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Current Student FAQ

How is Bridges different from the University Core?

The outgoing University Core is organized around required courses in specific subjects and four Theme Areas. Bridges includes some common courses but is largely organized around competencies-particular skills and forms of reasoning. Bridges is designed to provide students in most programs with greater flexibility when choosing courses to meet their general education requirements.

Why is Bridges better than the University Core?

  • Expands student choice
  • Streamlined
  • Transfer friendly
  • Friendly to secondary majors and minors, which is good for students and for programs
  • Highlights practical skills employers seek
  • Includes multiple opportunities for experiential learning

I've taken courses for the University Core. Will those count for Bridges?

Yes. Anything you have taken or will take this spring or summer will count toward Bridges requirements. You can consult the "Course rollover by subject code" PDF above to see what Bridges credit you will have when we launch Bridges in the fall. Bear in mind that there will also be some courses in your major that you may or may not have taken yet which will count towards Bridges, too.  

As a current student will I have to do everything that is listed in the Bridges Curricular Overview?

No. Current students will not have to take the Essential Questions course or BRDG 105. Students who entered Duquesne in Fall 2020 will do the Experiential Learning and Capstone elements.  Students who entered prior to Fall 2020 will not be required to do those, though students in most programs will have these features integrated into their majors anyway.

When I came to Duquesne I had credits that couldn't be used toward my major or the University Core. Can they be used for Bridges?

Most likely. The Bridges competencies are broader than the outgoing Theme Area courses and are friendlier to transfer credits. Please ask your advisor to review transfer credits if you think you might benefit from Bridges in this way, and remember that your school's current curriculum requirements will factor into the application of transfer credits.  

How can I be sure I know what Bridges requirements I need to meet before graduation?

We have been mapping Bridges into all of our undergraduate baccalaureate programs. Program sheets are being updated. In the meantime, you can consult your advisor.  

What's the difference between the University Core Theme Areas and the Bridges competency courses?

The competencies are broader than the Theme Areas, include more course options for students, and allow students to "double dip" by meeting general education requirements while also taking courses that might count towards second majors, minors, certificates, or simply look interesting. Current students should know that any Theme Area courses they may have taken will count toward Bridges. You will find that some of the requirements for your major also count towards your Bridges competency courses.

The Theme Areas and the Bridges competencies are not perfectly interchangeable. Most Creative Arts Theme Area courses, for example, count for the Communication and Creative Expression competency, but some count for Cultural Fluency and Responsiveness, or may count for both. You and your advisor can use the list of approved Bridges courses to determine whether spring 2021 courses you are considering are approved for specific competencies.  

Can courses count for more than one Bridges competency?

Yes! There are six competencies. You need to take a total of seven competency courses and touch each of the 6 competencies at least once. Take courses which count for more than one competency means you can invest however many of your 7 courses are left to try to pursue a minor, certificate, or explore competency courses that look interesting to you. In some programs the degree requirements are so numerous and so carefully sequenced that you may have less flexibility than students in other programs, but students in many programs will have more flexibility in Bridges.  

How do I know which courses are approved for which Bridges competencies?

A list of approved courses is posted above. The list will be updated in early November, 2020. Competency approvals will be indicated in DORI (Self-Service Banner) as soon as possible. Please note that it is best to consult with your current academic advisor about which courses are recommended for your major if you are an Honors College student, studying abroad, or are contemplating transferring to another major.