About Johnson & Wales University
At Johnson & Wales University, we prepare you for success—both personal and professional. Since 1914, our unique approach of combining academics and practical skills with relevant work experiences and community service has made JWU a recognized leader in career education.
What else makes JWU different?
* Our accredited undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business, hospitality, culinary arts, technology and education are career-focused, to provide you with the knowledge and skills which employers have identified as necessary for career success
* Industry-experienced faculty who bring real-life knowledge, hands-on learning and networking opportunities into small classroom settings
* The opportunity to take courses in your major the first term, to help you figure out if you’ve chosen the right field
* Dedicated faculty advisors and career coaches to help you develop a career plan—and specialized courses to help build your resume, highlight your skills and develop a portfolio of work to set you apart
* A diverse community of more than 16,000 students from all 50 states and 89 countries
* Four distinct campuses—in Providence, North Miami, Denver and Charlotte—offering a full university experience through a variety of clubs, organizations, Greek life, athletics and leadership programs.
Special approaches to career education at Johnson & Wales University (JWU) have evolved over more than 90 years’ time and continue to adapt as JWU responds to the changing needs of business and industry. JWU was founded as a business school in 1914 in Providence, R.I. by Gertrude I. Johnson and Mary T. Wales. From its origins as a school devoted to business education, JWU grew to a junior college, a senior college, and ultimately, university status.
The university became well established because of its strong commitment to specialized business education and the high ideals of its founders. In 1993, JWU received regional accreditation from the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Accredited since 1954 by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, JWU consolidated its institutional accreditation under NEASC on June 30, 2000.
In 1963, the State of Rhode Island granted a charter which authorized the university to operate as a nonprofit, degree-granting institution of higher learning and to award associate degrees in the arts and sciences. In 1970, the State of Rhode Island approved a revision in the university’s charter to award baccalaureate degrees. In 1980, the governor and General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island granted a legislative charter authorizing the university to award advanced degrees.
The charter was amended in 1988, changing the institution’s name to Johnson & Wales University. In 1992, the governor of the State of Rhode Island signed a new legislative charter into law with university status.
A new career emphasis was introduced at JWU in 1973, when the university announced the opening of what is now known as the College of Culinary Arts and the addition of an associate degree program in that field. This proved to be one of the most far-reaching changes in the educational expansion of the university, leading to additional two- and four-year degree programs in the hospitality and food service fields.
In 1984, a JWU campus was established in Charleston, S.C., which offered a variety of two- and four-year programs in food service, hospitality and travel-tourism. The Norfolk, Va. campus opened to the public in 1986, offering one- and two-year food service programs.
In 1985, graduate degree programs and later a doctorate in education were introduced at the university through the Alan Shawn Feinstein Graduate School and School of Education.
In 1992, under a joint educational agreement, the university began programs on the campus of the IHM Business School in Göteborg, Sweden. JWU established a formal, independent learning site there from 1994–2004 giving business and hospitality students the opportunity to complete one year of study in Sweden and finish their degrees at one of the university’s domestic campuses.
Also in 1992, JWU opened another campus in North Miami, Fla., which now offers culinary arts, business and hospitality undergraduate degree programs.