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Bachelor of Arts Degree (B.A.)

Patrick Henry College awards the Bachelor of Arts degree. The B.A. degree requires the satisfactory completion of a minimum of 122 credit hours and is awarded once all graduation requirements are fulfilled.

Core Curriculum
The foundation of all majors at Patrick Henry College is the core curriculum which is taught by faculty from the Department of Classical Liberal Arts and the Department of Government. Patrick Henry College structures its academic program around its distinctive classical liberal arts core curriculum consisting of 63 credits plus intermediate foreign language proficiency. Regardless of major, every student will take the following courses:

BIB203 Theology of the Bible I
BIB213 Theology of the Bible II
BIB223 Principles of Biblical Reasoning
CLA201 Research & Writing
CLA213 Logic
CLA223 Rhetoric
ECO303 Economics for the Citizen
GOV203 Constitutional Law
GOV213 Freedom’s Foundations I
GOV223 Freedom’s Foundations II
HIS203 History of the United States I
HIS213 History of the United States II
HIS223 History of Western Civilization I
HIS233 History of Western Civilization II
LIT213 Western Literature I
LIT223 Western Literature II
MAT203 Euclidean Geometry
MUS303 Music History and Appreciation
PHI203 Philosophy
SCI223 Biology
SCI221 Biology Laboratory
SCI233 Physics
SCI231 Physics Laboratory
Modern/Classical Foreign Language*
*See Foreign Language Requirements.
Our core is "Classical" in that it is founded on the great texts and ideas that have stood the test of time and experience, starting with the Holy Scriptures. Importantly, the American founders studied and lived by the great ideas found in these texts.
We have designated the core as the "Liberal Arts" because it represents an education for a free people. By it they may learn to appreciate and to maintain their liberty.
Thus the Classical Liberal Arts teach students to think from the first principles of our faith and God-given reason--the special revelation of His Word and the general revelation in creation that is available to all mankind. Every course in theology, history, literature, science, mathematics, philosophy, rhetoric, logic, music, and classical or foreign language reinforces first principles and trains the mind to think and to reason so that students are able to learn, consistently gaining and using knowledge for greater purposes than simply self-satisfaction.

In addition to the core curriculum, a minimum of 36 credit hours of major courses are required for the completion of the Bachelor of Arts degree. PHC offers the B.A. degree in six academic majors. These majors are organized into two academic departments:

Department of Classical Liberal Arts
Classical Liberal Arts
Department of Government
Economics & Business Analytics
Tracks are specializations generally consisting of 12-27 credit hours included in the required major credits; tracks may also influence the types of applicable apprenticeships students may pursue. Currently, two majors have tracks:
Government: American Politics & Policy
Government: International Politics & Policy
Government: Political Theory
Government: Strategic Intelligence
Journalism: Political Journalism
Journalism: Liberal Arts
Students majoring in Government have the option of taking a broad range of courses without declaring a track. Students who major in Journalism must choose between the Political Journalism and Liberal Arts tracks.
Minors are secondary academic studies consisting of 15-21 credit hours from a single discipline. A maximum of 6 credits that fulfill a major requirement may also be applied to the minor course of study provided that a minimum of 12 credits are unique to the minor. Students are not required to minor, may choose only one minor, and may not minor in the discipline of their major. Once declared, minors must be completed or withdrawn prior to graduation. Minors cannot be added once a degree is conferred. The minimum satisfactory grade for a minor course is C-. Students must take at least 60% of the credits applicable to a minor at Patrick Henry College.  Students may utilize Open Electives towards completion of one of the available minors.  Academic advisors are available to assist students in selecting a minor and planning for minor completion in a manner that fulfills the student's educational and academic goals.
Major Electives
Major Electives are built into all academic majors. Major Electives require students to choose courses that meet certain qualifying conditions. Generally, the course must be an upper-level course (junior or senior) within selected course prefixes. Major elective requirements are included in the required 46-48 major credits.
Open Electives
Open electives allow students to pursue areas of interest distinct from their degree requirements. Each major contains 11-24 credit hours of open electives in addition to the core curriculum and major courses. Students may use any transferred course that does not have a PHC equivalent as open electives or they may choose from any successfully completed PHC course.
Foreign Language Requirements

Foreign language ability is required of all PHC graduates.

Students may increase their proficiency level through a variety of formal or informal learning methods including, but not limited to, online language learning, traditional classroom curriculum, independent study, immersion programs, and other overseas experiences.

Regardless of the method of instruction, students must demonstrate adequate foreign language ability in one of following ways:

1) Successfully complete the fourth semester course of a language currently offered at PHC.

2) Successfully complete the final intermediate-level course in a foreign language at a PHC-approved college or university. (Enrolled students should submit the Request for Transient Student Status form to obtain approval before enrolling in such courses.)

3) Demonstrate intermediate mastery of a Classical or modern foreign language currently offered at PHC by taking a college-administered proficiency test. (See "Taking a PHC Language Proficiency Exam").

4) Score a 4 or 5 on one of the Advanced Placement (AP) language tests identified on the Advanced Placement Equivalency Table.

5) Sit for both the certified Writing Proficiency Test and the certified Oral Proficiency Interview administered by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Proficient students will achieve the following proficiency classifications for both assessments in a single language:

     Category I and II languages: Intermediate High
     Category III and IV languages: Intermediate Mid

According to ACTFL, Category I and II languages include French, German, Haitian-Creole, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish; Category III and IV languages include Arabic, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, and Vietnamese.

Students who complete non-PHC college-level instruction must still satisfactorily fulfill one of these assessments without regard to how a language learning program classifies its language instruction or the number of credits earned. Students who earn credit from approved institutions may have the credit transferred to PHC as open electives.

Program (Major) Requirements for Foreign Language

There are program specific requirements that must be met when selecting a language to study. The following list identifies which majors require a Classical or modern foreign language.

Classical Language

Classical Liberal Arts



Modern Language

Economics & Business Analytics

Government - Strategic Intelligence Track


Classical or Modern Language

Government - with no track

Government - American Politics & Policy Track

Government - International Politics & Policy Track

Government - Political Theory Track

Journalism - Liberal Arts Track

Journalism - Political Journalism Track

Apprenticeship Requirements

Apprenticeship methodology is at the heart of the distinctive educational approach offered by Patrick Henry College. Each degree program requires a significant number of Apprenticeship credits (as high as 24 credits for some programs). Apprenticeship offers vocation-related experience and the application of classroom learning. It is the culmination of PHC's classical Christian liberal arts curriculum.  Please see the individual program requirements in the College Catalog for details of the apprenticeship requirements for each major.

Academic Sessions and Academic Credit
Patrick Henry College operates on a semester system. The regular fall and spring semesters are 15 weeks of class plus an additional period for final examinations. Some summer courses are offered for continuing students. The academic unit is the semester credit hour. A credit hour represents an amount of work as reflected in intended learning outcomes that approximates three hours of study per week (a minimum of one hour which is typically designated for engagement with a content expert) for 15 weeks.  In compressed terms, the amount of student work per week increases, correlating proportionally according to the duration of the term.  Actual student experience will vary based on course type, prior learning, and ability.