Nov 30, 2020  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

The University

The University

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Mission Statement

Founded in 1933 by the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, Rivier University is a Catholic institution of higher education dedicated to transforming hearts and minds to serve the world.  As a co-educational institution of higher learning, the University is dedicated to the education of undergraduate and graduate students in both the liberal arts and professional courses of study.

Committed to the faith heritage, intellectual tradition, ans social teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, the University educated thw whole person in the context of an academic community that cultivates critical thought, sound judgment, and respect for all people.  this community supports the intellectual growth of all its members while offering them opportunities for social, cultural, moral, and spiritual development.  The challenge to the University commuity is to search for truth through the dialogue between faith and reason.

Rivier creates an environment in which integrated learning is the shared responsibility of students, faculty, staff and administrators, and is pursued in all the curricular and co-curricular programs of the University. to participate in the life of Rifier University is to strive for academic excellence, to take responsibilitty for ourselves and for others, and to engage in dialogue about basic human issues facing society, especially the plight of the poor and powerless.  The University extends to all of its members and also to the greater community an invitation to join in intellectual inquire and dialogue.


Rivier University is named in honor of Blessed Anne Marie Rivier, foundress of the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary. Established in 1933 in Hudson, New Hampshire, the University moved in 1941 to the present campus site in Nashua. The University was incorporated in 1935 under the laws of the State of New Hampshire, and through two separate charters was invested with the power to confer both graduate and undergraduate degrees. Rivier is recognized for both on-campus and online programs that serve the needs of traditional-aged students as well as adult learners.

In conjunction with the bicentennial of the founding of the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary in 1796, the University formally recommitted to Anne Marie Rivier’s mission of teaching and serving the poor by making social justice and service to others a special focus of its work. The University’s core curriculum, Journeys of Transformation, educates students for lives as servant-leaders in an increasingly interdependent global community, where understanding and engaging with others is essential not only to individual success but also to a stable and sustainable world.

As part of its strategic plan, VISION 2020, Rivier has underscored its longstanding commitment to educating the whole person through a University-wide model of strengths-based well-being. By focusing on what students do well, Rivier fosters positive self-concept, a sense of purpose, and an alignment of strengths with life goals and career opportunities. Rivier faculty and staff are focused on student success, providing transformative learning experiences both in and beyond the classroom. Through service learning, faculty-led trips, study abroad, internships, student research, leadership activities, Rivier’s unique Employment Promise Program, and other high-impact educational practices, the University prepares students for meaningful lives and rewarding careers.

Rivier’s rich history of supporting the academic and personal success of all its students is reflected both in broad-based learning in the liberal arts and in programs of professional practice, including business, education, nursing, and professional psychology. Having gained University status in 2012, Rivier now has over 70 undergraduate and graduate programs, including three doctoral programs, in education (Ed.D.), nursing (DNP), and counseling and school psychology (Psy.D.).

Accreditation and Memberships

New England Association of Schools and Colleges

Rivier University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.

Accreditation of an institution of higher education by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality periodically applied through a peer review process. An accredited college or university is one which has available the necessary resources to achieve its stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, as well as student support services to assist students in achieving their educational goals.  Since accreditation is both a process and a status, institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation.

Accreditation by NEASC is not partial but applies to the institution as a whole. As such, it is not a guarantee of every course or program offered, or the competence of individual graduates. Rather, it provides reasonable assurance about the quality of academic opportunities available to students who attend the institution.

Inquiries regarding the accreditation status by NEASC should be directed to the administration of the institution. Individuals may also contact:

New England Association of Schools and Colleges
3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100
Burlington, Massachusetts 01803-4514
(781) 425-7700

The programs in the Division of Education are reviewed and recommended for program approval by the Council of Teacher Education of the New Hampshire Department of Education.  The NH State Board of Education has approved all undergraduate and graduate programs.  Doctoral programs and advanced degrees are also reviewed and recommended for approval by the Higher Education Commission, New Hamshire Department of Education and approved by the NH State Board of Education.  The State of New Hamshire participates in the Interstate Contract for Qualification of Education Personnel of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC), providing the opportunity for students in one state to become certified teachers in another state.

