Jul 17, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Education Curriculum

Wilkes University offers undergraduate programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Business of Administration, and the Bachelor of Science degrees. The University also offers a first professional degree program leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy degree. All programs have been carefully designed to prepare graduates to meet the rigorous entrance requirements of graduate and professional schools and to ensure that all Wilkes undergraduates acquire a broad general education essential for responsible contribution to human affairs. Each degree program assures multiple and varied opportunities for students to achieve educational objectives specific to that field of study. All baccalaureate programs also share a set of distinctive goals and Institutional Student Learning Outcomes that derive from the Wilkes University Mission and define the Wilkes baccalaureate educational experiences.

The Wilkes University General Education Curriculum

First-Year Foundations 0/3 Credit Hours

Completion of a First-Year Foundations (FYF) course 3 credit hours

Students who have completed 23 or fewer credit hours earned in a college classroom when they matriculate at the University are required to complete an FYF course during their first semester of study. All students who have completed more than 23 credit hours earned in a college classroom when they matriculate at the University are eligible, but not required, to take an FYF course. A student may earn academic credit toward graduation for only one FYF course.

Student Learning Outcomes for the Skill Areas

Written Communication: Students will:

  • produce written texts that sustain a unifying focus with coherently-structured and logically-ordered sentences and paragraphs;
  • control surface features such as syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling;
  • present an argument in writing, with use of evidentiary examples;
  • adopt appropriate voice, tone, and level of formality appropriate to different rhetorical situations, genres, and audiences; and
  • engage in scholarly research-based practices and document another writer’s written work and ideas, in a manner appropriate to relevant academic or professional disciplines.

Oral Communication: Students will:

  • construct a relevant message supported by scholarly and sufficient research;
  • organize message content based on an accepted and coherent organizational pattern;
  • deliver an audience-centered presentation;
  • use language clearly, appropriately, and inclusively and that follows to the grammatical rules of Standard American English; and
  • effectively deliver, in an extemporaneous manner, informative, persuasive and special occasion speeches.

Quantitative Reasoning: Students will:

  • represent mathematical information symbolically, visually, numerically, and verbally, and interpret and draw inferences from mathematical models such as formulas, graphs, tables, and schematics.
  • apply arithmetical, algebraic, geometric and statistical methods with appropriate technological tools to solve problems;
  • think critically and apply common sense in estimating and checking answers to mathematical problems in order to determine reasonableness, identify alternatives, and select optimal results, judging the soundness and accuracy of conclusions derived from quantitative information; and
  • communicate mathematical information effectively using symbols, visual, numerical, or verbal representations.

Critical Thinking: Students will:

  • use critical thinking to recall relevant information accurately, and structure verbal and written message content based on an accepted and coherent organizational pattern;
  • paraphrase, synthesize, and analyze information from multiple sources to explain concepts;
  • analyze information and apply it to new contexts; and
  • utilize information to formulate and support a position.

Computer Literacy: Students will:

  • define the relationship between hardware and software, in particular, the relationship between hardware and the operating system and the operating system and applications;
  • develop an understanding of privacy and security issues with respect to networks, email, social media and WWW usage;
  • know intellectual property laws with respect to software, music, and video, and understand the ethical use of information for academic and personal purposes;
  • utilize software such as word processing, spreadsheet, and database software to effectively organize, manage, and communicate information; and
  • understand the roles of computers and technology in mass communication, including social media.

Diversity Awareness: Students will:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the diversity of the local and global communities, including cultural, social, political, and economic differences;
  • analyze, evaluate, and assess the impact of differences in race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, native language, sexual orientation, ableism, age, and religion; and
  • utilize perspectives of diverse groups when conducting analyses, drawing conclusions, and making decisions.

Four of these Skill Areas-Computer Literacy, Written Communication, Oral Communication, and Quantitative Reasoning-are addressed and assessed within the context of specific academic experiences as described below. The development and assessment of Critical Thinking is embedded throughout all components and academic learning experiences of the Wilkes University curriculum.

Students may opt or test out of each skill requirement by demonstrating competency through means designated by the department responsible for each skill area. Please see your academic advisor for more information on program-designated courses that will satisfy these requirements.

