Mission and Outcomes of the RWU General Education Program
The RWU General Education program fosters inquisitive, reflective, and creative learners who use a breadth of knowledge and skills to enrich their personal, public and professional lives. Throughout this program, students will learn how to synthesize information from across their academic experience, to examine the world holistically, appreciate the diversity of their local and global communities, and participate in them effectively and ethically.
To ensure that our program produces such graduates, the RWU faculty asks students, across all four years, to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of diverse human cultures, histories, arts, languages, literatures, and the physical environments on which these depend.
- Communicate purposefully, ethically, and effectively in a variety of formats and situations including written, oral, and artistic.
- Engage in self-reflection and ethical reasoning.
- Synthesize knowledge and make connections within, across, and beyond disciplines.
- Learn and employ the literacies and habits of mind that inform the work that we do: information literacy, artistic production and aesthetic appreciation, quantitative literacy, critical inquiry and analysis.
The Core Curriculum at a Glance
Three Core Competency Courses - one in mathematics and two in writing - prepare students to think abstractly and express their ideas clearly. Most students complete these courses during the first three semesters.
The Five-Course Interdisciplinary Core is based on learning outcomes drawn from the traditional liberal arts: the sciences, history and politics, the social sciences, literature and philosophy, and the fine arts. In these courses students examine great ideas, historic milestones, and works of art; discover connections among different areas of knowledge and methods for gathering it; learn to reason logically, to sift through deception and cant, and to integrate what they know. Most students complete these five courses during the freshman and sophomore years. All interdisciplinary Core courses must be completed at Roger Williams University.
The Core Concentration involves a fifteen-credit exploration of one liberal arts discipline or interdisciplinary program unrelated to the major. This requirement ensures that students graduate with significant knowledge of at least two fields, that of the major and that of the Core Concentration.
The Core Interdisciplinary Senior Seminar or CISS unites studies in the liberal arts and sciences; integrates knowledge; and involves sophisticated analysis, synthesis, and defense of original ideas. Taught by full-time faculty from across the university, CISS courses feature small class sizes and active student involvement in the exploration and integration of knowledge on a variety of topics.
Prerequisites: Students may not enroll in a CISS before they achieve at least sixth-semester standing and have completed all Core Competency Courses and the five-course Interdisciplinary Core Courses.
The Core Curriculum in Depth
Three Core Competency Courses
Two Courses in Writing: 6 credits
During the first two years, all students complete WTNG 102 - How Writing Works and a 200 or 300 level WTNG course that is tailored to their interests and/or major area of study. WTNG 102 is a prerequisite for all 200 and 300 level WTNG courses. (Students may also choose, based on a self-assessment process, to complete WTNG 100 - Introduction to Academic Writing. This course does not fulfill the University Core Writing requirement. Students who opt to begin their study of college-level writing with this course will take it in their first semester and must achieve a C- or higher before being permitted to enroll in WTNG 102.)
One Course in Mathematics: 3 or 4 credits, depending on student’s major; Math Placement Exam may be required.
The Five-Course Interdisciplinary Core
- CORE 101 - Scientific Investigations
Other courses that satisfy the CORE 101 requirement:
- CORE 102 - Structures of Power
Other courses that satisfy the CORE 102 requirement:
- CORE 103 - Human Behavior in Perspective
Other courses that satisfy the CORE 103 requirement:
- CORE 104 - Literature, Philosophy, and the Examined Life
Other courses that satisfy the CORE 104 requirement:
- CORE 105 - Aesthetics in Context: The Artistic Impulse
Other courses that satisfy the CORE 105 requirement:
Students may take the five courses listed above in any order, but the Interdisciplinary Core must be completed by the end of the first two years of study, except for five-year architecture majors who must complete the five courses by the end of the fifth semester. All first and second year students must enroll in at least one, but no more than two, of these courses during each of the first four semesters. At least 16 credits.
