Resources for Faculty and Staff

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

Faculty Advisor Quick Guide

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 is required for all new students who have skills in a foreign language and/or have taken courses in a foreign language in high school. Students who are majoring in International Relations and International Business are also required to take the foreign language placement test.

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 CSAS prior to dropping below 12 credits. Students who live on campus must also receive prior approval from the Housing Office 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).

School of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management (SECCM)

BA in Computer Science: this degree can be a great second major for the student who will be beginning their sophomore year in the fall.  Not only is the BA a good degree in its own right, it can be a great advantage to those with majors that rely on technology as well.

Minor in Computer Science: this consists of COMSC110&Lab, COMSC111&Lab and then 10 additional COMSC course credits (though we will accept MATH221 as part of those 10).  This minor gives a bit of depth to understanding and using technologies which are becoming more pervasive every day.  Those entering their sophomore year can easily begin the minor, it can also begin second semester sophomore year.  It is possible for a first semester junior, but that is not common.

Core Concentration in Computer Science: this consists of COMSC110&Lab, COMSC111&Lab and then 7 additional COMSC course credits (though we will accept MATH221 as part of those 7).  This fulfills the University requirement of a Core Concentration, but with one additional course, it can be both a Core Concentration and Minor!  We have had some students begin the Core Concentration as late as first semester of junior year.

School of Social and Natural Sciences (SSNS)

New course in Public Health, called PH 103 Health in Diverse Populations. It a CORE 103 equivalent, so it can be taken as a substitute to that requirement. In this course, the student will explore topics at the intersection of health and life. Topics include: how does money affect health, constructions of racial and ethnic inequalities, power and politics, place and health, stigmas and health, love hate and harm, the fallacy of freedom of choice, luck or privilege, fairness and justice, etc.

Faculty and staff interested in learning how to better support transfer students are welcome to join us for the Transfer Student Advocacy Workshop being held on April 12, 2023 in the University Library, Mary Tefft White from 2:30PM-3:15PM. Details are listed on the flyer displayed below:

A flyer for Transfer Student Advocacy Workshop being held Wednesday, April 12, 2023 from 2:30PM-3:15PM in the University Library Mary Tefft White room. This workshop is open to all RWU faculty and staff who want to learn more about who transfer students are and how we can support their distinct needs. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to Sarah Mayer, Senior Academic Advisor for Transfer/Pathways Students at Workshop Agenda: Who transfer students are at Roger Williams University, What resources are available to transfer students, and best practices for supporting campus integration. Coffee, tea, and light refreshments will be served. We hope to see you there!