General Education Courses

College Core

LAS102 College Success (2 credits)

Designed to help students achieve greater success in college and in life. Topics include many proven strategies for creating greater academic, professional, and personal success, such as time management and note-taking skills. In addition, the information literacy skills students develop will not only prepare them for doing original research in college but also equip them for success in the 21st-century workplace.

ENG101 Effective English (3 credits)

Offers a highly structured approach to academic writing with a focus on the recursive nature of the writing process. Students read a variety of pieces by masters of the craft, engage in critical discussion, and write constantly throughout the course sequence. Assignments include several short response pieces as well as three to four major papers, ranging from process analysis to argumentation. This course is highly practical in nature and is meant to hone some of the skills most valuable to college success and career readiness. Prerequisite: Placement test.

CIV111 Western Civilization (3 credits)

Surveys the major achievements of Western civilization from its beginnings to the end of the Renaissance, with emphasis on developments in the visual and creative arts. An organizing theme of the course is the relationship between religious values and humanistic achievement. Multimedia and primary source readings feature prominently, both of which students will be expected to respond to in writing. Prerequisite: ENG101 or instructor consent.

CIV112 Chinese Civilization (3 credits)

A survey of the salient features and legacies of Chinese civilization throughout China’s five millennia of history. Topics include literary, religious, and philosophical traditions; the transformation of China’s political, educational, and examination systems; and the radical cultural changes in the 20th century.


HUM125 U.S. Society and Government (3 credits)

This course is a survey of the U.S. political system at the national level including treatment of the historical background, central concepts and revisions of the constitutional framework, examination of the presidency, congress, federal bureaucracy, judicial structure and process, political parties, interest groups, the media, and current public issues.

HUM204 Survey of Western Literature (3 credits)

A chronological survey of major authors in western literature since earliest times to the 19th century. Encompassing works in all major genres ranging from epics and tragedies to novels and poetry, the course provides opportunities for students to critically engage with literary texts, examining their ideological implications as well as aesthetic and stylistic characteristics. Prerequisite: ENG101.

HUM221 The Making of the Modern World (3 credits)

A survey of the political, cultural, and social history of Europe, America, and Asia from the Enlightenment (18th century) to the Cold War. Major topics include the French Revolution, Romanticism, nationalism, imperialism, revolutions and world wars, and the Cold War. Prerequisite: CIV111 or instructor consent.

HUM222 Topics in Chinese History (3 credits)

An in-depth study of the Qin and Han dynasties, Tang and Song dynasties, or Ming and Qing dynasties. Topics include literary, religious, and philosophical traditions; major events and historical figures; royal families and their roles throughout history; and the transformation of China’s economic, political, and bureaucratic examination systems. Prerequisite: CIV112.

HUM231 Comparative Culture: China and West (3 credits)

A course that compares the most salient features of the Chinese and Western cultures in their major aspects, including geographical conditions, language and writing system, philosophical systems, government and political philosophy, law, international relations, war and military science, economic life, family and social structure, and art and literature. Prerequisite: CIV111 and CIV112 or instructor consent.

MUS147 History of Western Music (Medieval–Early Baroque) (2 credits)

This survey course of the history of Western music offers an in-depth view of the representative musical styles from the Medieval until the Middle Baroque period, while studying in detail the main issues and concepts during these periods of Western music history.

MUS246 History of Western Music (High Baroque–Classical) (2 credits)

This course offers an in-depth view of the representative musical styles from the High Baroque to the Classical period, while studying in detail the main issues and concepts of these periods of Western music history.

MUS247 History of Western Music (Romantic–Contemporary) (2 credits)

This course offers an in-depth view of the representative musical styles from the Romantic to the contemporary period, while studying in detail the main issues and concepts of these periods of Western music history.

Writing and Rhetoric

ENG104 Public Speaking (3 credits)

A workshop-style course designed to help students become better communicators in their social and professional lives. Emphasis is on overcoming self-consciousness and developing clarity of thought and expression. Students examine real-life speeches, exploring the interplay of the many elements of oration and rhetoric, such as structure, diction, enunciation, eye contact, and body language. Students present informational, persuasive, and impromptu speeches throughout the course and also practice interview skills. Prerequisite: ENG101.

ENG201 Technical Writing (3 credits)

This course provides development of technical writing skills through writing technical content of different types associated with principles of reasoning, applied writing assignments, research, analytical reports that may include pictorial/statistical data, reading and interpreting technical and nontechnical material. Prerequisite: ENG101.

