Bridgewater State University’s 235-acre campus offers more than 30 undergraduate academic programs in four different schools: the School of Business, the School of Education and Allied Studies, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the School of Science and Mathematics. There is also a School of Graduate Studies for graduate students.
The student-faculty ratio is 22 to 1, and about 39 percent of its classes have with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors include business management, marketing, journalism, education, psychology; and security and protective services. The average retention rate for freshmen is 77.8 percent.
Undergraduates can earn a bachelor of arts of bachelor of science degree in majors that include accounting and finance, art, athletic training, biology, chemistry, communication studies, earth sciences, health studies, history, English, music, social work, political science, physics and Spanish. The bachelor of science degree is offered in three areas: early childhood education, elementary education and special education.There are also more than 30 minor areas of study for students.
Among other things, the core curriculum requires students to take first and second year seminars, both with a strong emphasis on writing skills, and requirements depending on a student’s major. The university also offers a continuing and distance education program, internships, research programs, honors programs and study abroad programs.
The study abroad program is extensive. Semester-long programs are also available to students who want to immerse themselves in the cultures of England, Ireland, Canada, Brazil, Hong Kong, China and Japan. Each program differs, but in the China Exchange students attend classes at Shanghai Normal University, where they take Mandarin classes at the International College of Chinese Studies and courses about Chinese culture with other international students.
In the Ireland program, students take classes and live at The University of Limerick, Ollscoil Luimnigh. The University of Limerick is an independent university located in a 600-acre National Technological Park on the banks of the river Shannon.
In two Japan programs, just two students are chosen each year to travel to Wakayama, Japan, for 6-7 month spring and summer program that allows them to immerse into Japanese language and culture. Students will take mostly Japanese language courses and other courses of their choice. They live with home-stay families or in dormitories.
The school offers summer study tours in Lithuania, England, Jordan, Tanzania, China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Kenya. Germany, and Italy.
The summer program in England is the oldest international study program offered. Hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students have enjoyed the program, which includes living at Wadham College, a Medieval and Renaissance college in the heart of Oxford University. Students who enroll study English literature (including Jane Austen, Wordsworth and Coleridge), British history, the British Monarchy and Human Rights issues with Oxford faculty, see British theater, visit sites in Wales, Bath and London.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Admissions are competitive. As part of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education,the minimum admission standards require applicants to have earned a B average for certain required high school classes. The state also uses a sliding scale that includes SAT scores above 920, or an ACT composite score above 19. Admission decisions are based on the strength of an applicant’s academic profile compared to the pool of applicants. More than 8,000 applications are reviewed each year for a freshman class of about 1,500.
Other factors considered in the admission decisions are leadership skill, participation in extracurricular activities, maturity and special talents. Letters of recommendation and other supporting information is encouraged as well.
Students are encouraged to attend one the college’s group information sessions throughout the year.
In addition to federal and state grants, scholarships and loans, the university offers a number of its own scholarships. The Alumni Association provides scholarships to undergraduate students who meet particular criteria. Application forms are available during February each year. Many of the academic departments, clubs and campus organizations also sponsor scholarships and monetary awards to deserving students. A complete listing can be found in the student handbook.
A limited number of graduate assistantships are offered by the School of Graduate Studies in certain subject areas.
Bridgewater is home to 10 different residence halls, including three large halls reserved for first-year students. Shea and Durgin Halls are both co-ed, five-story residence halls with some single-sex floors, and combined, house approximately 700 students. Rooms at Shea and Durgin are corridor-style, with double, triple, and four-person rooms. The halls are located on East Campus, on the “Great Hill,” and the closest dining room is about a two-minute walk away at the East Campus Commons. The halls also have a laundry, kitchen, recreation room, and study areas. All rooms are equipped with connections for cable TV, telephone, high speed Internet access, and wireless Internet access.
