May 22, 2024  
2023-2024 Rivier Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Rivier Academic Catalog

Additional Learning Opportunities

Additional Learning Opportunities

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Global Scholars Honors Program

Applicants for admission to Rivier University who have distinguished themselves in high school and on national standardized tests are invited to apply to Rivier’s Global Scholars Program. Global Scholars Program students participate in a program combining interdisciplinary academic inquiry, leadership development, and cultural/service immersion. Global Scholars Program seminars focus on an essential question, linked to Journeys of Transformation, Rivier’s undergraduate Core Curriculum. The fall term seminar is classroom-based; the spring-term will include cultural immersion/service components. In addition, Global Scholars will work on their leadership portfolio with course faculty and the staff from Career Services. 

Global Scholars Honors Program (GSP) students engage in interdisciplinary academic seminars, leadership development, and intercultural/service immersion. At the center is a focus on welcoming the stranger as neighbor, concentrating on five threads of Roman Catholic Social Teaching: the dignity of the person, the dignity of the person in the context of community, option for the poor, solidarity, and the care of creation. GSP is open to all majors, providing a robust opportunity for students who want to develop as global leaders for the 21st century, prepared to address the world’s most pressing issues.

The Interdisciplinary Seminars

GSP 101         Human Dignity                                                           

GSP 102         Serving for Dignity                                                    

GSP 201         The Community                                                       

GSP 202         Serving the Community                                             

GSP 301         Spirit, Mind, Matter, and Justice                                   

GSP 302         A New World   

Elective or GSP 400  Students who complete the six GSP courses will choose EITHER an elective outside of their major field of study or GSP 400 Senior Thesis.                                 


Substitution Table: GSP seminars replace courses students would otherwise complete as part of Journeys of Transformation, Rivier’s undegraduate core curriculum:



Honors Course

Core Courses Substituted

Fall 1

GSP 101 Human Dignity

FYS REL 115 God and the Created Order


Spring 1


GSP 102 Serving for Dignity


FYS ENG 115 Expositions and Arguments

Fall 2

GSP 201 Community

HIS 203 or 204 Interactions: The West in the World


Spring 2


GSP 202 Serving Community


HUM 200 Literature, Art and the Human

SL 100 Serving the World

Fall 3


GSP 301 Spirit, Mind, Matter, Justice


REL 2XX (choice)

Spring 3


GSP 302 A New World


PHI 2XX (choice)

JYS/Capstone Seminar

Fall/Spring 4




GSP 400 Senior Thesis


Elective created by program



Leadership Development and Cultural/Service Immersion

GSP 102         Serving for Dignity: Explore the global reality of greater Nashua, and discover your sense of self through intercultural immersion and service.

GSP 202         Serving the Community : Explore the global reality of NYC, discover your sense of self through intercultural immersion and service.

GSP Student Learning Outcomes

Global Scholars Honors Program (GSP) students engage in interdisciplinary academic seminars, leadership development, and cultural/service immersion in order to explore how we might welcome the stranger as neighbor. To do so, students will:

  1. Articulate answers to these essential questions drawn from the principles of Roman Catholic Social teaching:
    1. What is human dignity?
    2. What is human dignity in the context of community?
    3. What is the option for the poor and marginalized?
    4. What is solidarity?
    5. What does it mean to care for creation?
  1. Develop the ability to:
  1. Articulate these answers clearly and persuasively in and through written essays
  2. Articulate these answers clearly and persuasively in and through oral discussions
  3. Articulate these answers clearly and persuasively in and through oral presentations aided by digital visual technology
  1. Deepen their understanding and practice of service through:
  1. Community engagement projects
  2. Personal practice

Modern Language

The Modern Language Department offers courses in the liberal arts tradition, designed to develop linguistic and critical thinking skills and to foster cultural pluralism. Students may take modern language courses at Rivier University as part of the general education curriculum or as general electives. 

The department does not offer a major or a minor.   


In the long-standing tradition of Catholic liberal arts education, the study of philosophy has always been regarded as central to the formation of the truly educated person. Committed to this tradition and its ideal of education, Rivier University includes a philosophy requirement in its general education curriculum.

Courses in the Department of Philosophy open to students the great wealth of the world’s philosophical traditions, inviting them to participate in the philosophical quest for the purpose of human life, the essence of good community, and the ultimate nature of things. In philosophy courses students explore the history of ideas, develop an understanding of ethics, values and moral choices and, engage in philosophical reflection on a wide range of issues.


Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC)


The U.S. Army Reserve Officers Training Corps program is designed to prepare top-quality men and women to become commissioned officers in the U.S. Army, Army Reserve, or Army National Guard. Military Science training is designed to complement the student’s academic classes and is integrated into the regular academic curriculum.

Rivier University students may enroll in Army ROTC through the University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH. at (603) 862-1078. Contact your local Army ROTC unit for further information.

