General Education Requirements

The University believes that all undergraduate students, regardless of their degree programs, need experience in the study of fundamentals that builds on the student’s previous education and continues through the undergraduate years and beyond. All bachelor’s degree students, with the exception of students enrolled in the College of Engineering, follow the same University-wide general education requirements. While general education requirements for all students are selected from the same list of approved courses, there are possible variations based on the student’s major. Students should consult specific college and departmental requirements and discuss the requirements with an advisor. In their first semester, all entering freshmen and new transfer students with fewer than 24 credits are required to take URI 101: A Freshman Seminar, including community service provided by the Feinstein Enriching America Program (see Course Descriptions).

The purpose of general education at the University of Rhode Island is to lay a foundation for the lifelong enrichment of the human experience and for a thoughtful and active engagement with the world. This foundation is built on recognition of the complexity of nature, society, and the individual. The objective of general education is to introduce students to the fundamental dimensions of this complexity and to develop an appreciation of different ways of understanding it and different cultural responses to it.

Corresponding with its goals, the general education program is divided into the following core areas:

English Communication. Six credits in English communication, at least three of which must be in a course designed specifically to improve written communication skills.

Fine Arts and Literature. Six credits in courses on artistic and literary expression and interpretation.

Foreign Language/Cross-cultural Competence. Six credits or the equivalent in course work related to communicating across cultures.

Letters. Six credits in courses that address the wisdom and traditions of the past and present in a global setting.

Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning. Three credits in a course on mathematical or quantitative skills and their application.

Natural Sciences. Six credits in courses on the interrelationships of the natural world.

Social Sciences. Six credits in courses related to the study of human behavior in social, economic, cultural, and political contexts.

Because particular skills are essential to a thoughtful engagement with the world, each general education course incorporates opportunities to practice three (3) or more of the following skills: reading complex texts, writing effectively, speaking effectively, examining human differences, using quantitative data, using qualitative data, using information literacy, and engaging in artistic activity.

In addition, the University has a commitment to providing students with the opportunity to examine diversity within and across national boundaries and requires that at least two of the courses taken as part of a student’s general education program must be designated as diversity [D] courses. Only one course in a foreign language may be applied to the diversity requirement. Since these diversity courses may be selected from any of the general education core areas, this requirement does not increase the total number of credits in the general education program.

Specific courses that may be used to meet these requirements are listed below. If a course is countable in more than one core area, a student may count the course in only one core area. For an explanation of course codes, see How to Read This Catalog.

English Communication: Writing (ECw): BIS 100*; ELS 112, 122; HPR 112, 326; WRT 104, 105, 106, 201, 227, 235, 302, 303, 304 [D], 305 [D], 333; General (EC): COM 100 [D], 108, 110 [D]; ECN 108; LIB 120, 220; PHL 101; SUS 108.

Fine Arts and Literature (A): AAF 247 [D], 248 [D]; ART 101, 207; ARH 120 [D], 251 [D], 252 [D]; CLA 391 [D], 395 [D], 396 [D], 397 [D]; CLS 160 [D]; ENG 110 [D], 160 [D], 241 [D], 242 [D], 243 [D], 245 [D], 247 [D], 248 [D], 251 [D], 252 [D], 260 [D], 262 [D], 263 [D], 264 [D], 265 [D], 280 [D], 317 [D], 355 [D], 357 [D], 358 [D]; FAL 151 [D]; FLM 101 [D], 203 [D], 204 [D], 205 [D]; FRN 309 [D], 310 [D], 320 [D], 391 [D], 392 [D], 393 [D]; GCH 101; GWS 317 [D]; HPR 124, 125, 201A, 202A, 324, 325; LAR 201; MUS 101 [D], 106 [D], 111, 292 [D], 293 [D]; PLS 233, 335 [D]*; RUS 391[D], 392 [D]; SPA 305 [D], 306 [D], 307 [D], 308 [D], 320 [D]; THE 100, 181, 351[D], 352 [D], 381, 382, 383.. Please note: the College of Arts and Sciences requires one course in fine arts and one course in literature. See Basic Liberal Studies Requirements.

Foreign Language/Cross-cultural Competence (FC): This requirement shall be fulfilled in one of the following ways: 1) demonstration of competence through the intermediate level by a proficiency examination or by successfully completing the 104 level in a living language or the 302 level in a classical language or by completing ARB 100 (6credits) (students who fulfill this requirement through an examination cannot earn course credit for graduation; students who earn less than six credits in fulfilling the requirement should apply credits to the elective or major areas); 2) a two-course sequence in a language previously studied for two or more years in high school through at least the 103 level in a living language or 301 in a classical language appropriate to a student’s level of competence (e.g., 102 and 103, 102 and 301; 131 and 103; 103 and 104; 301 and 302); 3) course work in a language not previously studied (or studied for less than two years in high school) through the beginning level. All modern and classical language courses used to fulfill these options carry the [D] designation; 4) study abroad in an approved academic program for one semester; 5) majoring in a foreign language; 6) two courses in cross-cultural competence selected from the following list: CCC 151 [D]; FRN 309 [D], 310 [D], 320 [D], 391 [D], 392 [D], 393 [D]; HIS 132 [D], 171 [D], 172 [D], 180 [D], 311 [D], 327 [D], 374 [D], 375 [D]; HPR 201F, 202F; LET 151L [D], 151Q [D], 151R [D]; NRS 300 [D]; PHL 331 [D]; RLS 131 [D]; SPA 320 [D]; TMD 224 [D]. Six credits of a full-semester approved Intercultural Internship in a foreign country through the Office of Internships and Experiential Education may be substituted for cross-cultural competence courses. Formally registered international students, students with a recognized immigrant status, and students who are naturalized citizens may be exempt from the foreign language or cross-cultural competence requirement at the discretion of the dean of the student’s academic college.