Students will develop and demonstrate mastery of the outcomes for Computer Literacy, Written Communication, Oral Communication, and Quantitative Reasoning by means of the following academic experiences:

I. Computer Literacy

Completion of CS 115 - Computers and Applications or higher


Completion of 2 “Computer Intensive” (CI) courses minimum 3 credit hours

Students who do not complete CS 115 or test out of this Skill Area can satisfy the Computer Literacy requirement by completing courses that appear on the “Computer Intensive” (CI) List. The list of Computer Literacy skills, as well as a list of available CI courses, is available from the Office of the Registrar.

II. Written Communication

Completion of ENG 101 - Composition 4 credit hours


Writing Across the Curriculum: Each undergraduate degree program, as well as the First-Year Foundations Program, incorporates writing and the progressive development of written communication skills into its curriculum. Courses throughout each degree program emphasize writing techniques and styles that are specific to that program of study. Most Senior Capstone courses have a significant writing component that requires proficiency in writing in order to complete the course.

III. Oral Communication

Completion of COM 101 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking


Completion of 2 Oral Presentation Option (OPO) courses minimum 3 credit hours

The Office of the Registrar maintains a list of OPO courses. OPO courses enable a specified number of students (or all students) in an approved course to complete the requirements for an OPO course. Satisfaction of the OPO requirement will not, in most cases, add credits to a students’ program of study.

IV. Quantitative Reasoning

Completion of MTH 101 - Solving Problems Using Mathematics

or higher minimum 3 credit hours

Distribution Areas 24 Credit Hours

Area I. The Humanities Minimum 9 Credit Hours

Student Learning Outcomes in the Humanities:

Students will

  • apply analytical and critical reasoning skills when solving problems (critical judgment);
  • analyze problems by considering diverse and varying forms of evidence and multiple perspectives within global historical and cultural contexts (historical perspective);
  • demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate various ethical codes and belief systems including their own (ethical awareness);
  • use evidence and sound ethical reasoning to frame analyses and defend them. (ethical awareness);
  • demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the diversity and complexity of aesthetic expression (aesthetic expression);and
  • demonstrate the ability to speak and write effectively in languages including, but not restricted to, standard American English(linguistic awareness).

* Students should be able to demonstrate the above outcomes in their writing.

Students must complete three (3) of the courses listed below in order to satisfy the requirements for Distribution Area I: The Humanities.

ENG 120 - Introduction to Literature and Culture; and

HST 101 - The Historical Foundations of The Modern World; and

Foreign Language at level of competence OR

PHL 101 - Introduction to Philosophy or PHL 110 - Introduction to Ethical Problems or PHL 115 - Business Ethics or PHL 114 - Introduction to Bioethics

Students may request, through their academic advisors, a course substitution within this Area. For more details on course substitution policies for Area I, contact the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Forms for course substitution may be obtained from, and completed forms must be returned to, the Student Services Center.

Area II. The Scientific World Minimum 6 Credit Hours

Student Learning Outcomes in the Scientific World:

Students will

  • describe how science affects contemporary issues;
  • access sources of scientific information that are both relevant and reliable;
  • explain ethical issues in the practice of science;
  • communicate scientific concepts effectively;
  • draw logical conclusions based on scientific data;
  • distinguish between scientific evidence and pseudoscience; and
  • explain the development of scientific theories using the scientific method.

Student must complete two (2) of the courses listed below in order to satisfy the requirements for Distribution Area II: The Scientific World. The two courses must have different prefixes and at least one of the two selected courses must include a laboratory component. Credit hours vary according to incorporation of the laboratory component.




Earth and Environmental Sciences


Area III. The Behavioral and Social Sciences Minimum 6 Credit Hours

Student Learning Outcomes in the Behavioral and Social Sciences:

Students will

  • critically read and understand tabular data, graphs, or other displays of data; (methodological reasoning);
  • identify independent variables and dependent variables; (methodological reasoning);
  • write or identify a well-formulated hypothesis; (methodological reasoning);
  • recognize and interpret types of relationships between variables (positive and negative); (methodological reasoning);
  • apply one or more conceptual frameworks to an issue or problem (conceptual reasoning); and
  • identify and explain the various factors that influence human behavior. (conceptual reasoning).

Students must complete two (2) of the five (5) courses listed below in order to satisfy the requirements for Distribution Area III: The Behavioral and Social Sciences.

Students may request, through their academic advisors, a course substitution within this Area. For more details on course substitution policies for Area III, contact the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Forms for course substitution can be obtained from, and completed forms must be returned to, the Student Services Center.

