The BRIDGE General Education Program at Georgian Court University offers students a coherent and integrated learning experience in the Catholic intellectual tradition. This program aims to cultivate passion for intellectual growth and to foster informed, responsible, and creative citizenship for a complex 21st-century world. Students who complete the BRIDGE will sharpen the intellectual and practical skills essential to their chosen field of study and necessary to their pursuit of personal, professional, civic and social goals. In addition, completion of the BRIDGE program enables students to discover pathways to lifelong learning and to envision a future shaped by their engagement with the university’s mission and Mercy charism.
The BRIDGE program encourages students to develop self-knowledge within a broader understanding of others and the world. It emphasizes the importance of critical inquiry that leads to knowledge across fields of study and provides a means for students to think critically and creatively, connecting and building upon what they learn in their general education courses. Students examine conditions necessary for peace, justice, and sustainability, as well as the ways mercy and justice are integral for how we confront the present and vision the future.
The cornerstone of the BRIDGE program is The Self in the Big Universe, an introductory course that invites students to examine their particular sense of self and place within their local situations, as well as within the broader scope of the universe. This course provides students with a framework for learning by demonstrating the inter-connectedness of all life, fostering respect for creation and the integrity of life systems. Students will also choose from a variety of courses that explore a range of key content areas in quantitative analysis, philosophy, literature, history, modern languages, religious studies, the natural and social sciences, the visual and performing arts, and ethics. To enhance thinking and learning and to sharpen written communication skills, some of these courses will be writing intensive. Students also take Shaping Lives: Women and Gender, a course rooted in GCU’s special concern for women designed to further the understanding by women and men of key gender issues. The Bridge program culminates with Visioning a Future: Justice, Compassion, and Service, a capstone course that asks students to synthesize their learning experiences and envision their roles in shaping a just, compassionate world.
Goal 1: Foundational Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World
a. Students will demonstrate the ability to apply foundational knowledge in the arts, humanities, languages, mathematics, natural sciences and social sciences.
Goal 2: Intellectual and Practical Skills
Learning Outcomes: Students will demonstrate competence in
a. Critical and creative thinking, grounded in inquiry, analysis, and synthesis of information
b. Written and oral communication
c. Quantitative literacy
d. Information literacy
e. Teamwork and problem solving
Goal 3: Personal and Social Responsibility
Learning Outcomes: Students will demonstrate
a. Ethical reasoning
b. Global awareness and respect for diverse cultural perspectives
c. Knowledge of the university’s mission and Mercy charism
d. Civic knowledge–local/global
Goal 4: Integrative Learning
a. Students will demonstrate the ability to make connections among courses in multiple disciplines, as well as between their experiences inside and outside the classroom.
The BRIDGE General Education Program (48–49 credits):
|First Year Seminar|
|GEN101||Pathway to the Bridge 1||2|
|EN111||Academic Writing and Research I (its equivalent, or another approved course)||3|
|Select 3-4 credits of Quantitative Analysis||3-4|
|GEN199||WI:Discovering Self in the Universe 2||3|
|Content Knowledge Areas|
|Select 11 courses from the following areas:||34|
Social Sciences (2 courses from different Social Science disciplines)
Modern Language; Culture; Global Studies
Natural Sciences (4 credits)
Visual and Performing Arts
Women’s and Gender Studies
|GEN400||WI:Visioning a Future||3|
|Experiential Learning (two are required; one of these is in GEN400)|
|WI:Visioning a Future (includes service learning)|
|Select one of the following:|
Service learning project 3
Approved education abroad experience
Approved research experience
Requirement only for first time in college students (see definition of first time in college student in admissions section of catalog).
Students entering GCU with 45 or more credits will be waived from GEN199 WI:Discovering Self in the Universe but may take the course as an elective.
In a course other than GEN101 Pathway to the Bridge or GEN400 WI:Visioning a Future
For more information on program requirements, consult the Undergraduate Catalog.
Students will fulfill the Georgian Court University Writing Requirement by completing a combination of College Composition courses and Writing Intensive courses offered in a variety of disciplines. Options for fulfilling this requirement are detailed below.
