School of Arts and Sciences

The School of Arts and Sciences offers a majority of the courses taken by undergraduate students at the University. Even students who major in business or leadership studies take up to two-thirds of their courses, elective as well as general education courses, in the School of Arts and Sciences. The school provides a broad range of majors and offers numerous opportunities for interdisciplinary study. Such study takes many forms, from self-designed programs to interdisciplinary concentrations within traditional fields to fully developed interdisciplinary majors. Graduates today live in a world in which the ability to integrate knowledge and skills from a variety of disciplines is increasingly important. The School of Arts and Sciences fully recognizes this fact and is constantly working to create opportunities for students to integrate and apply what they are learning.

Engagement in active and interactive learning is the hallmark of education in the School of Arts and Sciences. Students are involved in guided independent study projects, collaborative research with faculty and other students, internships and other service-learning experiences, and artistic and creative projects. Active engagement enables students to assume increasing responsibility for their own learning and development and prepares them for life-long growth and adaptation to change.

The faculty of the school are committed, first and foremost, to teaching and learning and to the overall education and development of their students. Faculty take the advising and mentoring of students very seriously and meet frequently with their students and advisees to discuss course-related projects as well as career plans and long-term goals.

The school's faculty are also productive scholars and artists who introduce students to the excitement of research and creative activity. As distinguished scholars, scientists, artists and practitioners, they are able to teach by example as well as by precept.

By graduation, arts and sciences students are well-prepared for further study in graduate or professional schools and for employment in a variety of fields, including healthcare, government, business, law, and nonprofit work. The knowledge and skills fostered by a liberal arts education serve students well in the world of work, as well as in their personal lives. In addition, an education in the School of Arts and Sciences prepares students to become well-informed and thoughtful citizens, to be able to contribute to the lives of others, and to help advance the society of which they are a part.

Curriculum Requirements

The School of Arts and Sciences offers the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science degrees.

In addition to the degree requirements previously stated under Graduation, a candidate must satisfy major requirements outlined in the following pages.

Course limitations- Of the following, no more than the stated units of credit can count toward any degree in a given school:

  • 3.5 units - Internship courses of whatever kind, excluding student teaching, legislative internship and Theatre 330-341 Practicum
  • 1.5 units - Internship 388 taken in the same academic department

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Requirements
To qualify for a Bachelor of Arts degree, students must complete the degree requirements listed previously, including general education requirements, wellness, curriculum, achievement, and residency requirements, along with completion of the requirements for at least one major.
Requirements for the Major

The major is a field of academic study chosen as an area of specialization. A major will include courses in a subject area*, such other courses outside the subject area as may be designated, and any courses prerequisite to those required courses. Unless a special waiver of the Academic Council has been granted to a department or program and endorsed by the arts and sciences faculty, a major will require 9 to 11 units in a single subject area, including all prerequisites within the subject area. In addition, a major will require no more than 15.5 total units, counting all courses both inside and outside the subject area, including all prerequisites for those courses. Majors in interdisciplinary programs will require a minimum of 9 units and no more than 15.5 total units, including all prerequisites.

A student may not count more than 17.5 units from a single subject area toward the minimum number of units necessary for graduation. In certain rare circumstances, when a student has the written support of the department chair, she or he may petition the Arts and Sciences Academic Council to exceed the limit.

Basic modern second language courses through the intermediate level, and the wellness requirements will not be counted toward the major. Classical languages are exempt from this exclusion.

A student may concurrently fulfill the requirements of more than one major. To initiate more than one major, the student should declare the majors in the manner currently provided. Upon graduation, only one degree will be conferred**, but each completed major will be recorded on the student's permanent academic record, provided the student has listed the major on the degree application and is certified to have completed all of the requirements specified for the given major.

If a student's major(s) and other coursework can be arranged to meet the requirements for either the Bachelor of Arts degree or the Bachelor of Science degree, no more than one degree has been earned; however, the student must specify which degree is desired. Any major associated with a degree not chosen shall be recorded according to the provisions previously stated.

Specific major requirements may be found under the appropriate academic department listing in the Curricula section. In that section, the requirements are presumed to be for the Bachelor of Arts degree unless otherwise stated. For a description of the minor option, see that heading in the Interdisciplinary Programs section of this chapter.

* Subject area refers to coursework listed under a single specified rubric.
** Students interested in earning more than one undergraduate degree should refer to the Second Undergraduate Degree section.

Bachelor of Science

Degree Requirements
To qualify for a Bachelor of Science degree, students must complete the degree requirements stated under Graduation, including general education requirements, wellness, curriculum, achievement, and residency requirements, along with completion of the requirements for at least one major. The B.S. degree at the University of Richmond requires a concentration in science and quantitative reasoning. The B.S. degree will require depth of coursework and/or research as determined by the department or program along with Math 211 (or equivalent) and a second course that focuses on advanced quantitative methods appropriate to scientific inquiry.
Requirements for the Major

The provisions listed under the B.A. apply. The B.S. is offered only in biochemistry, biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental studies, interdisciplinary studies, mathematics, mathematical economics, physics, interdisciplinary physics, and psychology. For differences in the major requirements for the degrees, consult the appropriate departmental description under Curricula.

