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Undergraduate Course Catalog 2016-2017

General Information

« Introduction

What makes the University of New Hampshire (UNH) an outstanding institution? Every day, brilliant, dedicated, inventive, hard-working people come together to teach, learn, and discover, always with an entrepreneurial spirit that has made many of our academic and research programs world-class. Faculty and students alike are motivated by passion, by a spirit of inquiry, and by a desire to make a difference in the world.

What makes UNH the "best of both worlds" for undergraduate education? We offer students the living and learning environment of a classic New England liberal arts college with the breadth, spirit of discovery, and civic commitment of a major research university. This is rare among American institutions of higher education, and students and faculty will tell you it is among our greatest assets.

The University Today

Founded in 1866 as one of the first land-grant colleges in the nation, the University of New Hampshire today is one of the only universities in the U.S. to hold land-, sea-, and space-grant charters.

The University comprises the following academic units: the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences; the College of Health and Human Services; the College of Liberal Arts; the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, which includes the Thompson School of Applied Science; the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics; University of New Hampshire at Manchester; the Graduate School; and the University of New Hampshire School of Law in Concord. UNH serves more than 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students in 100 undergraduate and 70 graduate programs of study.

The University has a unique commitment to undergraduate research, and has an endowed undergraduate research program that provides students from all disciplines with faculty mentoring and financial support to pursue independent research and scholarship. Each year, the spring Undergraduate Research Conference highlights the work of more than 1,200 undergraduate students representing all colleges and disciplines. The URC is the largest undergraduate research conference of its kind in the United States.

The University of New Hampshire is at the forefront of developing nationwide university best practices to address climate change. Through its EcoLine project, UNH became the first university in the U.S. to use renewable landfill gas as its primary energy source, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. UNH also developed the first University greenhouse gas inventory tool, which is now used by more than 300 universities, and established the first endowed University-wide program to integrate sustainability principles into University curriculum, operation, research, and engagement. Today, the UNH Sustainability Institute is recognized nationally as a leading authority regarding sustainability issues within higher education.

A Powerful Linking of Teaching and Research

Where the University of New Hampshire has linked teaching and research programs with the practical realities of life, it has set an international standard with centers and institutes whose names have become synonymous with excellence in such fields as sustainability, computer interoperability, ocean mapping, child study and development, and experiential education.

Such research power translates into exceptional educational opportunities for our talented students. The University prides itself on graduating students who have undertaken significant research. In recent years, hundreds of students from all disciplines have experienced the thrill of designing their own research projects, collaborating with faculty, and presenting their findings in a public forum. Robust undergraduate research programs enable students to conduct research year-round on campus and around the world.

The University’s international research opportunities program is among the largest of its kind and serves as a model for others nationwide. Today the internationalization of the University is an accomplished fact. The study abroad program and international affairs major are strong and growing. Faculty are in demand as visiting professors at universities around the globe (many as Fulbright Fellows), and bring their experiences back to Durham. In October 2010, UNH formalized a partnership with Chengdu University in Sichuan Province, China, and received designation as a Confucius Institute, through which the University offers a broad array of Chinese language and culture courses. More recently, UNH has collaborated with the Australian-based organization Navitas to offer an International University Transfer Program to qualified students from other countries. Since 2011, international students have had the opportunity to increase their English fluency and undertake the first 12 to 18 months of their international baccalaureate program at UNH through the Navitas program. 


UNH offers a broad array of undergraduate, graduate, professional, and research programs. Nearly 90 percent of the full-time faculty hold doctoral or terminal degrees, and many have earned national and international reputations.

The University of New Hampshire has a threefold mission of teaching, research, and public service.

Teaching. All undergraduate programs of instruction at the University are built on a specialized program of general education known as Discovery. The objectives of the Discovery Program carry through the undergraduate subject major as students refine and apply their skills and discover the relationships among fields of study. At every level, students enjoy close contact with individual faculty members who are dedicated to research and scholarship; this is an advantage for students because active scholars and researchers teach by sharing their own learning.

Research. The activity of research embraces all the arts and sciences at the University: it is an integral part of both undergraduate and graduate programs. In doctoral study and in many master’s programs, thesis research is a primary mode of learning. As a land-, sea-, and space-grant institution, the University of New Hampshire has a particular obligation to conduct applied research in the areas of agriculture, marine sciences, and engineering, and to disseminate the findings to the state and nation.

