2004-2005

UNDERGRADUATE RECORD

School of Continuing and Professional Studies

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Course Descriptions


 

 

Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies Degree Program

The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (B.I.S.) degree program is tailored to adults who wish to pursue an undergraduate degree through part-time study. Approved in 1999 by the Board of Visitors and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the B.I.S. program makes it possible for students with earned college credits to complete undergraduate degrees. The B.I.S. program offers a challenging and intellectually stimulating curriculum with evening and weekend courses drawn from those already offered at the University or approved by University faculty specifically for this degree program. The program maintains a full course schedule in the summer as well as during the fall and spring semesters.

The interdisciplinary curriculum of the B.I.S. program includes upper-level courses in academic fields that bring together both the range of learning implied by a liberal arts degree and the depth of knowledge associated with study at an advanced undergraduate level. The program emphasizes critical thinking, clear articulation of ideas, and the habits of individual and collective learning that develop and sustain life-long learners. Interdisciplinary liberal studies seminars unique to the program are required of all students. Students will pursue an academic concentration within the degree program and must complete a proseminar and a capstone project to synthesize their educational and professional experiences and demonstrate the depth and breadth of their educational experience. Students have seven years (twenty-two terms or semesters to include fall, spring, and summer) after admission to the program to complete all requirements for the B.I.S. degree.

B.I.S. students are governed by the student-run Honor System and the Standards of Conduct described in Chapter 5 of the University Record, subject to revision from time to time by authorized University offices. Implementing policies and procedures can be obtained from the University Honor Committee and the University Judiciary Committee. Academic policies and regulations of the B.I.S. program are under the aegis of a Faculty Advisory Committee, the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, and the B.I.S. director. To learn more about this undergraduate degree program, or to obtain application information, individuals should contact:

B.I.S. Degree Program

University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies
Zehmer Hall Annex
106 Midmont Lane
P.O. Box 400764
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4764
(434) 982-5274 Fax: (434) 982-5335
B.I.S.-degree@virginia.edu
www.uvabis.info

Admission The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree program is intended for adults who graduated from high school not less than four years prior to enrollment, have earned sixty transferable semester credits from regionally accredited colleges or universities, and are prepared to enter a rigorous program of study. Half of the transfer credits should satisfy the general education guidelines of the Liberal Studies Core. Applicants must complete a formal application for admission and be in good academic and social standing at the institution they attended most recently. They also must have earned at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average there. Additionally, applicants must be in good financial standing at the University of Virginia. Prospective students apply to the B.I.S. program rather than to the Office of Undergraduate Admission, and official transcripts must be directed to the B.I.S. office. Before submitting the application, prospective students must meet with a B.I.S. admissions advisor. Applications for fall and spring are due, respectively, by July 1 and November 15. Applicants will be notified of admission decisions by mail. Applicants who are denied admission may reactivate their applications for a period of two calendar years without paying an additional application fee. Students who have been denied admission to another undergraduate program at UVa must wait one year before applying to the B.I.S. program.

Transfer of Credit Credits eligible for transfer must have been earned with at least a "C" grade (2.0 or better) and in courses comparable in content and rigor to those offered at the University of Virginia. Credits earned in a pass/fail grading system will only be eligible for transfer if certification is provided that the student earned at least a "C" average. Only credits transfer: grades do not transfer.

Students receive no more, and may receive fewer, than the number of credits earned at the host institutions. No more than 60 semester credits, or half the number of credits required for graduation, transfer from a combination of approved testing programs (Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate) and course credits. Credits must have been earned at a degree-granting institution of higher education that has been fully accredited by one of the six regional accrediting agencies or at an institution that is a "Recognized Candidate for Accreditation." Quarter and trimester credits are converted to semester credits. The general University policy on accepting credits from foreign institutions will apply. No transfer credit is granted for College Level Examination Placement credits, life experience credits, correspondence credit, or military education credits. Credit for Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate testing is awarded according to guidelines used in the College of Arts and Sciences. Transfer credit is generally not granted for credit passed elsewhere by re-examination.

Courses required for an academic concentration do not typically transfer to the B.I.S. degree. Credits earned in courses taken at other institutions while the student is enrolled in the B.I.S. program are only eligible for transfer if the student completes the appropriate paperwork and receives permission to transfer the credits before enrolling in the course(s).

