Core Courses and Equivalences
The following courses are listed by the Honors course number and its core requirement equivalent.
||Anthropology 1, 2|
||Astronomy 9, 10 |
||Biology 103, 104|
||Chemistry 1, 2 |
||Cinema 11 (Students may take 1 semester only)|
|Earth & Environmental Science
||Earth & Environmental Science 1, 2|
||Economics 11, 12|
||English 1*, 2*|
||Geology 1, 2|
||Geography 1, 2|
||History 1, 2|
||Philosophy 25, 26|
||Physics 11, 12|
||Political Science 26, 27|
||Psychology 3, 4|
||Sociology 1, 2|
* Students taking English 303, 304 may not take English 7, 8
ANP 303 Development of Human Species, Culture, and Society
This course provides an in-depth survey of physical anthropology and archaeology. It traces human evolution, analyzes the relation between human and non-human primates and investigates human variation. It studies the evolution of culture from the hunting and gathering societies of the Paleolithic to the emergence of farming, cities and states.
ANP 304 Introduction to Anthropology: Development of Man and Culture
This course introduces students to the subjects and perspectives of cultural anthropology. It focuses on human diversity and is primarily, although not exclusively, concerned with societies and cultures that are not part of the Western world. It provides an in-depth examination of their kinship, economic and political structures, spiritual beliefs and sacred practices.
AST 301, 302 Our Violent Universe
A broad survey of astronomy is presented, including aspects of astrophysics and cosmology, with minimal use of mathematics. Topics include the history of astronomy, the solar system, stellar evolution, and the large scale structure of the Universe. The course will also serve as an introduction to basic topics including gravity and light. The question of mankind’s place in the Universe as well as the importance of scientific inquiry will be addressed.
BIO 301: General Biology I
This course is an examination of basic life processes including molecular and cell biology, genetics and the functioning of the human organism. Students are encouraged to think creatively and critically about topics studied, such as current issues concerning DNA, genes, chromosomes and disease as they relate to man.
BIO 302: General Biology II
The spring term focuses on a consideration of the diversity of organisms on Earth, including ecology, evolution, systematics and the major groups of living things. Relevance of these topics to issues of general human concern will be explored through readings and discussion. These issues include human evolution, sociobiology, scientific creationism, and such environmental problems as the extinction of species and the decimation of tropical ecosystems.
CHM 301, 302 Chemistry in Daily Life
This course is an introduction to principles of chemistry, including a study of atoms, molecules, atomic and molecular structure, chemical bonding and reactions. These principles are used to explain current topics in chemistry, such as air and water pollution, food additives, drugs, polymers and chemical toxicology. The laboratory emphasizes applications of chemical principles. This course can be used for Science Core credit.
The Film Department offers different versions of its core course in the fall and spring of each year. As of 1996 three (3) credits of Cinema core have been approved, so students may take either semester but not both for honors credit.
CIN 303: Film and Society
This course examines a selected topic (varying from year to year) in the relationship between sociopolitical issues and film as an art form, an entertainment medium, and an index of cultural and historical values. Emphasis is placed on relating movies to the times and places in which they were produced, and on interdisciplinary interpretations of cinematic texts. Screening of selected films are coordinated with lectures, readings on cinema and other subjects, and discussions of relevant ideas. Students are expected to do substantial reading, viewing, and researching on their own to enhance class discussions and to prepare for writing a term paper. Oral reports and in-class presentations may also be required.
CIN 304: Film and Society: Violation of Rights
This course examines a selected topic in the relationship between sociopolitical issues and cinema as an art form, an entertainment medium, and an index of cultural and historical values. In the spring semester emphasis is placed on filmmakers and films manifesting a special interest in human and civil rights, and on the methods screen artists have developed for exploring and promoting the importance of such rights through their works. Screenings of selected films are coordinated with lectures, readings on cinema and other subjects, and discussions of relevant ideas. Students are expected to do substantial reading, viewing, and researching on their own to enhance class discussions and prepare for writing a term paper. Oral reports and in-class presentations may also be required.
