Build a Life


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There’s a reason people use the phrase “building a life.” Because like building anything, it’s a process. It takes hard work. But here’s the thing about hard work: anyone can do it. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or where you’ve been, if you are willing to put in the effort for what you want, there’s only one direction you’re going: forward. At Johnson & Wales University, we want you to imagine everything your future can be. And then we’ll help you work toward it — because when you work, so does your education. With campuses in Providence, North Miami, Denver, and Charlotte, each with distinct offerings, your options are as open as your potential.

As one of the first colleges founded by two women, Gertrude I. Johnson and Mary T. Wales, a progressive approach to learning is at our core. Since 1914, our goal has been for students to make the most of their time at college — to bring out their potential and turn it into a career. What began as a business school has since become known not only for culinary and hospitality expertise, but for cultivating a supportive environment where students and faculty work together to bring out the best in each other. We continue to evolve as we apply our passion and knowledge to everything we teach, from engineering to marketing.

Through education that instills a love of learning to industry connections that put that love into practice, we work by your side to turn your passion into a life.


Known as “experiential education,” it’s the pinnacle of the JWU experience. From the first day, you will be immersed in a professionally focused curriculum specifically targeted to the field of your choice. Paired with a strong, diverse liberal arts balance, the JWU experiential education will ultimately prepare you to be a leader in a wide range of professional fields.

Want to work in finance? Start investing. Want to cook an unforgettable meal? Get in the kitchen. From taking part in advertising competitions to snagging an internship, how you learn depends on what you want to learn and who you want to learn it with. You’ll have opportunities to collaborate with fellow students, work with world-renowned companies, or even assist professors with their work. There’s an entire community behind you to help develop your skills and make the most of your potential.

Student in a lab

Some students know what they want to study from day one. Some students know what they’re interested in, but don’t have an exact major pinned down. And some students have no idea what they want to study. Guess what? That’s ok. It doesn’t matter into which of these categories you fall, we’re going to work hard to make sure you’re on a path to an enriching career— even if that path isn’t a straight line.

Unlike at most other colleges, we give you access to major-specific classes starting your first year. We want you to dive right into what you love — and spend all four years pursuing experiences in your field to build your résumé. You’ll get to access state-of-the-art makerspaces, eCenters, laboratories, formal dining rooms, and advanced culinary stations. With four campuses worth of classes, collaborations, majors, and programs, you’re sure to find something that ignites your passion, and you might even have the opportunity to travel to another campus to enrich your studies.

Graphic that says Create a Life You'll Love

JWU has the most awarded collegiate advertising program in New England, having advanced to National Student Advertising Competition nationals six times in seven years. The American Advertising Federation’s NSAC is renowned among college advertising students. Most of them have probably even competed in it. But how many students can say they won it? In 2017, JWU’s 31-member team gained those bragging rights. The team developed a strategy and advertising campaign pitch for Tai Pei frozen food that impressed judges from across the country and actual Tai Pei executives. Not only did the team win the $3,500 grand prize, they gained the kind of experience that goes far with future employers.

JWU students plan fun events that build real, authentic connections with faculty members. Do you dream of being behind the scenes at major sports and entertainment events? How about running those events? For students in our Sports, Entertainment, and Event — Management program (SEEM), that dream becomes a reality as they work with faculty to plan and execute the SEEM Leadership Conference. As one of the many experiential-based learning opportunities available to students, the goal of the conference is to connect today’s industry leaders with the leaders of tomorrow. But there’s a bonus, too: the invaluable student experience gained by pulling off a memorable large-scale conference.