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2009-2010 Catalog Online

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Undergraduate Admission


Freshman Admission Requirements

Application Procedures

The Office of Admission strives each year to enroll a diverse undergraduate class of freshman and transfer students from the state of Rhode Island, as well as from other states and countries. We seek to enroll students who are prepared to be successful at the University, who possess a variety of talents and strengths, who are committed to becoming contributing members of the community, and who will be stimulated and challenged by doing undergraduate work in an environment that includes scholarly research and graduate study.

Students are selected for enrollment primarily on the basis of their academic competence; without regard to race, sex, religion, age, color, creed, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation; and without discrimination against veterans. The University has been authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant foreign students.

Kingston Campus. All freshmen pursuing degrees at the Kingston Campus are admitted to University College, a college of advising and academic student services. Many who are undecided about their choice of major use their time in University College to explore their interests before declaring a major. Students who have identified their prospective majors are assigned faculty advisors in that area and follow their chosen course of study while in University College. URI evaluates applicants’ credentials in terms of their stated prospective majors. Several programs are highly selective due to limited enrollment capacity.

Information Sessions. The Admission staff offers information sessions and campus tours for prospective students and their families. Reservations are not required. Call ahead to confirm available dates: 401.874.7000, or check the Web site,

Campus Tours. Student tour guides conduct walking tours of the campus for visitors Monday through Saturday while classes are in session. Group tours for high schools and other organizations may also be arranged. For more information, call 401.874.7000 or refer to Tours of the Narragansett Bay Campus and the Graduate School of Oceanography may also be arranged. Call 401.874.6211 for details.

Providence Campus. At the University’s Feinstein Providence campus, students will discover several options:

• For the high school senior seeking an urban education, the URI “Admission Option.”

• For those interested in a fast track to a career in biotechnology, the Biotechnology Manufacturing Program.

• For the adult student, the Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education (ASFCCE).

Applicants to ASFCCE are admitted under “performance-based admission” (PBA). For URI applicants without recent evidence of academic success, but with the potential to successfully complete college-level work, this represents an opportunity to pursue a college degree. PBA is available to applicants whose last formal, full-time educational experience occurred at least three years ago, and who have graduated from high school or earned an equivalency diploma. PBA is limited to students applying to the Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education for undergraduate degree programs. For more information, contact an academic advisor at the University’s Providence campus, Room 245, 401.277.5160. You can find more information on offerings through ASFCCE on page 76 of this catalog. Students intending to transfer from Providence to programs at the Kingston campus should be aware of all requirements and discuss them with their advisor.

The “Admission Option” offers graduating high school seniors the option of enrolling at the Feinstein Providence Campus of the University of Rhode Island as commuter students. It is a good choice for students who want a high quality URI education but prefer a nonresidential campus in the state’s urban center. Because it is smaller and nonresidential, the Feinstein Providence Campus has a reduced fee structure that gives commuter students a greater value for their URI tuition dollars. There are currently three majors for which traditional age students (18-22 year olds) can complete their courses of study entirely in Providence: psychology, communications studies, and human development and family studies. Other majors may require students to register for some or all of their upper-level courses in Kingston. Even if they have not yet decided on a major, students may elect to begin their studies at the Feinstein Providence Campus immediately after they have graduated from high school. Application for this option is made directly through the URI Admission office at

The Biotechnology Manufacturing Program is a Bachelor of Science degree offered in an intensive format that culminates in accelerated industry-based employment opportunities. See Biotechnology Manufacturing for more information or call 401.277.5050.


Freshman Admission Requirements

Admission to URI is competitive, and primary emphasis in the review process is placed on the student’s high school record, quality of courses taken, grades earned, and performance on standardized tests (SAT or ACT). Extracurricular activities, alumni tradition, a personal essay, and letters of recommendation are also considered. The students offered admission for fall 2009 presented an average GPA of 3.31 on a 4.00 scale, with SAT scores of approximately 1,662 combined.

