The student’s primary academic responsibility is the fulfillment of the requirements and purposes of the university program in which he is enrolled. This program normally leads to a theological degree, unless there is a separate and exceptional arrangement for an individual student.
During the first three years of study, seminarians are engaged in theological programs of study at the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), or the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Santa Croce). The selection of a particular university is usually made before a student arrives in Rome during the application process and in consultation with the student’s bishop and/or his vocation director.
At these universities, the first cycle (or Bachelor of Sacred Theology/S.T.B.) constitutes a systematic overview of the major areas of theology. The courses are presented almost exclusively in a lecture format with required participation in a seminar.
The grading system at these universities is essentially the same, based on a scale of 10, with the highest grade being 10 and grades below 6 representing a failure. The student must maintain an overall average of 8 to qualify for graduate study on the licentiate and doctoral levels. All the required courses of the S.T.B. program at the Gregorian and Santa Croce are taught in Italian. The Angelicum offers two separate tracks, one in English and one in Italian.
Typically in his fourth year, the student begins a specialized program of theological study at one of the Roman ecclesiastical universities, athenaeums or institutes. The determination of a particular course of study is made in consultation with his bishop and the Dean of Studies of the College and requires the formal approval of both his bishop and the faculty of the College.
Second cycle diplomas, degrees and licenses offered in Rome are quite varied and can be accomplished in one to three years depending on the course of study.
Universities that students from the North American College attend:
2nd Cycle (years 4, with optional 5th or 6th year depending on degree):
The Academy Alphonsianum
Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum
The Pontifical Athenaeum of Saint Anselm
The Pontifical Gregorian University
The Pontifical Lateran University
The Pontifical University of St. Thomas
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