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Undergraduate Course Catalog 2008-2009

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. They 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 small New England liberal arts college with the breadth, spirit of discovery, and civic commitment of a land-, sea-, and space-grant research university. This is rare among American institutions of higher education, and students and faculty will tell you it is our greatest asset.

The University Today

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

The University comprises six colleges: the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences; the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, which includes the Thompson School of Applied Science; the College of Health and Human Services; the College of Liberal Arts; UNH Manchester; and the Whittemore School of Business and Economics. UNH serves more than 11,300 undergraduate and 2,400 graduate students in 100 undergraduate and 70 graduate programs of study.

A comprehensive research university, UNH received more than $117 million in grants in 2007. 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.

The University of New Hampshire is at the forefront of developing nationwide university best practices to address climate change. Through its EcoLine project, UNH will be 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.

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 the 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 was the first 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 studies 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.


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

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

Teaching. All undergraduate programs of instruction at the University are built on a program of general education. The objectives of general education 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 special 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 consists of the main Dimond Library, four specialized branch libraries, an extensive government documents collection, and the Douglas and Helena Milne Special Collections and Archives. In addition to more than a million volumes and 6,000 periodical subscriptions, the library has government publications, maps, sound recordings, compact discs, video cassettes, DVDs, and manuscripts. The library offers extensive electronic resources including indexes in a wide variety of subject areas, databases supplying full-text periodical and newspaper articles, and statistical data sets. Experienced librarians and staff provide expert service to people seeking information or research assistance.

The library is a member of the elite Boston Library Consortium, whose members include some of the most well-known research institutions in the nation. Through the consortium, UNH students, faculty, faculty emeriti, and staff at both the Durham and Manchester campuses have full access to a combined collection of more than 31 million volumes via interlibrary loan and on-site visits to member libraries.

The Dimond Library offers three grand reading rooms, seating for 1,200, 21 miles of shelving for books, and the Dimond Academic Commons (DAC). The DAC (Main Floor) features "one-stop" shopping for information needs, including reference assistance, IT help, high-tech equipment, and collaborative work space. Wireless access, computer workstations, and laptop hookups are available throughout the building.

The four branch libraries specialize in science, mathematics, and engineering. The Biological Sciences Library is located in Kendall Hall, the Chemistry Library is in Parsons Hall, the Engineering/Mathematics/Computer Science Library is in Kingsbury Hall, and the Physics Library is in Nesmith Hall. All branches have reserve materials, reference collections, circulating collections, periodicals, and electronic resources. All branch materials are indicated in the UNH Library catalog.

For more information on Dimond and the branch libraries, 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. A stream flowing through a large wooded area in the middle of campus enhances natural open space among the buildings. College Woods, on the edge of campus, includes five miles of well-kept paths through 260 acres of forest.

During the last decade, 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. Renovations of Murkland and Congreve Halls have also been completed. The new Kingsbury Hall expansion gives science and engineering students new project space, a modern lab wing, and high-tech classrooms.


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 Lonn Sattler, e-mail, UNH veterans coordinator, or call (603) 862-1595.

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 its applicants for admission.