Skip to main content

Photo of Students Studying

At BC, the focus isn’t just on selecting a major. Our general education curriculum focuses on tangible skills that will prepare you for your future. We call our general education program “Foundations in Liberal Arts” or FILA. The Latin word fila means threads (or filaments), and it is with these foundational liberal arts courses that you will weave the fabric of your education.

Your initial courses address the fundamental skills of critical inquiry, effective writing, oral communication and quantitative literacy (i.e. the first-year FILA seminar, English, communication and math).

You’ll also develop the ability to engage in a global society through meeting a modern language requirement, taking a class focused on learning deeply about another culture, and taking a class examining issues related to globalization.

You’ll engage ideas across the liberal arts areas of study by taking:

  • one course in the social sciences (such as economics, political science, psychology and sociology)
  • four courses in the humanities (one in fine arts, one in literature, one in history and one in philosophy or religion)
  • one natural or physical science with a lab (biology, chemistry, environmental science, geology or physics)

The experience culminates in the integration of community engagement. You’ll take at least one course designated as experiential, which could be a May Term travel course, a practicum, experiential service-learning or other courses that have you interact with the community outside the classroom.

FILA is flexible, giving you a variety of choices to fulfill the requirements. This leaves room for adding an additional major, adding a minor or a concentration, studying abroad or completing an internship. Choosing the elements of your liberal arts education is a creative process, and with the courses (or threads) of FILA you will weave the fabric of your own personalized education.

FILA: Foundations in Liberal Arts (Introduction and Capstone Courses)

View the FILA Requirements

Reflect on what you’ve learned. Become who you want to be.

Bridgewater’s  Foundations in  Liberal Arts program is a way to bring together everything you do in college – your courses, experiential learning and activities outside the classroom. As you explore, you discover who you are. You develop your own view of the world. And, most importantly, you grow into the person you want to be.

As a first year student, you’ll learn how to critically reflect on your development as a whole person – intellectual, emotional, physical, ethical and spiritual – and as a citizen and responsible member of a community.

The program culminates in a senior e-portfolio in which you’ll look back on the personal growth you achieved as a result of your college experience.

FILA-150 or FILA-350: CRITICAL INQUIRY AND THE LIBERAL ARTS

FILA-150 or FILA-350: Critical Inquiry in the Liberal Arts is BC’s first-year/trasnfer student seminar. You’ll take this class at the very beginning of your time at BC—the fall semester of your first year.

Course topics for FILA-150 are extremely varied and diverse. From sustainability to music. From American gangsters to pet ownership. Dr. Jamie Frueh covers “Leadership and the Art of Decision,” while Dr. Karie Barbour takes you through “Brawlers in the Holler: The Coal Wars of Appalachia.” Transfer students have a unique course topic as well, while Flory Fellows can choose from two honors sections.

Note: Transfer students sign up for FILA-350, and honors students in the Flory Fellows program have separate sections of FILA-150.

FILA-450: THE Foundation in Liberal Art SENIOR E-PORTFOLIO

Beyond your first semester, you’ll keep a record of your academic life, your involvement in campus activities and your engagement in the community.

Finally, during your senior year, you’ll complete the senior e-portfolio. The final senior e-portfolio includes:

  • A record of your academic achievements and community engagement experiences
  • Your current resume and cover letter
  • Your senior reflective essay, which shows your growth and development throughout your college experience

Completing FILA-450 is not only a graduation requirement, but also a capstone for your entire four-year experience at BC.

  • Watch the video above to view instructions and tips on what to do during an active shooter event.
  • Take an online training course to be prepared.

The safety of those in our campus community is of the utmost priority to Bridgewater College. It is crucial that students, faculty and staff be educated on how to protect themselves and others should an active shooter be reported on campus. You can help prevent and prepare for potential active shooter situations. This training course and the training module linked below help you respond quickly and appropriately in crisis situations and will teach you how to:

  • Describe actions to take when confronted with an active shooter and responding law enforcement officials.
  • Recognize potential workplace violence indicators.
  • Describe actions to take to prevent and prepare for potential active shooter incidents.
  • Describe how to manage the consequences of an active shooter incident.

We encourage all members of our BC community to be educated and prepared not only here on campus but also off campus.

Begin the training module

Download the DHS Active Shooter Response Booklet

Photo of Money

Many parents think that private college is just too expensive for them and their children to afford. And they don't realize that the vast majority of students who apply to private colleges receive some form of grant or scholarship (and this doesn't include loans!).

In fact, the average institutional grant for first-year Bridgewater students in 2017 was $24,052, which cuts your cost in half. And 95% of BC's 2017 first-year students had gift aid packages (institutional, federal and state) in excess of $20,000.