The SAT or ACT test is required for freshman candidates and must be sent electronically by the testing agency to URI. Each candidate is given individual consideration; however, a minimum of 18 units of college preparatory work is expected: four units in English, three in algebra and plane geometry, two in a physical or natural science, two in history or a social science, two in the same foreign language, and additional units that meet the requirements of the college in which the candidate expects to major. All students are encouraged to select their additional units from the arts, humanities, foreign languages, mathematics, social sciences, or laboratory sciences. Candidates for the College of Engineering, the College of Business Administration, and majors in chemistry, computer science, and physics must complete four units of mathematics (precalculus or trigonometry); candidates for the College of Engineering should also select chemistry and physics. Applicants to the Bachelor of Music degree program must audition and must contact the Department of Music for specific requirements. Applicants to the College of Pharmacy should see College of Pharmacy for specific requirements.

Students presenting official GED results in lieu of a high school diploma must present secondary school or college records that show successful completion of all the admission requirements listed here.

International Candidates. International candidates must submit original or certified copies of original documents (in the original language) and notarized translations in English. Candidates must meet the University’s academic requirements. After students have been admitted, they must show that they possess funds for their first year and that funds for subsequent years will be available. If government or reserve bank permission is required to transfer funds from the student’s country to the United States, a notarized copy of the permission is required. No financial aid is available to international students, although they are eligible for consideration for merit scholarships.

Inquiries from international students concerning nonimmigrant visas, transfers, funding, etc., should be sent to URI’s Office of International Students and Scholars, 37 Lower College Road, Kingston, RI 02881; e-mail:

Homeschooled Applicants. Homeschooled applicants must meet the same entrance requirements as students who have followed a traditional schooling profile. We consider the following information when making a decision regarding admission to the freshman class:

• Comparative competencies of content through the completion of 18 prescribed Carnegie units of work displayed on an official transcript

• Standardized testing that supports the content competencies

• Earned Grade Point Average

The required material can be presented in several ways:

• Submission of a transcript from a homeschooling agency that supplies curriculum outlines and reviews and grades completed work. The University will require SAT subject exams if specific course content is unclear

• Submission of the results of SAT subject exams in the following areas to demonstrate competencies: American history or world history; math level 1C; biology, chemistry, or physics (select two); any foreign language

• Submission of a transcript of college courses that displays the prescribed units of work

• Submission of the results of Advanced Placement or CLEP examinations


Application Procedures

Students should discuss their plans for study at the University with their guidance counselors as early as possible to establish realistic goals and program selections. The University is a member of The Common Application group. URI admission counselors will be glad to correspond with students about individual circumstances. Requests for information should be sent to URI Admission, 14 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881. You may also call 401.874.7000, or visit the Admission Web page at

Students are enrolled at the beginning of the fall semester in September and at the beginning of the spring semester in January. Not all programs enroll new students in January. High school seniors are urged to submit applications, including first quarter grades, early in the academic year, since URI reviews applications on a continuing basis as soon as complete credentials are submitted. Applicants are notified as soon as decisions are made. The closing deadline for fall term freshman applications is February 1. Transfer applications are due by May 1. The closing deadline for spring term applications is November 1. Enrollment deposits are due by May 1.

Early Action and Merit Scholarships. To qualify for Early Action and merit scholarship consideration, a completed application for admission with the candidate’s signature, official high school transcript (including the list of senior courses), standardized test scores submitted electronically by the testing agency to URI, application fee, URI Common Application supplement, and at least one letter of recommendation must be received in the Office of Admission by December 1, 2009. Decisions will be made on complete applications by the end of January, and offers of admission are nonbinding. Students offered admission under the Early Action plan may apply to other colleges and are not required to make a commitment to URI prior to May 1.

If a scholarship recipient’s residency classification changes, the award amount will change to match the amount for the new tuition category.

Admission Inquiry Online. Candidates must check the status of their applications online. Instructions are forwarded to candidates when applications are received.

Entrance Tests. All candidates for freshman admission must take the SAT or ACT. Applicants who have been away from formal studies for three or more years should contact the Admission Office about entrance requirements or refer to the “Providence Campus” section on page 28 of this catalog.

