Resources for Faculty

Welcome RWU faculty! Here you will find a collection of information you can reference as you are advising your students.

What are the minimum requirements for graduating from RWU?

All students are required to complete one academic major, the 43 credits of the Core Curriculum (including a 15-credit Core Concentration), earn at least 120 credits, and achieve a minimum 2.0 GPA. (Depending on the major, total credits and GPA may be higher).

Do students who double major receive two diplomas?

No, all students receive one diploma listing one major. Both majors are listed on a double major's transcript.

If students double major, do they need a Core Concentration?

Technically, yes, but the Core Concentration requirement is often met through the second major. There are important details to check: a second major will complete the Core Concentration if it: a) is in a liberal arts subject area with a recognized Core Concentration and b) is not restricted for students from the primary major.

What if students choose a minor, do they still need a Core Concentration?

Same rules as above. The minor will meet the Core Concentration requirement if it meets the same two conditions.

What if students are only interested in majoring and minoring in professional subjects?

RWU is a liberal arts university committed to providing a liberal arts General Education to all students. Our NECHE accreditation also requires that all students complete a minimum of 40 credits in the liberal arts. The Core Concentration is an important part of how RWU meets these goals and Core Concentrations are therefore restricted to liberal arts subject areas. So a student hoping to major in, say, Management and minor in Criminal Justice should be encouraged to do so only if the student will still be able to complete the requirements for a separate Core Concentration.

Note: while the Core Concentration is intended to give students some depth (15 credits) in a liberal arts subject outside their major, some cases of overlap (or double dipping) exist. The best approach is always to consult the published requirements for the individual Core Concentrations.

Are transfer credit allocations final?

Transfer credits are allocated by the Registrar’s Office based on articulation agreements with other colleges and universities and in consultation with RWU departments. But the quantity and use of these credits is worth verifying, especially if the student feels that some coursework from a previous institution has not been adequately recognized. Questions about how transfer credits are awarded and/or applied toward requirements should bedirected to the Registrar.

Can students count transfer courses toward the Core Curriculum requirements?

Students often apply transfer courses toward their requirements in Writingand Math, and many are able to apply transfer courses toward a Core Concentration. However, RWU does not accept substitutes for CORE 101-105. Instead, students are waived out of a certain quantity of Core courses based on the total number of transfer credits awarded upon matriculation:

24-30 credits --> take 4 of the 5 100-level Core courses

31-44 credits --> take 3 of the 5 100-level Core courses

45-59 credits --> take 2 of the 5 100-level Core courses

60+ credits or Associate’s Degree --> NO 100-level Core courses

Once they’ve matriculated, how do students get credit for a course taken outside of RWU?

Students complete a Transfer Pre-approval form available on the Registrar’s website. Approval is granted by the program that offers the course at RWU. For a course grade of C or above, the credits are added to the student’s transcript, but there is no grade noted and the course is not calculated into the student’s GPA. Note that in some cases, this may actually disadvantage a student looking to improve a low GPA and achieve good academic standing. Students in this situation may need help with a GPA calculation. The Center for Student Academic Success (CSAS) can help with this: 401-254-3456.

How are students placed into the appropriate Math courses?

Students are required to take online placement exams once admitted to RWU and before attending orientation. There are two tests—Algebra and Functions—but students still need guidance on which math courses are required for their majors. Undeclared students are generally advised to wait until they have chosen a major to explore before taking Math courses (unless they express interest in Math, of course).

And Writing placement?

Students complete a self-directed online survey to determine their placement for the two required writing classes, WTNG 102 and a 200- or 300-level WTNG course. Many students choose to begin their study of college level writing with WTNG 100: Introduction to Academic Writing. This course does not meet the Core Curriculum requirement of two writing courses, but does improve students’ performance in their required courses and does count toward graduation as a 3-credit course.

Foreign Language?

Foreign Language placement exams are not currently required but are strongly encouraged for all students. Students can take any Foreign Language placement they choose, at any time, by clicking a link on their Bridges homepage. NB: students who test out of up to two courses in the Foreign Language sequence may be able to complete a Core Concentration in their chosen language in as few as three courses.

