Jul 16, 2024  
2014 - 2015 Undergraduate Catalog 
2014 - 2015 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Information

Radford University offers a diverse curriculum of more than 140 undergraduate and graduate degree programs or areas of concentration focused on student achievement and career preparation. A student body of about 9,400 studies in seven colleges: Business and Economics , Education and Human Development , Humanities and Behavioral Sciences , Science and Technology , Visual and Performing Arts Waldron College of Health and Human Services , and the College of Graduate and Professional Studies.

The College of Graduate and Professional Studies offers programs of study at the master’s, specialist and doctoral levels. These programs provide advanced and specialized courses of study, supervised practicum experiences and opportunities for research. The university has an outstanding nationally recruited faculty, about 84 percent of whom hold doctorates or other terminal degrees in their teaching fields. While their primary focus is on the teaching and learning process, the faculty also is engaged in significant scholarly, creative, and public service activities.

Radford University is located in the city of Radford (population 15,859), 36 miles southwest of Roanoke, Va., on Route 11 and I-81 in the New River Valley, close to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The university atmosphere is residential. Most students live in university residence halls or in private apartments and houses within walking distance of the campus. The university grounds and facilities are conveniently arranged, beautifully maintained and effectively designed to meet the academic, personal and extracurricular needs and interests of the students.


Radford University serves the Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation through a wide range of academic, cultural, human service and research programs. First and foremost, the university emphasizes teaching and learning and the process of learning in its commitment to the development of mature, responsible and well-educated citizens. RU develops students’ creative and critical thinking skills, teaches students to analyze problems and implement solutions, helps students discover their leadership styles and fosters their growth as leaders. Toward this end, the university is student-focused and promotes a sense of caring and meaningful interaction among all members of the university community. Research is viewed as a vital corollary to the teaching and learning transaction as it sustains and enhances the ability to teach effectively. Radford University believes in the dynamics of change and has a strong commitment to continual review, evaluation and improvement in the curriculum and all aspects of the university so as to meet the changing needs of society.


Radford University was established by the General Assembly as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women in 1910 and has been in continual session since its 1913 opening. The university became Radford State Teachers College in 1924 and was authorized to award the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1935. In 1944, the university was consolidated with the Virginia Polytechnic Institute as its Women’s Division and renamed Radford College. The General Assembly severed the formal affiliation of Radford College with Virginia Tech in 1964, and an autonomous administration was established for Radford College. The college also was authorized to grant the Master of Science degree. In 1972, after almost 60 years as an all-women’s college, Radford became coeducational and in 1979 was granted university status by the General Assembly.

Today, Radford University is a coeducational, comprehensive institution with undergraduate and graduate programs. In the last 20 years, enrollment has increased dramatically.

University Presidents

John Preston McConnell 1911-1937
David Wilbur Peters 1938-1951
Charles Knox Martin Jr. 1952-1972
     Chancellor 1972-1973
     President Emeritus 1973-1987
Donald Newton Dedmon 1972-1994
Douglas Covington 1995-2005
     President Emeritus 2005-2012
Penelope Ward Kyle 2005-














Radford University President Penelope W. Kyle

The Campus

The university’s 191-acre campus is in a residential section of the city of Radford. Most of the university’s 20 administrative, academic and student service buildings and 15 residence halls are on two large quadrangles in a 76-acre area. Hurlburt Hall, nicknamed The Bonnie in honor of former Dean of Students Bonnie Hurlburt, opened in 2006.

A new complex to house the College of Business and Economics  was completed in August 2012. The building is a three-story business education center housing 16 classrooms, conference rooms, a behavioral laboratory and a trading room.

Radford’s recreation and convocation complex, the Dedmon Center, was completed in fall 1981 on a 78-acre tract along the New River across U.S. Route 11 (East Main Street) from the main campus. The Dedmon Center Arena, which seats about 3,500, recently underwent a multimillion dollar face lift, making it one of the premiere athletic facilities in the Big South Conference and Mid-Atlantic Region.

Natural forest growth, unusual rock formations, the surrounding hills and the New River provide a scenic setting for the university. Radford is not completely immune to the extremes of summer and winter weather, but the climate is basically temperate, with hot days and cool nights in the summer and cool to cold weather in the winter. Fall and spring months in the Appalachian Highlands bring some of the most enjoyable weather to be found anywhere on the East Coast. Points of interest for the visitor to Radford and the surrounding areas include Claytor Lake and the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, which is 45 minutes from the campus. Claytor Lake, off Interstate 81 in Pulaski County, offers picnicking, camping, boating, swimming and hiking areas.

The Radford University Foundation owns a 376-acre tract of land known as the Selu Conservancy. The conservancy, which borders the Little River and is about 5 miles southeast of the campus, was received in two separate donations. John H. Bowles donated the original 185 acres in fall 1989; four additional members of the Bowles family donated 191 acres of adjacent land in spring 1991. Through various campus departments, students are able to use this continuous tract in studies of ecology and botany, mapping geological features, as a model in resource management and maintenance formation on actual building techniques as well as cultural and oral histories. In addition to its educational opportunities, the conservancy offers a glimpse of Southwest Virginia’s distinctive landscape and resources.

