The Writing Program

As part of the undergraduate program, a student must successfully complete three writing-intensive courses (known as “W courses”), i.e., a W1 course in the first year, followed by two W2 courses. These courses use writing to help students acquire both subject knowledge and writing proficiency. The W1 courses aim to teach expository skills and writing as a process and include Foundation Seminars and some introductory courses. The W2 courses are offered in most departments, and they may include courses required for a particular major, courses that help to fulfill a College Core Curriculum requirement, and courses that a student may choose as electives. A complete list of W1 and W2 courses is available through myBucknell at

Not every course that contains writing, even a great deal of writing, will be a W course. Courses approved as W courses have certain characteristics, as follows:

1. A W course provides explicit writing instruction. In writing and revising, students receive the help and advice of their instructor and/or peers. Writing instruction may take the form of written or oral responses to drafts and papers, and also may include reading about and discussing writing.

2. The W course instructors pay attention to and encourage the different stages of writing as a process: planning, drafting, revising, and editing. Writing is treated as a dynamic process of expressing one’s ideas in words and revising one’s ideas and words by reconsidering them in light of feedback from others. Writing is, therefore, not merely a written end-product, but a tool for learning and critical thinking.

3. The W course instructors will teach the conventions of writing needed by students. These conventions may vary from discipline to discipline and class to class. Students will be introduced to basic expository skills and the conventions appropriate to writing in the discipline of the course.

4. In a W course, students write frequently. Writing frequently does not necessarily mean numerous assignments. Students may write multiple drafts of a few assignments. The point is that to improve one’s writing, one must write. W courses provide the opportunity for the practice and feedback that are vital to writing effectively.

5. Students write to learn the subject matter of the course. “Writing to learn” may take many forms: notebooks, journals, laboratory reports, fieldwork reports, essays, and other formal and informal assignments. Students must think about the material in order to write about it, and understanding develops from opportunities to articulate the principles and ideas of the course.

Rules governing the University writing requirement are included in the introductory material for the College of Arts and Sciences and for the College of Engineering. This requirement is independent of the English requirement in some Engineering majors.

International Education

The Office of International Education provides opportunities and guidance to Bucknell University students studying off-campus to enable them to gain knowledge and skills leading to appreciation of varied global and cultural perspectives. The OIE also promotes a global focus to the academic life of the University and the local community. Bucknell University offers study-abroad opportunities through third-party providers, Bucknell faculty-led programs, and summer study abroad. Staff of the Office of International Education advise and assist undergraduate students in all majors who wish to incorporate an off-campus study experience into their academic work. Students typically spend a semester, year, or summer in another country or on a specialized program in the United States.

Bucknell provides third-party study opportunities for students in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Central and South America. Students in all majors are encouraged to consider a semester or academic year abroad when their curricular plans will be enhanced by such an experience.

Bucknell University participates in formal relationships with Advanced Studies in England in Bath; Associated Kyoto Program in Japan; Denmark’s International Study Program; the University of Nottingham in England; the Faculty of Chemical Engineering at the University of Rovira i Virgili in Spain; the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES), the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE), Arcadia University’s College of Global Studies, the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM), the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Swedish Program at the Stockholm School of Economics, the American Councils for International Education, Russia Programs (ACTR) and the University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana. In addition, off-campus programs sponsored by other American colleges or institutions have been approved for Bucknell University student participation. Within the United States, students may participate in the Duke University Marine Laboratory Program in North Carolina, or semester internships programs in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

Students who participate in any of these programs are still regarded as enrolled at Bucknell University while off campus, allowing them to receive academic credit, to continue all financial aid (except work study), and to maintain their place in their academic class. Students receive transfer credit but no grades are posted on the Bucknell University transcript. Bucknell University charges all students studying with third-party providers on-campus tuition. Bucknell University then pays the tuition component of the program costs whether the tuition is higher or lower than Bucknell University’s tuition. If the program tuition is lower, the differential amount remains at Bucknell University and is applied to the same University expenses that tuition always covers. If the program tuition is higher, Bucknell University pays the full amount to the program without charging the students for the extra cost. Students on Bucknell-approved programs pay all non-tuition costs (e.g. room and board) directly to the program. These latter costs are detailed in Estimated Cost Worksheets available at the Office of International Education website.

