Rhode Island College

2017-2018 Catalog


Admissions - Undergraduate

Admissions Policy

The admissions policy at Rhode Island College is formulated by a committee of faculty, administrators and students. Generally, the most important factor in an admissions decision is the applicant’s academic credentials. However, since the college recognizes the value of special backgrounds and experiences, it bases its final decision on the applicant’s overall record. Additional factors considered include recommendations, academic potential, school and community activities, and—for certain applicants—standardized test scores. Students are selected without regard to race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, citizenship, status as a special disabled veteran, recently separated veteran, Vietnam Era veteran or any other veteran who served in active duty. Applicants to Rhode Island College are expected to adhere to standards of academic honesty in completing the application process. By signing the application, the applicant attests that the information provided is complete and accurate to the best of the applicant’s knowledge. The admissions office may withdraw an application or rescind the acceptance offered, if a violation of academic honesty is discovered.

Freshman Applicants

Admission Requirements

To qualify for admission, freshman applicants must possess a diploma from an accredited secondary school or expect to receive one before enrolling at Rhode Island College. Applicants' secondary school programs must include at least 18 units of college preparatory academic subjects, with the following requirements:

  • 4 units of college preparatory English.
  • 3 units of mathematics, including algebra I, algebra II, and geometry. Students planning to enter education, nursing, management, mathematics or the sciences are encouraged to complete four years of mathematics.
  • 2 units of history or social science. Students should study U.S. history and government and the social sciences, which might include anthropology, economics, geography, political science and sociology.
  • 2 units of laboratory sciences. Students planning to enter a technical, scientific or health-related field are strongly encouraged to complete courses in biology, chemistry and physics.
  • 2 units of the same foreign language. College-bound students are encouraged to complete three years of a foreign language.
  • 5 units of diversified college preparatory courses. Appropriate courses may include additional units from the arts, mathematics, language, social sciences, science or other college preparatory electives offered by the high school.

Exceptions to some unit requirements may be allowed. Requests should be made in writing to the director of admissions.

An individual assessment will be made of each student participating in ESL study while attending secondary school. Such students are encouraged to submit documentation of their current level of proficiency in English. Also, their secondary schools are encouraged to provide such additional information as transcript annotations designating the college preparatory level for appropriate ESL sections, course descriptions and other indices of English proficiency sufficient to succeed in college.

Rhode Island College supports the efforts of secondary school officials and governing bodies to have their schools achieve regional accreditation status to provide reliable assurance of the quality of the educational preparation of applicants for admission.

Application Procedures

Rhode Island College is a member of the The Common Application Group. To be considered for admission, freshman applicants must submit the following materials to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions by March 15 for fall semester enrollment or by November 15 for spring semester enrollment:

  1. A completed application accompanied by a $50 nonrefundable application fee. Students may apply online at www.commonapp.org.
  2. Official high school transcript(s) and academic recommendations. The applicant must arrange to have these materials forwarded to the admissions office. Applicants may be required to submit senior midyear grades for review.
  3. Scores on the Scholastic Assessment Test ( SAT) of the College Entrance Examination Board or the ACT (including ACT with Writing Test). The applicant is fully responsible for arranging to take the test. Complete information is available from high school guidance offices or from the College Board, P.O. Box 592, Princeton, NJ 08540. Arrangements should be made at least five weeks prior to the desired examination date.

Students who reside in the United States but have secondary school (or equivalent) credentials from another country are not required to take the SAT. However, such students, if they have lived in the United States for less than five years, must have a minimum score of 79 on the Web-based version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), 213 on the computer-based version or 550 on the paper-based version. The international English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam is accepted in lieu of the TOEFL. The minimum required score is 6.5.

Scores on the SAT Subject Tests (formerly Achievement Tests) may be submitted for additional consideration. These scores are not a requirement. (See Proficiency and Advanced Placement.)

Interviews are encouraged and may be required of some applicants. Applications are considered on a rolling basis and are acted upon as soon as all materials are received.

Admissions staff are available to answer any questions a prospective student may have about admission or about the college, and inquiries are welcomed. Campus tours are scheduled regularly; appointments may be made online or through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Transfer Applicants

Admission Requirements

Rhode Island College accepts transfer applications. To be considered for transfer admission, a minimum of 24 credit hours in a diversified program of study is required. Transfer applicants for January admission must have completed 24 credit hours by September 1, prior to the January semester. Applicants for September admission must have completed 24 credit hours by June 1, prior to the September semester. Students must also meet grade point average requirements as follows: a minimum GPA of 2.25 with 24 to 29 earned college credits or a minimum GPA of 2.00 with 30 or more earned college credits.

