Johnson & Wales University (JWU) is a private, nonprofit higher education institution that offers both undergraduate and graduate study in business-oriented fields. It serves more than 10,000 students at its largest campus location in Providence, Rhode Island. As a career preparation institution, it seeks to prepare students for the working world by teaching them necessary and useful skills.
JWU offers a variety of practical courses on four campuses – Providence, RI; Miami, FL; Denver, CO; and Charlotte, NC; as well as online. Many majors are offered on all four campuses, but the widest variety is offered at Providence because the other three campuses are smaller and more specialized. Providence is also the only campus that offers graduate degree programs. That is why it’s important for students to keep their specific course interests in mind when applying; prospective students should be sure that the campus they wish to attend offers the program they need.
The school was founded in 1914 by Gertrude I. Johnson and Mary T. Wales as a business institution. Located in Providence, Rhode Island, the university began with an exclusively business curriculum and began offering associate’s degrees in 1963. Baccalaureate and graduate accreditations were added in 1970 and 1980, respectively.
The university has continued to expand both its campus locations and its academic programs. In 1973, the school expanded its hospitality and food service offerings by opening the College of Culinary Arts. In 1984, it expanded its reach to Charleston, SC, with a campus that focuses on food service, travel-tourism, and hospitality. An additional campus in Norfolk, VA, opened in 1986 to offer food service programs. The graduate degree program was established in 1985.
Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in a variety of career fields and technical programs. The University is broken into six academic groups:
- College of Business
- College of Culinary Arts
- The Hospitality College
- School of Technology
- School of Arts & Sciences
- Graduate Programs
A seventh group, continuing education, is offered based on availability and does not comprise a full degree program.
Students have the opportunity to begin hands-on work in their desired career path right from the first day of class. As a career-preparatory institution, programs are offered that teach students the practical, technical realities of specific industries. For example, students in the School of Technology can major in computer programming, robotic engineering technology, network engineering, and more. Similarly, students of The Hospitality College can major in hotel and lodging management, travel-tourism and hospitality management, culinary arts and food service management, and many others. Each track is highly specialized, so students will graduate with a comprehensive understanding of their chosen industries.
Graduate programs in the fields of business, education, and criminal justice management have been developed. The MBA allows business professionals to further their careers through specialized concentrations in accounting and hospitality, preparation for the CPA exam, and fast tracks that let students earn their degree sooner.
The graduate program in education is the largest graduate degree program, offering both master’s and doctoral degrees. Education students have the opportunity to to be certified through the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program or the Master of Education in Teaching and Learning (MEd) program, or even extend their studies into a doctoral dissertation with real life applications in the Doctorate of Education (EdD) program.
The Master of Science in Criminal Justice Management gives students the skills and the qualifications to pursue top level criminal justice careers at all levels of government.
All of the graduate programs are offered on a flexible nighttime or weekend schedule to accommodate working students.
The Honors program offers students enhanced classes with more rigorous coursework and greater depth. Potential honors students must score at least the national average on the SAT or a minimum of 42 for the ACT total composite. They must also have taken two college-level mathematics courses and a college-level English course and graduate in the top 25% of their class.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Students at all levels are accepted, from high school juniors in early enrollment programs to adults who are continuing their education long after graduating from high school. To begin your application, visit the Admissions and Aid page on their website, then select the appropriate application type from the menu on the left.
First-year undergraduates can apply by completing the online admissions application or by printing the application and submitting it by mail. Students who wish to receive scholarships must also submit any high school and college transcripts in full. All students must provide provide proof of high school completion.
All students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available online. This form determines eligibility for federal aid in the form of grants, loans, and work-study programs. It is also a required supplementary material for many third-party loan and scholarship applications.
Students come from all over the country and around the world to attend this campus. The largest campus, Providence, enrolls students from all 50 states and more than 70 countries. All four campuses – Providence, North Miami, Denver, and Charlotte – welcome a large number of international students each year. The campus diversity helps to build a stronger career education that integrates international awareness.
Students also have many opportunities to get involved. They can live on campus, eat meals in the dining halls, and participate in campus-wide events, regardless of which of the four campuses they attend. Students that wish to be even more active can join one of the many available clubs and organizations, which offer activities from athletic clubs to student government. Clubs and organizations vary from campus to campus, so be sure to check out your particular location’s options!
Finally, don’t forget to take advantage of the many student services offered by JWU. Students have full access to guidance and mentoring services like career counseling, technical support, medical needs, and general advice. Students services can be particularly helpful for international students: staff members are ready to assist with everything from applying for a visa to acclimating to the local area.
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Justine Ventimiglia graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Currently residing in a 1950’s modest ranch in Metro Detroit, she enjoys researching and writing about Mid Century Modern furniture and decor as she works on restoring her home and documenting the process.