College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) is dedicated to educating students for engaged citizenship, career success, and personal growth in a diverse and complex world. 

CAS cultivates intellectual reflection, artistic creativity, and academic maturity by promoting both broad academic inquiry and in-depth disciplinary study, while nurturing effective and ethical applications of transferable critical skills.

The CAS faculty demonstrate an expert and practical dedication in and out of the classroom, advancing the free exploration of ideas and artistry as well as encouraging the exploration of difficult problems within their fields of specialization.

In addition, CAS fosters engaged learning by encouraging students to spend time studying abroad; researching in collaboration with faculty; participating in creative and artistic works; and shadowing and interning at nationally renowned companies, governmental agencies, and not-for-profit organizations. The impact of these activities will stay with students forever, significantly enhancing the value of their education in the arts and sciences.

CAS aims not only to provide students with expertise and experience in their chosen fields, but also to guide their learning of life-long skills that cut across disciplines. Abilities such as critical thinking, quantitative analysis, effective communication, informational and emotional literacy and technological competencies prepare students to participate in a globalized world where active learning, not static knowledge, is essential.

In short, CAS inspires students to develop a deep understanding and appreciation of the foundational areas of human knowledge and values. It does so by means of a clear and well-defined general education curriculum and a wide array of specialized majors, minors and certificates.

Majors, Minors, and Certificates

CAS Majors, Minors, and Certificates

Students interested in pursuing a major, minor, or certificate need the approval of the chairperson or director of the minor program and the dean.

General Liberal Arts and Sciences Studies (GLASS) includes all students who are undecided regarding the selection of a major. For GLASS, specially designated advisors are assigned to help students explore the full range of their academic options. Students have until the completion of 60 credits to select a major. When the major is declared, a new advisor from that field is assigned for course selection and continued academic guidance. 

Graduation Requirements

All students majoring in the College of Arts and Sciences must complete 120 credits that include College of Arts and Sciences General Education Curriculum (CAS GEC)/Fine and Performing Arts General Education Curriculum, or general education curriculum associated with their major, required courses for major(s) and/or minor(s), and potential electives, the last 30 of which must be taken at Rider. To graduate, all students must complete the CAS GEC and earn a 2.0 or higher GPA, both cumulative and in the major, and, if applicable, in the second major or minor.

Independent Research and Creative Expression

Students who wish to explore specific topics of inquiry as a result of course work may take up to 12 semester hours of independent research and creative expression toward graduation. To be eligible for independent research and creative expression a student must be a junior or a senior in good academic standing. Only one project can be scheduled per semester, and for no more than four credit hours. Each independent research and creative expression proposal must be approved by a faculty sponsor, the department chairperson, and the Dean of Arts and Sciences by no later than the third week of the semester in which the project is to be conducted. Planning for independent research and creative expression should begin during the semester prior to when the student will register for the credits.


Internships are unique opportunities for connecting the skills and theories learned in the classroom to experiences in the workplace. They also provide students a chance to explore future career goals while earning academic credit. Students may apply up to 8 semester hours of internship toward graduation. To be eligible for an internship, a student must be at the junior or senior level and be in good academic standing. Only one internship can be scheduled during a semester. The number of credits earned is based on departmental policy and the number of hours completed at the internship site, usually 1-4 credits. A faculty sponsor, the department internship coordinator and the Director of Student Academic Services of Arts and Sciences must approve the internship by no later than the third week of the semester in which the internship is to be completed.

Pass/Fail Grading Option

Eligible students in the College of Arts and Sciences interested in taking a course as a pass/fail to gain experience and credit without affecting their grade point average may apply for the pass/fail grading option through the CAS Dean's office during the course registration period. The dean’s office will notify the student once the form has been reviewed and the course has been approved by the department to be offered under the pass/fail option. The student will have until the end of the sixth week of the semester to notify the Dean’s Office if s/he decides to change to a regular grading status.

This option is available only to students with a cumulative GPA of no less than 2.5 and who have earned at least 45 credits. The pass/fail option may only be used for elective credits; it will not apply to any courses that are being used to complete a major, minor, or core requirement. The pass/fail option can be used for no more than 2 courses and a maximum of 8 credits. The pass/fail option will be “blind” to the instructor, thus the student’s work will not be assessed any differently from other students in the class. A student must earn at least a C in a pass/fail course to receive credit. The pass/fail course will not factor into the GPA and the student’s transcript will indicate only a P (pass) or F (fail) for the course.

Preparation for the Study of Medicine and Dentistry

The College of Arts and Sciences offers a premedical studies advising program that focuses on preparation for admission to medical, dental, or other health-related professional schools such as chiropractic and podiatry.  A background in the liberal arts also is provided, since many professional schools stress a broad general education.

A premedical committee and pre-professional advisors meet on a regular basis with students to assist in the selection of science and non-science courses, to provide information on the MCAT and DAT, and to advise students regarding procedures for admission to professional schools. As admission requirements vary slightly from school to school, students are urged to consult catalogs of the institutions where they desire to continue their education to make certain that they are completing the most appropriate undergraduate courses.

Students may major in any field of study and need not formally major in one of the sciences as long as they take the minimum number of required science courses. As a matter of practice, however, most pre-dental and premedical students major in biology, behavioral neuroscience, biochemistry, or chemistry. Students who intend to enter medical doctor programs must excel to ensure adequacy of preparation and favorable consideration of their applications.

Preparation for Study in Allied Health Programs

The College of Arts and Sciences offers pre-allied health professions advising that focuses on preparation for admission to allied health professions such as nursing, physical therapy, sports medicine, physician assistant, occupational therapy, diagnostic imaging and radiologic sciences, medical laboratory sciences and pharmacy.  Each of these disciplines has different prerequisite science and non-science coursework and other experiential requirements, and these may vary among institutions.  There are also multiple pathways to bachelor’s, combined bachelor’s/master’s, entry level master’s degrees, or doctoral degrees in many of them. 

The pre-allied health advisor at Rider offers ongoing availability to help students educate themselves on these varying professional fields and the requirements for entry into them.  Students are also urged to consult with admissions personnel at institutions in which they seek to study in order to ensure that they are preparing competitive applications.

Rider University has affiliations with the College of Health Professions at Thomas Jefferson University to facilitate various paths of entry into their allied health programs.  

Preparation for the Study of Law

See the Legal Studies minor.

Army Reserve Officer's Training Corps (ROTC)

Rider University students are eligible to participate in the Princeton Army ROTC program through a formal cross-town enrollment agreement with the U.S. Army Cadet Command.  Princeton Army ROTC will recruit, educate, develop, and inspire ROTC Cadets at off-campus locations in order to commission officers of character for the Total Army; and develop citizens of character for a lifetime of commitment and service to the nation.

The Army ROTC course is designed as a four-year leadership program divided into two phases: the basic course and the advanced course.  The basic course is open to all students (100 series only. 200 series and above upon approval by the Princeton Army ROTC Professor of Military Science).  The advanced course is available to cadets who complete the basic course and wish to be commissioned as either active or reserve component officers.  For further information, please go to ROTC.