Note: visit the Placement web page for more detailed information.

What if a student fails a course?

Students may take the same course at RWU and receive a new grade. NB: for students in academic distress, the chance to repeat a course for a passing grade can deliver crucial repair to a low GPA. It’s always a good idea, especially with first- and second-year students, to check up on their grades after a semester ends. Sometimes students will need to be encouraged to swap out a course they thought they’d take in a subsequent semester in favor of repeating one they’ve failed.

Are there consequences for falling below 12 credits (full-time)?

Losing full-time status may impact financial aid, billing, immigration, and NCAA status. International students may have additional impact on their status in the U.S. And their ability to return to RWU. Students who are below full-time status must receive permission from Student Life or CSAS to remain in a residence hall.

How long do students have to finish up work for Incompletes?

Incomplete grades convert automatically to failing grades at the end of the following semester, but: students and faculty should always agree explicitly on a deadline for outstanding work. If one of your advisees received an I grade in a course, it is a good idea to follow up with the student and instructor to make sure there is clarity on what is due and when. Ideally these arrangements are communicated in writing. (Remember that many faculty members are away from RWU during the summer and may not receive work students submit if they’re not expecting it. Remember also that part-time faculty are technically not employed by the university outside of academic terms).

What is Learn, Work, and Serve (LWS)?

The Learn, Work, and Serve (LWS) initiative was designed to provide RWU students and families both with the flexibility they need during this time of uncertainty and to respond to our students’ continuing – and in many cases, intensified – desire for experiential learning and for meaningful community and civic engagement.  LWS is also premised on the recognition that almost all community engagement work for the fall semester – curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular – will need to be structured remotely, whether students are in residence or studying from home.  Listed below are opportunities identified thus far and contacts for students who want to explore further.

What courses are recommended for first-year students?

Several courses have been identified as appropriate for first-year students interested in community engagement.  These courses all involve guided project-based work with partner organizations along with traditional reading and writing assignments and classroom discussions.   

  • CAS 330-93: Introduction to Community Engagement. This course prepares students to succeed in engaged learning contexts in ways that are respectful, responsible, and responsive to community needs and goals.
  • CAS 330-92: Learn, Work, Serve Internship. This 3-credit course for first-year students provides a course- and cohort-based instructional framework for internships (on-line/remote). Note: the Career Planning/Management Seminar is not required to register for this course. 
  • CD 220: Elements and Issues in Community Development. This course will involve project-based learning with community partners.
  • CD 352: Non-Profit Management. The course provides students with an overview of the role of the non-profit sector in the United States.
  • Other Options: Consult with your faculty advisor about other community engaged course options aligned with your interests and degree requirements. 

What LWS options are available for continuing students? 

“Virtually” Engaged Courses: In addition to the courses outlined above, many other RWU faculty are building “virtual” community partnerships and remotely structured service, design, and research projects in their courses.  These vary greatly from school to school and students should consult with faculty advisors to learn more about specific courses.  Students can also contact Mia Brum ( at the Community Partnerships Center to learn more.

Internship, Coops, and Practicum Courses: see below.

Core Concentration: Students may be able to fulfill some requirements for an Individualized Core Concentration or an Interdisciplinary Core Concentration through aligned experiential learning conducted through internships or coops. Interest students should contact Dr. Jason Jacobs (, Associate Dean of General Education.

Independent Study and Research:  Through Independent Study, a student pursuing an internship or coop could develop a complementary research project that explored issues or topics more intensively.  All independent study courses are directed by faculty and must be approved by the appropriate dean. Independent Study Petitions are available here

Are students able to earn credit for internships this fall? 

Yes.  Internships, coops, and practicum courses can serve as a foundation for a Learn, Work, and Serve semester, allowing a student to earn credit while working for an organization on projects aligned with their academic studies.  During the fall semester, most internships will be virtual, involving remote work with sponsoring organizations.  Students interested in pursuing an internship for the fall semester should contact Rena Piller-Thurston (, Assistant Director, Center for Career and Professional Development as soon as possible (by July 31, 2020).

What about non-credit community engagement opportunities? 