Woodward Hall is another freshman a co-ed dorm that houses 250 students. Rooms here are also corridor-style with double, triple, and four-person rooms. Woodward Hall also houses the residential learning communities. Woodward hall is located on West Campus, with the closest dining rooms the Flynn Dining Commons and the Commuter Cafeteria, both about a minute’s walk away. Woodward also features a kitchen, recreation room, a TV lounge, vending machines, and study areas. Rooms are equipped with connections for cable TV, telephone, and wireless Internet access.
The university also offers its freshmen the optional First Year Residential Experience program, which assists first-year students with the transition from high school to college. Students in the FYRE program are connected to campus resources to help them succeed.
Twenty-four hour security is provided in Woodward, Shea and Durgin Halls. Other halls have student security officers staffing the entrances to the halls from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily. All residence halls are also equipped with a card access system that only allows access to residence halls by students.
There are five dining halls on the campus, and most students use a variety of meal plans offered by the college, or “flex” dollars. The East Campus Commons offers a la carte food stations and deals that include an entree, four side dishes and a beverage. The Bear’s Den is the campus a la carte dining hall with brand names, including Dunkin Donuts, Quixote’s and Panin Grill. The Dining Room is a sit-down style restaurant in the Campus Center that offers a salad bar and traditional menu.
The Flynn Dining Commons is located in Tillinghast Hall and is an all-you-can-eat dining facility. And the Crimson Dining Hall offers food court dining with a grill, an international foods station, a pasta and pizza station, and a coffee/smoothies cafe.
One of the most popular gathering places on campus is the Rondileau Campus Center, also known as the RCC. You can grab a snack at the Bear’s Den cafeteria, check email at the computer lab, or shoot some pool at the Corner Pccket, which has four 9-foot pool table, two ping pong tables, dart boards and a TV lounge.
The 1,433-seat auditorium at the RCC is a proscenium style theater that regularly hosts performances by the theater, dance and music departments, as well as outside performances by groups that have included the New York City Opera, the Vienna Boys Choir, the Martha Graham dance company, Bobby McFerrin, and Tony Bennett.
Commuting students also have their own commuter lounge in the RCC. Information sessions and movie events are held regularly for commuting students in the lounge.
The campus offers 189 student clubs and organizations, including WBIM, a student-run radio station the airs underground music, an African Student Association, the Paintball Organization, a ski and board club, a video and film association, a Student Government Association, the BSU Noteworthy singing group, a GLBTA Pride Center, an ensemble theater group, and many more.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The Bears compete at the NCAA Division III Level, and in 21 intercollegiate sports. The Bears have also been competitive in the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference and have won the Smith Trophy for the best Athletic Department.
The college sponsors men’s intercollegiate teams in basketball, baseball, football, wrestling, cross country, soccer, indoor track, swimming, and tennis. Women’s intercollegiate teams are basketball, softball, lacrosse, indoor track, volleyball, field hockey, soccer, cross country, tennis, and swimming.
The school also sponsors club sports in men’s ice hockey, women’s rugby, men’s lacrosse, and men’s rugby.
The college recently renovated the state-of-the-art Swanson football field and resurfaced the track. Bridgewater defeated its conference rival, Worcester State University, by a score of 25 to 9 on the Swanson field.
Athletes have their pick of facilities, including the John J. Kelley Gymnasium, which houses a large and small gym, weight room, and Olympic-sized swimming pool. The Edward C. Swenson Athletic Complex is home to the college’s track and soccer fields, and Alumni Park is the location of a 500-seat softball field, with a natural grass outfield and a skinned infield.
The Andrew Tinsley Center, built in 2002 for $17 million, is the college’s NCAA basketball and volleyball venue, seating 1,000 spectators, and featuring wireless Internet access and a state of the art sound system. Surrounding Tinsley are the campus soccer fields, tennis courts, baseball and softball fields, and football field. The Tinsley Center also houses the campus’s Thornburg Fitness Center, which offers students use of lockers, treadmills, ellipticals, Stairmasters, upright and recumbent bikes, free weights, and other equipment.
Students also have use of three miles of recreation trails around the campus, used by students for walking, running, mountain biking, snowshoeing and back-country skiing.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.
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