Jul 23, 2024  
**DRAFT **2024-2025 Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog **DRAFT** 
**DRAFT **2024-2025 Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog **DRAFT**

About Us

The spirit, vision and leadership of Horace Mann, America’s father of public education and its strongest advocate, lives on for 184 years after Bridgewater State University first opened its doors. His belief, not only in the importance of public education, but also in standardizing – or normalizing – the training of teachers, led to the establishment of normal schools. In 1840, Bridgewater became the third such school in the commonwealth and, along with its sister institutions, developed a comprehensive approach to teacher training that became a model emulated throughout the country and across the globe.

Bridgewater Normal School grew as the educational needs of society evolved. Not only were more and better-qualified teachers essential to a healthy and prosperous citizenry, but demand for a college-level liberal arts curriculum required that the Massachusetts General Court expand course offerings at the normal schools and establish public higher institutions of education.

Today, Bridgewater State University stands as the comprehensive liberal arts university in Southeastern Massachusetts and the third largest public university – 10th largest overall, public or private – in the commonwealth. With an enrollment of approximately 9,500 students, Bridgewater State University provides a wide range of academic programs, student support services, and innovative learning experiences inside and outside the classroom. Bridgewater grants approximately 2,400 degrees and certificates every year.

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 Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), with its most recent decennial accreditation awarded in 2022.

Our Students

Emphasis on high-quality teaching, small classes, mentoring, civic responsibility, global citizenship and social justice are incorporated into the university’s innovative academic programs, ensuring that Bridgewater students are prepared to think critically, communicate effectively and act responsibly within a context of personal and professional ethics. Bridgewater serves a student population of which 92 percent hail from Massachusetts. Nearly half of Bridgewater undergraduates represent the first members of their families to attend college.

Students (Fall 2023)

Headcount – 9,550
Undergraduate – 8,172
Graduate – 1,378

Full-time – 74 percent
Part-time – 26 percent
First-time, first year – 1,580
New transfer – 702
Students of color – 28 percent
Students living on campus – 32 percent

Full-time – 33 percent
Part-time – 67 percent
Students of color – 18 percent
First-time graduate – 31 percent

Our Faculty

Committed, full-time faculty are at the heart of any great institution of higher learning and Bridgewater faculty are nationally recognized for their expertise in their fields of study. Many serve as consultants and advisors 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. Enhanced opportunities for mentoring, research, experiential learning and keeping classes small improve the likelihood of student success. The average class size across the university is 17 students.

Full-Time Faculty  
Total – 331
With terminal degree – 93 percent
Tenured (or tenure track) – 84 percent
Faculty of color – 21 percent
Student/faculty ratio – 17:1

Our Programs

Bridgewater’s dynamic and in-demand academic programs – 40 undergraduate majors and 60+ graduate degree and certificate programs – are housed and administered through its six colleges: Bartlett College of Science and Mathematics, Ricciardi College of Business, College of Education and Health Sciences, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Graduate Studies, and College of Continuing Studies. Students can choose from approximately 3,000 courses in more than 100 areas of study.

The university’s commitment to student success has earned national attention. Bridgewater affords students of all backgrounds access to a variety of opportunities for learning and personal growth such as undergraduate research (nationally ranked by the Council on Undergraduate Research), international study (with more than 250 programs in 50-plus countries), service learning, internships and participation in an array of community service initiatives through the Martin Richard Institute for Social Justice. Bridgewater has also been named one of the top Fulbright-producing institutions in the country as students have received prestigious Goldwater Scholarships for excellence in natural science, engineering and mathematics.

Graduate students at Bridgewater have among the highest first-time CPA exam pass rates of any university in Massachusetts. Bridgewater has several times been named an Apple College of Distinction for its iPad initiative in the College of Education and Health Sciences. All the while, Bridgewater continues as one of the most prolific educators of new PreK-12 teachers in the commonwealth and readies more science and mathematics teachers annually than any institution in Massachusetts.

