Jun 21, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

REAL Curriculum

Requirements for All Degrees

To earn an undergraduate degree from Radford University, students must fulfill both REAL Curriculum requirements and the requirements associated with a specific degree and major, as well as sufficient electives to complete the minimum semester hours required for graduation. In addition to all other requirements, in order to fulfill the REAL Curriculum, students must complete at least 15 credit hours, not including foundational math and foundational writing, in courses taught outside the department or school that houses their first major.

REAL Curriculum requirements are detailed below. Details of the requirements for specific degrees and majors can be found in the department sections. Additional information about how transfer credit applies to fulfill REAL Curriculum requirements can be found here (https://www.radford.edu/content/real/home/transfer-students.html).

REAL Curriculum

Radford University is committed to the development of mature, responsible, well-educated citizens. The REAL Curriculum requires depth of study in four important areas: Scientific and Quantitative Reasoning, Humanistic or Artistic Expression, Cultural or Behavioral Analysis, and Applied Learning.  In addition to acquiring a diverse breadth and depth of knowledge in these areas, RU graduates will possess a love of learning and a range of intellectual skills that enable them to meet the challenges and realize the promise of living in a complex, multicultural, and ever-changing world.

The REAL Curriculum requires students to select majors or minors that have documented development of competencies in all four REAL areas. Through study and credentialing in these four areas, students are armed with skills and depth of knowledge to ensure their success far beyond our campus.

The REAL Curriculum requirements address several competency categories:

  • Foundational Writing (3 hours)
  • Foundational Math (3 hours)
  • Writing Intensive (6 hours - at least 3 hours at the 300-level or higher)
  • Scientific and Quantitative Reasoning (major or minor hours will vary)
  • Humanistic or Artistic Expression (major or minor hours will vary)
  • Cultural or Behavioral Analysis (major or minor hours will vary)
  • Applied Learning (major or minor hours will vary)

In addition to all other requirements, in order to fulfill the REAL Curriculum, students must complete at least 15 credit hours, not including foundational math and foundational writing, in courses taught outside the department or school that houses their first major.

TOTAL: 12-120 hours


Scientific and Quantitative Reasoning

The goal of Scientific and Quantitative Reasoning courses is for students to apply scientific and quantitative reasoning to questions about the natural world, mathematics, or related areas. Students will

  • apply scientific and quantitative information to test problems and draw conclusions; and
  • evaluate the quality of data, methods, or inferences used to generate scientific and quantitative knowledge.

Humanistic or Artistic Expression

The goal of Humanistic or Artistic Expression courses is for students to explore humanistic or artistic expression through inquiry or creativity. Students will

  • demonstrate understanding of diverse ideas, languages, products, or processes of humanistic inquiry or artistic expression; and
  • critically evaluate, synthesize, or create forms of human expression or inquiry.

Cultural or Behavioral Analysis

The goal of Cultural or Behavioral Analysis Courses is for students to examine the context and interactions of culture(s) and/or behaviors. Students will

  • describe behaviors, beliefs, cultures, social institutions, and/or environments; and
  • analyze the interactions of behaviors, beliefs, cultures, social institutions, and/or environments.

Applied Learning

The goal of Applied Learning study is to explore professional practice through the application of knowledge, skills, and critical reflection. Students will

  • apply acquired knowledge and skills to develop professional identity or professional practice; and 
  • critically reflect on their learning, abilities, experiences, or role within professional contexts.

REAL Curriculum Foundational Requirements

Foundational Writing (3 hours)

The goal of Foundational Writing is to develop students’ understanding of the principles and elements of effective written communication through applied practice, self-evaluation, and revision. Students will:

  • employ reading strategies to facilitate written communication;
  • engage in the recursive writing process, including pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading to improve written communication; and
  • use appropriate vocabulary, mechanics, grammar, and style.

Foundational Writing Course:

ENGL 111 - Principles of College Composition (GE)  

Foundational Math (3 hours)

The goal of Foundational Math is for students to apply the tools of mathematics to conceptualize and solve problems in everyday life. Students will:

  • translate information among various mathematical forms (e.g., equations, graphs, diagrams, tables, words);
  • successfully solve problems using appropriate mathematical tools; and
  • draw appropriate conclusions based on mathematical evidence.

Foundational Math Course(s):

Majors and minors may have specific foundational math requirements. Please check the catalog entry for your intended program for those requirements.

Or placement in higher mathematics course or competency assessment or course deemed foundational math by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.


REAL Curriculum Cornerstone Requirements

To complement students’ plans of study and build the necessary skills for successful completion of majors and minors, the REAL Curriculum requires development in Writing Intensive coursework.

Writing Intensive (6 hours)

Within the REAL Curriculum, intentional and meaningful writing instruction is part of developing the skills to successfully navigate majors and minors. To this end, writing intensive courses must meet the following conditions:

  • Substantially integrate sole-authored student writing within the course objectives and assessments;
  • Use discipline-specific reading strategies to facilitate effective written communication; and
  • Engage students in a recursive writing process that includes revision supported by consistent, detailed instruction and the incorporation of feedback.

These courses fulfill the following learning goal and outcomes:

Learning Goal: Through instruction and feedback, students become more adept at producing appropriate and effective written work.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Students demonstrate proficiency in the writing conventions of a discipline.
  • Students communicate through writing their understanding of disciplinary content and/or texts.

Writing Intensive Course(s)

Any course designated as WI (Writing Intensive). For a complete list of Writing Intensive courses please visit the REAL Curriculum website or search the academic catalog for “(WI)”. Many majors and minors incorporate WI courses within the required program requirements. Review those catalog entries for additional information. Some of these courses may be restricted to certain majors or may have prerequisites. Check with your academic advisor.

REAL Studies Minors

Students may opt to take REAL Studies Minors that cover the specific learning area.

Review catalog entries for additional information or check with your academic advisor.

REAL Curriculum Requirements for Departments and Schools

Courses may be designated with a single R, E, A, or L area. Courses may add a designation of WI (Writing Intensive) and/or GE (General Education) to any course.

Any major or minor that fulfills a REAL area must include at least 9 unique credit hours, with at least 3 credit hours at the 300 level or above for the area covered.

No major can cover more than two REAL areas using a single prefix.

Majors may cover up to three REAL areas, unless required by accreditation or licensing.

Minors must be at least 15 credit hours and may cover up to two REAL areas. Minors that cover two REAL areas must be at least 18 credit hours.