Public Service. The University fulfills its special responsibility for the welfare of the state through UNH Cooperative Extension, and through research and consultation on particular needs of New Hampshire citizens. The University is dedicated to collaborative learning inside and outside the classroom.

The UNH Library

The UNH Library supports the educational and research activities of the students, faculty, and staff of the University of New Hampshire as a research-level library. Experienced reference assistance along with group and individual instruction support students learning how to efficiently research and critically evaluate information on the way to becoming effective lifelong learners.

The Library provides access to an extensive collection of electronic resources (e-books, digital collections, an institutional repository, indexes in many subject areas, statistical data sets, and databases supplying full-text periodical and newspaper articles) 24/7 at The Library also has approximately 2.7 million print and electronic items and more than 104,000 print and electronic serial subscriptions and is active in digitizing, preserving, and making accessible materials in its collections. 

Dimond Library houses collections in the social sciences, humanities, business, health and human services, education, earth sciences and is the regional depository for federal government publications (including maps). Dimond Library is also home to the Connors Writing Center, the Academic Technology Support Center, the Parker Media Lab, and Zeke’s Café. The UNH Museum and Special Collections and Archives house rare books, manuscripts, and University publications and papers. In addition to the main Dimond Library, there are three branch libraries for physical sciences and engineering that offer customized services for the UNH scientific and engineering communities.

The library’s holdings are supplemented by access to the collections of the Boston Library Consortium members as well as libraries across the country through interlibrary loan. The UNH Library shares resources with the campus library at the University of New Hampshire at Manchester and collaborates with the UNH School of Law library.

All library locations offer wireless Internet access, computer workstations, individual study areas, and collaborative group work spaces. Dimond Library offers seating for more than 1,200 in a variety of settings.

For additional information about UNH Library resources, services, and people, please visit

The Campus

The home of the main campus of the University is Durham—one of the oldest towns in northern New England—near the picturesque seacoast of New Hampshire. The 200-acre campus is surrounded by more than 2,400 acres of fields, farms, and woodlands owned by the University. College Woods, on the edge of campus, includes five miles of well-kept paths through 260 acres of forest.

Since 2000, major building and renovation projects have revitalized the UNH campus while maintaining its traditions. In 2002, the University celebrated the completion of Mills Hall, its newest and very beautiful residence hall; 2003 saw completion of the new Holloway Dining Commons, which underwent additional expansion in 2015. Renovations of Murkland and Congreve Halls have also been completed. The recent Kingsbury Hall expansion gives science and engineering students new project space, a modern lab wing, and high-tech classrooms. In 2007, DeMeritt Hall was torn down and rebuilt in the same location, reusing approximately 95 percent of the original materials to create a state-of-the-art physics building. In 2010, a two-year renovation of James Hall was completed, resulting in an energy-efficient, green-restored building, and a comprehensive, multiyear renovation of Parsons Hall was also completed in late 2012. In spring 2013, the new Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics opened its doors to students and faculty. This new facility, located in the heart of campus on Garrison Avenue, boasts state-of-the-art classrooms, common areas, and breakout rooms that encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and will change the way business education is taught at UNH. Renovations underway for the 2016-17 academic year include an extensive update of iconic Hamilton Smith Hall, one of the oldest and busiest academic buildings on campus; expansion of the Hamel Recreation Center off the Whittemore Center, which will offer increased fitness space, a large multi-activity court, a new 1/10 mile suspended track, and increased social, gathering, and wellness space; and the completion of the new Wildcat Stadium, which will significantly improve the University's athletic facilities and increase seating capacity for football and other events.


The University of New Hampshire is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc., which accredits schools and colleges in the six New England states. Accreditation by the association indicates that the institution has been carefully evaluated and found to meet standards agreed upon by qualified educators. Specialized programs of study are also accredited by various professional organizations.

Veterans and their eligible dependents may apply for educational benefits before the start of each semester. For information, contact the UNH veterans coordinator at or by phone at (603) 862-0643.

The University supports the efforts of secondary school officials and governing bodies to have their schools achieve regional accredited status to provide reliable assurance of the quality of the educational preparation of their applicants for admission.