Bridgewater has also launched innovative academic programs at the leading edge of technology and workforce needs. Its bachelor’s degree program in Photonics and Optical Engineering – Bridgewater’s first engineering program – is training students for the next big technological revolution in the application of particles of light that will transform computing, autonomous vehicles, and biological, chemical, and spatial sensors, among many other fields. Bridgewater’s new cybersecurity program combines outstanding classroom education with extraordinary hands-on learning opportunities in the state’s most sophisticated cyber range and one of the state’s few Security Operations Centers, which will deliver real-world threat detection and mitigation to governments, nonprofits and corporations.

The Academic Programs  section of this catalog contains a complete listing of all programs offered at the university.

Degrees & Certificates Awarded (2023)
Total – 2,321
Bachelor’s degrees – 1,723
Graduate degrees – 517
Certificates – 81

Our Educational Opportunities

Bridgewater recognizes that our students are tenacious and motivated. Toward that end, Bridgewater provides an array of opportunities to all students, allowing them to make their dreams a reality. Student success at Bridgewater is enhanced through experiential learning opportunities, support systems and social justice and equity initiatives – all woven into the fabric of the university.

Students with a passion to serve find opportunities through the Martin Richard Institute for Social Justice, which runs programs like Jumpstart and domestic alternative break; the Children’s Physical Developmental Clinic, which affords students from all majors a challenging opportunity to volunteer as clinicians working with children and youth with disabilities; and service learning, which is embedded in a number of courses that require students to participate in service-oriented activities.

A wealth of experiential learning opportunities awaits Bridgewater students. Approximately 1,600 students annually undertake independent research projects in the university’s undergraduate research program. Meanwhile, BSU Study Abroad offers students more than 1,000 programs to find an experience that fits their lives – from one- to three-week study tours led by our faculty to year-long stays – at one of our 50 partner universities. Paid internships, thanks to funding from the Bridgewater State University Foundation, enable students to enhance their skills and qualifications for future jobs.

Cultivating engaged citizen scholars is central to Bridgewater’s Honors Program, which supports motivated students to achieve their highest potential as scholars and campus leaders. Both merit and needs-based scholarships, ranging from the Tsongas Scholarship to departmental scholarships to scholarships for the Honors Program and Undergraduate Research, are made possible by business donations, alumni, faculty and staff efforts.

Student support to enable academic and social success is a hallmark of a Bridgewater education. Active members of the military and veterans can find services tailored to meet their needs at the Military and Veteran Student Services Center, while the Pride Center offers a wide range of activities and support to the LGBTQ+ community. The Lewis and Gaines Center for Inclusion and Equity works to create a community that appreciates the history, culture and traditions of underrepresented students and fosters cross-divisional collaborations that assist with student retention.

Our Campus Life

Bridgewater offers students a full social, cultural, athletic, recreational and spiritual life. Art exhibits, lectures, concerts, movies, plays, workshops, and sporting events are part of daily activities at the university. EngageBSU provides a complete listing of clubs, organizations and a calendar of campus events while the downloadable BSU Mobile app lists everything a Bear needs to know.

Through programs offered by the Center for Student Engagement, Student Government Association, Program Committee and dozens of other organizations, members of the university community have opportunities to attend events featuring significant public figures and internationally acclaimed performing artists.

Bridgewater has a strong athletic tradition, which has grown to include 22 NCAA Division III sports teams, a full range of intramural athletic programs and club sport options available at BSUBears.com. The Adrian Tinsley Center features a state-of-the-art fitness center, a walking track and multi-sport surfaces. Outdoor facilities open to all students include basketball courts and a fitness court. The university is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III, the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) and the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC).

Community members keep abreast of events and programs through a variety of campus media such as the student newspaper, The Comment, the university’s website and BSU Mobile which focus on news and features highlighting campus life and individual achievements. The campus radio station, WBIM-FM 91.5, provides coverage of events plus a full range of musical and special interest programming. Resident students have access to streaming services and a local access television channel that offers university news and events.

