An elective is a course that is not required for the Core, your college, or your major at the time that you take it. These courses may be in a field you are exploring as a possible major or simply in a subject that interests you.

It is possible that a course taken as an elective in the first year will count towards a Core, college, major, or minor requirement once you have discerned your academic path. Electives that do not satisfy specific requirements will usually count towards the total number of credit hours you need for your degree.

Many first-year students have space in their schedules for one or more electives, particularly if they have received credit by examination or transfer credit for one or more courses.


Registering for Fall 2021 courses? Check out these voluntary one-credit courses! These and more are listed on Class Search


Politics in Film

This course examines topics of political import and their representation through film in order to recognize the influence of politics in film and the influence of film on public opinion. We will watch films and consider the arguments they make about topics covering, for example, democratic idealism, race, incarceration, health care, and immigration. We will hone our abilities to decode films to understand and appreciate each director's vision and argument. We will learn to think of films as political rhetoric as we consider how filmmakers author messages through both story and intentional artistic choices (e.g., sound, cinematography, mise-en-scène). 


Giving Back Through Education

Recognizing the fundamental importance of qualified teachers in the unique experiment that is American education, this course explores the connection between strong students and strong teachers. The impetus behind this one-credit class is a practical one: American society needs more of its brightest young minds participating in education beyond their own years as a student. While at its core a discernment tool for First Year students of all major intents considering teaching as a vocation, the lectures and discussions will also preview opportunities for individuals external to the profession to positively impact education in their communities.


Introduction to Global Arts and Identity 1

Introduction to Global Arts and Identity I is designed to introduce students to the arts as a sophisticated means of communicating personal and social values and understandings of identity. Identity (both self-created and imposed from without) is a major concern of artistic disciplines from across the globe. Topics covered will include selected aspects of Polynesian, Native American and other American arts. Students will complete the course with the skills necessary to approach art forms and cultures new to them with increased confidence and with an appreciation for the brilliant and complicated way in which values and identity are reflected in art from across the world and across disciplines. This interdisciplinary one-credit course is the first of two related courses (Introduction to Global Arts and Identity I and Introduction to Global Arts and Identity II). Students may choose to take either course and/or both courses. The courses do not need to be taken in order.


Language, Race, and Justice

This course will examine the intersections of language, race, identity and power. Drawing on recent work in raciolinguistics—the realm of linguistics which serves to answer the question “What does it mean to speak as a racialized subject in contemporary America? This interactive course asks participants to consider their own language stories and how language has shaped who they are and to what extent language repertoires inform perceived or real inclusion/exclusion in the speaking communities in which we participate. We will look at language socialization, mono- and multilingualism, language education in schools, and language ideologies, i.e. What are language academies? In a pluralistic society, should "English Only" ever be the goal? Highlighting the UNESCO's 1996 Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights at the Barcelona Conference we will ask, in what ways are we or are we not fully inclusive to the range of all linguistic practices in the U.S. and globally? What does it mean to be more inclusive and honor the language communities and practices that exist among various student populations in schools? What does it mean to actively seek linguistic justice? This course will be particularly appealing for those students interested in: education, language studies, ESOL, social justice, and human rights.


What is Catholic Literature?

What is Catholic Literature? is a one-credit, discussion-based course focused on how a writer's faith journey finds expression through the making of literature, as well as how work written by writers who identify as Catholic can serve as aids to a reader's spiritual and intellectual growth.Through the close reading and discussion of short stories, poetry, and memoir, and through conversations with guest scholars and artists, we will discuss the ways that Catholic writers have sought to contend with issues of war, racism, the death penalty, and sexual identity. Special emphasis will be placed on the role literary works have in reinforcing, shaping, and, sometimes, challenging our spiritual beliefs.Readings will include works by Saint John Paul II and Jacques Maritain, fiction writers Flannery O'Connor, Toni Morrison, and Phil Klay, and nonfiction writers Richard Rodriguez, Sister Helen Prejean, and Kaya Oakes, among others.


Take a Deep Breath: Fostering Your Mental Health in College

This course explores topics related to mental health, ranging from anxiety and stress management, mindfulness techniques, and coping mechanisms. Each class will offer strategies, practices, and ways of thinking to help improve your overall mental health. 


From Victoria to Elizabeth II: the UK in the Modern World

A short survey of modern British history through the lens of the monarchy, this course will examine the impact of the UK across the globe in the modern era. Selected topics will include the the colonization of India and Africa during the reign of Queen Victoria, the impact of the monarchy during the two world wars, and the modern public drama of the royal family under Queen Elizabeth II. Students will be asked to think critically about the role and influence of Britain and its monarch in the modern age along with its continued relevancy.