Information and applications may be obtained at the Office of International Education. Because prior planning, deadlines, and appropriate arrangements are crucial, it is necessary to consult with the office’s staff well in advance of the semester to be spent off campus. Specifically, applications must be completed in December or February by students who wish to be off campus during the fall semester, and in April or September by students who wish to be off campus during the spring semester. Check with the Office of International Education for specific dates. Off-campus study during the semester or for the full academic year is open to all eligible students. In order to gain approval, qualified students should demonstrate the academic appropriateness of their program choice.

Students proposing to pursue off-campus studies should have an excellent academic record, a history of good conduct, and a minimum grade point average of 2.80 for study abroad in the fall and 3.0 for study abroad in the spring. Exceptions to the preceding may be considered when there is evidence that the student is capable of sustained academic effort of high quality in a study-abroad environment. All requests for special consideration will be reviewed by the Director of International Education.

Juniors and first-semester seniors are eligible for off-campus study. The last semester of the senior year must be spent on campus if a Bucknell University degree is desired. Only advanced language majors and students of the College of Engineering may be advised to go abroad as early as second semester sophomore year. Students may study off campus for two semesters and may earn maximum credit equivalent to four full courses for a semester and eight full courses for a full academic year. It should be noted that courses elected off campus must be pre-approved for transfer credit by the appropriate department chair and must be passed with a grade of “C” or higher if credit is to be awarded. Before leaving campus, students must submit to the registrar a regular schedule indicating off-campus study rather than the usual on-campus courses.

Bucknell University-run Programs

Bucknell University also offers semester-long, Bucknell University faculty-led off-campus programs, listed below.

Bucknell en España

Bucknell en España offers a high quality academic and residential experience for Bucknell students who plan to study in Spain for a semester or a full academic year. Students choose from a wide variety of curricular options at the Universidad de Granada’s Centro de Lenguas Modernas to advance their major or minor studies in Spanish or to complement other programs of study at Bucknell. Very advanced students may enroll directly in selected courses at the Universidad de Granada. A Bucknell faculty member, normally from the Department of Spanish, serves as Professor-in-Residence and teaches a required course that combines an orientation to life in contemporary Spain, the study of key elements of Spanish cultural history, and reflections on the cross-cultural experience. Students’ immersion in the culture is facilitated by their residence with carefully selected Spanish families. Students are encouraged to participate in additional immersion activities provided by Bucknell en España and by the Centro de Lenguas Modernas to enhance their interaction with the Spanish-speaking community.

The program is centered in Granada, an Andalusian city of approximately 250,000 inhabitants, located at the foot of the perennially snowcapped Sierra Nevada mountains, one hour from the Mediterranean Costa de Sol. The Universidad de Granada is one of Spain’s most prestigious universities and its Centro de Lenguas Modernas (CLM) is recognized as a leader in the area of Spanish and Hispanic Studies for non-native speakers.

The Bucknell en España program is open to all Bucknell students in good standing. The Professor-in-Residence teaches a course that begins with an orientation for students with regard to the culture of Spain and Granada, in particular. This course begins upon the group’s arrival in Spain and lasts until the end of the semester; it includes all of the group travel to cultural sites throughout Spain, and students' reflections on their experience of these sites, in addition to more traditional class discussion and interpretive essays. Upon arrival in Spain, students engage in intensive language instruction to assure their preparedness for their semester or year-long program of study.

Normally, students who have completed at least six semesters of language study at Bucknell (SPAN 208) enroll in the advanced Estudios Hispánicos at the CLM, which includes courses in anthropology, art history, Spanish and Latin American cultures, dance, economics, geography, history, language and linguistics, literature and film, management, music, political science, sociology, translation, women’s studies, and in the spring semester, health and environmental studies.