Students face many decisions involving housing, finances, health, work, academic programs, post-graduate study and career goals. The Division of Student Life, and the university as a whole, have a number of offices that provide services and assistance in making these decisions including Health and Counseling offered in the Wellness Center, Financial Aid, Student Engagement, Residence Life and Housing, New Student and Family Programs, Student Success and Equity Interventions, and Off-Campus and Commuter Student Services.

With a 270-acre university sitting in the geographic center of the Town of Bridgewater, the health, safety, and well-being of all members of the campus community remain a primary concern. Toward that end, programs initiated by the Bridgewater State University Police Department enable crime prevention through community outreach. They include Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Classes, EMT training, NARCAN certification courses, civilian response to active shooter events, the police honor guard and bicycle patrol unit.

The university supports student pursuit of spirituality both individually and in groups and provides groups of students the opportunity to form student organizations so they can use university facilities for meetings and events as well as request funding from the Student Government Association. The Catholic Campus Ministry (122 Park Avenue) and the Christian Fellowship (29 Shaw Road) are independent entities that offer students both group and individual opportunities for worship and service.

Our Resources

The Clement C. Maxwell Library is a hub of activity conveniently located on West Campus. With a variety of information resources and electronic tools for student and faculty use in a comfortable and inviting environment, the library is open more than 90 hours each week. Staffed by highly qualified professionals and support personnel skilled at satisfying research, reference and general interest requests, the library’s core collection of print and electronic materials is complemented by a substantial collection of videos, DVDs and CDs. Students and faculty can discover the wealth of books, newspapers, periodicals, sound recordings and movie titles by using the library’s online public access catalog. With approximately 300,000 volumes, more than 31,000 periodical subscriptions and nearly 100 electronic bibliographic and full-text article databases, the library provides students and faculty with access to a breadth of information resources supporting their classroom, learning and research needs.

The Academic Achievement Center, on the ground floor of Maxwell Library, houses a variety of programs and services for first-year students, new transfer students and those who have yet to declare a major to support the adjustment to university life and the academic success of all students. Learning assistance services are based on the university’s commitment to provide students with every opportunity to build upon the strengths they have. Assistance is provided through specialized courses in English and mathematics and through of specialized labs, tutoring, coaching and research, writing and testing services.

Bridgewater’s commitment to student success has earned national recognition (ranked ninth in the nation by The Education Trust for simultaneously closing achievement gaps while improving graduation and retention rates for all students). BSU has been ranked as the second leading university in Massachusetts for advancing social mobility of students from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds and identities. In addition, Bridgewater ranks among the top 36 four-year public institutions of higher education across the nation for how it serves black students and is among the top 40 Best Colleges for LGBTQ Students.

The Center for Transformative Learning, on the third floor of Maxwell Library, provides honors students seeking a deeper educational experience with opportunities for undergraduate research and national fellowships. The space offers a comfortable area to collaborate and study, along with other amenities including a dozen social events throughout each semester.

Bridgewater is committed to making its facilities, services and programs accessible to all students in compliance with applicable law. Students with disabilities who desire accommodations should contact Student Accessibility Services to discuss the availability of accommodations or to obtain documentation guidelines. Moving to its new home in the Rondileau Student Union, the office can be reached at 508.531.2194 or email at SAS@bridgew.edu.

Bridgewater strives to remain on the forefront of educational technology. Classes are enhanced by course websites developed through Blackboard. There, students may gain access to syllabi, materials and other information posted by their professors; engage in online discussions; collaborate with fellow students; and view grades on assignments and tests.

InfoBear allows access to course enrollment, transcripts showing progress toward graduation, course grades and other student record information. Students register for courses through InfoBear, which requires a student ID and PIN. The ResNet program is an all-in-one education and entertainment package provided to resident students that includes high-speed Internet access (wired and wireless), streaming, on-demand and premium movies, telephone service and WEPA print kiosks in each residence hall.

Bridgewater’s tradition of providing opportunity – to learn by doing, to serving the world and the region, to teaching and learning, to discovering career paths, and dedication to making dreams a reality – has created the thriving, dynamic institution we see today.