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URI General Education Program and Courses

All university students take courses to fulfill the requirements of general education, of their major, or as electives. The major provides the opportunity to study a subject broadly and deeply and perhaps to prepare for a career as well. Elective courses allow a student to pursue diverse interests and to gain knowledge in areas unrelated to his or her major. The choice of a major and of elective courses is dictated by the particular skills, interests, and ambitions of the individual student.

The General Education Program at URI is intended to broaden and deepen the education of URI students by taking courses drawn from the following areas:

  • English Communications (C, Cw) - Students must earn 6 credits in English communication. A minimum of three credits must be in a writing course.
  • Mathematics (M) - Students must earn 3 credits in a course specifically designed to provide training in college-level quantitative skills and their application.
  • Fine Arts and Literature (A) - Students must earn 6 credits in courses related to historical and critical study of the arts and literature or to a creative activity.
  • Foreign Language or Culture (F) - Students must earn 6 credits or the equivalent in the same foreign language or foreign culture.
  • Letters (L) - Students must earn 6 credits in courses which address fundamental questions about the human condition, human values, and the ways of communicating these values.
  • Natural Science (N) - Students must earn 6 credits in courses in the physical, chemical, or biological sciences.
  • Social Sciences (S) - Students must earn 6 credits in courses in the Social Sciences.

GENERAL GUIDELINES

Students should consider the following when selecting General Education courses:

1. The University requirement describes the basic pattern for General Education at URI. Each college may, however, modify this program so that the number of credits required in certain areas may be increased or reduced. Some colleges and curricula require students to take specified courses in some areas in order not to increase the total number of credits required for graduation. The course list notes those courses approved for the University General Education Program which are not approved for Arts and Sciences students and those not approved for students pursuing Engineering curricula.

2. When selecting courses for General Education, students should consider their program. Some courses are more pertinent to a wide variety of majors than others. Students who are uncertain about their choice of major or who are considering a change should select those General Education courses which will fit into both their present and potential majors.

3. Study Abroad typically occurs during the junior year, and students intending to pursue this option should see the Director of Study Abroad Programs (Taft Hall) early in their sophomore year to begin making plans.

4. In general, courses in a student's major may not be used for General Education credit.

EXCEPTIONS:

a. Students following majors in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Human Sciences and Services, or in the BGS program of the College of Continuing Education may not count credits within their major toward fulfilling their General Education requirements except in the skill areas of communications and math. A student concentrating in English, for example, may not select an English literature course for general education credit in Fine Arts and Literature. This restriction does not apply to a second major when a student chooses to double major.

b. Students majoring in programs in Business, Engineering, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Environment and Life Sciences may not count credits earned within that college toward fulfilling the General Education requirements except in the skill areas of communications and math. Nursing students, for example, cannot receive Letters credit for NUR 360, Impact of Death on Behavior; students in Environment and Life Sciences cannot receive Natural Science credit for AVS 101, Introduction to Animal Science.

5. All courses on the list of those approved for the General Education Program carry 3 credits, unless otherwise noted.

6. Some courses have been approved for more than one General Education area, but they may be used to fulfill a General Education requirement in only one of those areas. If a course has been approved in a second area, that area is noted within brackets following the course description. [L] means, for example, that the course has also been approved for the Letters area as well as for the area in which it is listed, but students may use that course to count for only one General Education area.

7. Although many students fulfill their General Education requirements during their first two years, it is not always necessary or advisable to do so. Students interested in off campus study (e.g., National Student Exchange, Study Abroad) may find it easier to meet General Education requirements than those in their major at other institutions. For other programs, such as University Year for Action internships or Honors Program opportunities in the junior or senior year it may be best to have completed General Education requirements.

8. All entering freshmen and new transfer students with less then 24 credits are required to take URI 101, Traditions and Transformations: A Freshman Seminar in their first semester.

WARNING: The URI Bulletin, Undergraduate Studies, is the official university record of courses and programs. While every attempt has been made to insure the accuracy of this brochure, it is not intended to substitute for an official URI publication.

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