Communication Arts [^^top]
CMA 303: Introduction to Media Arts
This course examines the role of mass media in creating and disseminating contemporary culture. It analyzes forms of popular culture such as soap operas, popular film, television and radio talk shows, and MTV, using various critical frameworks to look more deeply at aspects of our culture which we may tend to dismiss or look down upon. Readings cover a wide range of viewpoints from Bonnie Dow's "Prime-Time Feminism," about Roseanne and Murphy Brown, to "Enlightened Racism," a study of some of the more questionable messages of The Cosby Show, by Sut Jhally and Justin Lewis. The course even takes a scholarly look at Beavis and Butthead as a framing device which adds another level of appreciation of often mediocre music videos.
Students analyze and discuss readings, as well as regularly examine artifacts of media culture (film, video, and print) for themselves. A more extensive media analysis project on a subject of the student's own choosing (current topics include Barbie Dolls, Steven King's novels and the socialization messages of Disney's animated features) is required. There are midterm and final examinations focused on the conceptual underpinnings of cultural criticism.
Earth & Environmental Science [^^top]
ERS 301, 302 Global Environments: The Atmosphere, Weather, and Climate
This course studies earth-sun relationships; elements of meteorology; the global pattern of climate regions; and factors determining patterns of natural vegetation and soil regions. The course emphasizes the influence of human activity on all of these aspects of the natural environment. Laboratory work included the use and study of map projections and United States weather maps; the use of weather recording instruments; and analysis of surface and high altitude pressure and wind systems.
ECO 303: Macroeconomics: Then and Now
Macroeconomics is the first of a two-part sequence. It deals with specific macroeconomic problems of society, such as business fluctuations, unemployment, inflation and government finance. The goal of this course is to introduce students to the theoretical basis of major tools of economic stabilization; i.e., fiscal and monetary policies. It also shows how these tools can be applied to solving current economic problems. Topics covered include: the nature and method of economics; the economic problem; elements of demand and supply analysis; pure capitalism and the market system; the mixed economy; the U.S. in the global economy; national income; budgetary deficits and the public debt; and economic growth. Regular lectures are provided. Related articles from business magazines will be assigned, and classroom discussion will enhance students' analytical skills. Requirements include written examinations and a term paper. (Not open to students who have taken ECO 11.)
ECO 304: Microeconomics: Then and Now
This second-term course is designed to cover various components of microeconomic theory; especially consumer demand, production and cost theory, price and output determination under various market structures, and the market for factors of production. Other topics include the distribution of income; economic, social and environmental regulations; economics and trade policy; and the transfer economies. To obtain an adequate picture of the functioning of the economic system as a whole, the theory of general equilibrium is introduced as well. Current business articles regarding industrial analysis will be assigned, along with the texts, to enhance students' understanding of market structures. (Not open to students who have had ECO 12.)
Required of all four-year Honors students unless waived by AP or placement exam, the course integrates literature with development of the student's written style. There are several papers each semester, some based on primary source analysis, some involving research. After taking this sequence, students are eligible to complete their college language requirement either with advanced English electives (including those offered in Honors) or one year of a foreign language. Students who waive English 303, 304 must complete their college language requirement either with English 7, 8 or a foreign language.
ENG 303: Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Periods
ENG 304: Enlightenment, Romantic, Victorian and Modern Periods
In both semesters the course involves considerable reading, seminar-format discussions and writing about the great works of westerns and non-western literature. The development of literary genres is related to historical and cultural factors. Critical analysis of text is emphasized as well as methods of structuring essays about these works. In general, the short papers run about five pages, while research topics may require longer essays. Students learn to work with research materials, including on-line bibliographies and the MLA Handbook, which will be the standard for the senior Honors Thesis. Since the course is taught by a number of different faculty members, the readings differ from section to section, as do the methods of testing. In every section a number of the masterpieces of world literature are certain to be read and studied. Students should compose their written work using a word processing program and keep copies on disk for the purpose of revision.