Scholarship & Grant Opportunities

Factoring in grants and aid, the cost to attend Bridgewater isn't significantly different than a state college and is much lower than some private schools.

Here are a few aid programs that your son or daughter may be eligible for:

President's Merit & Ace Scholarships
Scholarships range from $23,000 up to full tuition and are based on an applicant's academic performance and quality of curriculum in high school (public, private or home-schooled) and ACT or SAT scores. Recipients who maintain an acceptable cumulative grade point average retain their scholarships each academic year.

Church of the Brethren Scholarships
Scholarships are available for students who are members of the Church of the Brethren. Award amounts are $2,500 for residents and $1,500 for commuters.

Eagle Awards
Awards of $17,000 or $21,500 are available to selected incoming first-year students who do not qualify for academic scholarships.

Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG)
State grant awarded to Virginia students who submit the application by July 31. The estimated award for 2018-2019 is $3,400.

What BC Students Say

"I always knew that I wanted to come to Bridgewater, but I never thought that I would receive the financial aid package that Bridgewater gave me. BC really works with prospective students to make a private school possible and reasonable.“
-RUSSELL QUAO '18 COMPUTER SCIENCE, WOODBRIDGE, VA

"I initially thought I wouldn't be able to afford Bridgewater. Once I factored in the ACE scholarship and the other aid I received, it turned out to be the most affordable school I applied to. And, since I am a Virginia student, receiving TAG has helped me a lot too.“
-ENGLISH JACKSON '20 LIBERAL STUDIES, GROTTOES, VA

Next Steps

If your son or daughter has applied to Bridgewater (or any college for that matter!) find out if they have completed their application and had test scores and transcripts sent to the College.

If they have not yet sent their SAT and ACT scores to the school, encourage them to do so. Bridgewater's SAT College Code is 005069. Our ACT College Code is 4342.

Some students and their families are overwhelmed by the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). We are happy to help walk you through all of the steps and can answer any questions you might have. To contact us, simply email us and we'll be happy to help.

Click here to access your application here at any time

Don't let a high sticker price stop your son or daughter from applying to a college that fits them perfectly! Bridgewater's goal has always been to help students and their families experience a rewarding and affordable college education.

Many students think that private college is just too expensive for them to afford. And they don't realize that the vast majority of those who apply to private colleges receive some form of grant or scholarship (and this doesn't include loans!).

In fact, the average institutional grant for first-year Bridgewater students in 2017 was $24,052, which cuts your cost in half. And 95% of BC's 2017 first-year students had gift aid packages (institutional, federal and state) in excess of $20,000.

Scholarship & Grant Opportunities

Factoring in grants and aid, the cost to attend Bridgewater isn't significantly different than a state college and is much lower than some private schools.

Here are a few aid programs that you may be eligible for:

President's Merit & Ace Scholarships
Scholarships range from $23,000 up to full tuition and are based on an applicant's academic performance and quality of curriculum in high school (public, private or home-schooled) and ACT or SAT scores. Recipients who maintain an acceptable cumulative grade point average retain their scholarships each academic year.

Church of the Brethren Scholarships
Scholarships are available for students who are members of the Church of the Brethren. Award amounts are $2,500 for residents and $1,500 for commuters.

Eagle Awards
Awards of $17,000 or $21,500 are available to selected incoming first-year students who do not qualify for academic scholarships.

Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG)
State grant awarded to Virginia students who submit the application by July 31. The estimated award for 2018-2019 is $3,400.

What BC Students Say

"I always knew that I wanted to come to Bridgewater, but I never thought that I would receive the financial aid package that Bridgewater gave me. BC really works with prospective students to make a private school possible and reasonable.“
-RUSSELL QUAO '18 COMPUTER SCIENCE, WOODBRIDGE, VA

"I initially thought I wouldn't be able to afford Bridgewater. Once I factored in the ACE scholarship and the other aid I received, it turned out to be the most affordable school I applied to. And, since I am a Virginia student, receiving TAG has helped me a lot too.“
-ENGLISH JACKSON '20 LIBERAL STUDIES, GROTTOES, VA

Next Steps

If you have applied to Bridgewater (or any college for that matter!) check to make sure you have completed your application and had your test scores and transcripts sent to the College.

If you have not yet sent your SAT or ACT scores to the school, then contact them and have your scores forwarded to us. You can log in to your College Board account here. You can find your ACT account login here. Bridgewater's SAT College Code is 005069. Our ACT College Code is 4342.

Some students and their families are overwhelmed by the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). We are happy to help walk you through all of the steps and can answer any questions you might have. To contact us, simply email us and we'll be happy to help.

Click here to access your application here at any time

Don't let a high sticker price stop you from applying to a college that fits you perfectly! Bridgewater's goal has always been to help students and their families experience a rewarding and affordable college education.

