Jul 25, 2024  
Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog 2015-2016 
Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG] See drop-down menu above to access other catalogs.

Other Educational Opportunities

Children’s Physical Developmental Clinic

For more than 40 years, Bridgewater State University has sponsored the Children’s Physical Developmental Clinic (CPDC), a nationally recognized academic program fostering professional engagement, service learning and leadership development. The CPDC affords students from all majors a challenging opportunity to volunteer as student clinicians working with children and youth with disabilities, ages 18 months to 18 years.

The aim of the clinic program is to improve the “total development” of children with disabilities by enhancing vital physical, motor and aquatic skills and patterns. In addition, the program stresses the improvement of children’s self-esteem by strengthening emotional-social aspects of their personalities through successful involvement in play, recreation and sport activities.

More than one hundred students serve as clinicians and group leaders each semester, making the CPDC the largest student organization on campus. Over the years, BSU students have constantly determined that the CPDC not only augments their professional preparation; but, upon graduation, is most critical to them when seeking employment and entrance to graduate school.

Community Service

The University’s Community Service Center is currently located in the Burrill Office Complex, within the Institute for Social Justice. It’s focus is to engage the regional and national community, with a focus on addressing and solving social problems. Student leadership programs run through the Community Service Center include: Jumpstart, Friends and Mentors (FAM) for Change, domestic alternative break trips, and programs that focus primarily on poverty and homelessness, youth development and education. More information about the Community Service Center, including service-learning and volunteer opportunities is available at Community Service Center intranet site.

Honors Program - Cultivating Engaged Citizen Scholars

The Honors Program at Bridgewater State University enables motivated students to achieve their highest potential as scholars and campus leaders. The honors curriculum promotes close student-faculty relationships and fosters the vigorous and thorough exchange of ideas so that students develop the investigative, analytical and creative skills necessary for scholarly research and creative inquiry. Honors students are provided with leadership opportunities that empower them to build community, promote social justice, and model academic excellence.

The program does not require students to complete additional course work beyond the 120 credit hours necessary for graduation, instead, students earn honors credits, as described below, by taking honors sections of regular courses or honors colloquium during their first two years; by completing honors work in certain 300- and 400-level courses during their junior and senior years; and by researching and writing an honors thesis in their senior year.

For all honors work completed with a grade of “B” (3.0) or higher, students receive honors credit on their transcripts, and those who complete the program receive honors recognition on their transcript - a goal worth serious effort both for the intrinsic satisfaction it brings and the advantage it provides at a time of strong competition for graduate and career opportunities.

Students in the Honors Program have access throughout the year to the Honors Center in the Academic Achievement Center on the ground floor of the Maxwell Library. Designed as a study area and meeting place for honors students, the center has several computers and a laser printer for students to use free of charge. There is also a lounge area where students can relax or study in between classes. The center is open from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday during the academic year.

The program hosts a dinner for students and faculty that recognizes the graduating seniors and features an informal talk by a faculty recipient of the Honors Outstanding Faculty Award. The honors program also hosts many other events such as the Pizza and Prof series, the Fall Book Club, and the annual Thesis Workshop.

Commonwealth Honors

Students can participate in the Honors Program in two ways: by undertaking all of the requirements listed below for Commonwealth Honors or by undertaking the requirements listed under “Junior and Senior Years” for Departmental Honors. Commonwealth Honors runs throughout a student’s undergraduate career, whereas Departmental Honors takes place only in the student’s last two years. Commonwealth Honors includes the requirements for Departmental Honors; a student might undertake only Departmental Honors if he or she developed an interest in pursuing honors work during the first semester of their freshman year.

Freshman and Sophomore Years (for Commonwealth Honors)

Students seeking Commonwealth Honors must accumulate a total of 12 credits of honors level work at the 100-200 level ideally during their first two years. Honors credit at this level can be earned in a variety of ways. Students may elect to take four three-credit honors courses or a mix of three-credit honors courses and one-credit honors colloquia totaling 12 credits. Both honors courses and colloquia are listed on InfoBear prior to registration. In addition, participation in the Fall Book Club allows students to waive one credit of their Commonwealth Honors requirements.

Honors courses: Honors courses are specially-designed sections of regular 100-200 level courses. Most fulfill core curriculum credit and thereby impose no additional requirements for graduation. Honors courses have small class sizes (capped at 15) to allow for greater student-faculty interaction and more innovative pedagogy. Compared to regular sections, honors courses place more emphasis on student participation and discussion, the development of oral and written communication skills, and are more focused on developing research skills.