Area IV. The Visual and Performing Arts Minimum 3 Credit Hours

Student Learning Outcomes in the Visual and Performing Arts:

Students will meet 3 out of 4 outcomes

  • analyze works of art using vocabulary appropriate to the art form;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between artistic technique and the expression of a work’s underlying concept;
  • analyze the relationship between works of art and the social, historical, global and personal contexts in which they are created or experienced; and
  • engage in the artistic process, including conception, creation, interpretation, and ongoing critical analysis.

Students must complete one (1) of the courses listed below in order to satisfy the requirements of Distribution Area IV: The Visual and Performing Arts.

By means of a successful performance audition and written permission of the Chair of the Division of Performing Arts, students may substitute three (3) credit hours of performance or studio experience for the above course requirement.

By means of a satisfactory artwork portfolio evaluation and written permission of the Chairperson of the Department of Integrative Media and Art, students may substitute three (3) credit hours of studio experience for ART 101.

Permission for course substitutions in Area IV will be granted only in special cases that have received review and approval prior to registration. Students petitioning for Area IV course substitutions in Art must present a portfolio of creative work for review by the chair and faculty of the Department of Integrative Media and Art. Students petitioning for Area IV course substitutions in Dance, Music, or Theatre must schedule an interview with the chair and faculty in the Division of Performing Arts; in some instances, an audition may be required.

For more details on course substitution policies for Area IV, contact the Department of Integrative Media and Art or the Division of Performing Arts and the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Forms for course substitution may be obtained from and completed forms must be returned to, and completed forms must be returned to the Student Services Center. Written permission for course substitutions must be obtained before registering for the course.

Senior Capstone Credits Vary

Each student is required to complete a Senior Capstone course or experience in his or her major field of study as specified in the requirements for each degree program. For details about the capstone course or experience, see the degree requirements for the selected academic program. Satisfaction of this General Education Curriculum requirement will not add credit hours to most students’ programs of study.

General Education: The First Curricular Component

The General Education Curriculum is an affirmation of the strong belief of the Wilkes faculty in the value of study in the arts and sciences for all students and includes a broad spectrum of courses designed to stimulate the intellectual, personal, and social development of our students. The requirements of this curriculum are intended to serve as the foundation upon which all degree programs are based.

The General Education Curriculum requirements for all programs follow. Students are urged to use this outline of the requirements as an explanation of the “Recommended Course Sequence” provided for each major degree program described in this bulletin. With the exception of English ENG 101 , English ENG 120 , History HST 101 , and First-Year Foundations FYF 101 , which are required of all undergraduate students at Wilkes, the designation “Distribution Requirement(s)” in the “Recommended Course Sequence” for each major is a reference to the following statement of the General Education Curriculum requirements.

General Education Curriculum Requirements

The University faculty has approved the following set of requirements for the General Education Curriculum, which comprises four components: 1) Skill Requirements (0 - 13 credits); 2) First-Year Foundations (3 credits); 3) Distribution Areas (24 credits); and4) the Senior Capstone (variable credit). All undergraduate students must satisfy these requirements in order to be eligible for graduation.

SKILL REQUIREMENTS 0 - 13 Credit Hours

All students pursuing the baccalaureate degree at Wilkes University must develop and demonstrate proficiency in six identified Skill Areas–Written Communication; Oral Communication; Quantitative Reasoning; Critical Thinking; Computer Literacy; and Diversity Awareness.



The Major: The Second Curricular Component

In addition to satisfying the requirements of the General Education Curriculum each student must complete a major in an academic discipline or area of concentration in order to graduate from the University. Specific requirements for each major are described in detail in the departmental listings in this bulletin. The major area of study must be declared before the first semester of the student’s junior year. Wilkes University offers three baccalaureate degrees-the Bachelor of Arts Degree, the Bachelor of Business Administration Degree, and the Bachelor of Science Degree-and Secondary Education Certification in Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, English, History, Mathematics, Political Science, and Spanish.