ENG205 Writing for Media (3 credits)

This course will explore various Mediums of Media and methods to approach writing for each one. This course covers the basics of news writing: news stories, feature stories, and opinion pieces. Students will practice writing for online as well as print publications and analyze scripts for film. Journalistic ethics and law will be discussed throughout the course as various issues arise. This course is writing-intensive and requires students to practice writing every day. Prerequisite: ENG101.

ENG221 Debate and Argumentation (3 credits)

This course seeks to equip students with a set of systematic strategies that increase their abilities to react critically and to form arguments in various fields. It helps students improve their communicative and public speaking skills through lectures, debates in class, critiques, evaluations, and watching and listening to others speak.

Quantitative Reasoning

MAT101 Mathematics in Applied Context (3 credits)

This course provides comprehensive coverage of essential topics in mathematics including: trigonometry; discrete mathematics; analytic geometry; algebra and elementary functions; and an introduction to calculus. The lessons develop mathematics using numerous examples, real-world applications, and an engaging narrative. Graphs, diagrams, and illustrations are used throughout to help students visualize concepts.

MAT104 Applied Calculus (3 credits)

This course is an introductory calculus course covering basic analytic geometry of graphs of functions, limits, continuity, derivatives, integration and applications to biomedical science and other disciplines. Prerequisite: three years of high school mathematics (including trigonometry and logarithms) or a pre-calculus course.

MAT105 Calculus I (4 credits)

This course is the first part of the Calculus course covering topics such as limits, derivatives, and integration of single-variable functions. Application and execution of these mathematical tools to real-world problems with theoretical derivation or numerical coding is also introduced. This course is intended for students in science, engineering, economics, and computer science, among other disciplines.

MAT106 Calculus II (4 credits)

This course is the second part of the Calculus course covering topics such as advanced techniques of integration, polar coordinates, infinite sequences and series, and multiple integrals. Application of these mathematical tools to real-world problems is also introduced. In addition, students will practice simple numerical coding to execute algorithms learned from the course. Prerequisite: MAT105.

MAT201 Linear Algebra (4 credits)

This is an introductory linear algebra course intended for students in science, engineering, and other related areas. Students will learn basic concepts and tools in linear algebra as well as practice writing numerical codes in Python to execute key algorithms such as Gaussian Elimination and LU factorization.

STA101 Introduction to Statistics (3 credits)   

This course is an introductory course in statistics intended for students in a wide variety of areas of study. The goal is to teach basic knowledge in statistical concepts and establish understanding of basic statistical methods. Students will also learn simple R codes to execute those methods to gain experience in statistical computing.

Scientific Reasoning

ECO101 Principles of Economics (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to a broad range of concepts, theories, and analytical techniques of microeconomics. It focuses on the analysis of choices made by individual decision-making units (individuals, households, and firms). The use of a market, supply and demand, model will be the fundamental model in which trade-offs and choices will be considered through comparison of costs and benefits of actions. Production and market structure will be analyzed at the firm level. The role of government policy to address microeconomic market failures will be examined.

BMS132 Nutrition, Health and Wellness (3 credits)

Understanding nutrition is essential for lifelong health and wellness. This course will describe the anatomy and physiology of nutrient digestion, absorption, and utilization throughout all stages of human life. The various classes of nutrients, essential vitamins and minerals and their role in metabolism will be explored. This course will focus on teaching behavioral change and personal decision making so that students will be able to monitor, understand, and affect their own nutritional behaviors.

BMS135 Introduction to Psychology (3 credits)

This course will provide a broad introduction to the field of psychology. Topics to be covered include: key figures in psychology, major psychological theories, examples of major research findings, data collection on the causes and correlates of behavior, and the use of psychological knowledge to improve the quality of our lives. This survey of psychology will acquaint the student with the major concepts and terminology of the discipline and provide a better understanding of self and others.

BSC100 Principles of Biology (3 credits)

This course is an introduction to the basic biological sciences that will form a foundation for more advanced biological science classes. Topics include characteristics of life, scientific method, basic cell chemistry and biochemistry, cellular and sub-cellular structure, transport across cell membranes, cell energy, photosynthesis, mitosis, meiosis, patterns of inheritance, DNA & RNA structure and replication, protein synthesis, genetic mutation, evolution, microorganisms, plants and fungi, human transporting systems, human maintenance systems, human digestive system and nutrition, and ecology.

BSC100L Principles of Biology Lab (1 credit)

This course, in cooperation with the Principles of Biology lecture, is an introduction to the basic biological sciences that will form a foundation for more advanced biological science classes. This course will use hands-on and practical applications through controlled laboratory experimentation to examine and reinforce some of the major topics covered in the lecture.

