General Academic Information

Degree General Information

The University of Arusha offers academic programs leading to Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and Bachelor of Education (BEd). The university also offers Diploma in Education and Diploma in Business Administration.

Areas of Concentration, Major, Minor and Cognates

A major is the student's area of specialization covering basic material. A Concentration is similar to a major but covers a broader range of subjects and often incorporates a number of professional and practical experience-type courses. A Minor is a second area of emphasis, but the course work done is not as extensive as that of a major. Cognates are courses closely related to and/ or supportive of a student's major. Several departments require certain cognates to be taken in connection with the major. The specific requirements for areas of concentration, majors, minors and cognates, are listed under the respective departments in the section entitled courses of instruction.

Selection of Major or Concentration

For better planning every student who is not sure of what he or she wants to take is required to select his or her major area of concentration by the time he or she completes the first year and before beginning the second year. This will give the students ample time to concentrate on their major areas during their last two years of study. Students are also advised to complete all general education requirements during their first and second years.

Credit Hours and Three Semesters

The University of Arusha operates on the semester system, each semester being approximately eighteen weeks in length. The value of each course offered is expressed in terms of semester credit hours. One semester credit hour represents one-hour class period or a three-hour laboratory period per week for one semester. The student is expected to spend a minimum of three hours ofoutside preparation for each one-hour class period. Three credit hours are made up of two lecture hours and 1-hour seminar.

Every academic year consists of two regular semesters of eighteen weeks running between mid-October and mid-July or thereabout. A 3rd semester is also usually scheduled between mid-July and mid-August. Course offerings during the 3rd semester are few and depend on the availability of lecturer and student interest. Students are allowed to take up to 10 credits.

Credit Hours Required for Degree

A bachelor's degree requires a minimum of 123 semester credit hours. For a student who presents no transfer credits, this will require a minimum of three regular academic years to complete a bachelor's degree as shown in the typical example as follow:

  School Year Credit Per Semester Number of Semesters Total for a Year  
  First 18-21 2 41  
  Second 18-21 2 41  
  Third 18-21 2 41  
  Total Sememster Hours     123  

If a student for some reason is unable to carry the normal load of classes for one or more semesters, or fails to complete required courses when scheduled, his or her course may be prolonged beyond the three years.

Interdepartmental Transfers

A student wishing to transfer to another department may request to do so only in their first year under the following conditions and procedures:

  1. Students may qualify to transfer to another department by fulfilling the department's requirements, which they did not have when they first enrolled at the University.
  2. The student must check with the chairperson of the new department who will advise the student whether he or she is qualified to transfer to the new department or not by ensuring that the prerequisites of the department he or she wishes to transfer to have been met.
  3. If condition is met, the student should obtain inter-departmental transfer form(s) from the Registrar's Office and complete it (them) accordingly.
  4. When the student has completed the form(s), he or she obtains the signatures of the following:
    a. The chairperson of the department to which he or she intends to transfer.
    b. The Chairperson of the Department from which he or she is transferring, and
    c. The Dean of the Faculty or School to which he or she is transferring.
  5. He or she returns the form(s) to the Registrar's office for processing.
  6. After the Senate has approved the transfer, the Registrar, will write a letter stating the action taken by the Senate to the student.
  7. Transfer is effected only after the approval of the Senate.

Repeating Courses

A course in which a student has earned a Grade of C or better may be repeated only by permission of the Senate. The application form is obtained from the office of the Registrar. A student who has earned a grade of D in any course is eligible for a supplementary Examination. A student who fails supplementary Examination will be required to repeat a course. A student who has earned a grade of E or F in any course is to repeat the course. The grade earned in the first attempt remains on the student's permanent record, but in computing the cumulative GPA, the credits and honor points earned on the second attemp will be used. A student will not be allowed to repeat a course two times. In a sequence-type course, a student who earns a grade less than C for one semester must clear that course through supplementary examination or repeat a course before being permitted to continue with other courses in the series.

Course Loads

The normal load is 18 - 21 credit hours for an 18-week semester and 12 credit hours for the 11-weeks short sessions/short semester. Exceptions require the permission of the Dean of Faculty or School or Department.

Criteria for Overload

Up to 23 credits during normal semester and 13 credits during Winter Sessions/Winter Semester if Cumulative GPA is at least 3.50. Up to 24 credits during normal semester and 14 credits during Winter Sessions/Winter Semester if Cumulative GPA is at least 4.0. A student who has completed a minimum of 80 credit hours and has a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.67 may be allowed to register up to 20 credit hours in any one semester. Credit hours for fieldwork courses that are taken before or after each semester can be applied to the subsequent semester without invoking student's overload requirement.

Attendance Regulations

Absences are counted from the first day of classes, and are classified as excused or unexcused. Excused absences involve reasons of illness, authorized trips or circumstances beyond the student's control. Absences for health reasons should be cleared through the University doctor on the proper form obtained. Absences for any reason other than those mentioned above are considered unexcused. Class work such as quizzes and tests missed during an excused absence may be made up through arrangements with the lecturer(s) involved. Class work missed during an unexcused absence may not be made up. If a student's total number of absences-excused and or unexcused- exceeds 15% of the total class meetings in a course, a grade of F may be recorded. If warranted by special circumstances, the senate may grant permission to make up the missed class work.


Three tardiness are counted as an absence, and entering after 15 minutes have passed, or missing 15 minutes or more from a class is considered an absence.

Assembly Attendance

The weekly assembly is considered to be an important part of the student's academic experience, and attendance is therefore required. Seating will be assigned at registration time, and record will be taken. More than four absences from assembly in a given semester may result in suspension.


The University of Arusha acknowledges and respects originality of any academic work. In this regard, any production in full or in part of another person's work is discouraged. However, this can be done with permission from the author by giving proper credit in form of citation.

Course Outlines

All students should expect to be provided with course outlines by lecturers in the respective courses registered for in a given semester. If not so, the matter should be reported to the respective department head immediately and then to the DVC for Student Affairs.