A Foundation for Success

Bridges was created by Duquesne students, faculty, and staff through a creative design competition. It provides a foundation for success post-graduation with skills that are in-demand by employers.

Bridges includes four integrated components:

  • On-Ramp
  • Foundations
  • Structures
  • Pathways

The Four Integrated Components of the Bridges Curriculum

Welcome to Duquesne University!

We're excited to set you up for success and help you make the most of your time at Duquesne. Your journey begins with the online On-ramp module.

Our Bridges Common Learning Experience is designed to enhance and compliment your degree program. To prepare you for a successful experience at Duquesne, we invite you to the Bridges On-ramp. 

The On-ramp is a zero-credit, asynchronous online course designed for undergraduate students who are new to Duquesne. It consists of three units and can be completed in an hour or less. The course will automatically be added to your Duquesne Blackboard site.

Accessing the Bridges On-ramp

  • Log into DORI and under the Quick Links option (top right) click on the Blackboard icon. 
  • Blackboard will open in a new tab. On the left you should see “My Courses: Quick View.” 
  • Click on the Bridges On-ramp link to open the course site and begin the course with the “Getting Started” option. 

Burgh Bucks

By completing On-ramp units you’ll earn Burgh Bucks that can be used at the end of Orientation during the Live Stage Auction or at the Burgh Bucks Store for things like University apparel, gift cards, museum passes, and other cool prizes. 

Strong bridges rest on deep foundations. Several common learning experiences nurture fundamental skills for critical thinking, writing, and analysis. You can select an Essential Questions seminar on a topic that interests you, and our Introduction to Ethical Reasoning course equips you with vital questions you can apply across your courses, career, and personal life.

  • Information Literacy (BRDG 100/BRDG 103)
  • First-Year Writing (BRDG 101 & BRDG 102)
  • Essential Questions (Seminar EQ XXX 104)
  • Introduction to Ethical Reasoning (BRDG 105)

Bridges take different shapes, but their varied structures depend on dynamic interaction among their materials, design, and environment. Just so, the basic structures that make up the Bridges Common Learning Experience include six skill sets—we call them competencies—as well as further writing enrichment and courses in Philosophy and Theology that acquaint you with important ideas and achievements in Catholic intellectual tradition.

The interaction among your Bridges competencies, your major, and other academic interests you might pursue give you a chance to customize Bridges for your academic goals.


  • Communication and Creative Expression
  • Quantitative and Scientific Reasoning
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Ethical Reasoning and Moral Responsibility
  • Social and Historical Reasoning
  • Cultural Fluency and Responsiveness Mission and Heritage Writing Enrichment

Catholic Intellectual Tradition

You will complete one Theology and one Philosophy course as part of Bridges. These can be taken as part of your Competency courses, as an Essential Questions Seminar, or as stand-alone courses.

  • Theology (THEO XXX)
  • Philosophy (PHIL XXX)

Writing Enrichment

You will bolster writing skills in in a career-oriented fashion by completing three W courses, at least one which will be in your major.

Where will Bridges take you? You'll have opportunities to learn by doing, whether in labs, study abroad, internships, or engaging our local communities. As you near graduation, a capstone experience lets you look back on where you've been and prepares you for where you're going.

  • Experiential Learning Opportunity
  • Capstone Experience