Aug 03, 2021  
2021 - 2022 University Catalog 
    
2021 - 2022 University Catalog

University Core Curriculum


The Undergraduate Course of Study

Roger Williams University takes its name from the founder of the state of Rhode Island, a 17th-century free-thinker who was not satisfied with the status quo of his day. Neither is the University. But Roger Williams did not just criticize the status quo. He changed it, founding a community dedicated to openmindedness, tolerance and diversity. This is such a community. We welcome all students who come here and prepare them to meet life’s challenges.

At the heart of Roger Williams University is our abiding commitment to undergraduate education. Undergraduates who enter Roger Williams find more independence than they have had at home and more support than they will have after college. Here they find diverse experiences and endless opportunities to exercise curiosity. They also develop a set of values that is captured in the Pledge of Academic Integrity that all undergraduates make at Convocation:

We, the undergraduate students of Roger Williams University, commit ourselves to academic integrity. We
promise to pursue the highest ideals of academic life, to challenge ourselves with the most rigorous standards, to be honest in every academic endeavor, to conduct ourselves responsibly and honorably, and to assist one another as we live and work together in mutual support.

The undergraduate curriculum is designed to guide students toward inquiry, toward establishing and realizing their goals, and toward becoming productive professionals. In this community of teachers and learners, we are dedicated to excellence. Those who complete their undergraduate studies enter the world with knowledge, skill and confidence.

The distinguishing hallmark of the Roger Williams tradition is this: each graduate of the University completes both a focused, specialized program of study - the major - and a broad-based, comprehensive program of study - the Core Curriculum, which includes a second field of specialization, that can be extended into a second major. In increasingly competitive times, more and more students here are preparing themselves to excel in multiple fields. Moreover, the Semester Abroad Interdisciplinary Core Concentration provides an additional, incomparable opportunity in this era of internationalization. The University encourages and supports these initiatives.

All undergraduates enrolled in the University, regardless of major, study in order to understand, and they are civilized by this process. They learn to gain experience, and their lives are thereby further  enriched. They learn about themselves and about others, and their intellect is consequently strengthened, made more acute, more reflective, more responsive and, indeed, more humane.

 

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:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of diverse human cultures, histories, arts, languages, literatures, and the physical environments on which these depend.
  2. Communicate purposefully, ethically, and effectively in a variety of formats and situations including written, oral, and artistic.
  3. Engage in self-reflection and ethical reasoning.
  4. Synthesize knowledge and make connections within, across, and beyond disciplines.
  5. 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:  
    • PHYS 240   
    • Two laboratory science courses

 

  • CORE 102    - Challenges of Democracy
    Other courses that satisfy the CORE 102 requirement:

 

  • CORE 103    - Human Behavior in Perspective

 

  • CORE 104    - Literature, Philosophy, and the Examined Life
    Other courses that satisfy the CORE 102 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
   0-23 All five (5) CORE courses are required
 24-30 Four (4) of the five (5) CORE courses are required
 31-44 Three (3) of the five (5) CORE courses are required
 45-59 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

Core 101

Scientific Investigations

or

PHYS 240   

or
2 Lab Science courses

Core 102

Challenges of Democracy

or

CULST 100  

or

LALS 100  

Core 103

Human Behavior in Perspective

Core 104

Literature, Philosophy and the Examined Life

or

ASIA 100  

Core 105

Aesthetics in Context:
The Artistic Impulse

or

 AAH 121  & AAH 122 

or

MUSIC 310  

or

MUSIC 361   

or

THEAT 130 

 
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
Art/Arch. History
Biology
Chemistry
Computer Science
Creative Writing

Cultural Studies

Dance/Performance
Economics
Educational Studies
English Literature
Environmental Science
Film Studies
Foreign Languages
Gender & Sexuality Studies
Global Communication
Graphic Design
History
Marine Biology
Mathematics
Music

Performing Arts
Philosophy
Physics
Political Science
Psychology

Public Health
Sustainability
Theater

Urban Studies
Visual Arts
Professional and Public Writing
Other Programs:
RWU Semester-long
International Studies
Core Concentration
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.

Categories Core Concentrations
I. Languages: American Sign Language, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, or Spanish
II. Mathematics and the Sciences:

Biology
Chemistry
Computer Science
The SEA Semester
Environmental Science
Marine Biology
Mathematics
Physics

Public Health

III. Social Sciences:

Anthropology + Sociology

Cultural Studies
Economics
Educational Studies
History
Political Science
Psychology

IV. The Humanities and the Arts: Art and Architectural
History
Creative Writing
Dance Performance
English Literature
Film Studies
Global Communication
Graphic Design
Music
Performing Arts
Philosophy
Professional and Public
Writing
Theatre
Visual Arts Studies
V. Interdisciplinary Studies:

Gender & Sexuality Studies

Latin American & Latino Studies
Sustainability
Urban 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

Minimum Standard:

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:

  1. At least two courses in the Core Concentration discipline must be at the 100 or 200 level;
  2. At least two courses in the Core Concentration discipline must be at the 300 or 400 level;
  3. 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.


The CORE Interdisciplinary Senior Seminars


 

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.

Programs

Core Concentration

Other Programs