Society Courses

Only want to take one class with a focus on sustainability rather than a minor or major? You can still take a variety of courses within the curriculum that also count towards General Education Credit, Issues credit, or may be required within your major.

For updated information of course listings and descriptions visit the Course Catalog


EDF 315 - Diverse Perspectives on Education

This course will introduce the historical, philosophical, and sociological foundations of education in the United States. Emphasis will be placed on the changing purposes of education historically, the legal and procedural expansion of schooling to an increasingly diverse student population, and the cultural competencies needed to teach all students effectively. Fulfills Cultures - U.S. Diversity. Offered every semester. 3 cr


PHI 102 - Ethics

What is good? What is evil? Are there objective standards for right and wrong? What are these objective standards? How can they be applied to important contemporary moral problems? This course considers the answers philosophers give to these and related questions.

PHI 320 - Social and Political Philosophy

Analyzes the intellectual appropriation of the concept of freedom over time. Emphasis will be given to the dynamic interaction between freedom and social control in classics of Western philosophy from ancient times to modernity. Authors include Plato, Epicurus, Aristotle, Aurelius, Augustine, Hobbes, Rousseau, and Marx. Part of Human Rights Issue. Offered fall and winter semesters. Prerequisite: Junior standing.
3.000 Credit hours

PHI 325 - Ethics in Professional Life  

Examination of ethical principles and practice in business, medicine, education, law, and government. This course aims at providing students with the intellectual framework for an ethical analysis of situations which arise within various professions. Also seeks to foster mutual understanding across professional lines.

Political Science

PLS 103 - Issues in World Politics

Analysis and discussion of contemporary issues in world politics as a vehicle for introducing core concepts in comparative politics, such as democracy, dictatorship, civil society, power, nationalism, political economy, social policy, identity politics, and development. Students will gain basic familiarity with the institutions, actors, and processes that influence world politics. Fulfills one of the Foundation - Social and Behavioral Sciences. Fulfills Cultures - Global Perspectives. Offered every semester. 3 cr

PLS 105 - Introduction to Human Rights

Introduction to the historical and conceptual development of human rights as moral, legal, and cultural constraints on the behavior of states in relation to their citizens. Analysis is theoretical, exploring philosophical arguments surrounding the historical development of human rights and their current role in legal, cultural, literary and political products. Fulfills
Foundation - Philosophy and Literature. Offered fall and winter semesters. 3 cr

PLS 302 - Women, Politics, and Public Policy

This course explores the ways that gender influences government and policy decisions. Students will explore many gendered issues and the relevant policy responses. Topics include domestic violence, reproductive policies, divorce and the family, marriage and the family, poverty, class, and compensation. Offered winter semester. Prerequisite: PLS 102 or Junior Standing. 3 cr

PLS 303 - Introduction to US Environmental Policy

This course examines the decision making processes to cope with modern environmental problems. The course focuses on both domestic and international environmental issues with special attention to interests, ideas, and institutions.

PLS 310 - Politics and Health Policy

Explores contemporary issues in health policy and politics. Students will develop an understanding of the historical context, institutions, participants, and issues that structure health policy. Special emphasis on the politics of health care reform in the 1990s. Offered fall semester. Prerequisite: PLS 102 or junior standing. 3 cr

PLS 311 - International Conflict and Conflict Resolution

Analysis of the causes of war and conditions for peace. Topics also include peacekeeping operations and the outcomes and ethics of war. Fulfills one of the Issues requirements. Offered fall and winter semesters. Prerequisite: PLS 211 or junior standing. 3 cr

PLS 316 - Human Rights in International Politics

An analysis of human rights as an increasingly influential principle in international relations, and the friction between sovereignty and international standards of behavior. Topics covered within class may include the theoretical origins of human rights, international norms, international law, sovereignty, interventionism, particularly viewed through historical and contemporary human rights cases. Offered fall semester. Prerequisite: PLS 103 or PLS 211 or junior standing. 3 cr


PSY 355 - Psychology and Culture

Exploration of the interaction between ecological and cultural variables and psychological processes. Topics include cultural influences on perception and cognition, personality, cognitive and social development, social relations, interpersonal and intergroup behavior, and psychopathology. Fulfills Cultures - Global Perspectives. Offered fall and winter semesters.
Prerequisite: PSY 101.

PSY 362 - Environmental Psychology

Study of the relationships between the physical environment, natural and human-made, and the behavior of human beings. The course focuses on the perceptual, cognitive, and motivational aspects of the human-environmental interaction. Offered occasionally. 3 cr


SOC 205 - Social Problems

Examines a range of social conditions, arrangements, and behaviors typically defined as problems in modern society. Applies sociological analysis to understand how problems arise from the organization of society, and the processes by which conditions become identified as social problems, and how ideology and power shape responses to social problems. Fulfills one of the Foundation - Social and Behavioral Sciences. Fulfills Cultures - U.S. Diversity. Offered every semester.

SOC 351 - Urban Sociology

Explores urban theory (Chicago School, political economy, and cultural approaches); the evolution of cities; suburbanization, race relations, street life, sustainability (economic, social and environmental), redevelopment, urban politics, and international comparisons. Readings focus on theory, specific cities, and environmental concerns. Part of the Sustainability Issue. Offered fall semester. Prerequisites: SOC 201 and Junior standing. 3 cr

SOC 350 - SWS Family & Gender Dev World

A comparative examination of the impact of development on families and gender roles in third world countries. Will include consideration of general issues (e.g., factors affecting family reproduction decisions, women in the formal and informal labor force, etc.) and in-depth study of gender and family in one or more countries. Cross-listed with WGS 350. Fulfills Cultures - Global Perspectives. Fulfills one of the Issues requirements. Offered winter semester. Prerequisite: WRT 150 with a grade of C (not C-) or better. 3 cr

SOC 377 - Globalization: Structures and Movements

Examines and critiques the historical origins, economic and technological foundations, institutional arrangements, ideological underpinnings, collective movements, and controversial outcomes of 'transnationalism' and 'globalization.' Sociological analysis emphasizes macrolevel institutions that shape globalization, social conflicts arising from its effects, and the consequences of global change on individuals, groups, and organizations. Offered winter semester. Prerequisite: SOC 201 or SOC 280 or SOC 205.
3.000 Credit hours

SOC 385 - Social Class Inequality

Focus on the historical, socioeconomic, and political construction of class inequality in the United States from a critical perspective. Includes attention to cultural and global context. Fulfills one of the Issues requirements. Offered fall and winter semesters. Prerequisite: Junior standing. 3 cr

Women and Gender Studies

WGS 335 - Women, Health & Environment

This course is an overview of contemporary women’s health issues focusing on the interconnectedness between health and the environment. Topics include reproductive issues, pesticides, sustainable development, occupational hazards, health insurance, and breast cancer. Discussions and readings will focus on the impact of race, class, and sexuality on women’s health. Part of the Sustainability Issue. Offered fall semester in even-numbered years. Prerequisite: Junior Standing. 3 cr

Page last modified August 12, 2019