Air Force ROTC

AFROTC is a commissioning program designed to educate and train men and women from all academic disciplines to be officers in the United States Air Force. The Air Force offers over 200 different career specialties. The AFROTC program is divided into two phases: (1) The General Military Course (GMC) and (2) the Professional Officer Course (POC). The GMC lower division courses consist of one hour of class per week. The POC upper division courses consist of three hours of class per week. These courses teach communications, leadership, management, and organizational skills which can apply to either a military or civilian environment.

In addition to the GMC and POC classes, students who are members of the Reserve Officer Training Corps must also enroll in a Leadership Lab meeting weekly. For commissioning, a student must complete either a four- or five-week field training course during the summer between sophomore and junior years. Students are highly encouraged to participate in AFROTC for the full four years (GMC + POC) as there are significant advantages in education and scholarship opportunities for four-year cadets. For acceptance into the POC, students must pass a physical examination and fitness test, an officer qualification test, possess an acceptable academic record (2.000 or better), and be able to meet all Air Force commissioning requirements. Uniforms, equipment, and textbooks required for AFROTC will be supplied free of charge.

Once all POC and academic requirements for a degree are completed, the student may be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force. Those accepting commission must serve at least four years on active duty. Any student may take ROTC academic classes without obligation to enter the Air Force. Student pursuing a commission normally become obligated to the Air Force upon entering their junior year of undergraduate studies. Students on scholarship, however, may incur an obligation earlier. Scholarships, which are available on a competitive basis, may pay tuition and most laboratory, textbooks, and incidental fees.

Additional information on Air Force class schedules, scholarships, and eligibility requirements is available by calling AFROTC Detachment 345 at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, (978) 934-2252 or e-mail:

Students may enroll in the Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps (AFROTC) program through the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. Students attend Air Force ROTC classes at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, MA.

Listed below are courses offered at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

General Military Course (GMC) Subjects

AERO 1010

Heritage and Values of the United States Air Force Part I

AERO 1010 is a survey course designed to introduce students to the United States Air Force and provides an overview of the basic characteristics, missions, and organization of the Air Force.

1 credit

AERO 1020

Heritage and Values of the United States Air Force Part II  

The focus of this course will be on the evolution of airpower and the principles of war and tenets of airpower through computer simulation. 

1 credit

AERO 2010

Team and Leadership Fundamentals Part I

This course focuses on laying the foundation of teams and leadership. The topics include skills that will allow cadets to improve their leadership on a personal level and within a team. 

1 credit

AERO 2020

Team and Leadership Fundamentals Part II

Students build upon their knowledge of how teams are formed, utilizing case studies to understand the various stages of team growth. 

1 credit

Professional Office Course (POC) Subjects

AERO 3010

Leading People and Effective Communication Part I

This course teaches cadets advanced skills and knowledge in management and leadership. Special emphasis is placed on enhancing leadership skills and communication. 

1 credit

AERO 3020

Leading People and Effective Communication Part II

This course teaches students advanced skills and knowledge in management and leadership. Special emphasis is used to hone students’ cross-cultural competencies by enhancing self-awareness (to include biases) and enhanced negotiation strategies. Additionally, students learn the benefits and approaches toward personnel feedback, mentoring, and evaluations.

3 credits

AERO 4010

National Security Affairs/Active Duty Prep Part I

This course teaches students advanced skills and knowledge in management and leadership. 

3 credits
AERO 4020

National Security Affairs/Active Duty Prep Part II

Students learn the responsibility, authority, and functions of military officers and commanders. 

3 credits

AF ROTC Leadership Lab non-credit

All students must enroll in the Leadership Lab to be eligible for a commission in the United States Air Force. The lab must be taken each semester.


Army ROTC courses are available through UNH and are also accepted as general electives.


Service Learning

The Service Learning Office provides resources and individual support for students, faculty, and community partners interested in participating in active community service directly linked with a course. The office works with faculty to help to incorporate meaningful service opportunities that are connected to the course concepts in various courses. Additionally, the office oversees the SL100: Serving the World course. The service-learning experience involves a student participating in a minimum of 20 hours of service and reflection on that service in the context of the course. Additional requirements are determined by the instructor and may include a class presentation, documentation, or journaling. Examples of service-learning experiences include: teaching Internet skills to senior citizens, alternative spring break trips, organizing children’s activities in a homeless shelter, tutoring math to middle school students, assisting in a literacy program, and helping non-native English speakers with language practice and basic writing skills.

Students who are interested in service learning or enrolling in the SL100 course credit may contact their academic advisor.

Study Abroad and Global Immersion Programs

Rivier University offers a variety of opportunities for global experiences to its undergraduate students. Diverse and comprehensive study abroad programs are available to students of all majors. The Office of Global Engagement provides comprehensive advice on studying abroad. The advising includes completing a study abroad application with essay writing, program selection, and meeting with the academic, program, and financial advisors. All study abroad program details is on the Rivier University website at

Study Abroad Advisors are available to meet with students interested in study abroad programs. They are located at the Office of Global Engagement (OGE) located in Memorial Hall, Room 120. The advisor will present all opportunities to the students who wish to enrich and expand their educational experience. These opportunities include the customized Health Science and Nursing Students Summer Study Abroad program in Salamanca, Spain. Students who have a rigorous curriculum, such as nursing, which cannot study abroad during a semester will benefit from this customized study abroad program.