Application Procedures

Rhode Island College is a member of The Common Application group. To be considered for admission, transfer applicants must submit the following materials to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions by June 1 for fall semester enrollment or by November 15 for spring semester enrollment:

  1. A completed application accompanied by a $50 nonrefundable application fee. Students may apply online at www.commonapp.org or at www.nexttiereducation.com.
  2. Official transcripts from all colleges attended, whether or not you expect or desire credit for such work. Final spring semester transcripts are due by July 1. Students who complete summer courses before matriculation at Rhode Island College must arrange to send official transcripts to the admissions office. Credit from other colleges or universities will not be evaluated or posted until official transcripts are received.
  3. Official high school transcripts and scores on the SAT or the ACT (including ACT with Writing Test) of students who will have earned fewer than 24 college credits before entering degree candidacy at Rhode Island College.

Transfer applicants with fewer than 24 college credits will be evaluated according to the standards used for freshman applicants. Those with more than 24 college credits will be evaluated primarily on their collegiate academic performance.

Students who reside in the United States but have secondary school (or equivalent) credentials from another country are not required to take the SAT. However, such students, if they have lived in the United States for less than five years, must have a minimum score of 79 on the Web-based version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), 213 on the computer-based version or 550 on the paper-based version. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam is accepted in lieu of the TOEFL. The minimum required score is 6.5.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit is usually granted for courses completed at a regionally accredited college in which the student has achieved a minimum grade of C; however, Rhode Island College reserves the right of final judgment on any such decision. At the discretion of the admissions office, college credit more than 10 years old may be accepted for transfer. The chair of the student’s major department will determine how the credit is to be applied in the student’s program of study. Effective January 2012, students may be awarded a maximum of 75 transfer credits.

Students may request program credit for art courses taken at another institution by submitting a portfolio of work representing the courses for which credit is desired. The portfolio will be reviewed by a committee of studio art faculty to determine course credit transfer.

A minimum of 45 credit hours must be earned at Rhode Island College to fulfill degree requirements. Transfer students must also satisfy the College Mathematics Competency and all General Education requirements.

Transfer Applicants from the University of Rhode Island and the Community College of Rhode Island

According to the Rhode Island Board of Education’s “Policy for Articulation and Transfer,” all college credit earned in comparable courses at the University of Rhode Island and the Community College of Rhode Island with minimally acceptable grades is transferable to Rhode Island College. The "Transfer Guide" is available through the following Web site: www.ritransfers.org

Students with a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.4, graduating from CCRI with an Associate of Arts, an Associate of Science in business administration or computer science, or an Associate of Applied Science in radiography are guaranteed admission to Rhode Island College. (There are restrictions on entry into certain majors and professional programs.) These students will be able to transfer all credit earned for their associate degrees, but any credit earned beyond will be evaluated separately.

Students who possess the specified degree, with a minimum GPA of 2.0, may be accepted to Rhode Island College and their credits evaluated on a course-by-course basis.

Joint Admission Program with the Community College of Rhode Island

Rhode Island College and the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) have established a Joint Admission Program. To be guaranteed admission to Rhode Island College under the Joint Admission Program, the student must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Prior to completing 30 credits, enroll in the Joint Admission Program at CCRI as a freshman by completing a Joint Admissions Agreement Form at CCRI.
  2. Earn an associate degree in the prescribed program of study at CCRI within five years of initial matriculation at CCRI.
  3. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.4.
  4. Meet all nonacademic admissions requirements for Rhode Island College.

Other Forms of Admission

Early Admission Program

Students with superior academic records may seek early admission to Rhode Island College and may begin study directly from their junior year in high school. Candidates for early admission must fulfill all regular admissions requirements and must have a personal interview. Application materials should be filed with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions during the spring semester of the junior year. Interested students must contact their high school principal or guidance counselor to make arrangements to complete high school diploma requirements.

International Student Admission

Rhode Island College is a member of The Common Application group and encourages applications from prospective international students whose command of English is sufficient for college study. Applicants must submit the following materials to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions by June 1 for freshmen and June 1 for transfer students:


1. A completed application accompanied by a $50 nonrefundable application fee. Students may apply online at www.commonapp.org or at www.nexttiereducation.com.

2. Official records or certified copies of past academic work. A certified literal English translation and evaluation of the applicant’s educational records is required.