College Composition courses are offered by the Department of English and focus in depth on writing process, research, academic writing conventions, rhetorical skills, audience awareness, and other core elements of writing. College Composition courses include EN111 Academic Writing and Research I or EN221 Honors Argument: Rhetoric & Research (honors placement only), or their equivalents.
Some students may not be placed directly in EN111 Academic Writing and Research I and will be required to take EN105 Essentials of Academic Writing I and/or EN106 Essentials of Academic Writing II. While these are credit-bearing courses, they do not count toward the Georgian Court University Writing Requirement.
Writing Intensive (WI) courses are offered in a number of different disciplines, reflecting the value of writing and communication skills across areas. Faculty teach content knowledge in the discipline while also providing instruction in writing and the writing process as they relate to the discipline. Students write extensively in the content area. In Writing Intensive courses, students not only learn the subject, but they also strengthen the writing and critical thinking skills that are so important for their academic courses and their future careers.
All sections of both GEN199 WI:Discovering Self in the Universe and GEN400 WI:Visioning a Future are WI courses. Other WI courses may fulfill general education, major, or minor requirements, or may be taken as general electives. Either EN111 Academic Writing and Research I or EN221 Honors Argument: Rhetoric & Research must be taken as a pre- or corequisite for all WI courses.
Course sections designated as WI will appear on the schedule for registration with the letter “WI.” For example, if EN114-04 is being offered as a Writing Intensive, it will be listed as EN114-04 WI: The American Imagination: American Literature Since 1865.
Fulfilling the Georgian Court University Writing Requirement
First-time, full-time students will complete EN111 Academic Writing and Research I or EN221 Honors Argument: Rhetoric & Research with a grade of C or better AND four Writing Intensive courses, including GEN199 WI:Discovering Self in the Universe and GEN400 WI:Visioning a Future.
Advanced College Composition Courses
For students who take or transfer in a second qualifying College Composition course above the EN111 Academic Writing and Research I level, the second College Composition course will count as one WI course. Students entering GCU with an associate degree from a New Jersey community college and two approved English composition courses are required to complete GEN400 WI:Visioning a Future and NO additional WI courses. Students transferring with less than 75 credits (with or without an associate degree) and including only one approved English composition course are required to complete four WI courses including GEN400 WI:Visioning a Future. They may take GEN199 WI:Discovering Self in the Universe, which will count as one WI course. Students who transfer with 75 or more credits including two approved English composition courses are required to complete GEN400 WI:Visioning a Future and NO additional WI courses. Students with 75 or more transferred credits who transfer only one approved English composition course must pursue one of the following two options to complete the WI requirement:
Option 1: The first semester the student is at GCU, submit a portfolio of writing samples from the transferred courses to the director of the Writing Program for evaluation of writing skills. If accepted, the student would be required to complete GEN400 WI:Visioning a Future and no other WI courses. If the portfolio is not accepted, the student should pursue Option 2.
Option 2: Complete a 300-level or higher WI course and GEN400 WI:Visioning a Future.
For more information on program requirements, consult the Undergraduate Catalog.
All Georgian Court University students must earn a minimum of 42 credits in General Education and complete the writing and experiential learning requirements. All students must either transfer in or take courses in the following General Education categories as part of the Common Intellectual Experience:
- Religious Studies
- Women’s and Gender Studies
- Capstone (GEN400)
Students who have not earned a total of 42 credits in the General Education area after completing the four Common Intellectual Experience courses must earn the remaining General Education credits by choosing courses that satisfy General Education categories for which the students did not transfer equivalent courses.
Transfer students should consult the Undergraduate Catalog for more detailed information about the Writing Requirement and the General Education program.
View the following General Education resources in the Undergraduate Catalog to learn more about these requirements.
- The Bridge General Education Program: Categories and Courses
- Advanced Placement Credits & GCU Equivalents (Table II-A)
- Courses Accepted in Transfer for Incoming Transfer Students (Table II-C)
- Credit for College Level Examination Program (CLEP) General Education Information (Table II-D)
- DSST (Formerly DANTES) Credits (Table II-E)