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 42 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
Rhetoric & Composition I
Rhetoric & Composition II
Communication Skills
Integrative Learning6
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 REL6
One course required by program
Additional AH course in a different discipline
Math – Two courses 6
MATH One course at level of placement, 1002 or higher, minimum set by program
Statistics I (or other required by program)
Science – At least one course from BIO, CHM, PHY or SCI (may be a program requirement)3
Social Sciences – Two courses from ANTH, ECON, GEND, LEAD, PSCI, PSYC, RES, SOC6
One course required by program
Additional SS course in a different discipline
A&S Electives6
Two courses with an EASC attribute. Programs with required A&S credits beyond 42 semester credit hours may designate one or two 3 semester credit courses in general education electives to program-specific general education courses. If only one course is required, the other A&S elective remains as a choice for students.
Total Credits42.0

Note: Students must pass MATH0010 Pre-Algebra or have equivalent placement scores to enroll in required math courses.

Note: Students must pass ENG0001 Writing Workshop or have equivalent placement scores to enroll in ILS 2000-level courses.

In collaboration with academic colleges across all JWU campuses, JWU Global Study Abroad programs offer a variety of international, domestic, and digital options for major, minor, free electives, experiential learning, and transferable courses. There are many affordable options for students during a semester, winter session, spring and/or summer breaks.  Faculty-led, exchange, affiliate, and direct-enroll programs range in duration from one week to a full semester or full year. Financial aid may be applied, and some partners offer external scholarships.  Premiere programs do not qualify for JWU scholarships or grants; however federal aid is available.  Visit the study abroad website for information, program descriptions and online applications. Where will you go? Wherever you decide, make the best of your educational journey!

NOTE: Students must pass ENG0001 Writing Workshop or have equivalent placement scores to enroll in ILS2000-level courses.