The Office of Global Engagement collaborates with various offices on campus to ensure that the student is provided advisement academically and financially. The Academic Advisor’s involvement in this process is crucial as they need to approve the international courses selected for studying abroad to ensure that the student meets the program requirements. It is also equally important that the student meets with a Financial Aid advisor for financial advisement from the Financial Aid Office at or by visiting them in Adrienne Hall, Room 110, and/or the Student Accounts Office at if financial aid is not being utilized.

The recommended time to apply for study abroad is either sophomore or junior year. Students planning to spend their sophomore and junior semester abroad are encouraged to initiate the process of studying abroad at least one year before their sophomore or junior year. 

Aside from the semester and summer study abroad programs, OGE also offers a variety of opportunities for the students to participate in short-term global immersion trips such as faculty-led trips, which offer incentives such as service-learning, clinical, or credit hours depending on the nature of the trips. These trips are intensive but fulfilling and transformative. They are short-term programs taught by Rivier University faculty with a focused learning objective and service-learning component. These trips are usually held during spring break and summer. 

The Rivier University’s Global Immersion programs are made possible in collaboration with international partners such as Academic Programs International (API) and Service Learning International (ISL) and interdepartmental cooperation. All global immersion trip planning will meet the Standards of the Forum on Education Abroad recommendations and will be vetted accordingly for health and safety.

The faculty-led programs change each year in response to demand from students and the availability of faculty. The Office of Global Engagement notifies the Rivier University campus of the trips planned for each academic year and publishes them on the OGE website. For more details, contact

Undergraduate Pre-Professional Studies

Pre-professional courses of study are designed for students who intend to prepare for advanced study in the areas of law, social services, dentistry, medicine, and other careers requiring study beyond the bachelor’s level.


Law schools welcome high-achieving college graduates of extremely diverse academic backgrounds. A prescribed Pre-Law course of study is considered neither desirable nor necessary. Consequently, at Rivier University, Pre-Law students are urged to major in whatever challenging academic subject most interests them personally.

Students of any major may elect Pre-Law status by contacting the University’s Pre-Law Advisor who is the Director of the Criminal Justice Program. Students who elect Pre-Law status may receive regular notices of workshops and events planned specifically for the law school-bound. They have access to a large collection of law school catalogs and admissions information maintained for their use.

For additional information on law-related academic options, see the section of this catalog entitled ‘History, Law, and Political Science.’

Pre-Med, Pre-Vet and other Health Related Professional Fields

Preparation to enter post-graduate education in a health-related discipline includes foundation courses in many disciplines. Although an undergraduate degree in a particular discipline is not a prerequisite for most fields, the majority of students successfully applying to medical, veterinary, dental and related fields will have undergraduate degrees in biology. The biology degree obtained at Rivier University will prepare students to succeed when entering graduate school as well as provide technical and problem-solving skills that will be an asset throughout the individual’s life, regardless of his/her professional interests.

Most post-graduate programs require undergraduate work in general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, English, and mathematics, in addition to upper-level biology courses in genetics and physiology. In order to have the interpersonal skills that are a prerequisite for success in any field involving human interaction, most graduate schools prefer to accept students with an educational background that includes traditional liberal arts courses in English (usually two courses), the humanities and social studies. The core curriculum at Rivier University insures all of our students are well educated in all areas of human endeavor prior to graduation.

The formal application process for professional schools usually does not begin until the end of the third year or beginning of the fourth year when students take the appropriate admissions test (e.g. MCAT) followed by application to the school or schools of the student’s choosing. However, course selection at Rivier University will always be done in consultation with departmental faculty, keeping the goals of the student and requirements of the professional schools at the forefront.


Religious Studies

Courses in religious studies provide students with a supportive atmosphere and a frame of reference to pursue the human search for ultimate meaning and purpose in life, to explore the deeper dimensions of the God-person relationship, and to become critically aware of the various value systems in our present-day pluralistic society. The frame of reference in which most of the courses are taught is that of the Christian tradition as understood and promulgated by the perennial wisdom of the Roman Catholic Church.

General Education Requirements

The general education curriculum includes two courses in religious studies. Students must select one introductory course. Generally, freshmen and transfer students with fewer than 30 credits are placed in REL 115 - The Dignity of Creation: God and the Created Order. Transfer students with more than 30 credits take  two upper level courses. Professional Studies students and Rivier Online students take RIV 120 - Dignity, Work, Vocation to fulfill this first requirement. Any other 200 - 300 level course may be taken to fulfill the upper division requirement. This second course will generally be taken during the student’s junior or senior year.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who complete a minor in Religious Studies should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of basic theological themes in the Christian tradition;
  • Demonstrate the knowledge of Catholic social teaching and the skill to apply it to contemporary situations;
  • Engage in theological reflection;
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the role of religion in contemporary society.