Arts & Sciences Core Experience

Johnson & Wales University is committed to providing its students with the learning necessary for professional and personal success. A Johnson & Wales University education prepares students to become engaged citizens, equipped with the intellectual and practical skills needed to address complex issues in a diverse and dynamic world.

In addition to development of lifelong learning skills, the university’s A&S general education core curriculum provides breadth of learning by introducing students to multiple ways of understanding the world through explorations in the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities.

Sequential Learning

Foundational skills are introduced early on and reinforced throughout the curriculum: oral and written communication, quantitative literacy, critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and integrative learning.

Students build on these foundational skills in many disciplines in the arts and humanities, social sciences and natural sciences as well as in their major courses. All students must fulfill a university graduation requirement for college-level writing proficiency.

Building Integrative Habits of Mind

An essential component of the A&S Core Experience is the development of integrative learning that requires thinking across boundaries, applying knowledge and skills in new situations, and synthesizing information from various perspectives to explore complex issues or problems. All Johnson & Wales University undergraduates are required to complete two Integrative Learning courses, one at the sophomore level and another in the senior year. These courses approach a big idea or question from the perspective of multiple disciplines. Developing the habit of connected inquiry throughout the four years of their undergraduate experience allows Johnson & Wales University graduates to apply the sort of adaptive, innovative thinking needed for professional success and lifelong learning.

Through the A&S Core Experience, Johnson & Wales University students are expected to:

  • Effectively apply oral and written communication strategies appropriate for a particular situation and/or audience.
  • Apply logical and quantitative reasoning skills to evaluate authentic situations and develop effective solutions.
  • Apply appropriate disciplinary criteria to examine complex issues, make decisions, analyze arguments, conduct credible research, solve problems and create original ideas and/or approaches.
  • Apply ethical standards and reasoning to complex issues in personal, academic and professional decisions.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the complexities of human behavior and society.  Interpret human behavior from a social science perspective.
  • Analyze connections among intellectual and creative expressions in literature, philosophy, history and/or culture to determine what they reveal about the diversity of human experience and perception.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and application of the scientific principles that govern the natural world.
  • Demonstrate the ability to synthesize and apply knowledge from multiple perspectives to complex issues and real world problems.

Regardless of their majors, all undergraduates are required to complete at least 63 credit hours of general education. Some of these courses may be determined by specific program requirements. The A&S core curriculum requirements are summarized below.


Communications Foundation Courses
English Composition
Advanced Composition and Communication
Communication Skills
Integrative Learning9
Two ILS courses, one at the 2000 level, one at the 4000 level
Arts and Humanities – Two courses from ART, HIST, HUM‡, LIT, PHIL or REL9
One course required by program
Additional AH course in a different discipline
Math – Two courses 9
MATH One course at level of placement, 1002 or higher, minimum set by program
Statistics (or other required by program)
Science – At least one course from BIO^, CHM±, PHY° or SCI (may be a program requirement)4.5
Social Sciences – Two courses from ANTH°°, ECON, LEAD, PSCI, PSYC, SOC9
One course required by program
Additional SS course in a different discipline
A&S Electives9
Two courses with an EASC attribute, at least one at 3000 level or higher.
Total Credits63.0

Visit Courses by Subject Code for a listing of all campus courses.

‡HUM courses are not offered in North Miami or Online.
^BIO courses are not offered in North Miami, Charlotte or Online.
¶CAD courses are only offered in Providence.
±CHM courses are not offered in North Miami or Online.
°PHY courses are not offered in Charlotte.
°°ANTH courses are not offered in North Miami or Charlotte.

NOTE: Students must pass MATH0010 Basic Mathematics or have equivalent placement scores to enroll in required math course(s).

Students who graduate with a bachelor's degree must leave Johnson & Wales University with effective writing skills to fulfill the graduation writing requirement. These writing skills will be assessed at the completion of ENG1021 Advanced Composition and Communication. Students who have met the requirement of ENG1021 Advanced Composition and Communication or ENG1027 Honors Advanced Composition and Communications: Civic Discourse outside of Johnson & Wales University must fulfill the graduation writing requirement through successful completion of ENG0001 Writing Workshop.

In collaboration with academic colleges across all JWU campuses, JWU Study Abroad programs offer a variety of international options for major, minor, Arts & Sciences, and elective credit at many price points for students during the academic year and summer. Faculty-led, exchange, affiliate, and direct-enroll programs range in duration from one week to a full semester. Financial aid is applicable and scholarships are available. Visit the study abroad website for information, program descriptions and online applications.