department of psychology

306 Chafee Hall, 142 Flagg Road, Kingston, RI 02881

uripsymajor@gmail.com401.874.2193 (p); 401.874.2157 (f)

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General Education FAQ

What math course should I take?
Many students take MTH 107 or STA 220 because they cover introductory information about statistical concepts that will be presented in PSY 200 (Research Methods – previously numbered PSY 300). However, students are encouraged to select math courses on how much match they took in high school (see more about Math Placement). Taking a math course is a prerequisite for PSY 200, therefore students are advised to take a math course during the freshman year.

Psychology BS majors are required to take two math courses from the following options MTH 107 or STA 220 (not both), MTH 111, MTH 131, MTH 141, MTH 142, MTH 215

Is it true that B.S. students are required to take different general education classes?
Yes, Bachelor of Science majors have specific courses they need to take in the areas of math, writing, and natural sciences. You can find all the general ed requirements for both degrees on the Undergraduate Curriculum page.

The requirements are:

Math. Psychology BS majors are required to take two math courses from the following options MTH 107 or STA 220 (not both), MTH 111, MTH 131, MTH 141, MTH 142, MTH 215.

Writing. Psychology BS majors need to take WRT 106 or 333. For students who have already taken WRT 104, you may fulfill your writing AND communications requirement by completing WRT 333.

Natural Sciences. Psychology BS majors are required to take BIO 101/103 or 105.

Remaining General Education Requirements. The remaining General Education requirements for Psychology BS majors are the same as those for Psychology BA majors.

Do I need both general education classes and 300+ classes to fulfill the BA degree?
Most of the courses that are categorized as general education classes are listed at the 100 or 200 level. However, some are at the 300+ level and would count both as general education classes, as well as courses fulfilling the requirement to earn 42+ credits in courses number 300 or higher. Choosing 300+ general education classes can be a way to efficiently meet both requirements.

I did a lot of writing in my English course. Will that meet the writing requirement in English Communication?
No, it will not. Only the approved writing courses (WRT) meet this requirement.

I’ve heard that it is possible to waive the requirement to take a writing course. Is that true?
Yes, there are two ways this can happen:

  • Eligible students may have the requirement waived in writing (ECw) by successfully passing a proficiency test before the beginning of their second semester of full-time registration. Students with proof of a verbal SAT score of 650 or higher may take this exam. New students should be notified of the Writing Program’s criteria for eligibility to waive a writing course as part of their Orientation. If you are not contacted by the Writing Program and think you are eligible, contact that program and bring proof of your SAT score. Note that you must schedule and complete the proficiency test by the end of your first fall semester.
  • If you have already taken a college-level writing course at another college or university, or if you have certain kinds of Advanced Placement credit, you may have met the requirement for three English Communication Writing credits already. Check your transcript and talk with your advisor or contact the Writing Program by phone (874-5932), by email (, or in person (Roosevelt 319).

Do I have to take a Communication Studies course (e.g. Communication 100)?
No, you do not. Com 100 is one of the options for the General Education requirement. Other options are LIB 120, PHL 101, or taking two writing courses (e.g. WRT 104 and WRT 333). Note that the two writing courses cannot both be at the 100 level.

Do I have to take a language?
Most students getting a B.A. degree in the College of Arts and Sciences do have a requirement to study a language, but there are exceptions:

  • Students with certain types of disabilities are allowed to meet the language requirement by taking 6 credits of ‘Culture Cluster’ courses. This option is not available to students in the College of Arts and Sciences unless the student has been recognized by the Office of Disability Services as having a qualifying type of disability (e.g., in language/literacy).
  • Foreign students who were born in a different country may request to have this requirement waived (see Dean Smith in the College of Arts and Sciences); Bring proof of your country of origin, such as a birth certificate or passport.
  • Studying abroad for a semester, regardless of the language spoken, is an approved way to meet the language requirement. Students who study abroad often are doing so, in part, to build their skill in a foreign language. However, students may choose to study abroad in a country in which English is spoken or may go to a country in which English is not the native language, but the study abroad program provides classes taught in English.

Any of these options would satisfy the language requirement. Yet, to have a study abroad experience meet the language requirement, it is necessary to go for an academic semester, not for a shorter summer program (unless language courses are taken). Students are advised to check with the Study Abroad Program for information about affiliated and nonaffiliated study abroad programs. Students also can research study abroad opportunities independently and then discuss programs they have discovered that sound appealing to them with staff in the Study Abroad office.

Students who speak a foreign language may take a language placement exam. If the student passes at the intermediate level (equivalent to a 104 course at URI), she/he may waive the language requirement.

So if I need to take a language, this is a two course (6 credits) requirement, right?
Not necessarily. The language requirement is a proficiency requirement. The Languages Department has defined that level of proficiency as equivalent to successfully completing a 104 level language course. You can do this in several ways:

  • As described above, you can take a proficiency exam. If you “pass” it, you are exempt from the language requirement. In this case, you do 0 courses. (N. B. You do not receive credit for this.)
  • Start with a 104 course or any 3-credit course at a higher level (200 and up). If you pass that course, your language requirement is finished. In this case, you do one course.
  • If your background does not allow you to start at least the 104 level, then you need to take two courses at whatever level is appropriate for you. In this case, you will do two courses.

Can I start over in the language I studied in high school?
The language department has Placement guidelines that intersect with meeting the general education requirement; check the website listed below. You may start over, but the first class will not count toward the language requirement (e.g., take the first class to review (101), and then take the next two classes to meet the language requirement (102 and 103)). See course placement guidelines for languages.

Is it true that a student can take one three-credit language course and have it count for 6 credits?
Yes, visit the Languages website to learn more.

May I study abroad during the summer to fulfill my foreign language requirement?
No, unless you actually earn foreign language credits while you are abroad.

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