Bachelor of Arts Degree

Wilkes University offers the Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.) with majors in:

  • Biology
  • English
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • History
  • Political Science
  • Communication Studies
  • Individualized Studies
  • Psychology
  • Computer Science
  • International Relations
  • Secondary Education
  • Criminology
  • Mathematics
  • Sociology
  • Digital Design and Media Art
  • Middle Level Education
  • Spanish
  • Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • P K-12 Special Education
  • Theatre Arts
  • Elementary and Early Childhood Education
  • Philosophy

Bachelor of Business Administration Degree

Wilkes University offers the Bachelor of Business Administration degree (B.B.A.) with majors in:

  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Sports Management

Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree

Wilkes University offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (B.F.A.) with majors in:

  • Digital Design and Media Art
  • Musical Theatre
  • Theatre Design and Technology

Bachelor of Science Degree

Wilkes University offers the Bachelor of Science degree (B.S.) with majors in:

  • Accounting
  • Computer Science
  • Geology
  • Biochemistry
  • Corporate Finance
  • Hospitality Leadership
  • Biology
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Individualized Studies
  • Cannabis Chemistry
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Engineering Management
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Medical Laboratory Sciences
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Financial Investments
  • Neuroscience

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree

Wilkes University offers the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (B.S.N.) with a major in:

  • Nursing

Teacher Education

Students who wish to prepare for a teaching career in secondary schools select an appropriate disciplinary major (Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, English, History, Mathematics, Political Science, or Spanish) and use their elective credits to pursue the minor in Secondary Education and meet teacher certification requirements. Students who wish to prepare for a teaching career in elementary or middle level education pursue the major in Elementary and Early Childhood Education or Middle Level Education (with an appropriate area of concentration). A list of the courses needed for certification is provided in the departmental description of the Department of Education in this bulletin. Students planning a teaching career must seek counseling in the Department of Education early in their first semester at Wilkes University.

Elective Courses: The Third Curricular Component

The third component of the Wilkes University Curriculum, after the General Education Requirements and the Major, is composed of Elective Courses. Students choose elective courses for a variety of reasons: to complete a minor area of study, a concentration area, a second major, or a second degree; to pursue a special area of interest; to meet requirements for admission to graduate or professional schools; or to enhance, refine, and further develop specific skills.

Double Major

Students may choose to use their elective credits to complete a second major. The student must declare intent to graduate with a double major by completing the appropriate form, which is available at the Registrar’s Office. It is the student’s responsibility to secure the approval of the chairpersons of both departments to ensure that all requirements of the two majors are fulfilled.


Students frequently select elective courses in order to complete a minor in a field other than the major field of study. Although not required for graduation, minor degree study is formally recognized on the student’s transcript and may significantly enhance a graduate’s credentials. Students are ineligible for formal recognition of a minor in the same discipline as the major field of study. Students should consult the departmental listing in this bulletin to review the requirements for formal recognition of a minor field in specific disciplines. A minimum of one-half of all minor field credits must be completed at Wilkes. Formal application for an academic minor must be made to the University Registrar. Application forms are available in the Registrar’s Office.

Second Baccalaureate Degree

Students who hold a bachelor’s degree with a major in one discipline from Wilkes University or another regionally accredited institution may earn a second baccalaureate degree at Wilkes by completing a major in another discipline, provided the following conditions are met.

  • Candidates for the second degree must earn at least thirty (30) credits at Wilkes beyond those required for the first degree.
  • Candidates for the second degree must meet all of the Wilkes University requirements for a baccalaureate degree. Individuals already holding a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States will be considered exempt from the Wilkes General Education Curriculum for the purpose of seeking a second bachelor’s degree.
  • Wilkes students may graduate with two baccalaureate degrees simultaneously, but they must complete thirty (30) credits beyond the requirements for the first degree in order to be eligible for the second degree at the time of graduation.

If students choose to return to the University to earn a second degree, they must complete the requirements for the additional major beyond any majors earned during the pursuit of the first degree.

Programs to Serve Adult and Non-Traditional Learners

Wilkes University offers and coordinates a number of programs that serve the adult and non-traditional student population. Complete information about the College and its programs may be found on the Wilkes University Web site at https://www.wilkes.edu/graduatestudies.

For further details about any of the following programs, please call (570) 408-4235.

Advanced Placement Summer Institute

Wilkes University, in cooperation with the College Board, annually hosts the Advanced Placement Summer Institute. This program is designed for people who teach, or wish to teach, Advanced Placement (A.P.) Biology, Calculus A and B, Chemistry, Computer Science, English, Environmental Science, Physics, Statistics, or U.S. History. Each course will review the most recent changes and shifts in emphasis in the A.P. syllabus. Advanced Placement Summer Institute is a one-week program, which may be taken for three (3) graduate credits or audited. Specific questions about the Institute may be directed to the Center for Continued Learning.