3. Scores on one of the following tests: 

• Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): minimum score of 79 iBt.

• Pearson Test of English: minimum score of 63.

• International English Language Testing System (IELTS): minimum score of 6.5.

Students with strong academic records whose test scores are below the minimum required may be considered for conditional admission.

4. Once admitted, an affidavit of support detailing funds available for the educational program. All college health requirements must be met. In addition, students admitted to Rhode Island College for enrollment as F1 visa students are required to buy the basic medical insurance currently offered as an option to all Rhode Island College students.

International admission information packets are available from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. International students should contact the international student advisor in the Office of Student Life for information concerning U.S. laws, regulations and employment practices.

Military Personnel and Veteran Admission

Rhode Island College is a Servicemembers Opportunity College. U.S. military personnel and veterans are invited to contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for information on undergraduate degrees. The office will also assist those who think they lack the necessary prerequisites for degree candidacy. Those who are interested in nondegree coursework should contact the Office of Academic Support and Information Services.

Performance-Based Admission Program

Individuals who are at least 20 years old, who have been away from formal schooling for some time, who have little or no college credit and who lack some of the usual college entrance requirements may be considered for freshman admission through the Performance-Based Admission (PBA) Program. 

Rhode Island College is a member of The Common Application group. Applicants must submit the following materials to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions by June 1 for fall semester enrollment and November 15 for spring semester enrollment:

  1. A completed application accompanied by a $50 nonrefundable application fee. Students may apply online or download a copy of application materials at www.commonapp.org or at www.nexttiereducation.com.
  2. Official copies of high school transcripts.
  3. Scores on the High School General Educational Development (GED) tests (if the candidate has not earned a traditional high school diploma).
  4. An interview.

Each student who is accepted into Rhode Island College through the PBA Program will develop a special plan of study with the program advisor before the beginning of the first semester of classes. The plan of study will specify any special condition (e.g., remedial courses in mathematics or English-language courses), a schedule for ongoing consultation with an advisor and a specific six-course program, which will include the college writing course, three General Education Distribution courses and two other elective courses. Students must complete the six-course program with a minimum GPA of 2.0 to be allowed to continue their studies. Upon successful completion of the plan of study, students will be continued as degree candidates without condition.

Students who need remedial coursework in either of these disciplines will be permitted to take these courses as part of their programs, but credits earned will not count toward either the degree requirements or the six-course PBA Program plans.

Adult students whose primary language is not English may also be accepted into the college through this program and may be required to complete one or more English as a Second Language (ESL) courses before undertaking the regular six courses in the PBA Program. Before undertaking the six-course PBA Program, these students are expected to demonstrate a facility with the English language that is comparable to a score of 79 on the Web-based version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), 213 on the computer-based version or 550 on the paper-based version; 960 on the English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT); or 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Students who do not make satisfactory progress will be dismissed from the college. Appeals of dismissal decisions can be made to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Preparatory Enrollment Program

The Preparatory Enrollment Program (PEP) serves a select number of first-generation or low-income students who demonstrate the potential for academic success and persistence. Program services support the intellectual and social development of students by providing academic instruction and tutoring, faculty mentoring, a peer support network, workshops, learning communities and individual advising. PEP is a student-centered program characterized by an environment of diversity, cooperation and community.

Student support services begin during the spring and summer months, prior to freshman year. All students participate in a five-week Spring Pre-College Seminar Series led by Rhode Island College faculty, which exposes and engages students in college-level coursework. During the summer, students participate in a First Year Experience Seminar and attend individual advising meetings with their PEP advisor. Throughout freshman year PEP students receive individualized support and guidance to ensure a successful personal and academic transition to college. Students also have the opportunity to participate in study halls, learning communities, group workshops with campus offices and a peer mentoring program.

Prospective PEP applicants must complete the Common Application and indicate an interest in applying to PEP by February 1. The selection process involves a review of academic records, standardized test scores, a personal statement and letters of recommendation. Some students selected for final consideration may be invited to participate in a personal interview. In order to be considered for financial aid, applicants must also complete the FASFA and the Rhode Island College Financial Aid Application by March 1.

Project ExCEL (Excellence in College for English Learners)

Project ExCEL is an academic initiative at Rhode Island College aiming to expand college access for talented bilingual students. Because the process of acquisition of academic English for non-native speakers of English is complex and extends over several years, many highly capable, literate and academically talented advanced bilinguals often do not have all the mainstream English courses required for admission to a four-year college or university. In close partnership with high school and other counselors, Project ExCEL at Rhode Island College enrolls bright, accomplished bilinguals with established success in academic subjects and provides them the opportunity to pursue a degree at the college.

