The College of Arts and Sciences consists of the Divisions of Humanities, Social Science, and Science. Courses in these areas provide opportunities for students who wish to obtain a broad undergraduate preparation for leadership roles in our society, for the development of creative talents that can address themselves to the value conflicts of contemporary society, and for intellectual development that adds to the richness of life.
Click here for curricula ladders for Creative Writing, English, Fine Arts, History, and Modern Languages.
The humanities foster a sense of historical consciousness, aesthetic appreciation, and philosophical judgment. The study of the humanities demands rigorous interpretation and openness to multiple perspectives. Through this program, students develop depth and breadth in their understanding of the human condition. Students majoring in one of the humanities should work out a sound, balanced program of study in close consultation with their faculty advisors. Such a program would include a range of courses within the chosen field of study, as well as coursework in related disciplines.
The curricula offerings for each major in the humanities follow a logical sequence; students should be advised to begin their course of study with lower-level classes. In addition to fulfilling the requirements leading to a bachelor of arts in the above fields, students can also pursue coursework in arts, art studio, art history, dance, music history, music performance, philosophy, and theater. Humanities faculty are committed to facilitating student learning and inquiry in all areas of the division, and to the development of strong writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills.
The Social Sciences
Click here for curricula ladders for Anthropology, Communication Studies, Criminal Justice, Political Science, International Relations, Psychology, and Sociology .
The goals of the Social Science Division are threefold: to give students the broad and varied educational experiences necessary for them to be informed and useful citizens in today’s complex and ever-changing world; to enable students to pursue major areas of study that will prepare them for professional careers after graduation; and to provide students with the opportunity to relate their coursework in a meaningful fashion to the real world through direct placements in organizations and community agencies.
There are three broad fields represented within the Social Science Division: behavioral sciences (includes majors in anthropology, criminal justice, psychology, and sociology), political science (includes international relations and political science), and communication studies. Students must achieve a grade-point average of 2.0 in courses required for the major. Brief descriptions of each field and of the courses required for each major are given below.
Educational Options for Individualized Curricula in the Social Sciences
The Social Science Division has a number of educational options that may be combined with most of its major programs. By selecting one of the options that includes minors and double majors, it is possible for students to develop individualized courses of study compatible with their career plans or their plans for graduate and professional education. Advisors work closely with students at the end of their freshman year to plan their programs in order to ensure that their education is consistent with their long-range interests.
Educational Options for Individualized Curricula for Social Science Majors
Double Majors and Dual Degrees
Students wishing to earn a double major or dual degree may do so by meeting the requirements for each major. Only one research methods course and senior project are required. Students wishing to earn a double major or dual degree should meet with their advisors to discuss which majors would be appropriate.
Social science majors may wish to minor in another social science or take one of the minors offered by the humanities or the science division.
Click here for curricula ladders for Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Science/Biology, Environmental Science, Mathematics, Physics.
The major programs in the sciences are designed to prepare students for further study at the graduate level or in professional schools; for employment in hospitals, industry, research institutions, and governmental agencies; or for teaching at the secondary level. For those who wish to be certified to teach science in Pennsylvania secondary schools, Widener offers certification in biology, chemistry, earth and space science, mathematics and physics.
All courses of study present opportunities for students to investigate the areas of the humanities, social sciences, and economics. Students pursuing a major in the sciences are awarded the bachelor of science (BS) degree upon completion of all graduation requirements. Biology offers a bachelor of arts (BA) in addition to the BS.
The minor programs in the sciences offer students from other disciplines the opportunity to pursue a sub-specialization of interest in an orderly fashion. Most of the major programs offer minors, and minors in experimental science and natural science are also available.
All students completing a major or minor in science are required to have a 2.0 GPA in all science courses and a 2.0 GPA in their major and minor to be eligible for graduation. Students must also satisfy the general education requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences listed at the beginning of this section.
Students preparing for careers in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, or other health professions may major in any discipline so long as they meet the basic course requirements of the professional school of interest. To ensure proper course selection, pre-professional students should register with the health professions advisor early in the first year and indicate their goals to their academic advisors.
The Health Professions Committee of the College of Arts and Sciences has approved a concentration of courses to assist students preparing for the study of medicine, optometry, dentistry, podiatric medicine, and veterinary medicine. Students in any major are encouraged to consult with the health professions advisor to plan their programs.
The courses listed as foundation courses satisfy the entrance requirements of most health professions schools. To be competitive, a student should have a cumulative average of 3.5 or better overall and in the sciences at the end of junior year. Most medical schools and other schools of the doctoral health professions minimally require two courses in biology, four courses in chemistry, two courses in physics, two courses in English, and one course in mathematics.
Accelerated Programs in the Health Professions
In collaboration with Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kornberg School of Dentistry at Temple University, Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine, or Salus University, Widener offers seven-year programs leading to the degrees of bachelor of science and doctor of osteopathic medicine, doctor of osteopathic medicine, doctor of dental medicine, doctor of podiatric medicine, or doctor of optometry. The three years of undergraduate study at Widener proceed at a normal pace, following an adapted curriculum ladder for the BS in biology, including all of the general education requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences. The bachelor of science degree will be awarded by Widener after successful completion of the first year at the professional school and transfer of the appropriate courses to Widener.
The biochemistry major is designed to provide a solid foundation in the sciences. In addition, it allows students the flexibility to focus their attentions on the chemical or biological aspects of the discipline. The curriculum emphasizes the molecular, analytical, and quantitative aspects of living systems and incorporates a research component that trains students to formulate questions, analyze data, and derive answers. The biochemistry curriculum prepares students for careers in academia, government, industry, or graduate education in the life sciences. The biochemistry major is open to those incoming freshmen who meet the following criteria: minimum math and verbal SAT score of 1170 (with math score greater than 620) and GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. Transfer students or students enrolled at Widener in another major should consult the biochemistry chair about pursuing the biochemistry major.