Transfer students may be waived out of one or more above the above Core course requirements based on the number of transfer credits they have been awarded at Roger Williams University. Please see the following table regarding transfer credits and core course requirements:
Number of Interdisciplinary Courses Required
|Transfer Credits Awarded
||CORE 101, CORE 102, CORE 103, CORE 104, CORE 105
||All five (5) CORE courses are required
||Four (4) of the five (5) CORE courses are required
||Three (3) of the five (5) CORE courses are required
||Two (2) of the five (5) CORE courses are required
60 or more credits or an Associate’s Degree
For more information, please refer to the University Core Curriculum Requirements for Transfer Students in the Admissions section of the Catalog to see how transfer credits will impact Core Curriculum requirements.
|THE UNIVERSITY CORE CURRICULUM
|THE WRITING REQUIREMENT
||THE MATHEMATICS REQUIREMENT
|WTNG 102 , and a 200 or 300 level WTNG course
||One mathematics course numbered 110 or above
|THE FIVE-COURSE INTERDISCIPLINARY CORE REQUIREMENT
2 Lab Science courses
Structures of Power
Human Behavior in Perspective
Literature, Philosophy and the Examined Life
Aesthetics in Context:
The Artistic Impulse
AAH 121 & AAH 122
|THE FIVE-COURSE CORE CONCENTRATION REQUIREMENT
All Core Concentrations must be in the liberal arts. Students must select one of the following according to the
Table of Core Concentration Choices and Restrictions
Anthropology + Sociology
|Gender & Sexuality Studies
Professional and Public Writing
|THE CORE INSTERDISCIPLINARY SENIOR SEMINAR
The Core Concentration
At least 15 credits
The Core Concentration is designed to ensure depth, sequence, and progressive learning in one liberal arts discipline or interdisciplinary program unrelated to the major. Because each Core Concentration consists of specific courses and prerequisites, students should declare their Core Concentration and begin required courses no later than the sophomore year to ensure that course work is completed before graduation. Most Core Concentrations may be expanded to a minor by taking one additional course. Students who declare double majors are not required to complete a separate Core Concentration if both of the following conditions are met: one of the majors must have an approved Core Concentration and that concentration must not be restricted from the other major.
||American Sign Language, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, or Spanish
|II. Mathematics and the Sciences:
The SEA Semester
|III. Social Sciences:
Anthropology + Sociology
|IV. The Humanities and the Arts:
||Art and Architectural
Professional and Public
Visual Arts Studies
|V. Interdisciplinary Studies:
Gender & Sexuality Studies
Latin American & Latino Studies
|VI. The International Studies Core Concentration.
Juniors and seniors intending to declare an International Studies Core Concentration should contact the Center for Global and International Programs as soon as possible so that they are aware of requirements to go abroad. For example, students will need passports and specific cumulative grade point averages.
Course Requirements by Core Concentration
It is necessary from time to time for students to substitute other courses for specified Core Concentration course requirements. Substitutions may be made only if the following criteria are met:
- At least two courses in the Core Concentration discipline must be at the 100 or 200 level;
- At least two courses in the Core Concentration discipline must be at the 300 or 400 level;
- At least five courses (or a total of 15 credits) must be taken in one Core Concentration discipline.
This standard applies to all matriculated students.
- Category I - Foreign Languages and Cultures
- Category II - Mathematics and the Sciences
- Category III - The Social Sciences
- Category IV - The Humanities and the Arts
- Category V - Interdisciplinary Studies
- Category VI - RWU Semester Abroad International Studies
Core Concentration Restrictions by Major
Accounting majors may not take the Economics Core Concentration.
Anthropology + Sociology majors may not take the Anthropology/Sociology Core Concentration.
Applied Mathematics majors may not take the Mathematics Core Concentration.
Architecture majors may take any Core Concentration.
Aquaculture and Aquarium Science Majors may not take the Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science or the Marine Biology Core Concentrations
Art and Architectural History majors may not take the Art and Architectural History Core Concentration.
Biology majors may not take the Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, or Marine Biology Core Concentrations, or the SEA Semester Option.
Biochemistry majors may not take the Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Marine Biology or Physics Core Concentrations, or the SEA Semester Option.
Chemistry majors may not take the Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Marine Biology or Physics Core Concentrations, or the SEA Semester Option.
Communication and Media Studies majors may not take the Global Communication Core Concentration.
Computer Information Systems majors may not take the Computer Science or Economics Core Concentration.
Computer Science majors may not take the Computer Science Core Concentration.
Construction Management majors may take any Core Concentration.
Creative Writing majors may not take the Creative Writing, English or Professional and Public Writing Core Concentrations.
Criminal Justice majors may take any Core Concentration
Cultural Studies majors may not take the Cultural Studies or History Core Concentrations.
Cybersecurity and Networking majors may take any Core Concentration
Dance Performance majors may not take the Dance, Music, Performing Arts, or Theater Core Concentrations.
Economics majors may not take the Economics Core Concentration.
Educational Studies majors may not take the Educational Studies Core Concentration.
Elementary Education majors may not take Educational Studies Core Concentration.
