From its earliest days as a pioneering institution of the American Normal School Movement and continuing through present day as the flagship state university of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Bridgewater State University has remained focused on the timeless mission of advancing the greater good while serving as a beacon of opportunity and accessibility.
The reach and scope of Bridgewater has changed immeasurably since its founding in 1840 and with each major phase of its ongoing evolution. The common thread which weaves together the nearly 10 generations of the Bridgewater family has been a steadfast commitment to serve the public.
The university has no greater purpose and for the whole of its journey - from preparing the first class of teachers in the basement of Bridgewater Town Hall during the days of Bridgewater Normal School to today offering a comprehensive array of undergraduate and graduate degree programs to 11,500 students on a 278-acre campus - consistently reflects the steadfast appreciation for this critical responsibility. So, too, does the university’s motto - Not to be ministered unto, but to minister - and current mission statement.
As the comprehensive public university of Southeastern Massachusetts, Bridgewater State University has a responsibility to educate residents of Southeastern Massachusetts and the Commonwealth and to use its intellectual, scientific and technological resources to support and advance the economic and cultural life of the region and the state.
Bridgewater is designated as a Master’s/Large institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, participates in NCAA Division III athletics, and is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), with its most recent decennial accreditation awarded in 2012.
Emphases on high-quality teaching, small classes, mentoring, civic responsibility, global citizenship and social justice are incorporated into five overarching goals of the Bridgewater’s current strategic plan. The university’s growing number of innovate academic programs helps to ensure that Bridgewater State University students are prepared to think critically, communicate effectively and act responsibly within a context of personal and professional ethics.
As the largest of the nine Massachusetts State Universities and the 10th largest higher education institution (public or private) in the Commonwealth, Bridgewater State University serves a student population of which 95 percent hail from Massachusetts and more than 50 percent represent the first members of their families to attend college.
Our Students (Fall 2013)
Headcount - 11,267
Undergraduate - 9,615
Graduate - 1,652
Full time - 84 percent
Part time - 16 percent
Students of color - 18 percent
Living on campus - 39 percent
Full time - 27 percent
Part time - 73 percent
Students of color - 9 percent
Committed, full-time faculty are at the heart of any great institution of higher learning. Since 2000, no state or private university in the commonwealth has hired more, and few institutions across the country have added full-time faculty at a more prolific rate as has Bridgewater State University.
Bridgewater faculty are nationally recognized for their expertise in their fields of study. Many serve as consultants and advisers to corporations, nonprofit organizations, school systems and governmental agencies. They provide leadership to professional societies and conduct pioneering research in their respective fields. Students work closely with faculty through a variety of innovative programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
For a complete listing of all full-time faculty, see the Faculty section of this catalog.
Total - 328
Female - 58 percent
Faculty of color - 16 percent
With terminal degree - 94 percent
Student-faculty ratio: 19:1
Bridgewater State University provides a broad range of baccalaureate degree programs through its Louis M. Ricciardi College of Business, College of Education and Allied Studies, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Bartlett College of Science and Mathematics.
Bridgewater’s undergraduate program provides fundamental knowledge in different areas of study as well as specialized, in-depth knowledge and skills in a major area. At the core of the academic experience is the study of liberal arts. Every student, regardless of major, completes the core curriculum - a general course of study that provides a foundation for studies in each major.
Emphasis is placed on reading, writing and oral communication skills. Business executives rank proficiency in communication as the most important skill an employee can possess. The ability to collect and integrate information, organize ones ideas, express these ideas logically and clearly, and respond to the ideas of others is rooted in language skills.
The university has a rich and varied array of majors, minors and interdisciplinary program options at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. For the undergraduate student, there is a broad spectrum of more than 90 options, while 10 programs offer degree completion on a part-time basis during the evening.
At the graduate level, the College of Graduate Studies offers 35 programs including Master of Arts and Master of Science in select disciplines, as well as Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Accountancy, Master of Education, Master of Public Administration and Master of Social Work. In addition, Bridgewater State University prepares educators for postbaccalaureate and postmaster’s licensure.
Bridgewater is committed to fostering student success at all levels with faculty and staff striving to help each student work to achieve her or his full potential. Through its nationally recognized Academic Achievement Center, student learning is enhanced by individualized academic support, services and resources such as advising, learning assistance or disability resources.
The university’s tradition of academic excellence is built upon a foundation of challenging studies, an intellectually stimulating atmosphere, and a tradition of community service and partnership. A wide variety of service learning, study abroad, cultural and social activities complement the learning process and add rich dimensions to the total academic experience.
For a complete listing of all programs currently offered at the university, see the Academic Programs section of this catalog.
Degrees & Certificates Awarded
Total - 2,474
Bachelor’s degrees - 77 percent
Graduate degrees - 18 percent
Certificates - 5 percent