Graduate, Post-Baccalaureate and Certificate Programs

Wilkes University continues to expand its role in post-baccalaureate offerings. Please call the Graduate Admissions Office to inquire about certificate and post-baccalaureate programs. The University offers doctoral degrees in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.),Nursing (DNP), and Pharmacy Practice (Pharm.D.). Master’s degrees are available in the fields of Business Administration (M.B.A.),Creative Writing (M.A. and M.F.A), Education (M.S.Ed., with various concentrations), Electrical Engineering (M.S.E.E.), Engineering Management (M.S.E.G.M.), Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E), and Mathematics (M.S.). A separate Graduate Bulletin, which describes graduate programs in detail, is available upon request from the Graduate Admissions Office.

Non-Credit Continuing Education

Wilkes University is committed to providing innovative, lifelong learning opportunities by extending the University’s resources to a diverse audience whose educational interests require flexibility and creative delivery. We offer programs for many professionals including Accountants, Engineers, Nurses, Pharmacists, Counselors, A.P. Teachers, Social Workers, and Psychologists. Learning experiences take the form of non-credit certificate programs, non-credit courses, conferences, and institutes. To meet the needs of the community, we offer courses on the Wilkes University campus, at various off-site locations, and at business locations. Inquiries about offerings should be directed to the Continued Learning Office.

Part-time Studies

Wilkes University welcomes part-time undergraduate students into all of its regular sessions. The University has established the Evening schedule to maximize opportunities for students who cannot attend day classes. Evening classes are offered in a variety of disciplines, and students may use this option, in addition to the regular day class offerings, as their commitment and interests permit. Many students complete their degree requirements in one or more of the special formats and scheduling options available through the Admissions Office.

Non-degree seeking students may be admitted to classes that they are qualified to take by reason of their maturity, previous education, and work experience. Secondary school training is desirable, but not necessary, provided the student is qualified to follow such special courses of instruction. Inquiries about all of these programs should be directed to the Admissions Office.

Summer Courses

Wilkes offers a variety of summer courses, workshops, mini-courses, and programs with outdoor activities during the summer months. The summer schedule includes a three-week Pre-Session, two five-week Day Sessions, and a nine-week Evening Session, plus special sessions. Students interested in the summer programs should contact the Office of Summer Programs at (570) 408-4460.

Winter Courses

Wilkes offers courses on-line during a three-week Winter Intersession between the Fall and Spring semesters. Students interested in winter courses should contact the Winter Intersession Office at (570) 408-4460.

The Curriculum

The Institutional Student Learning Outcomes are addressed and assessed in the academic courses of study by way of a University curriculum approved by the faculty and comprising three components: the General Education Curriculum; the Major area of study; and the Elective area or areas of study. These curricular components are interconnected and interdependent and provide meaningful opportunities for each student to meet the requirements of the Institutional Student Learning Outcomes and develop the knowledge, skills, sensibilities, and qualities that, in the words of Dr. Eugene S. Farley, founding President of Wilkes University, distinguish an educated person.

General Education Curriculum

The General Education Curriculum is the central component of all degree programs at Wilkes University. It lies at the heart of every Wilkes baccalaureate degree and defines for all students, regardless of major, a common liberal education experience in the arts and sciences. The General Education Curriculum serves as the foundation for specialized study in a specific academic area or professional field.

Major Degree

The Major Degree area requires in-depth and extended course work and learning experiences in a specialized field of study. Major degree programs prepare students to pursue a chosen career, or meet the entrance requirements for graduate and professional schools, or both. Requirements for each major area of study offered at Wilkes are listed in the appropriate departmental descriptions in this bulletin.


The Elective area of study enables each student to pursue topics of personal interest, explore new areas of learning, or complete a minor degree, special concentration, or second major degree.

It is the responsibility of each student to ensure that all degree requirements, including the General Education requirements, are satisfied.

Institutional Student Learning Outcomes

(adopted by the University faculty, November 1, 2007)

The students will develop and demonstrate through course work, learning experiences, co-curricular and extracurricular activities

  • the knowledge, skills, and scholarship that are appropriate to their general and major field areas of study;
  • effective written and oral communication skills and information literacy using an array of media and modalities;
  • practical, critical, analytical, and quantitative reasoning skills;
  • actions reflecting ethical reasoning, civic responsibility, environmental stewardship, and respect for diversity; and
  • interpersonal skills and knowledge of self as a learner that contribute to effective team work, mentoring, and lifelong learning.