Most students who have completed only four or five semesters of Spanish, or the equivalent, normally enroll in Lengua y Cultura Española, which offers a slightly smaller selection of courses in anthropology, art history, Spanish and Latin American cultures, dance, economics, geography, history, language and linguistics, literature, management, political science and sociology. Very advanced students who plan to stay for the full academic year or for the spring semester may register for one regular university course offered by the Universidad de Granada.

In order for students’ coursework from the Centro de Lenguas Modernas or the Universidad de Granada to count toward their major at Bucknell, it must be approved by the department chair or program director of the major.

Bucknell en France

Founded in 1987, Bucknell en France provides an opportunity for all Bucknell University students, regardless of major or background in French, to enrich their Bucknell University education by studying in France for an academic year or a semester. The program is located in Tours, a prosperous and culturally rich city of 260,000 people situated in the very heart of France, 150 miles southwest of Paris in the Loire Valley. Bucknell en France is administered by the Bucknell University French and Francophone Studies program in cooperation with the Université François Rabelais, a French university of 29,000 students. Students are accompanied by a Bucknell Professor-in-Residence who is a member of the French and Francophone Studies program. They are also supported by a permanent program coordinator in Tours. Students live with host families, take courses in a variety of disciplines, go on excursions, and participate in cultural and athletic activities in the city.

Students remain officially enrolled at Bucknell University and at the same time are registered as students of the Université François Rabelais. Courses are taught in French, integrated into the Bucknell University curriculum and students receive Bucknell University grades and credit. Courses approved by a student’s adviser count toward the major or minor. Our French host university offers courses from a wide variety of disciplines such as art, art history, biology, economics, education, engineering, history, language, linguistics, literature, management, philosophy, political science, and translation. Student schedules are individually tailored to match their curricular needs, interests, and level of French proficiency. The first two weeks of study are spent in intensive language study at the Institut de Touraine. While a semester’s stay in Tours is highly beneficial, students who remain for the year have significantly more time to increase their language proficiency, integrate more fully in the French culture, travel in France and Europe, and consolidate the benefits of their experience abroad.

Students who do not meet the minimum language requirement for participation in the regular Bucknell en France program can enroll in the novice option, a semester of intensive French at the Institut de Touraine, where they can earn credit for the equivalent of three Bucknell University French courses. A fourth course is offered by the Université François Rabelais.

Some highlights of the Bucknell en France program include guided integration into a French university system with on-site academic support; individualized language assessment throughout the semester/year; preparation for the internationally recognized DELF exam (Diplôme d’études de langue française); engagement in Service Learning consisting of English tutorial to French students providing BEF students a "mirror" in which to contemplate their own linguistic and cultural assimilation; contextualized excursions to various regions in France (e.g., Normandy, Provence, Southwest), Loire Valley châteaux, and patrimony sites in Tours; visits to artisanal sites (e.g., winery, goat cheese farm, glass blowing studio, florist); workshops on French cooking; integration into experienced French host families; contact with French student mentors; drama workshops with professional for pronunciation, speech, and body language; day-long internships (e.g., bakery, chocolate making, student teaching, archeological digs); extracurricular opportunities (e.g., choir, rugby, fencing, archery, yoga, hip hop, soccer).

The academic calendar of Bucknell en France is similar to Bucknell University’s with adjustments for the French academic year. The first semester begins in early September and ends in mid-December. The spring semester runs from early January until mid-May.

Students are placed with host families and so have an opportunity to experience life in French society, to make friends among the French people, and to speak French in all aspects of life. Students have a private room and typically take breakfast and the evening meal daily with their host family. They eat lunch on their own in town or in one of the student restaurants. Returning students consider their experience living with the French family to be one of the most valuable aspects of their study in Tours.

The fee for Bucknell en France is the same as tuition on campus and includes round-trip airfare between a New York-area airport and Paris, charter bus from Paris to Tours upon arrival, Université François Rabelais fees, and organized excursions and group activities. Room and board costs are based on the Bucknell University comprehensive fee for room and board. Payments for tuition, room and board will be billed by Bucknell University and will be due at the same time as for on-campus students.