All Rivier nursing programs at the Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s level are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN).  The Doctor of Nursing program is a candidate for accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
3343 Peachtree Road, NE, Suite 850
Atlanta, GA 30326
(404) 975-5000

Rivier is also a member of the following state and national organizations:

Campus Compact of New Hampshire
College Entrance Examination Board
Council of Independent Colleges
Association of American  Colleges and Universities
National Association of College and University Business Officers
Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers
National Collegiate Athletic Association
New England Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
Council for Adult and Experiential Learning

For the purpose of institutional cooperation, Rivier University is a member of the New Hampshire College and University Council, a consortium of twelve New Hampshire institutions of higher learning:

        Colby-Sawyer College
        Dartmouth College
        Franklin Pierce University
        Granite State College
        Keene State College
        New England College
        New Hampshire Institute of Art
        Plymouth State University
        Rivier University
        St. Anselm College
        Southern New Hampshire University
        The University of New Hampshire

Philosophy of Graduate Study

Graduate education at Rivier University provides advanced and specialized professional training beyond the baccalaureate degree. Most of the University’s graduate students are practitioners in particular fields and bring a wealth of practical knowledge and experience to the classroom. These men and women are seeking to strengthen their academic and professional competence, to develop professional knowledge in their disciplines, and to relate their research to the investigations of other authorities.

Graduate programs at Rivier University are innovative and respond to the social, technological, and economic changes affecting intellectual and professional life. These programs are effective resources for business, social, educational, and cultural development in the region.

Founded on the principles of human dignity and value inherent in the University’s Roman Catholic tradition, Rivier’s commitment to quality programs is realized through a network of full-time and part-time faculty who are dedicated to the education of socially responsible men and women.

Graduate faculty, students, and administrative staff at Rivier University are characterized by their love of learning and their ability to develop and apply their knowledge. Through ethical responsibility, they seek to be transformative leaders in an era of increasing global interdependence and collaboration.Goals of the Graduate School

Graduate Academic Goals

Flowing from the mission of Rivier University, the following goals guide the graduate programs and enable students to:

  • Further develop creative approaches to problem solving, promote intellectual curiosity, and engender a lifelong commitment to learning;
  • Engage in ethical personal and professional conduct, as well as pursue a strong commitment to social justice, in order to serve the disciplines and communities which students will participate;
  • Develop a sense of the sacred and of the dignity of the human person, particularly as expressed through the Catholic tradition;
  • Develop the ability to place one’s discipline in an historical, cultural, and global perspective;
  • Apply advanced critical and creative reasoning, both qualitatively and quantitatively, and demonstrate advanced communication ability in a variety of modalities;
  • Function as skilled professionals in their chosen careers, or consolidate an advanced understanding of their disciplines.

University Facilities

The Campus

The University is located on a sixty-eight acre campus one mile from downtown Nashua in a quiet residential area. Easy access to Boston provides students with opportunities for intellectual, cultural, and social enrichment. Proximity to the seacoast and to the White Mountains of New Hampshire offers additional recreational advantages. The services of Logan and Manchester airports, Boston railway stations, and local bus lines allow convenient travel to and from campus.

Regina Library

The Regina Library and the Cho Educational Resource Center are the resource libraries for students, faculty, and staff. The library staff, in collaboration with the University faculty, serves the research needs of the community. To meet a diversified curriculum and the academic requirements of the Rivier University community, the libraries currently have approximately 95,000 volumes, subscribe to roughly 165 journal titles (of which about 100 are electronic), and patrons have online access through the library website to approximately 150,000 electronic books and approximately 80 online research databases (which provide access to over 50,000 electronic journals). A reference librarian is available at the library each hour that the library is open. Students needing reference assistance may also contact a reference librarian from off-campus by telephone, text, e-mail, or chat online. The library website also provides access to online tutorials and research guides (LibGuides) linking students with materials, resources and research assistance.