Honors colloquia: Colloquia offer intense study in a wide range of topics. Honors colloquia carry one academic credit, meet once a week for 50 minutes, and culminate in a paper or project that provides the major part of the grade. Minimum enrollment in each colloquium is two and the maximum is 12. Although most colloquia stand on their own, some are attached to regularly offered courses that form part of the student’s normal program.

Honors students are expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.2. Students whose GPA falls between 3.2 and 2.7 may remain in the program for an additional semester, however, if they do not achieve a cumulative 3.2 GPA the following semester they are removed from the program. Students whose GPA falls below 2.7 are removed from the program at that time. In either case, whenever the GPA returns to 3.2, students may reenter the program. Although the honors director and assistant director have discretion to retain students in the program who do not meet these requirements by the time of graduation, students must have attained a cumulative GPA of 3.2 to graduate with Commonwealth Honors.

Junior and Senior Years

Students who have completed the 12 credits of honors work described above and who have attained a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 (GPA requirements may be higher in some academic departments) are eligible to continue by entering a Departmental Honors program or, if the student’s major does not offer Departmental Honors, by undertaking, through the Honors Program, an individually designed interdisciplinary honors program (both of which require an application, either to the departmental honors chairperson or the honors program).

The following departments offer departmental honors:

Accounting and Finance
Aviation Science
Communication Studies
Computer Science
Criminal Justice
Elementary and Early Childhood Education
Foreign Languages
Geological Sciences
Movement Arts, Health Promotion and Leisure Studies
Political Science
Social Work
Special Education and Communication Disorders
Theater and Dance

Honors work at this level emphasizes independent research or creative inquiry in the major, or combination of majors if interdisciplinary. Students are required to take nine credits of honors work at the 300-400 level and can do so by combining honors contracts (or, in some departments, honors courses or colloquia) and the honors thesis. With an honors contract, the student and instructor devise an advanced project within the course that emphasizes independent work on a particular subject. The student then completes a special advanced project, under the instructor’s direction, in conjunction with the course. Honors courses or colloquia are advanced 300- and 400-level courses that typically replace honors contracts and are designed to prepare students for upper-level research within their field. Students should check with their department(s) for more information about specific requirements.

As a senior, the student investigates a particular topic and writes an honors thesis (earning three credits for “XXXX 485 Honors Thesis”) under the direction of a faculty member on a one-on-one basis; this can be done for either one or two semesters. We encourage two semesters, but students should discuss this with their departmental honors committee and thesis advisor. Please note that some departments require a two-semester thesis. Whether the thesis qualifies the student to graduate with honors will be determined by the departmental honors committee or, where appropriate, by the student’s interdisciplinary honors committee. For many students, the honors thesis is the intellectual high point of the undergraduate experience - fascinating and exciting in its own right, and valuable as a preparation for graduate school or professional employment.

Credit requirements for Commonwealth Honors may be summarized as follows:

  • At least 12 honors credits at the 100- or 200-level in three-credit honors classes and one-credit honors colloquia
  • Nine credit hours in honors course work at the 300- or 400-level obtained by undertaking the requirements specified by the academic department, which may include honors contracts or honors courses or colloquia, and either one or two semesters of an honors thesis. Forms for honors contracts and the honors thesis can be downloaded from the Honors Program intranet site or they may be picked up from the Honors Center. They should be filled out, signed and returned to the Honors Center during the first two weeks of the semester.
  • A public presentation of the thesis work at a campus forum, such as an event sponsored by the student’s department or the Student Arts and  Research Symposium held each April.

Students who complete the program will have the phrase “with Commonwealth Honors” entered on their transcripts.

Departmental Honors Only

Students wishing to undertake only upper-division honors work can apply to their major department to join departmental honors around the end of the sophomore or beginning of the junior year, and should complete those requirements listed under “Junior and Senior Years.” For specific requirements and expectations, please consult your departmental honors committee or request information from the Honors Program.