Admissions requirements:

  • Successful completion of high school ESL courses.
  • 3 units of mathematics.
  • 2 units of laboratory science.
  • 2 units of social science.
  • 2 units of foreign language (may be waived if a student exhibits proficiency in multiple languages).
  • 5 additional units of diversified study.

Additional requirements:

  • Eligible candidates will generally rank in the top 10 percent of the graduating class or have a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Interview.
  • RIC ESL Placement Exam.
  • RIC Writing Placement Test.

Re-admission

Undergraduate degree candidates with at least a 2.0 cumulative average who withdraw from Rhode Island College will be eligible to re‑register without completing a formal application for re‑admission, unless they have taken courses at another institution during their absence or have course credit(s) 10 years old or older. Registration materials will be mailed to students for three consecutive semesters. After three semesters, students may call the Records Office to request registration materials.

Rhode Island College is a member of The Common Application group. Undergraduate degree candidates who have been dismissed for academic reasons or who have withdrawn and taken courses at another institution, must submit a completed application accompanied by a $50 nonrefundable application fee to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Students may apply online at www.commonapp.org or at www.nexttiereducation.com. Application deadlines are August 1 for fall semester enrollment and November 15 for spring semester enrollment. Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 for readmission to degree status.

Second Degree Applicants

Persons holding baccalaureate degrees from accredited institutions may apply to Rhode Island College for a second undergraduate degree. This assumes completion of all previous baccalaureate requirements, including General Education and a 2.0 cumulative GPA (higher for some programs).

Rhode Island College is a member of The Common Application group. Applicants for a second bachelor’s degree submit the following materials to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions by June 1 for fall semester enrollment or by November 1 for spring semester enrollment:

  1. A completed application accompanied by a $50 nonrefundable application fee. Students may apply online at www.commonapp.org or at www.nexttiereducation.com.
  2. Official transcripts from all colleges attended. Transcripts must indicate that a baccalaureate degree was conferred and the date it was conferred.

Once the application and all credentials have been received, the admissions office will notify and instruct the candidate to schedule an appointment with the appropriate department chair(s) to determine the courses needed to meet requirements for the second degree. Candidates should be advised that certain programs, (e.g., art, teacher education, nursing and social work) have specialized requirements and admission standards that must be satisfied for acceptance into those programs.

Candidates for a second degree must successfully complete a minimum of 30 credit hours at Rhode Island College. Some programs, such as education, will require considerably more credit hours. Credit requirements for plans of study may be as high as 98 credit hours. At least 15 of the 30 hours must be taken in the department of the major or program. Course/credit proficiency, field experience, prior learning credit or transfer credit may not be counted toward this 30-credit-hour requirement.

Early Enrollment Program

The Early Enrollment Program (EEP) is a concurrent enrollment program that provides high school students with the opportunity to take college-level courses in the familiar environment of their own high school. Upon successful completion of EEP courses, high school students earn college credits at Rhode Island College that may be transferred to other institutions of higher learning. The faculty and courses that are accepted into the program must meet National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships and Rhode Island College EEP standards. See www.ric.edu/eep/.

Proficiency and Advanced Placement

Students may increase their opportunities to pursue advanced work or may earn credits toward graduation through proficiency and advanced placement. Such credit is substituted for specified courses and is usually gained through appropriate scores on the following examinations administered by the College Board: SAT Subject Tests in a modern foreign language; the Advanced Placement Test (given to high school students in advanced programs); and the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, both the Subject-Level and General-Level Tests. All proficiency and advanced placement credit must be approved by the academic department involved. Further information is available from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions or the appropriate academic department.

Health Requirements

All full-time students and international students are required to meet immunization requirements mandated by the Rhode Island Department of Health. A completed Immunization Record, signed by a health care provider, must be returned to Student Health Services before a full-time student is allowed to start classes. Students living on campus, participating in the athletic program or enrolled in the nursing program are also required to have a physical examination on file at Student Health Services. All health related information should be entered into the secure Medicat Patient Portal located on the right sidebar of MyRIC.

Note: Certain departments have additional health requirements for admission to their programs.

High School Equivalency

In some cases, Rhode Island College will accept a high school equivalency diploma in lieu of a regular diploma, if the applicant has achieved superior scores on the high school General Educational Development (GED) tests. All other admissions requirements must be fulfilled.