Interlibrary loan (ILL) services are provided for students and faculty to obtain materials for research that are not available through the library collection or databases. Patrons can track, review and retrieve their ILL requests through the RivILL portal, which is accessible through the Regina Library website. Books are delivered to the library for patrons to pick up.

Rivier expanded the Regina Library in 2008 by approximately 13,000 square feet and renovated the existing library significantly. The highlights of the expansion and renovation include a new Reference Room, Electronic Classroom, Café with seating for 30 guests, a Quiet Study, six Group Study rooms (three which are reservable) and large open spaces for collaborative group work. Wireless access to the University network is available throughout the building so students can bring their own laptop computers, tablets, etc. or borrow a library laptop. There are also over 50 computer work stations available for student use as well as 8 printers.

The Cho Educational Resource Center

The Cho Educational Resource Center (ERC) is a branch of the Regina Library and is located on the second floor of The Benoit Education Center. The ERC houses a unique collection of materials that support curriculum development and lesson planning for students in the majors of education and counseling. The items available are those that could be found in a typical classroom, such as textbooks, instructional kits, games, and educational software. Additionally, the ERC has a diverse collection of juvenile books, including picture books, easy readers, and non-fiction books. The project room offers a space for students to create cut outs for bulletin board projects, games, etc. Students may also submit materials for lamination if they wish. The open main room, tables, and group study room foster an environment of collaboration and discussion among students working on group or individual projects.

Landry Early Childhood Center

The Landry Early Childhood Center is a nationally-accredited laboratory school serving children aged six weeks through kindergarten.  The ECC provides Rivier University education majors opportunities to observe and work with children under the direct supervision of cooperating teachers, and to develop skills for success in the field of early childhood education.

The Learning Commons

Rivier University’s Learning Commons is a destination that fosters collaborative learning and student success.  This 15,000-square-foot facility houses academic support services and provides opportunities for students to work in teams, use digital resources, receive assistance from peer mentors, and tutors, and access career services. The Learning Commons includes the Academic Support Center, Career Development Center, Disability Services, Counseling and Wellness Center, Service Learning, Student Success offices, and University Advancement and Alumni Relations.  Assembling these services in one location has been shown to positively impact student learning outcomes.

The Academic Computer Center

The Academic Computing Center provides students with state-of-the-art hardware and software to facilitate coursework and research. Three classrooms (located in Sylvia Trottier Hall, The Benoit Education Center, and Memorial Hall), each with 20 high-speed computers, provide a superb, hands-on learning environment. The Regina Library has a classroom with 25 PCs, as well as 14 high-speed computers throughout the library especially for bibliographic research. Additionally, there is a computer lab for general student use located in Sylvia Trottier Hall. All computers are connected to the Rivier University network and provide direct access to the Internet. Standard software includes Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer and much more. Courses are taught using the latest industry and academic standards such as Linux, SPSS, and C++ as well as many specialty applications used by specific academic programs.

The Academic Support Center

Rivier’s Academic Support Center offers various services to students who seek to improve their writing, learning, and study efficiency. Designed to serve excellent students as well as those encountering academic difficulties, the Center is staffed by professional writing consultants and paraprofessional student tutors equipped to tutor in most disciplines. The Academic Support Center maintains a library of communications skills materials consisting of literature, writing, grammar, and study skills texts and manuals. It also maintains a current syllabus and assignment file for faculty and student use. The Academic Support Center offers day and limited evening hours. Writing Consultants are also available to respond to graduate writing assignments within two working days of submission.

Nursing Laboratories

Sylvia Trottier Hall houses state-of-the-art laboratories for nursing. Please refer to the program section for detailed descriptions of these facilities.