPS Common Curriculum

PCPS Common Curriculum

Are you determined to make a difference in the lives of others, but still uncertain about a specific career path? You can keep searching and get started at the same time!


The Panuska College of Professional Studies (PCPS) common curriculum helps students to lay the foundation for degrees in health, education or human services. Students earn credit for required courses while trying out subjects of interest. The goals of this program are to help ease the process of choosing a major and to ensure that you can earn your degree in four years.  

Is it Common to be Undecided?

  • 13% of first-year Scranton students enrolled as “undecided” for the fall of 2023.
  • Nationally, one-third to one-half of first-year students have not declared a major area of study.
  • Some students go to college knowing exactly what they want to do, but most don’t.
  • At The University of Scranton, we have 69 bachelor’s degree programs. We encourage you to take your time – try out classes in a variety of areas – to find the best option that aligns with your goals and interests.
  • Being undecided is totally okay. It means you’re taking the time to figure out what you like and what you don’t. Time spent learning in the classroom is never wasted.

Is it for me?

Are You:

  • Someone with passion, empathy, and someone who places a high value on service?
  • Excited about so many health, education, and/or human services careers that you can’t decide on just one?
  • Not ready to commit to a major yet?

Five Reasons to Choose Scranton for PCPS Common Curriculum

Top-notch Academic Advising Center.   Each undecided PCPS student has a private phone conference with a professional advisor who has the student’s best interests at heart. Advisors provide reassurance and help students plan a customized schedule for the first semester. One-on-one meetings with advisors can continue on campus for as long as desired.
Career inventory and mentoring.   A standardized test helps to identify your interests and strengths and to link them to career options. Graduate counseling students serve as mentors to assist students in understanding their inventory results and in making decisions on the next step to find the right fit.
Service, social justice emphasis.   Service learning is so important in PCPS that it is required for graduation. Our students love it, since it complements their own values and eagerness to help others. PCPS faculty members are involved in service, which underscores our strong sense of community and shared purpose here at Scranton.
Jesuit education.    Jesuit principles fit naturally with the goals of PCPS students. Care for the individual person, excellence in all endeavors, seeing God in all things, liberal arts education, social justice and contemplation in action ensure a deep and meaningful educational experience.
Exceptional choices.   PCPS offers nine areas of study covering a range of helping professions. Career paths include teaching, counseling, physical therapy, human resources, health administration, kinesiology, communication sciences and disorders, and health promotion.
  • Preparing You For Personal & Professional Successplus or minus

    You'll learn how to:

    PCPS students practice writing and speaking skills that are critically important in interviewing and working as professionals. The care and empathy they show through their experiential learning solidifies a passion that will translate to success.

    • Be a caring, empathic, and compassionate leader
    • Apply social justice values to your work
    • Think critically
    • Use your imagination
    • Be a person "for and with others"
    • Grow personally and professionally
    • Communicate effectively
    • Link your values to your career choice
  • What You'll Learnplus or minus


    In the first year, students take courses fulfilling basic skills like public speaking, writing and computer literacy to ensure strong learning outcomes. Theology and a philosophy courses fulfill general education requirements. Two semesters of biology and one of psychology are applicable to a number of degree requirements. An elective in humanities, a general elective and freshman seminar round out the first year course schedule.

    Students choose electives for subjects in which they might consider majoring. This allows students to try out different departments without committing to a major. Each of these courses counts toward graduation requirements no matter what final degree choice is made.

    Click here to see the curriculum.


    Once they choose a major, students may take internships for credit in all programs. In most majors, some kind of internship or other professional experience is required.

    Nursing majors, for example, can intern in a wide range of settings including hospitals, clinics, schools and community agencies. Likewise, education majors have numerous choices for internships, including private and public schools.

  • Pursue Your Passion and Make a Differenceplus or minus

    Students pursuing degrees in the helping professions need not wait until they earn their degrees to start making a difference in the community. Those who begin in the common curriculum will have significant opportunities to make a difference, no matter which major they ultimately choose.

    Community-based Learning

    PCPS has a formalized program for academic community-based learning in which community service is linked to academic study. Students work with organizations throughout the community and develop projects relating to their coursework.

    Community programs sponsored by the University supply opportunities for service as well. For example, The Leahy Community Health and Family Center features a Clinic for the Uninsured, a student-run food pantry the Peacemakers afterschool program for children ages 9 to 13, and the University of Success for high school students preparing to transition to college.  

    Cultural immersion trips enable students to visit other areas of the world to learn about the distinctive challenges there and help others by putting their skill and compassion to work. Occupational therapy (OT) and physical therapy (PT) students, for example, travel to the Navajo Nation near Window Rock, Arizona. They work with students with disabilities and their teachers at the St. Michaels Association for Special Education School.

    Another OT and PT program takes students and faculty to Guyana, where they help individuals who suffer from Hansen’s disease, also known as leprosy. Read More.

    The Jesuit mission of social justice is something that I will carry with me and implement in my life for years to come. Service is not about being a good person. It is about helping those who truly are in need.

    Nicholas Constantino
    Class of 2014


Where will a bachelor’s degree from Scranton take me?

Students enter the workplace armed with knowledge as well as practical skills and experience. Many graduates will pursue advanced degrees, including Master’s and Ph.D. programs.

Other students will go directly into the workforce, beginning jobs in medical centers, schools, community programs, government agencies, corporations, private practice, nonprofit organizations and other settings. 

Top Graduate Schools

Just some of the prestigious graduate schools which have admitted recent graduates:

  • Boston University
  • Columbia University
  • Lund University, Denmark
  • New York University
  • Pace University
  • Penn State University
  • Philadelphia College of Medicine
  • Seton Hall University
  • Thomas Jefferson University
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Scranton
  • Villanova University

Leading Employers:

You’ll find Scranton graduates working for a wide range of companies and organizations including:

  • Allied Services
  • Archdiocese of Philadelphia
  • Chatham School District
  • Hershey Medical Center
  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  • Immaculata High School
  • Lehigh Valley Health Network
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Mt. Sinai Hospital
  • Nestle Purina
  • Rockville Centre School District
  • Teach for America
  • University Medical Center of Princeton

How Scranton Gives You a Competitive Edge

Competitive Edge

The Panuska College of Professional Studies at The University of Scranton equips graduates with exceptional knowledge and experience in health care, education and human service. Students have practiced writing and speaking skills that are critically important in interviewing and working as professionals. The care and empathy they have shown through their experiential learning has solidified a passion that will translate to success.

Due to the dedicated faculty members who know their students personally, letters of recommendation are not boilerplate. Professors can speak to each student’s skills and strengths and help advocate for him/her as he/she searches for graduate school or career opportunities. This can make all the difference as students continue their life’s journey.

The core curriculum gets students started on the right path in the Panuska College of Professional Studies.

Take the Next Step

Get the Facts

View PDF with Program Overview
& Curriculum

For More Information

Office of Admissions
The Estate
Scranton, PA 18510
1-888-SCRANTON or (570) 941-7540

Panuska College of Professional Studies
Advising Center
(570) 941-6390