CHM100 Principles of Chemistry (3 credits) Fall

This introductory course investigates the fundamental principles of chemistry. Topics include scientific measurement, states of matter, solution chemistry, acid-base theory, oxidation-reduction reactions, chemical bonding, nomenclature, gases, heat of formation of chemical reactions, chemical equilibrium, and chemical kinetics.

CHM100L Principles of Chemistry Lab (1 credit)

This course introduces laboratory exercises in physical and chemical properties of matter, with an introduction to both qualitative and quantitative methods of analysis. Topics include molecular structure, bonding, chemical reactions, acid-base chemistry, kinetics, and an introduction to spectrophotometric methods of analysis, and thermochemistry. The laboratory experiments coordinate with and reinforce the lecture materials of CHM100.

PHY101 General Physics I (3 credits)

This is the first course of a two-semester sequence. It starts with mechanics, which includes the study of linear, circular and rotational motion, how to apply Newton’s laws and the concepts of energy and momentum. It also covers thermodynamics including temperature, heat transfer, and changes in state and ends with the analysis of the sinusoidal nature of simple harmonic motion.

PHY101L General Physics I Lab (1 credit)

A hands-on physics lab that covers the fundamental principles of physics including measurement, motion, work and thermodynamics with emphasis on problem solving. Experiments have been selected to reinforce the material presented in Physics 101, which should be taken concurrently.

LAS334 Topics in Liberal Arts and Sciences (3 credits)

An interdisciplinary seminar course designed to reinforce students' critical thinking, scientific reasoning, and quantitative skills. Students engage in intensive reading of texts and journal articles on selected topics in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences and also apply mathematical concepts and modeling to real-world scenarios. Through extensive discussion and writing of analytical responses, students hone their ability to detect underlying assumptions, evaluate the validity of arguments and experimental design, and express their viewpoints with clarity and precision. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

Art and Aesthetics

ARH101 Art History I (3 credits)

This course covers the history of art and architecture in both Western and non-Western cultures from Paleolithic to the Early Renaissance.

ARH102 Art History II (3 credits)

This course builds on ARH101 Art History I and covers the history of art and architecture in the West from the Early Renaissance (approximately 1500 CE) to the Late Realism (Early 1900s) periods.

ARH131 History of Graphic Design (3 credits)

This course explores the history of graphic design from the earliest communication technologies to the present, with a focus on the Modern era. It will examine changes in style and technology within the field and consider the relationship between graphic design and its cultural, political, and social contexts.

ART111 Visual Literacy I (2 credits)

This course covers the principles, elements, and foundations of design and the formal aspects of visual composition through readings, discussions, exercises, and laboratory applications. This is a visual design theory course that introduces the core concepts of visual design—visual elements, principles of design and creative process. Composition issues and strategies are explored through examples, exercises, critiques and creative projects.

CCD341 History of Classical Chinese Dance (3 credits)

This is a survey of the development of classical Chinese dance. It examines the origins of the dance tradition and major milestones while reflecting on the philosophical and aesthetic underpinnings of the different dance forms.

CCD412A Advanced Choreography A (2 credits)

This course focuses on choreographing in the styles of the different ethnic dance traditions in China. There will be in-depth study of the cultural characteristics of the ethnic dances. Both English and Chinese will be used in the instruction.

DAN242 History of Dance: East and West (2 credits)

This is a survey of the development of the major dance traditions of the East and the West. It examines the origins of the dance traditions and major milestones while reflecting on the philosophical and aesthetic underpinnings of the different dance forms.

MUS146 History of Western Music (Overview) (1 credit)

This overview course provides students the tools to understand the different music periods through history and familiarize students with the main composers, music literature, and genres.

MUS204 History of Music (3 credits)

A browse of Western music and its evolution from the Middle Ages period to the early Romantic era, covering important composers and significant historic events during those times. Upon completion of this course, the students will be able to gain perspectives in fundamental Western music history from the Middle Ages to the 19th century (divided by three periods: the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and Baroque to Classical and early Romantic periods) and draw conclusions through informed historic facts and personal interpretations.

MUS211A/B Advanced Western Music Theory A/B (2 credits each)

In addition to the study of more advanced harmonic progressions, this course sequence focuses on the function each harmony and melody expresses as well as the relation to the larger form at hand. Included in the study of larger forms are ternary, rondo, and sonata forms. Phrase structure and small forms are addressed in depth from melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic perspectives. The course also consolidates students' knowledge of 19th-century chromatic harmony while introducing 18th-century imitative counterpoint and 20th-century harmony. Prerequisite: MUS111B for MUS211A, MUS211A for MUS211B.

