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Course of Study

RWU's Core Curriculum ensures that each and every one of our students receives a well-rounded education through the completion of a variety of liberal arts courses. From skills courses to your interdisciplinary Senior Seminar, you will be challenged to think critically, disect interrelated concepts and defend your research in all arenas.

I. Three Skills Courses – one in mathematics and two in writing – prepare students to think abstractly and express their ideas clearly. Students complete these courses during the first three semesters.

II. The Five-Course Interdisciplinary CORE comprises one course in each of five areas: the sciences, western civilization, 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 the traditional disciplines; learn to reason logically, to sift through deception and cant, and to integrate knowledge. Students complete these five courses during the freshman and sophomore years. All interdisciplinary CORE courses must be completed at Roger Williams.

III. The CORE Concentration involves a five-course exploration of one liberal arts discipline unrelated to the major. Students select from concentrations in world languages and culture; science and mathematics; the social sciences; or the humanities and fine arts. This requirement ensures that students graduate with significant knowledge of at least two fields, that of the major and that of the CORE Concentration.

Semester Abroad Option: Students may satisfy the CORE Concentration requirement by completing a semester-long International Studies CORE Concentration. Information about this option may be obtained from the Spiegel Center for Global and International Programs.

Students who declare double majors are not required to complete a separate CORE Concentration if one of their major areas has an approved CORE Concentration. 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. Course requirements for each Concentration are listed below.

Most CORE Concentrations may be expanded to a minor by taking one additional course. Students should consult their advisor about this option.

Students may also, in consultation with their advisor, elect to expand their declared CORE Concentration into a second major. Students who wish to exercise the option are strongly advised to declare the second major no later than the third semester to ensure that course work is completed before graduation. Interested students should consult this catalog and their advisor or dean for specific requirements.

IV. The CORE Interdisciplinary Senior Seminar unites studies in the liberal arts and sciences; integrates knowledge; and involves sophisticated analysis, synthesis, and defense of original ideas. Students may not enroll in this Senior Seminar before they achieve sixth-semester status. Completion of all skills and the five-course Interdisciplinary CORE requirement is prerequisite. Students may not substitute any course from another institution for the CORE Interdisciplinary Senior Seminar. Study abroad may not be used to waive any of the five Interdisciplinary CORE courses which are to be completed before the junior year.