Gone are the days of hushed whispers over stacks of books, replaced by a technologically advanced hub of academic activity and engagement the likes of which Bridgewater College has never seen.

A “next-generation library,” the John Kenny Forrer Learning Commons will go beyond books to be a workshop for learning. Students, faculty and the community will create, explore, learn and communicate in flexible study spaces outfitted with the latest in technology.

In this renovation and expansion of the Alexander Mack Memorial Library, students will find a “one-stop shop” for all their learning needs. At the first-floor Morgridge Center for Collaborative Learning and its concierge desk, students connect with technology support, the Writing Center, Career Services, media production assistance, peer coaching and tutoring, research support—everything they need to learn, grow and meet their goals will be at their fingertips.

Quiet study areas and the Alexander Mack Memorial Collections, with its myriad volumes of books and journals, will be complimented by group meeting spaces, a presentation practice room, engaged learning classrooms and areas for socialization and engagement, including the Smith Family Learning Commons Café, the Robert H. & Mary Susan King Portico, the upstairs “Great Room” and the Beverly Perdue Art Gallery.

Indoors and outdoors will flow seamlessly, with walls of windows to let in light and stunning views of the hustle and bustle of the Campus Mall. Areas including Alison’s Reading Terrace and the Wampler Family Plaza allow the interactions of the Forrer Learning Commons to spill outside, where students and faculty can read, dine and interact with one another.

This is not your old library. This is the Forrer Learning Commons. Partner with us as we Build for the Future.

Learning Commons Sketch

Groundbreaking

Join us on Friday, May 4, 2018, from 2 to 4 p.m. on the Campus Mall for “Unlocking the Potential: A Groundbreaking Event,” when the College will officially begin construction on the John Kenny Forrer Learning Commons. This extraordinary groundbreaking will be unlike any other, with special exhibits and activities that enable our guests to get a taste of the “Learning Commons experience!”

Register Online

Become a partner in BC's building for the future!

This innovative building was made possible by a number of generous donors, including Bonnie ’62 and John Rhodes, who made a lead gift in honor of Bonnie’s father John Kenny Forrer, to name the Learning Commons, and John and Carrie Morgridge, who made a gift to name the Morgridge Center for Collaborative Learning. We invite you to join these visionary alumni and friends and become a partner in building a bright future for BC.

Your support will have an enduring impact on generations of Bridgewater students. Giving opportunities range from naming levels—see floor plans below—to general support.

Additionally, a gift to the Forrer Learning Commons project will be matched by The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation, which has issued a two-to-one $250,000 challenge grant. They will match dollars pledged or given to the project through November 2018.

Make Your Gift Today!

Naming Opportunities

Opportunity Gift Amount Donor Name
LEARNING COMMONS $4,000,000 John Kenny Forrer Learning Commons
MAIN FLOOR $2,500,000 Morgridge Center for Collaborative Learning

Main Level

Opportunity Gift Amount Donor Name
Café $1,000,000 Smith Family Learning Commons Café
Portico $500,000 Robert H. & Mary Susan King Portico
Gallery $300,000 Beverly Perdue Art Gallery
Academic Resource Suite $150,000 Academic Resource Suite (K/N Bowman)
Learning and Research Services Suite $100,000  
Presentation Practice Room $100,000 Practice Presentation Room (J/S Wilkerson)

Upper Level

Opportunity Gift Amount Donor Name
Campus “Great Room” $750,000  
Study Area $250,000  
Classroom $100,000 Fred O. Funkhouser Classroom
Classroom $75,000  
Director’s Office $50,000  
Study Rooms (all 9 have been named) $25,000 each  

Lower Level

Opportunity Gift Amount Donor Name
Special Collections $150,000  
The Brethren Room $100,000  
Study Area $75,000  
Archival Reading Room $50,000 Ben & Sherrie Wampler Archival Reading Room
Core Collections   Alexander Mack Memorial Collections

Exterior

Opportunity Gift Amount Donor Name
Café Plaza $250,000 Wampler Family Plaza
Reading Terrace $250,000 Alison’s Reading Terrace

General Support

Opportunity Gift Amount  
Investor $10,000  
Partner $5,000  
Patron $2,500  
Sustainer $1,000  

Floor Plans

Main Level Floor Plan Uppper Level Floor Plan Lower Level Floor Plan

Architectural Renderings

Exterior Renderings

Learning Commons Rendering 1
Learning Commons Rendering 2
 

Interior Renderings

Learning Commons Rendering 1
Learning Commons Rendering 2
Learning Commons Rendering 1
Learning Commons Rendering 1
Learning Commons Rendering 2
 

Construction Progress

Check back regularly starting in May to watch the creation of the Forrer Learning Commons via our webcam and photos.