Applicants are encouraged to take the SAT or ACT as early as possible in their senior year; taking the test after January reduces a candidate’s prospects for a timely decision. Students are required to have their test scores submitted electronicaly to the University by the testing service. Full information concerning these tests may be obtained from local high schools and is available online at

Domestic students whose first language is not English are encouraged to submit their official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) results or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) results to supplement their SAT scores. All international applicants whose first language is not English or for whom English has not been the language of instruction are required to submit one of these testing results. International student applicants must score minimum TOEFL results of 550 on the paper-based version, 213 on the computer version, or 79 on the Internet (iBT) version. Required minimum results for the IELTS are 6.5. For more information about the TOEFL, visit For more information about the IELTS, visit

Early Enrollment/Admission. Students who have completed their junior year of high school with superior records are eligible for early admission. A part-time study program may be arranged for students wishing to begin college study in their senior year while continuing their high school work. A full-time program may be arranged for those recommended for college admission without completion of the standard preparatory program.

Early admission students will normally have completed three years of English, three of mathematics, two of foreign language, two to three of social studies or history, and two of natural or physical science. Students must be academically competitive within their high school class, have corresponding scores on the SAT or ACT, and have the endorsement of their high school counselor or principal. Those interested should plan with their high school counselor early in their junior year, and direct further inquiries to the Admission Office. An interview is required.

Advanced Placement. Advanced standing for freshmen is granted to students who have completed college-level courses in a high school participating in the Advanced Placement Program and who have passed (with a score of 3 or better on most examinations) the CEEB Advanced Placement Examination in the following subject areas: art history, art studio (drawing and general), biology, chemistry, computer science (AB), English (language and composition; literature and composition), French (language and literature), German (language), history (European and United States), Latin (Virgil and Catullus-Horace), mathematics (calculus AB and BC), music theory, physics B (mechanics) and C (electricity and magnetism), and Spanish (language and literature). For a list of University courses considered equivalent to advanced placement classes, please visit

Advanced Standing. In addition, students can take proficiency examinations administered by University departments to be granted advanced standing. Entrance with advanced standing can accelerate the completion of degree requirements or enrich the undergraduate program by allowing for additional elective or advanced courses.

International Baccalaureate Degree Program. URI awards credit for most higher level examinations taken in high school and passed with a score of 5, 6, or 7. Course credit is awarded at the discretion of individual departments. No credit is awarded for standard level examinations. Visit

Transfer Admission Requirements. Transfer students are those who have completed 24 or more hours of transferable college coursework. A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50 is required, but most successful applicants have much higher grade point averages. Certain programs may require a higher GPA or specific prerequisite courses. Candidates accepted with transfer credit are classified as freshmen, sophomores, juniors, or seniors according to the number of credits accepted for transfer. The transfer of general education credits is described on page 35. Students may apply to URI teacher education programs only after acceptance by an academic department. Some programs restrict enrollment of new transfer students to the fall semester only.

Transfer students must submit transcripts directly to URI from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not they expect or desire credit for such work. High school records must also be submitted. Transfer candidates must be in good standing and eligible to return to the institutions they attended previously. Credit is not awarded for course work taken prior to admission to URI and disclosed after acceptance. Credit will only be given for courses in which the student earned a final grade of C or better.

Credit transferred from other schools is limited by the following restrictions: 1) no more than half of the credits URI requires for graduation can be transferred from two-year institutions; 2) students must earn at URI at least one-half of the credits required for a major, at least one-half of the credits required for a minor, and at least one-fourth of the credits required for graduation; 3) only grades earned for course work at URI are included in the calculation of a student’s grade point average.

The College of Business Administration (CBA) requires transfer students to have 60 college credits, including Accounting I and II, Business Communications, Calculus I and II, Economics I and II, Statistics I and II, and one computer course. Students not meeting these requirements may be admitted to University College and later transfer to CBA, provided they complete the above-named courses and meet the college’s GPA requirement. The University grants direct transfer credit for equivalent upper-level business courses taken at institutions that are accredited by AACSB International (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). Upper-level business courses taken at an institution not accredited by AACSB International must be validated by examination. Courses not validated will be awarded open elective credit.

Joint Admission. The Joint Admission Agreement (JAA) is available to Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) students who, prior to earning 30 credits, matriculate into one of the recognized JAA transition plans. Each transition plan specifies at least 32 credits that transfer to URI in fulfillment of general education requirements. Although some additional general education courses may be required, the following core requirements ensure that transferring and continuing students have common knowledge across a broad spectrum of the liberal arts and sciences: Writing/Communications (3 credits), Literature (3), Fine Arts (3), Mathematics (3), Science (8), Social Science (9), additional general education (3). Since the requirements of specific degree programs vary, students should consult with their JAA advisor regarding course selection.