GEO 303: Human Geography: Man, Environment and Technology
Commencing with the "clean slate" of the natural Earth, the course describes human evolution on the planet and the various technological stages and their repercussions through which Mankind has "progressed"; the Old Stone Age way of life; the emergence of the Neolithic agricultural revolution and traditional farming; the modern technological revolution and the problems it has brought in its train; the population explosion and hunger; and the disparity between the "have" and "have not" nations of the world.
GEO 304: Human Geography: The Cultural and Demographic Environment
This course is a study of the differential world geographical patterns produced by Cultural Man in his occupancy of earth-ethnic, racial, religious and linguistic factors and their social, economic and political impact. The course also considers population geography: world patterns of demographic distribution, problems of population growth, and the problem of "overpopulation."
GLY 301: Introduction to the Earth: Physical Geography
This course is a basic study of the Earth's composition and structure and the processes operating on it. Topics include the spheres of the Earth; Earth materials and the rock cycle; internal agents operating within the crust; external agents of weathering and erosion modifying the surface of the Earth. Laboratory work involves a practical acquaintance with rocks and minerals and the use of topographic maps, geologic maps and air photographs.
(Not open to students who have taken GEO 1.)
GLY 302: Introduction to the Earth: Continents and Oceans
The topics of this course include the geological structure of continents and oceans; ocean processes and their geological significance; plate techtectonics; geosynclines and mountain chains may also be included. (Not open to students who have taken GEO 2.)
History: History of Western Civilizations [^^top]
As Americans, we have inherited many things from Europe: our language, the idea of the common law; much of our architecture, religious development and even our clothing styles and kitchen recipes. A knowledge of our past will help us avoid feeling "rootless" and "alienated"in our own land and will give us an appreciation of Europe's continuing role in America's history.
HIS 303: The Ancient World to Napoleon
Western Civilization is taught in two parts. The first, with short sketches of Greece and Rome, then plunges into the Middle Ages. Basic themes here are life on the Medieval manor and in the castle, the church in an age of faith and the Crusades. This part ends with the three themes of Reformation, Renaissance and the Age of Discovery, when Europe's religion and culture underwent profound change and was spread widely overseas. The second part begins with the Age of Baroque. In science, Galileo, Kepler and others used telescopes and clocks to open a new world: the universe. In government, the Stuarts of England fell and rose again as people sought to free themselves of absolute monarchy. In France such monarchs triumphed and their palaces and music led the age, always with the shadow of the guillotine on its horizon. The 17th and 18th Centuries also saw the rise of Russia and Prussia, previously backward nations, whose ambitions reach down to our own days. Finally, the French Revolution closes our course, but opens the door to new ideas as terror and liberty vie for supremacy in Europe. There are two exams, a midterm and a final as well as a 10 page term paper. Films, such as "Martin Luther," are used, as are discussions and a model medieval manor that shows life in the period.
HIS 304: 1815 to the Present
The first half of this course presents the major themes and developments of 19th Century European history. These include: Romanticism, Liberalism, the Industrial Revolution and the rise of representative government. The second half will chart the increasing growth of that aggressive patriotism know as Nationalism, and the triumph of Science: steam trains, evolution and the arms race. The First World War and its dismal results begin the 20th Century and we end the course with World War II and the Cold War. There are two exams, a midterm and a final as well as a 10 page term paper. Films, ship models and even a 19th Century small steam engine are used to give the students a feeling for the period.
MTH 303: Mathematics for Liberal Arts
This course presents an overview of the fundamental concepts of contemporary mathematics, including such topics as finite systems; computer arithmetic, logic and circuits; algorithms; fractals and other patterns; game theory and the mathematics of competition; weighted voting systems; networks; probability; linear programming and curve sketching. The emphasis is on critical thinking and creative problem analysis. Based on the text, Introduction to Contemporary Mathematics, the seminar offers liberal arts majors with varied backgrounds an exciting approach to the elements of mathematics. There will be several quizzes and a project or a paper. Students will be encouraged to work in small teams or pairs.