Engineering majors may not take the Physics Core Concentration.
English Literature majors may not take the Creative Writing, English, or Professional and Public Writing Core Concentrations.
Environmental Science majors may not take the Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Science, or Marine Biology Core Concentrations, or the SEA Semester Option.
Finance majors may not take the Economics Core Concentration.
Foreign Language majors may not take any Foreign Language Core Concentration.
Forensic Science majors may not take the Biology Core Concentration.
Graphic Design majors may not take the Graphic Design Core Concentration.
Preservation Studies majors may take any Core Concentration.
History majors may not take the History Core Concentration.
International Business majors may not take the Economics Core Concentration.
International Relations majors may not take the Global Communication Core Concentration.
Journalism majors may not take the Global Communication Core Concentration.
Legal Studies majors may take any Core Concentration.
Management majors may not take the Economics Core Concentration.
Marine Biology majors may not take the Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, or Marine Biology Core Concentrations, or the SEA Semester Option.
Marketing majors may not take the Economics Core Concentration.
Mathematics majors may not take the Mathematics Core Concentration.
Music majors may not take Dance, Music, Performing Arts, or Theatre Core Concentrations.
Performing Arts majors may not take Dance, Music, Performing Arts, Theatre or London Theatre Core Concentrations.
Philosophy majors may not take the Philosophy Core Concentration.
Political Science majors may not take the Political Science Core Concentrations.
Psychology majors may not take the Psychology Core Concentrations.
Public Health BA majors may take any Core Concentration.
Public Health BS may not take Biology or Marine Biology Core concentrations.
Public Relations majors may not take the Global Communication Core Concentration.
Theater majors may not take the Dance, Music, Performing Arts, Theater or London Theatre Core Concentrations.
Visual Arts Studies majors may not take any Visual Arts Studies Core Concentration.
The Core Interdisciplinary Senior Seminar (CISS)
Prerequisites: Completion of all skills and the five-course Interdisciplinary Core requirements; at least sixth semester standing.
CISS Learning Outcomes - in each Core Interdisciplinary Senior Seminar students:
- Create an artifact that communicates and defends the student’s original ideas based on synthesis of the course topic and his/her interdisciplinary Core education.
- Analyze, synthesize, and evaluate significant ideas from across the arts and sciences.
Common Seminar Requirements - each Core Interdisciplinary Senior Seminar is designed to:
- Reflect on the topic of the seminar and on the central questions of the Core: Who am I? What can I know? Based on what I know, what should I do?
- Approach the subject in an interdisciplinary manner, integrating the approaches to knowledge of the five domains of the Core curriculum: science, history, human behavior, literature/philosophy, and aesthetics.
- Require guided reading of texts drawn from a variety of perspectives and disciplines but related to the Core central questions.
- Ask students to provide competent summaries, analyses, and synthesis in presentation and in writing.
- Incorporate student-led seminar discussions and prepared in-class presentations.
- Require a final project that demonstrates synthesis of course materials and competent writing.
Common Seminar Format - the seminar serves as the participants’ culminating liberal arts experience and must fully realize the definition of a seminar. A CORE Interdisciplinary Senior Seminar:
- Is not a lecture course.
- Is clearly distinguished from lower-level courses in its purpose, method, and standards.
- Teaches and requires the practice of disciplined thinking, scholarly discourse, and advanced academic work.
- Meets the dictionary definition of a seminar: a small group of advanced students engaged in special study or original inquiry under the guidance of a professor.
University Writing Program
The University Writing Program, offered by the Department of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition, creates the intellectual atmosphere in which students can acquire rhetorical knowledge and strategies to write purposefully, incisively and ethically. Students and faculty in the program read closely and critically, explore rhetorical situations and cultural contexts, engage in inquiry, and study the elements of well-reasoned, persuasive discourse.
The program is designed around a set of scaffolded conceptual outcomes that encourage students to write successfully in a variety of contexts. Incoming first-year students who need additional support gaining academic literacy may be required to complete WTNG 100 Introduction to Academic Writing , with a grade of C- or higher. The University Core Curriculum writing requirement is fulfilled by completing the following: WTNG 102 (with a grade of C- or higher) and a 200- or 300-level WTNG course (with a passing grade). In WTNG 102: How Writing Works, students develop a conceptual map of how writing works by building their rhetorical and writing process knowledge and by fostering genre and discourse community awareness. In the 200- or 300-level WTNG course, students’ understanding of the knowledge introduced in WTNG 102 is deepened through the analysis and production of academic, civic, and professional writing.