Letters (L): AAF 150 [D], 201 [D], 355 [D], 356 [D]; APG 327; BIS 392 [D]; CLS 160 [D], 235; COM 246 [D]; EGR 316 [D]; ENG 110 [D], 160 [D], 243 [D], 251 [D], 252 [D], 280 [D], 317 [D], 355 [D], 356 [D]; GCH 102; FRN 391 [D], 392 [D], and 393 [D]; GWS 220 [D], 315 [D], 317 [D], 320 [D], 325 [D]; HIS 110 [D], HIS 111 [D], 112, 113 [D], 114 [D], 116, 117, 118 [D], 130 [D], 132 [D], 141 [D], 142 [D], 145 [D], 146 [D], 150 [D], 160 [D], 171 [D], 172 [D], 176 [D],180 [D], 304, 305, 310 [D], 311 [D], 314, 323 [D], 327 [D], 332 [D], 333 [D], 340 [D], 341 [D], 346 [D], 351 [D], 355 [D], 356 [D]; 374 [D]; 375 [D]; HPR 107, 201L, 202L, 307; JOR 110 [D]; LAR 202 [D]; LET 151 approved topics [D]; LIB 220; NUR 360 [D]; PHL 101, 103, 204, 210 [D], 212 [D], 215, 217 [D], 235, 314, 316 [D], 321, 322, 323 [D], 325 [D], 328 [D], 331 [D], 346, 355; PSC 341, 342; PSY 310; RLS 111 [D], 125, 126, 131 [D]; WRT 240 [D].

Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning (MQ): BUS 111; CSC 101, 201; HPR 108, 201M, 202M; MTH 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 131, 141, 142, 208; PSC 109; STA 220.

Natural Sciences (N): AFS 190, 210, 211; APG 201 [D]; AST 108, 118; AVS 101 [D]; BCH 190; BIO 101, 102, 105, 106, 286 [D]; BIS 391*; BPS 201, 203; CHM 100, 101, 103, 112; EGR 109,EGR 133; GCH 103; GEO 100, 102, 103, 110, 113, 120; HPR 109, 201N, 202N, 309; MIC 190; NRS 100, 190; NFS 207, 210; NUR 143 [D]; OCG 110, 123, 131, 200; PHP 143 [D]; PHY 109, 111, 112, 185, 186, 203, 204, 205, 273, 274, 275; PLS 150, 190, 233; TMD 113.

Social Sciences (S): AFS 132; AVS 132; APG 200 [D], 202, 203 [D], 301 [D]; BIS 390 [D]*; COM 108; CPL 202 [D]; ECN 100 [D], 108, 201, 202, 306, 381 [D]; EDC 102 [D]; EEC (REN) 105, 310, 356; GCH 104; GEG 101 [D], 104 [D]; 202 [D]; GWS (WMS) 150 [D], 320 [D]; HDF 225; HPR 110 [D], 201S, 202S, 310; HSS 130 [D]; JOR 110 [D]; KIN 123 [D]; LIN 200 [D]; MAF 100, 220 [D]; NUR 114 [D], 143 [D], 150 [D], 160 [D]; PHP 114 [D], 143 [D]; PLS 143 [D]; PSC 113 [D], 116 [D], 201 [D]; PSY 103 [D], 113 [D], 232 [D], 235 [D], 254 [D], 255 [D]; SOC 100 [D], 212 [D], 230 [D], 240 [D], 242 [D]; SUS 108; TMD 224 [D].

All students must meet the curricular requirements of the colleges in which they plan to earn their degrees. Some colleges require that students select specific courses from the lists given for the various general education components. Therefore, students must refer to the requirements specified for their programs.

In the colleges of Arts and Sciences, the Environment and Life Sciences, and Human Science and Services and for the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies, credits within a student’s own major may not be counted toward general education requirements in fine arts and literature, letters, natural sciences, or social sciences. In other colleges, credits within a student’s professional college may not be counted toward any general education requirements. However, courses that serve as prerequisites for a major can be used to fulfill the general education requirements.

Students in the Honors Program can receive general education credit for honors sections of courses that have been approved for general education credit.

Transfer students can receive general education credit for courses taken at other institutions as long as such credits are in courses equivalent to courses given general education credit at URI.

*Courses not approved to meet general education requirements for Arts and Sciences students.
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