To aid students and their advisors in making appropriate selections, JAA transition plans are available on the RI Transfers Web site ( and in the Transfer Guide for Students available at the same site. Only programs specified in these publications and sites as JAA programs with transition plans are included in this agreement.

Proficiency Examinations. Students showing evidence of advanced knowledge or who have taken “enriched” programs in high school may be exempt from certain courses and requirements if they take departmental proficiency exams. A student who successfully passes such an exam earns credits as well as exemption from the course. However, students who, by successfully passing proficiency examinations, have the general education requirements waived in writing, mathematics, and/or foreign languages or culture, must still complete the specified number of credits for their degree programs.

Students interested in taking these exams should contact their academic dean. New students may obtain further information during orientation from their University College advisor.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP). Students who have been away from formal studies for three or more years may take CLEP General Examinations to demonstrate academically measurable learning acquired in nontraditional ways. URI students must secure prior approval from their academic dean to take the exams for credit, and the exams must be taken during the first semester of enrollment. Transfer students may receive credit from CLEP General Examinations taken prior to enrollment at URI, provided that their scores meet URI standards and their academic dean judges that the CLEP credit does not duplicate other transfer credit.

Academic departments may use CLEP Subject Examinations as proficiency exams to test students’ mastery of the subjects taught by the department. A department that judges a CLEP Subject Examination to be a satisfactory proficiency exam decides what credit should be awarded within the department to students passing the exam, establishes the minimum score for credit, decides whether students must answer the optional essay questions supplied by CLEP, and decides whether students must pass a supplementary department test, such as a lab exam.

For more information, visit, choose the document for the correct academic year, and scroll down to section 2. Choose College Level Exam Program from the drop-down menu.

New England Regional Student Program. Through a cooperative plan sponsored by the New England Board of Higher Education, students from other New England states may enroll in a small number of selected programs at URI which are not offered in their own states. Certain programs at other New England state universities are open to Rhode Islanders on a reciprocal basis. Commencing with the fall 2006 semester, freshmen and transfer students in approved regional programs will be charged tuition at the rate of 1.75% of the in-state fee. Graduate students and continuing undergraduate students will be charged at the rate of 1.5% of the in-state fee. If at any time a student transfers out of the New England Regional Student Program, out-of-state fees will apply.

Details are available from the New England Board of Higher Education, 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111 (, or high school guidance offices. All new students apply for regional student status as part of the application process. The Office of Registration and Records provides information pertaining to this program for students already enrolled at URI.

Continuing or returning students claim eligibility by submitting a formal request to Registration and Records prior to the end of the add period of the semester in which regional status is to be effective. Visit to see which majors from each New England state apply.

Talent Development. URI encourages the application of minority and disadvantaged individuals from Rhode Island. In 1968, the Talent Development (TD) program was established here to recruit and retain minority and disadvantaged applicants. TD provides an opportunity for URI admission, an academic pre-matriculation program in residence at Kingston, and consistent academic support throughout a student’s undergraduate program. Financial aid is available for students accepted to Talent Development; need is determined by the filing of a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. For more information on this program, please see Talent Development or visit

Interested students should apply to Talent Development during their senior year in high school. Those possessing an equivalency diploma or who have been out of high school for some time are also encouraged to apply. Applications and all credentials should be sent to the URI Admission Office, 14 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881, from October 1 through February 1.

Health Questionnaire. Once you are admitted to the University, Health Services will mail you a new student packet including information that will allow you to enter a secure Web site and utilize your “online student health“ module. You will be asked to promptly complete and enter a health questionnaire which will provide basic background information for your URI Electronic Medical Record prior to your arrival on campus.

Each entering student must also provide a certificate signed by a licensed health care provider giving the dates of immunizations to protect against rubella (German measles), rubeola (measles), and mumps, hepatitis B, and varicella (chicken pox), in addition to a tetanus-diptheria (Td) booster within ten years (per Section 23-1-18(9) of the general laws of Rhode Island). This certificate is included in the mailing to new students. Students failing to comply with this requirement will face sanctions and will be unable to register for classes.

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