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The University Studies (UStudies) program provides a great opportunity to experience different fields of knowledge and various ways of learning, but students can sometimes feel their UStudies courses are fragmented and disconnected. UThemes are a way to find coherence in the general education curriculum and build meaningful associations across UStudies courses.

UThemes are suggested clusters of courses—or “playlists”—that meet various UStudies requirements and that all relate to a common topic. Students are not required to complete a UTheme and may take all or only some of the courses in a UTheme, depending on their interests and their schedules.

Please note that some UStudies courses are offered more frequently than others, and there is no guarantee students will be able to enroll in a specific course when they’d like to. Students should remain flexible about completing their UStudies requirements, whether they choose to focus on a UTheme or not. Students are encouraged to work with their academic advisors to plan and select their courses.

UThemes Playlists

Contemporary human societies have placed strains on the natural environment that have created a number of challenges. Courses in this UTheme playlist explore these issues and consider ways in which individuals and organizations can live more sustainably.

2A

  • CHM 130: Chemistry and the Environment
  • MAR 105: Introductory Ocean Sciences
  • PHY 182: Introduction to the Weather

2B

  • BIO 143: Ecology and Environmental Issues
  • EGR 110: Environmental Science and Business
  • MAR 115: Introduction to Climate
  • PHY 162: Science, Technology, and Society II: Environment

3A

  • ENL 200 topics include: Environmental Lit; Living in Times of Anxiety

4A

  • SUS 101: Principles of Sustainability
  • SUS 202: Topics in Sustainability

4C

  • ECO 107: Economics of Pollution
  • PSC 385: Politics of Global Climate Change
  • SUS 101: Principles of Sustainability

What makes humans healthy? The answer is complicated and encompasses issues surrounding both physical and mental wellness. This UTheme focuses on these issues and also considers the public policies and institutional practices that effectively promote well being.

2A

  • BIO 103 Topics in Biology (specific topics TBD)
  • CHM 132: Chemistry and Nutrition
  • MAR 110: Natural Hazards and the Ocean

2B

  • BIO 105: Human Nutrition
  • BIO 107: Biology of Genetic Disease
  • BIO 108: Cancer Biology
  • BIO 114: Wellness Today
  • BNG 162: Current Topics in Bioengineering: Designing a Healthier Planet and Its People
  • IST 111: Science of Kriyayoga

3A

  • ENL 200 topics include: Food, Literature, & Culture; Living in Times of Anxiety

4A

  • PHL 215: Introduction to Ethics
  • PSY 101: General Psychology

4B

  • PSC/WGS 337: Reproductive Rights and Health

4C

  • GLH 200: Principles of Global Health
  • PHL 341: Philosophy and the Good Life

We live in an era of globalization, in which people from different countries and cultures increasingly interact and often become interdependent. The courses in this UTheme playlist promote an intensive exploration of cultures outside the United States.

3A

  • ENL 200 topics include: Migrations Literature(s); Imagining Other Worlds
  • FRN 204: French Literature in Translation
  • ITA 204: Italian Literature in Translation
  • POR 214: Portuguese Literature in Translation
  • POR 215: Brazilian Literature in Translation
  • POR 216: Lusophone African Literature in Translation
  • POR 217: Portuguese-American Literature
  • SPA 209: Spanish Literature in Translation

3B

  • ITA 211: Contemporary Italian History through Film I
  • ITA 212: Contemporary Italian History through Film II
  • MUS 103: Introduction to World Music
  • MUS 472: Music in World Culture I

4A

  • ARH 331: Social Practice and Social Action: A Global Art History
  • REL 300: Advanced Topics in Religious Studies

4C

  • Any 4C course

As Aristotle noted, humans are social animals, and for millennia we have settled together in communities. These places are more than simple physical locations, as humans endow them with traditions, cultural practices, symbolism, and meaning. Courses in this UTheme playlist explore the ways in which these meanings are generated and expressed.

3A

  • ENL 200 topics include: Horror; Sexuality & Literature; Sci-Fi; “Word!”: spoken word poetry; Fairy Tales & Adaptations; Place & Space in Lit

3B

  • ARH 349: Architecture and Sustainability in American Post-Industrial Cities
  • ARH 470: Processing Place

4B

  • ARH 349: Architecture and Sustainability in American Post-Industrial Cities
  • SOA 101: Introduction to Sociology
  • SOA 111: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • URB 201: City Life: Introduction to Urban Studies

4C

  • ARH 357: Modern Architecture – A Global History
  • POR 120: Introduction to the Portuguese-Speaking World
  • REL 201: Introduction to Religious Studies
  • SOA 101: Introduction to Sociology
  • SOA 111: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Women, racial minorities, LGBTQIA communities and other groups have often faced unique barriers and challenges. This UTheme considers issues faced by individuals who are part of historically marginalized social groups.

3A

  • ENL 200 Topics include: Anti-Slavery Writing; Anti-Marriage Plot; The Shakespeare Network; Horror; Sexuality and Lit; Sci-Fi; Imagining Other Worlds; “Word!”: spoken word poetry; Disney & Literature; Place & Space in Lit
  • POR/WGS 260: Gender and Sexuality in Lusophone Literatures

4A

  • BLS 101: Introduction to Black Studies
  • WGS/HST 368: History of Feminist Thought

4B

  • CJS 190: Introduction to Crime and Justice Studies
  • WGS 101: Introduction to Women’s Studies
  • WGS/PHL 104: Identities: Gender, Race, Sexuality

4C

  • POR 371: Gender and Sexuality in Brazilian Cinema
  • WGS 349: Gender and Sexuality in Bollywood Films

What is justice and how do we achieve it? Courses in this UTheme playlist focus on different conceptions of justice and how law and public policies can both advance and impede the moral arc of the universe.

3A

  • ENL 200 topics include: Crime & Punishment in Lit; Living in Times of Anxiety

4A

  • PHL 215: Introduction to Ethics
  • PSC 213: Law and Courts in Film

4B

  • CJS 190: Introduction to Crime and Justice Studies
  • POL 102: Introduction to Policy Studies

4C

  • PSC 161: Introduction to International Relations
  • PSC 384: International Law and Organization
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