Interdisciplinary Honors

Interdisciplinary Honors is awarded when a student’s honors thesis spans two or more disciplines. Dual-major students can undertake Interdisciplinary Honors if their thesis work spans across both disciplines (e.g., a project that combines aspects of Elementary Education and Mathematics). Students can also complete Interdisciplinary Honors if their thesis combines both their major and their minor. The thesis mentor can come from either the major or the minor, but the reading committee must include faculty from both disciplines. Honors contracts can be completed in either discipline or both. Interdisciplinary Honors allows students with majors that do not have departmental honors to complete a thesis by pairing up with a department with an honors program. The appropriateness of Interdisciplinary Honors is at the discretion of the Honors Director.

Honor Societies

Several departments invite academically talented students to join nationally recognized honor societies. For information on the following, contact the department chairperson.

Alpha Mu Alpha (Marketing)
Eta Sigma Gamma, Delta Pi Chapter (Health)
Gamma Theta Upsilon (Geography)
Kappa Delta Pi (Education)
Lambda Alpha (Anthropology)
Lambda Pi Eta (Communication Studies)
National Honor Society for Dance Arts (Dance)
Omicron Delta Epsilon (Economics)
Phi Alpha, Beta Chi Chapter (Social Work)
Phi Alpha Theta (History)
Phi Sigma Tau (Philosophy)
Pi Kappa Delta (Forensics)
Pi Mu Epsilon (Mathematics)
Pi Sigma Alpha, Pi Upsilon Chapter (Political Science)
Psi Chi (Psychology)
Sigma Beta Delta (Business)
Sigma Gamma Epsilon, Zeta Iota Chapter (Earth Science)
Sigma Tau Delta (English)


The Internship Program Office assists students in taking their educational experience one step further. With opportunities to explore careers and gain professional experience, our students enhance their skills and qualifications for their future jobs. As they discover the work they love, they can earn academic credit and often earn additional income as well. Internships are a great way to foster your career exploration and enhance your academic program. Employers are increasingly offering an array of exciting and beneficial student internships to complement and reinforce academic programs and student success through experiential learning.

Through the generosity of the BSU Foundation, qualified students are now able to receive internship stipend awards to pursue work experiences that would otherwise not be paid. Funding is not meant to serve as compensation for an internship. Rather, it is intended to cover supplemental costs that may come along with an unpaid internship. The Internship Program Office has a variety of ways to fund your internship experience.

Internships consist of both on- and off-campus work experiences with a site supervisor/employer for academic credit under the guidance of a faculty member or noncredit through the Internship Program Office. Students interested in internships should first check with their academic department if they wish to receive credit. Credited internships are usually tied to a student’s academic major. Students need to have completed a specific number of credit hours and go through a formal approval process before credit can be awarded.

To determine possible internship sites, students should check with their academic department as well as the Internship Program Office, which maintains a database of internship opportunities in the region. Some students who choose to do an internship, but do not need credit, may want to meet with the Internship Program Office to help locate opportunities. In addition, students should meet with Career Services to prepare for the internship interview, develop a cover letter and resume and learn important tips for getting the most from the experience. These services are offered to any student looking for an internship whether or not it is for credit. 

For additional information, please visit the Internship Program website.

The Office of Undergraduate Research

The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) advances the culture of scholarly and creative excellence at Bridgewater State University by supporting curricular and co-curricular undergraduate research; educating students about how research fits into a university career and the role it can play in realizing post-university goals; and, in cooperation with the Adrian Tinsley Program, creating mentored research and creative opportunities for any student in any major with the spark of interest and the commitment to see it through. Contact us at 508.531.2303 or online through the public website at http://www.bridgew.edu/undergraduate-research. Current students and faculty can log into our BSU Intranet site at https://my.bridgew.edu/departments/OUR/SitePages/Home.aspx.

The Student Research Symposium takes place in April each year in the Moakley Center and showcases undergraduate and graduate-student research through oral and poster presentations and displays. Faculty, staff, students, administrators and guests are welcome.

The Undergraduate Review: A Journal of Research and Creative Work publishes outstanding undergraduate student scholarly work annually.

Mid-Year Symposium for First- and Second-Year Students takes place each December and showcases early experiences in research. Faculty, staff, administrators and guests are welcome.

The Adrian Tinsley Program for Undergraduate Research

The Adrian Tinsley Program (ATP) provides financial support for undergraduate research, scholarship or creative work in all disciplines, conducted over the course of a semester, summer or longer. The project may include laboratory research in the physical and life sciences; research in education, mathematics or business; scholarship in the humanities and social sciences; creative writing; or stage performances, displays, or research in the visual and performing arts. Students conduct independent scholarly work under the guidance of a BSU faculty member, librarian or instructor, and share their results in a public forum. ATP supports undergraduate research through a variety of student grants.