Bucknell in London

Bucknell in London consists of two separate fall and spring programs, open to qualified juniors and seniors. The fall program is directed by two Bucknell faculty who develop a program of courses around a theme based on the London setting and on their own fields of expertise. Recent programs have combined, for example, history and art history, economics and engineering, and English and geography. There is a required core course taught jointly by the two directors, plus an additional four or five courses to choose from, some taught by British faculty.

The spring program is directed by a member of the Bucknell faculty, who teaches a course in his or her field and supervises a broader program of courses taught by British instructors. These generally include a mix of courses in the social sciences and humanities, such as British Politics, The London Stage, British Art and Architecture, and courses in History, Economics, and/or Literature.

In both the spring and fall, all courses are designed to take full advantage of the program's British location, offering numerous day and overnight field trips to sites in London and outside London. All courses receive Bucknell University grades and credit. Students are housed in flats in central London. Students pay Bucknell tuition plus the charge for a Gateway double room on campus.

Summer Opportunities

In addition to the programs mentioned above, Bucknell University students also may participate in summer programs offered by third-party providers or led by Bucknell faculty. Students applying to programs offered by third parties must apply through the Office of International Education and with the approval of their department chair. Regularly offered Bucknell faculty-led programs include Barbados, Northern Ireland and the Virgin Islands, Greece/Turkey, and Denmark. Occasional programs are offered in Alaska, Argentina, Brazil, China, England and Nicaragua, some of which are appropriate for engineering majors. Summer study abroad is open to all students regardless of class status. Eligibility requirements differ for each program but all students who plan to study abroad in the summer must have a history of good conduct. Students are responsible for tuition and all other expenses. Contact the program director or appropriate staff member in the Office of International Education for more information.

Graduate Studies

Bucknell grants master’s degrees in animal behavior, biology, chemistry, education (college student personnel), engineering (chemical, civil, electrical, environmental, and mechanical), English, mathematics, and psychology. Five-year coordinated bachelor’s and master’s programs are provided in chemistry and engineering.

Students are admitted to graduate standing by the dean of graduate studies. The Graduate Studies Catalog and applications for admission and graduate financial aid are also located on the web at

The regular undergraduate student who has arranged to complete all undergraduate degree requirements may, with prior approval, take up to two courses for graduate credit. An application for graduate credit by an undergraduate student may be obtained from the Office of Graduate Studies.

Non-degree students wishing to enroll in graduate courses must apply to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Summer Session

Bucknell University provides a six-week summer session offering regular, full-credit Bucknell courses, off-campus study courses, and programs in professional education. The summer session serves both undergraduate and graduate students who choose to take summer courses in order to enrich their educational experience or to accelerate their degree progress at Bucknell or elsewhere.

Bucknell’s summer session offers courses across the curriculum. Students who are working toward degrees or certification are advised to consult with their advisers to determine which summer courses most appropriately meet their needs. Students also are encouraged to explore new interests and to develop new skills and areas of expertise which will serve them well in any career path or interest pursuit. One of Bucknell’s goals is to provide the means for fostering the growth and development of a lifelong commitment to learning.

College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences offers courses across its divisions: in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics. Courses are available at introductory and advanced levels. Many departments also will arrange independent study courses.

College of Engineering

The College of Engineering also offers a number of regular courses, including at least one general course in engineering science. Courses in independent projects and special problems can be arranged in all departments of the college: chemical, civil and environmental, electrical, and mechanical. Students with specific needs for work in engineering during the summer should consult with their advisers or chairs of the appropriate departments.

Independent Study

Most departments in both colleges offer independent study or special project courses which permit students, in consultation with members of the faculty, to develop a course of study tailored to their individual needs.

Arrangements for such courses should be made as early as possible in order to assure that a faculty member willing to direct the student’s study will be available during the summer.


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