The major is a field of academic study chosen as an area of specialization. A major will include courses in a subject area, such other courses outside the subject area as may be designated, and any courses prerequisite to those required courses. Unless a special waiver of the Academic Council has been granted to a department or program and endorsed by the arts and sciences faculty, a major will require 9 to 13 units in a single subject area, including all prerequisites within the subject area. In addition, a major will require no more than 18.5 total units, counting all courses both inside and outside the subject area, including all prerequisites for those courses, Math 211 (or equivalent) and a second course that focuses on advanced quantitative methods appropriate to scientific inquiry. The interdisciplinary studies program will require a minimum of 9 units and no more than 18.5 total units, including all prerequisites.

A student may not count more than 17.5 units from a single subject area toward the minimum number of units necessary for graduation. In certain rare circumstances, when a student has the written support of the department chair, she or he may petition the Arts and Sciences Academic Council to exceed the limit.

Special Program Opportunities

Honors Program
Outstanding students with intellectual initiative and the desire to pursue academic achievement beyond standard coursework have the opportunity to broaden and deepen knowledge in selected major fields through the Honors Program. Departmental honors coordinators invite promising qualified majors to apply, but an interested student may contact his or her major department or the faculty committee on the Honors Program to indicate interest and obtain further information. To qualify, a student should have at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average, 18 or more units completed and, excluding coursework primarily for first-year students, 3.5 or more units completed with distinction in the major field. Successful completion of an Honors Program is shown on the student's permanent academic record and on the diploma.
Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum (CLAC)
The Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum program allows students to use their language skills and other cultural perspectives to enhance learning and research in all disciplines. Certain courses in the School of Arts and Sciences, Jepson School of Leadership Studies, and the Robins School of Business are offered in conjunction with a Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum component, an optional quarter unit of work in a second language associated with a regular class. The CLAC component is worth one quarter unit and is graded pass/fail. To find a CLAC section, look for courses marked "CLAC credit available" or go directly to each semester's listings under Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum. The following departments have recently offered courses with CLAC sections: English, history, leadership studies, modern literatures and cultures, music, and philosophy. More CLAC sections are being developed in other departments. For further information, contact the CLAC program coordinator.
Dual-Degree Engineering Programs
In cooperation with selected engineering schools, the University offers the opportunity for students interested in engineering careers to earn two bachelor's degrees in five years, one from the University of Richmond and another from a cooperating engineering school. In the 3-2 Engineering Program, a student spends three years at Richmond, completing all of the general education requirements, almost all of the requirements for a major in physics, plus selected other courses. The student spends the remaining two years at the engineering school. The Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science is a participant. The University of Richmond's physics department's pre-engineering advisor can provide information about participating programs and requirements.
Internships

Internships provide students with supervised opportunities to understand by direct experience how skills and theories learned in the classroom are applied in business, industry, community agencies, and government. Each internship must include an academic base, such as an appropriate reading list or other resources, which demonstrates or stresses the interrelatedness of the academic background with the selected workplace.

Any academic department may offer an individual internship under the following general description: 388 Individual Internship. Application of academic skills and theories in a selected work environment, plus related academic work supervised by a member of the faculty. Pass/fail grading may be designated by a department for any or all enrollments. May be repeated; however, no more than 1.5 units in the same department may be counted toward the total number of units required for a degree. Prerequisite: Permission of department concerned. .0-1.5 units. Note: No more than 3.5 units of internship of any kind may count toward the total number of units required for a degree. Student Teaching and Theatre Arts Practica are not included in this policy.

Individual departments may have varying limitations on internships. They may be only available to majors and/or minors in the department. Internships usually are limited to junior or senior students who must have the prior approval of the department concerned.

Further information is available from the chair or coordinator of the appropriate department or program.

Visiting Away Programs

Students who wish to study away from the University of Richmond for a semester or year and maintain active status must participate in a program that has been approved for visiting away status. Students leaving the University on any program that does not carry visiting away status must withdraw from the University and apply to the appropriate dean for readmission.

Visiting away programs are approved by the academic council of the appropriate school and the Office of the University Registrar, which maintains a list of approved visiting away programs. This list is subject to change and will be reviewed on a periodic basis. (A program that is approved for one student will not necessarily be approved for another student since the decision is based not only on the academic reputation of the program, but also on the relevancy of the program to the student's individual academic program.)

Students wishing to participate in an approved domestic program must submit a copy of their letter of acceptance to the program, a completed Transfer Approval Form and a completed Visiting Away Approval Application Form to the Office of the University Registrar. Upon receipt of these documents, the student will be enrolled with an off-campus (OF) enrollment status. For study abroad programs, a subcommittee of the International Education Committee will review student petitions. If a student's petition is approved, the Office of International Education will notify the Office of the Registrar to enroll the student in an abroad (AB) enrollment status. (Students seeking "AB" status should consult the Office of International Education for complete instructions.)