ATP Summer Grants are awarded to students for ten weeks of in-depth scholarly work conducted during the summer under the mentorship of a full-time BSU faculty or librarian mentor. The grant includes a stipend for the student, additional money for research expenses, and a stipend for the mentor.

Semester Grants are awarded during the academic year to individual students or small groups to offset the costs of research-related supplies and travel.

Conference Travel Grants support students who present their research at regional or national conferences, by funding travel, lodging, registration, and related fees.


Bridgewater State University offers a variety of academic scholarships ranging from Presidential and Tsongas scholarships, administered by the Office of Admission, to the more specialized scholarships described on the Student Affairs intranet site. Of particular interest to students in the Honors Program is the Adrian Tinsley Program for Undergraduate Research, which offers generous financial support for students’ research. Full details are available at https://my.bridgew.edu/departments/OUR.

The Honors Program also supports students wishing to pursue national scholarships. National Scholarships and fellowships provide awards to exceptional undergraduate students and recent graduates who are interested in pursuing graduate study, carrying out internships, conducting research or teaching abroad. More information can be found at the intranet site.

Study Abroad and National Student Exchange

The Bridgewater State University Office of Study Abroad offers over 75 study abroad programs in more than 35 countries all over the world. Students can study as far away as China or as close as Canada, in a small village, on a coffee plantation, or on a large ship at sea. A student might take courses at a university in Ireland, Hong Kong or Australia; student teach at a school in England or Puerto Rico; study business in India or art in Tanzania; conduct field research or community service in Cambodia, Nicaragua or Cape Verde; or study with BSU students in France, New Zealand or Spain. The university has affordable semester exchange and affiliate programs, academic year programs, student teaching practicum programs, summer programs and faculty-led study tours. Students can spend a winter, summer, semester or year abroad and graduate on time. Through the National Student Exchange, students may spend up to one year attending an NSE member college or university in the U.S. and its territories at the in-state tuition rate. Scholarships are available, and financial aid may be used for all study abroad programs. Information is online at the Study Abroad website. The Office of Study Abroad is located in the Minnock Center for International Engagement, third floor, Maxwell Library.

BSU Faculty-led Study Tours and Summer Programs

Short-term, faculty-led study tours and summer programs to international locations are offered for undergraduate or graduate university credit. Each course is designed by a Bridgewater State University faculty member according to his/her regional and academic expertise, providing an opportunity for students to explore, firsthand, different cultures and regions of the world. These courses, which vary in length from 10 days to six weeks, are offered during winter intersession and summer. Study tour destinations have included Cape Verde, China, Spain, England, France, Japan, Nicaragua and Tanzania. Students from all majors and academic classes are encouraged to participate. The Bridgewater-at-Oxford program offers three weeks of summer study at Oxford University in England with a choice of political science/law, art history, English literature or English history. The BSU Jordan Arabic Language Immersion program offers a six-week intensive Arabic language program at Yarmouk University in Amman, Jordan. Visit the Study Abroad website for more information. The Office of Study Abroad is located in the Minnock Center for International Engagement, Third Floor, Maxwell Library.


Bridgewater State University believes firmly in the relevance and importance of experiential learning in all of its academic and co-curricular programs. A number of faculty incorporate service-learning into their courses fostering its value as an effective pedagogy in developing our students’ knowledge, skills and self-awareness. As a teaching method that uses community service to help students gain a deeper understanding of course objectives, acquire new knowledge and engage in civic activity, service-learning enhances students’ learning experience on campus and in the local and global community.

Service-learning courses address a community identified need and involve student service to a community agency, institution or organization. Students enrolled in a service-learning course are required to participate in at least ten hours of service-oriented activity and individual or group exercises reflecting on the experience, demonstrating a connection between the service activity and the course objectives. More information about service-learning courses is available at http://www.bridgew.edu/servicelearning/.

The Bridge: A Student Journal of Fine Arts

The Bridge is a journal of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama and visual art created and published by undergraduate students and alumni. Once each year, students and alumni are invited to submit their creative works which are competitively selected by a student editorial board. For more information, contact The Bridge at thebridgejournal@bridgew.edu.