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General Studies

The General Studies curriculum at Virginia Wesleyan is designed to enable each student to acquire basic proficiencies in and access to various modes of knowing which contribute to becoming a self-sufficient learner. See a current list of all courses bearing a General Studies designation.

1. English (4 sem. hrs.)

Students fulfill this requirement by completing English 105, College Writing,
during their first year at the college. They learn how to write papers for a variety of rhetorical purposes. They develop strong editing and proofreading skills and practice citing sources accurately using the MLA system. Some
students may be required to take English 001, Writing Review, before taking English 105. To satisfy the requirement, students must pass the course with a grade of C or higher.

2. Writing Program (W) (8 sem. hrs.)

All students must successfully complete two courses designated as Writing Intensive (W). They may choose these courses from among the college's 300/400-level offerings. These courses are intended to help upperclassmen continue to develop their writing skills and learn about the conventions of academic and professional writing in their fields of interest.

3. Foreign Language Proficiency (up to 12 sem. hrs., depending on placement)

All students must demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English, equivalent to the minimal passing grade on the exit examination in the 213 course. For modern languages this level is defined in the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) proficiency guidelines as the Intermediate-Mid level for speaking, listening, reading and writing. For Latin, this level is defined by the advanced progress indicators of the American
Philological Association's Standard for Classical Learning.

Entering students may demonstrate proficiency by presenting a score of at least 600 on the CEEB Foreign Language Achievement test or a 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement exam. (Eight semester hours are awarded for a score of 5, and four semester hours for a score of 4.) Students who score below 600 on the CEEB Achievement test, below a 4 on the Advanced Placement exam, or below the minimal level on the college's own placement exam are placed in a foreign language course of their choice at the level determined by the foreign languages and literatures faculty. They must take the necessary coursework to attain the required level of proficiency.
Transfer students may demonstrate foreign language proficiency either through coursework completed at Virginia Wesleyan or by transferring equivalent coursework from another college or university. Students who transfer in 60 or more semester hours of coursework at the time of their initial enrollment must successfully complete only two semesters of foreign language. Additional information is provided in the General Studies section of this catalog. Foreign language requirements for Adult Studies Program (ASP) students are outlined in that program's section of the catalog.

The foreign languages and literatures faculty urges students needing to take a language to enroll immediately in the designated course. If they choose not to enroll immediately, they must begin their language study within three semesters of entrance.

4. Frames of Reference (28 sem. hrs.)

Students are required to complete one course in each of the following six Frames of Reference categories:


More than one Frames of Reference course may be taken per semester, and a course used to fulfill a Frames of Reference requirement may also be used to meet a major or minor requirement. Students are encouraged to begin taking Frames of Reference courses during their freshman year. Courses that a student takes in order to complete the Frames of Reference requirements must come from different departmental rubrics. For example, a students who receives an "S" for successful completion of POLS 111 - Introduction to Political Science cannot satisfy other Frames of Reference requirements by taking other POLS courses carrying other Frames of Reference designations. 

5. Senior Integrative Experience (I) (4 sem. hrs.)

The Senior Integrative Experience is a 400-level course designed to provide integrative study in a specific discipline, based on the Frames of Reference distribution listed above. As with Frames of Reference courses, a course used to fulfill the Senior Integrative Experience requirement may also be used to meet a major or minor requirement. Senior Integrative Experience courses are only available to students who have completed (or will complete before the course begins) at least 75 semester hours toward graduation and who have, in the judgment of the individual student's adviser, completed most of VWC's General Studies requirements.

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