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Development of Western Civilization

Development of Western Civilization

​​​​​​​​​Looking Backward​, Thinking Forward​

​​​​​​A​ Providence College education prepares a student to be someone, more than to do something. It prepares students to hear more when they listen, reach deeper when they think, and say more when they speak. The Development of Western Civilization (DWC) program is at the heart of this preparation.

You’ll explore human history through many perspectives — from literature to philosophy to theology to art, and more — from professors who nurture interdisciplinary thinking and relish collaborative teaching. 

DWC will change the way you see the world by teaching you to find connections between seemingly unconnected ideas. Just as important, DWC will prepare you for a career and life because it teaches you to think. And that will prepare you to make history. ​


​​“A liberal arts education is so valuable. Skills like writing and speaking articulately are vitally important no matter what you choose to do. When you’re in your DWC seminar, you learn how to read deeply, how to analyze text, how to speak coherently with your classmates. You build confidence in your thoughts and ideas in a small classroom setting.”

Kathryn 'Katcy' Stephan '16
Theatre & Engl​ish Double Major
Live News Video Production Fellow at BuzzFeed


​​​What Makes DWC Special?

I team-taught a DWC colloquium on business ethics with my colleague Tim Maho​ney, who teaches philosophy. Early one morning, before the arrival of our guest speaker — Eileen Howard Boone, the senior vice president of corporate social responsibility for CVS — we engaged the class in an impromptu discussion about a recent incident in the community. There we were — Tim, an associate professor of philosophy, and me, the dean of the Providence College School of Business, taking the lessons we had taught in class all semester and applying them to a real-world issue that hit very close to home. There were many different perspectives and no easy answers. But what struck me most were the respectful dialogue, insightful questions, and spirited debate that our students brought to the conversation. All at once it hit me: These students. This conversation. This class. This is what makes Providence College so special.

Dr. Sylvia Maxfield 
Dean Providence College School of Business​