University College-to-Bristol Pathway Program

The University College-to-Bristol Pathway Program allows students an alternative route to a Bristol-based bachelor's degree. Due to the competitive nature of the admission process for our Bristol campus, not every applicant can be offered admission. However, these applicants possess a desire and potential that may be realized through our University College (UC) program, which can be a step to strengthen their foundation for a transition to Bristol.

How does it work?

  • Applicants who are not admitted in the competitive admission review for Bristol programs are provided the opportunity to begin their educational journey at RWU through University College (UC) with a guaranteed pathway to a Bristol-based degree program.
  • The transition to the Bristol campus and a Bristol-based bachelor’s degree program can happen as early as upon completion of 12 credits.
  • The transition is guaranteed after completing two terms of 6 credits each with Good Academic Standing (2.0 GPA); or for an accelerated option after one semester at UC (upon advisement on an individual basis), a minimum 12 credits with a 2.8 GPA or higher. (Students who do not meet these thresholds may apply for case-by-case consideration.)
  • Students will automatically qualify for a merit scholarship upon transition to Bristol programs based on their University College GPA, and may qualify for additional need-based financial aid based on the most up-to-date FAFSA. A financial aid award projection for the Bristol portion of the degree is provided upon invitation to the University College program.
  • Students may have the opportunity and ability to still graduate in four years with their intended academic program(s) providing coursework and credits are selected intentionally under the guidance of their academic advisor, and with the inclusion of intersession courses.

Scholarship Levels

RWU University College GPABristol Annual Scholarship Range
3.6-4.0Presidential Scholarship: $17,000-$20,000
3.0-3.5Dean's Scholarship: $13,000-$16,000
2.5-2.9Community Scholarship: $10,000-$12,000

What is the experience like?

  • Students will be assigned to a dedicated advisor who will guide course selection to ensure that UC coursework will apply to the Bristol-based degree program.
  • Students enter as "exploratory," meaning they do not begin with a declared major. The dedicated advisors will work with students to identify an academic pathway, and take the appropriate introductory courses to ultimately declare an appropriate major upon transition to Bristol before the end of the sophomore year.
  • Students should be prepared to engage in online coursework that may be synchronous (classes run virtually in real time) or asynchronous (recorded sessions and/or course resources that are accessed individually).
  • Students will take a writing course in the first semester, which provides an important foundation for success at RWU and in subsequent college coursework.
  • UC students have access to all University-sponsored and organized events, such as lectures, performances, concerts, and more.
  • Students will be eligible to participate in Bristol-based student organizations, clubs and athletics after they have transitioned to the Bristol-based program.

More Info on UC

  • University College courses are delivered through various modalities to offer flexibility and convenience for students. Courses can be taken online, in a hybrid fashion, or in-person at our downtown Providence campus.
  • Tuition is $1059-$1299 per three-credit UC course, for up to 14 credits per semester. There is also a $70 semester fee for the Fall and Spring semesters.
  • Students may qualify for need-based financial aid based on their FAFSA submission. Additional institutional aid may be available upon request in cases of need and/or hardship.
  • UC students benefit from free academic support, including tutoring and advising.
  • Check out more on the University College web site.

Location and residency

  • Each course will be offered through virtual/online delivery, so students would not need to physically attend the Providence campus. This allows for participation from virtually anywhere.
  • Students who are local may opt to take some in-person and/or hybrid courses that would involve presence on the Providence campus.
  • Housing is not available for UC students; however, we can offer recommendations for local housing options if students are interested.

What is the benefit?

While it is certainly possible for students to enroll at another institution or community college and then later transfer to RWU, this opportunity guarantees that your courses will transfer seamlessly into your intended degree program. It also waives you from having to reapply through the transfer application and navigate through another admission process. Your advisor will guide your course selection based on your educational goals. You will also benefit from exposure and experience with RWU faculty, and start building relationships with the community. 

Other students may alternatively consider a gap semester or year. While this may be the right choice for certain individuals, the UC program allows you the flexibility to pursue many of the opportunities you may desire during gap time. With options for online (synchronous or asynchronous) and hybrid courses, as well as flexibility in the number of credits taken per semester, students can engage in work or internship experience, volunteer work, community activism, entrepreneurial activities, and other pursuits.

Contact Admission

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please contact Heather Schramm, Associate Director of Admission, Transfer Experience. Email or call 401-254-3731.