Philosophy: Western Philosophy [^^top]
The first semester begins with an introduction to the history of ancient Greek philosophy from the pre-Socratics to the Hellenistic philosophers. Some instructors emphasize the cultural environment in which ancient Greek philosophy originated, connecting philosophy to the other disciplines; i.e., literature and the arts, politics, etc. Some instructors discuss the non-Western ancient traditions, in particular Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. And some instructors extend the time-frame of the course to include some of the great Medieval philosophers, such as Augustine and Aquinas. The core of the course generally consists of a reading and discussion of the major writings of Plato and Aristotle.
The second semester is an introduction to the history of modern philosophy from the Renaissance to the end of the 19th Century. The course usually begins with a discussion of the origins of modern science and early modern philosophy (i.e., Descartes). The core of the course generally consists of a reading and discussion of the representative writings of the great modern philosophers (i.e., Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Hume, Berkeley, Kant). Some instructors stop at Kant and the 18th Century, while others include 19th Century figures (i.e., Hegel, Marx, Mill, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche), and even some American figures (i.e., Emerson and William James).
Physics: The Physical Universe and The Imagination [^^top]
With developing emphasis on the historical and philosophical aspects of physics, the course will examine principles and illustrations of mechanics, heat, wave motion and sound. Intended for the non-science major, the first semester will focus on basic laws that govern our thoughts about the universe from the late Renaissance to the present century. No math beyond high school algebra is required.
From principles of Classical Physics the course will shift in the spring term to modern theories of electricity and magnetism, optics and the shattering advent of Einstein's Theory of Relativity and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. We will arrive at a view of the physical world as it now appears in most current imaginative insights. For students of all majors, the course is designed to teach comprehensively the science and philosophical implications of physics.
Political Science: European Political Theory [^^top]
POL 303: Plato to Machiavelli
POL 304: Machiavelli to the Modern World
This is a wide-ranging, historically based survey course beginning with the ancient Greeks and continuing into the 19th Century. Emphasis is placed on the great "Masters" and their original works. Reading assignments are chiefly from primary materials and include the political thought of Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, Mill, etc. Specific topical considerations treated in this class are the concepts of law, the state, citizen's rights, justice, power, legitimacy, human nature, and the origins of human society.
Psychology: Principles of Psychology [^^top]
PSY 301: Principles of Psychology I
The fall semester is an introduction to the experimental analysis of behavior, with emphasis on the physiological bases of behavior, conditioning, learning, sensation and perception. Laboratory will concentrate on the design and execution of experiments; lectures will cover the scientific method and selected topics in psychology. (Not open to students who have taken PSY 3.)
PSY 302: Principles of Psychology II
The spring term is a continuation of the scientific study of behavior, with research in area s of experimental psychology. Topics may include social psychology, personality and psychopathology, tests and measurement, verbal learning and memory. (Not open to students who have taken PSY 4.)
SOC 303: Introduction to Sociology
This course provides an in-depth survey of the major theories and concepts of sociology, including analyses of social structure, social interaction, socialization, normative and deviant behavior. It traces the development of sociology through the often competing theories of Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Mead, Mills, Merton, Goffman and others. Of particular interest is the connection between the individual and society, making clear the impact of social procession the individual.
SOC 304: Social Institutions
This course provides an in-depth examination of society's basic institutions. Students analyze society's political, economic, cultural and social institutions using divergent and often competing schools of sociological thought. The processes of social control and social change will be studied.
THE 304: Theatre and Society
Theatre and Society will discuss and evaluate contemporary, modern, and classical theatre, including representative award-winning play texts such as Angels in America, I Am My Own Wife, Topdog/Underdog, Death of a Salesman, and A Doll House, and the plays that inspired them from the classical repertoire, including dramatic works by Aeschylus, Euripides, thecommedia dell’arte, Molière, and Shakespeare, in an effort to discuss issues of freedom and censorship in performance with regard to violence, sexuality, and political content. Moving back and forth through theatre and world history this course will look at contemporary and classical socio-political thought in society, using The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The New York Times, The Colbert Report with Stephen Colbert, and The New York Daily News as sources for current events. Through the lens of theatre practices and play texts, the class discussions and papers will concern sociological trends and their relationship to theatre as a forum for analysis and discussion. This is a WAC course.