Enrollment in OF or AB status entitles the student to remain as an active Richmond student, which entitles him or her to benefits of priority registration, housing, certain types of financial aid (e.g., loans and Pell Grants), library access, mailbox and e-mail account. Students with OF or AB status will not be billed for tuition as Richmond students during the semester(s) away.

Credits from visiting away programs will be treated as transfer credits, requiring transfer approval and affecting units toward graduation. The credits are not calculated in the GPA and require a C or better to transfer. Credits are applied to the student's record only upon receipt of an official transcript from the sponsoring institution. Exceptions to this would be programs in which the decision is made to partner with the sponsoring institution, in which case the courses would be listed as Richmond courses on the transcript and the grades treated as having been earned at Richmond. Approval for such programs would be submitted through the same channels as outlined above.

Marine Studies
The University of Richmond Department of Biology and the Duke University Marine Laboratory (DUML) offer a program supplement in marine science. Instruction is given by DUML and may be accepted as transfer credit in the student's University of Richmond program. Further information about the program can be obtained from the University of Richmond Department of Biology.
Minor Option
A minor is a secondary academic specialization that may be sought in addition to the required academic major. A minor consists of at least 4.5 units and may include certain other requirements as specified by the academic department concerned. A student may elect to complete more than one minor in the degree program. The minor is declared in the same manner as the major. Upon graduation, each completed minor will be recorded on the student's permanent academic record, provided the minor is listed on the degree application form and the requirements have been met. Many academic departments offer a minor. The requirements in the minor, for the departments in which the minor is available, are presented under the appropriate departmental listing in the Curricula section.
Research Grants for Undergraduates
Each year the School of Arts and Sciences offers its students unusual opportunities for research projects. Grants are awarded by the Undergraduate Research Committee to support research projects in a variety of ways such as the purchase of materials and equipment, travel or other such expenses and presenting or publishing the results of the research. The grant may be awarded for a project that is the student's own idea or an idea that has been conceived in cooperation with a faculty member; in any case, there must be a faculty member who is willing to supervise the project. Generally, the project is approved for academic credit, and often the student and the faculty member will coauthor one or more professional papers on the work. Application forms and further information are available from the associate dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, whose office is in the administrative wing of Boatwright Library, or through the departmental chair of the department in which the project is to be supervised.

Interdisciplinary Programs

Self-Designed Interdisciplinary Studies Major

Under the general supervision of two faculty advisors and the coordinator of interdisciplinary studies, the University offers a self-designed interdisciplinary major. The interdisciplinary major provides a student the opportunity to propose and pursue, with faculty supervision, a unique program of study leading to either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in interdisciplinary studies. A senior thesis, which is the culmination of the major and for which the student receives one unit, is required.

Applications and further information are available from the coordinator of interdisciplinary studies. Applications are to be submitted to the coordinator of interdisciplinary studies by April 1 of the second year. At least a 3.00 cumulative grade point average is recommended.

Interdisciplinary Majors
In addition to the self-designed interdisciplinary major, the School of Arts and Sciences offers support for interdisciplinary study through a number of interdisciplinary programs that offer majors within the Bachelor of Arts degree. They are American studies, classical civilization, cognitive science, criminal justice, environmental studies, film studies, geography, international studies, philosophy, politics, economics, and law, and women, gender, and sexuality studies. Environmental studies, interdisciplinary physics, and mathematical economics are the interdisciplinary major options within the Bachelor of Science degree. Further information is available from the program coordinators listed under each program.
International Studies Major
International studies is a cross-cultural, interdisciplinary major composed of six areas of concentration, of which the student selects one. The concentrations are Africa, Asia, international economics, Latin America, Middle East, modern Europe, and world politics and diplomacy. Further information is available from the program coordinator.
Interdisciplinary Concentrations
The School of Arts and Sciences offers a series of curricular configurations known as interdisciplinary concentrations within disciplinary majors or minors. Instead of constituting stand-alone majors or minors, these concentrations are tied closely to selected majors, thus fostering an integrated learning experience that offers depth in a traditional discipline combined with breadth in interdisciplinary study. Current interdisciplinary concentrations include arts management (for art history, studio art, dance, music, and theatre majors or minors); comparative literature (for English majors); medieval and Renaissance studies (for art history or English majors); and neuroscience (for biology or psychology majors). An interdisciplinary concentration within a disciplinary major toward a B.A. will require no more than 21 total units, counting all courses and including all prerequisites for those courses. An interdisciplinary concentration within a disciplinary major toward a B.S. degree will require no more than 22 total units, counting all courses and including all prerequisites for those courses and Calculus II. For specific descriptions and requirements, refer to the Interdisciplinary Concentrations section.