MUS243 History of Chinese Music (3 credits)

This course is an introduction to the basic history of Chinese Music that will form a foundation of Chinese Music knowledge for more advanced learning both in music and dance fields.

SPD101 Fundamentals of Stagecraft and Production (2 credits)

This course introduces the basic elements and principles of theater production. Topics include set, lighting, and sound design, production safety, and basic concepts of stage management. Course activities include lectures, tests, and a final exam.

SPD140 Introduction to Theater History and Practices (3 credits)

This course surveys the fundamental elements of theater, including acting techniques, the roles of the director and producer, and stage and costume design. It also gives students a sweeping historical tour of theater, from ancient Greece to Medieval Europe and from the Yuan Dynasty in China to the European Renaissance and the present. Through reading/watching plays and writing critiques, students will gain a better understanding of and appreciation for the traditions behind any theatrical performance they may attend.

Values and Ethics

PHL101 Moral Awareness and Spiritual Practice (1 credit)

This seminar course is designed to familiarize students with the basic concepts of the spiritual practice of Falun Dafa as well as of the major world traditions, such as Buddhism, Taoism, and Christianity, thereby reinforcing awareness of the universal values that have informed humankind’s moral life for thousands of years. Through seminars, readings, and discussion, students are guided to build a solid foundation for righteous belief and ethical conduct. They will also have a chance to engage various moral issues and ethical questions in an introspective and reflexive manner.

PHL130 Philosophical Perspectives I (1 credit)

This course will provide students with a broad introduction to the field of philosophy and ethics, acquaint students with the terminology and major concepts of the disciplines and provide students with a deeper understanding of different philosophical and ethical viewpoints. The course aims to help students gain a better understanding of oneself, life and the universe. Part I will cover different philosophies and schools of thought throughout history with a focus on Western perspectives.

PHL131 Philosophical Perspectives II (1 credit)

Part II will focus on different philosophies and schools of thought throughout the history of China.

PHL231 Philosophical Perspectives III (1 credit)

Part III will engage critical thinking, debate, and argumentation on a survey of philosophical topics in connection with today’s world. Prerequisite: PHL130 and PHL131.

World Language and Literature

CLC101, 102 Beginning Chinese I, II (4 credits each)

Beginning Chinese is designed for non-heritage Chinese speakers. Through interactive classroom activities and practice, students will acquire fundamental knowledge of the Chinese language and develop basic skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Upon completion of these courses, students should be capable of basic communication in a Mandarin-speaking environment. Students are also expected to have an active reading and speaking vocabulary of 400 Chinese characters. Prerequisite: None for CLC101, CLC101 or placement test for CLC102.

CLC111, 112 Elementary Chinese I, II (4 credits each)

Designed as an introductory course sequence for heritage speakers as well as for learners who have completed CLC102 or the equivalent. Building upon the students' oral/aural abilities, these courses develop students' competency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in modern Mandarin Chinese, with special emphasis on reading and speaking. By the end of these courses, students are expected to apply in daily use an active vocabulary of 800 Chinese characters, have a good command of basic idiomatic expressions and sentence patterns, be able to converse with ease on familiar topics, and be able to write short narratives and personal communications. Prerequisite: CLC102 or placement test for CLC111, CLC111 or placement test for CLC112.

CLC211, 212 Intermediate Chinese I, II (4 credits each)

Holistically develops students' reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills in the Chinese language at the intermediate level. Students are expected to have an active vocabulary of 1,600 of the most commonly used Chinese characters, including 200 idioms and phrases; be able to read expository and narrative writings with familiar vocabulary; have the speaking skills to cope with unfamiliar real-life situations; be able to write straightforward narrations and descriptions; and demonstrate a detailed understanding of Chinese culture and society. Prerequisite: CLC112 or placement test for CLC211, CLC211 or placement test for CLC212.

CLC311, 312 Advanced Chinese I, II (4 credits each)

Further develops listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in Mandarin Chinese, with an emphasis on vocabulary building and developing lifelong reading habits. Students explore various ways to acquire vocabulary while gaining relevant cultural knowledge. They also study representative authentic articles in modern Chinese from various genres and develop the ability to use different reading strategies for different purposes. Furthermore, students are exposed to opportunities to summarize, explain, and persuade through effective writing. Multimedia and online resources are used extensively. Prerequisite: CLC212 or placement test for CLC311, CLC311 or placement test for CLC312.

General Education  ›  General Education Courses