Volunteering.  Students interested in non-credit volunteer opportunities have many options at RWU. This fall, both the Office of Student Life and the Feinstein Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement will be working to develop virtual volunteer community engagement opportunities. 

Professional Certificates: RWU offers micro-credentials, certificates and job training through theCenter for Workforce and Professional Development. Students also have access to skills-specific non-credit courses through LinkedIn Learning (formerly  Note: non-credit-bearing options do not allow students to make progress toward degree completion.

Off-Campus Work Study.  RWU is working to restructure the Community Service Work Study program to develop remotely based positions with community partner organizations for students seeking off-campus work study opportunities. Interested students should contact KC Ferrara (, Director, Feinstein Center.

General Information and Other Questions?  Contact Dr. Allen Hance (, Associate Provost for Community Engaged Learning. 

New students who have already attended Orientation will meet in small groups with a faculty member for advising and course selection.

Students will register for a day and time with a faculty member in their respective program. An advising survey will be sent to the student and completed PRIOR to their registration time. The faculty working with the student will have access to the survey for their reference and review during the advising and registration session.

The advising and registration session will be held via Zoom in small groups (no more than five students per session).  Staff from the Register's Office, the Center for Academic Success and the Orientation team will be on hand to assist you.  

Below are introductory classes which you may find useful when advising new students:

  • ANSOC 100 – Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • ANSOC 105 – Introduction to Sociology
  • AAH 121 – History of Art and Architecture I
  • ARCH 101 – Foundations of Architecture & ARCH 101R – Recitation/Discussion
  • ASIA 100 – Foundation of Asian Studies (meets CORE 104 requirement)
  • BIO 103 & Lab – Biology 1 and Lab
  • CHN 101 – Elementary Chinese I
  • COMM 100 – Introduction to Communication Studies (Survey Course)
  • COMM 101 – Introduction to Media
  • CULST 100 – Approaches to the Study of American Society and Culture (meets CORE 102 requirement)
  • CW 110 – Form in Poetry
  • CW 120 – Narrative in Prose the Short Story
  • CJS 105 – Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • DANCE 101 – The Creative Athlete
  • DSGN 100 – Introduction to Design Communication
  • EDU 200 – Foundations of Education
  • ENG 110 – Serpents, Swords and Symbols
  • FILM 101 – Introduction to Film Studies
  • FREN 101 – Elementary French I
  • GRK 101 – Elementary Ancient Greek I
  • HIST 100 – Making Global History
  • HP 150 – Introduction to Historic Preservation
  • ITAL 101 – Elementary Italian I
  • NATSC 103 – Earth Systems Science & Lab
  • GER 101 – Elementary German I
  • GSS 100 – Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • LALS 100 – Introduction to Latin America & Latino Study (meets CORE 102 requirement)
  • LAT 101 – Elementary Latin I
  • LS 101 – The American Legal System
  • MS 101 – Introduction to ROTC and the U.S. Army I
  • MUSIC 170 – Basic Musicianship
  • MUSIC 310 – Music in the USA (meets CORE 105 requirement)
  • MUSIC 361 – Jazz Styles and History (meets CORE 105 requirement)
  • NATSC 103 – Earth Systems and NATSC 103 Lab
  • NATSC 430 – Special Topic – Principles of Oceanography
  • PHYS 240 – Introductory Astronomy with Lab (meets CORE 101 requirement)
  • PLS 100 – Introduction to Law and Legal Studies
  • PHIL 100 – Introduction to Philosophy: the Art of Inquiry
  • POLSC 100 – American Government and Politics
  • PSYCH 100 – Introduction to Psychology
  • SPN 101 – Elementary Spanish
  • SUST 101 – Introduction to Sustainability Studies
  • THEAT 110 – Acting I
  • THEAT 130 – Art of the Theater (meets CORE 105 requirement)
  • URBN 100 – Introduction to Urban Studies
  • VARTS 101 – Foundations of Drawing

COMSC 110 and CNST 100 is limited to majors only. If an undecided student is interested in exploring either area, they should work contact:

CNST – Michael Emmer , COMSC – Tony Ruocco, ENGR – Janet Baldwin