Facilities include conference and meeting facilities which are uniquely designed as part of The Barn and Observatory at Selu. The Barn serves as a research center and observatory. The first floor is a science laboratory, and the second floor contains meeting rooms and classrooms. The Selu Observatory, which adjoins The Barn, is designed to resemble a silo. The Farmhouse at Selu is an authentic replica of a 1930s homestead. Reservations are required for use of the facilities at Selu Conservancy.

Highlander Theme

The influence of the Scottish immigrants who settled Southwest Virginia more than 300 years ago is visible today in many areas of the university. These people were characterized by “firmness of decision, resourcefulness, ardor in friendship, love of country and a generous enthusiasm.” Radford’s athletic teams celebrate that heritage by proudly carrying the Highlander name into competition.

Accreditation and Memberships

Radford University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, masters, educational specialist and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097 or call (404) 679-4500 with questions about the accreditation of Radford University.

Individual program accreditation has been granted to the following programs: Undergraduate and Graduate Business Administration – by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, International; Teacher Education (all programs) – by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education; Nursing (undergraduate and graduate M.S.N.) – by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; Computer Science Concentration of Computer Science and Technology – by the Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology; Social Work (baccalaureate degree) – by the Council on Social Work Education; Theatre – by the National Association of Schools of Theatre; Recreation, Parks and Tourism – by the Council on Accreditation for Park, Recreation and Leisure Services; Music – by the National Association of Schools of Music; Graduate Program in Speech-Language Pathology – by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association; Dietetics – by the American Dietetics Association; and Counselor Education– by Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. Graduate Program in Occupational Therapy has applied for candidacy for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education and the Graduate Program in Physical Therapy has applied for candidacy for accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.

Radford University holds membership in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Virginia Association of Colleges, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the National Commission on Accrediting, Inc., the Southern Regional Education Board Council of Collegiate Education for Nursing, the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools, the Council of Graduate Schools, the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders, the Association for Continuing Higher Education and the North American Association of Summer Sessions.

Academic Year

The university year is divided into two semesters, August to December (fall semester) and January to May (spring semester), and four summer sessions. Students may enter the university at the opening of either semester or summer session. Students who wish to complete their academic careers in three calendar years are encouraged to enter in May or June and should plan to attend summer sessions for at least three years.

Academic Organization

The university is composed of seven colleges: College of Business and Economics , College of Education and Human Development , College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences , College of Science and Technology , Waldron College of Health and Human Services , College of Visual and Performing Arts  and the College of Graduate and Professional Studies. The chief administrative officer of each college is its dean, who reports to the Provost.

Each academic department within a given college is responsible for the content and prerequisites of courses offered by the department and specifies the requirements for the department’s degree and certification programs. The chair is the chief administrative officer at the department level.

Extended Campus Programs

The university administers undergraduate and graduate programs at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon, the partnership program with Virginia Western Community College in Roanoke, the Roanoke Higher Education Center and at various locations in the service region. Selected classes are also delivered by two-way interactive video and the Internet in support of extended campus programs. For specific information and assistance related to programs at extended campus locations, contact each office coordinator as follows:

Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center (276) 469-4014

Roanoke Higher Education Center (540) 767-6190

Non-credit Programs

Staff members work in close collaboration with university faculty and external groups to design, promote and coordinate a wide array of professional development learning opportunities such as workshops, conferences and non-credit programs. These programs are offered with open enrollment based on the sponsor’s program format.

Non-discrimination Policies

Radford University does not discriminate with regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, veteran status, national origin, religion or political affiliation in the administration of its educational programs, activities, admission or employment practices. Inquiries may be directed to the Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Officer at 600 Tyler Ave. Telephone: voice, (540) 831-5008; hearing impaired, (540) 831-5128.

The university has adopted policies to provide for prompt and equitable resolution of discrimination complaints. The Discrimination Complaint Procedure describes the grievance procedure for individuals who have experienced discrimination. The Sexual Harassment Policy further defines sexual discrimination by including examples of sexual harassment and a statement concerning consensual relationships between university employees and students. The Accommodation Procedure for Individuals with Disabilities confirms the university’s commitment to providing accessibility to its programs, services and activities for individuals with disabilities who are otherwise qualified and entitled to a reasonable accommodation.

Individuals who believe they may have experienced discrimination, but are uncertain as to whether a complaint is justified or whether they wish to initiate a formal complaint may discuss their concerns confidentially and informally with the director of Human Resources. Students may also consult a staff member at Student Counseling Services or the Office of the Dean of Students.

Only acts of discrimination committed by university employees in connection with their university employment may be reviewed through these policies and procedures. The term “employee” refers to any faculty, staff or any student with a contractual employment agreement, for example, Graduate Teaching Assistants. In all cases of alleged sexual harassment in which the violation is committed by a student, status as a student is adjudicated by the University’s student conduct system. Violations of the policy prohibiting sexual harassment may lead to disciplinary actions, including warnings, suspension, or termination of employment or academic status.

Copies of the complete policy statements including procedures for resolving complaints are available in the Dean of Students Office (for complaints against a student only), Student Counseling Services, and Department of Human Resources.

It is the policy of Radford University to admit students whose ability, preparation and character indicate potential for success in the programs of study offered. Radford University does not discriminate in the administration of its educational programs, activities, admission or employment practices.