The Liberal Studies Core The Liberal Studies Core demonstrates that students have studied a broad range of academic disciplines and are prepared for study at a more advanced level. Transfer credits must satisfy the following liberal studies guidelines:

English Composition: at least six semester credits of college composition.

Humanities: at least six semester credits earned in art history, selected architectural history courses, classics, literature, drama, film studies, fine arts, music (exclusive of performance), philosophy, political theory, religious studies, or western or eastern civilization or similar courses.

Social Sciences: at least six semester credits earned in anthropology, economics, government and foreign affairs (except political theory), history (exclusive of western, eastern, or other civilization courses, which are considered humanities courses), psychology, or sociology.

Math and/or Natural Science: at least twelve semester credits earned in math, astronomy, biology, chemistry, environmental science, or physics. Only courses comparable to those that satisfy an area requirement for the College of Arts and Sciences satisfy the Core; for example, precalculus may transfer but will not satisfy the area requirement.

Computer Competency Requirement Students who enter the B.I.S. degree program should have an understanding of computing as a tool for communication and should demonstrate a degree of proficiency in basic computing skills that will support their academic work. The competency requirement may be satisfied by one of three options: a grade of B or better in IST 117 offered by the Virginia Community College System; a grade of "pass" in the non-credit Introduction to Computing class offered by the University Center of SCSP; or passing the B.I.S. take-home computer competency examination. Students are expected to satisfy the competency requirement as part of the admission process. Anyone who is admitted to the program having not satisfied the requirement must do so by the end of the second semester after B.I.S. matriculation. A student who fails to satisfy this requirement on time is subject to being placed on Academic Warning.

Demonstrating Success in B.I.S. To continue in the program, all B.I.S. students must (1) maintain good financial and social standing at the University and (2) complete the following academic requirements by the end of the fourth semester after B.I.S. matriculation:

  1. Four courses (a minimum of 12 credits) each with a grade of C (2.000) or better, to include one critical issues seminar, one analytical skills seminar, and two other B.I.S./B.I.S.-approved UVa courses;
  2. Cumulative GPA of at least 2.000 on all UVa course work (including courses completed prior to B.I.S. matriculation);
  3. A detailed concentration proposal if pursuing an Individualized Concentration (due by the time student completes 12 credits in the B.I.S. program);
  4. A minimum of 72 total credits toward the B.I.S. degree (including transfer credits);
  5. Any credits or liberal studies core requirement missing upon B.I.S. admission (note: any concentration prerequisite missing at the time of admission must be satisfied by the end of the second semester after B.I.S. matriculation).

Students who are unable to satisfy these requirements by the end of the fourth semester after B.I.S. matriculation may be required to leave the program or may be placed on Academic Warning. A student who is asked to withdraw from the program may, after waiting one full year, petition to re-apply.

Academic Regulations and Options

In addition to University-wide policies and procedures, the following academic requirements and options apply to students in the B.I.S. program. Students who have questions about any such policies should contact the B.I.S. office.

Add/Drop Regulations Students may add courses until the published deadline for the term, which is approximately two weeks from the day classes begin. The add deadline is also the last day to change the grading option for courses. Students may drop courses without penalty until the published drop deadline, which is usually two days before the add deadline. Students who withdraw from all courses after the term has begun will be charged tuition for the term on a prorated scale.

To enroll in courses restricted by permission of the instructor, a student must submit to the B.I.S. office a course action form signed by the instructor.

Students are expected to ensure that their course enrollment record is correct; changes to course enrollment may be made online, www.virginia.edu/registrar, before the published deadlines.

Advising Advising students about academic matters and student services is an important element of the B.I.S. degree program. Upon entering the B.I.S. program, a student is assigned a faculty advisor. Students are responsible for consulting with their faculty advisors each term before enrolling in courses. Students are blocked from registering from courses until they meet with their advisors, but they are still responsible for following the academic requirements of the program. It is the responsibility of the academic advisor to work closely with the student to plan the program of study, to monitor the student’s progress, and to provide advice on matters pertaining to B.I.S. academic policies and procedures. Students and advisors should use VISTAA, the University’s on-line academic advising tool, to help monitor progress toward degree requirements.

The academic advisor will assist the student in identifying a faculty mentor to work with the student on the capstone project that is undertaken near the completion of the B.I.S. degree program. A student who wishes to take a non-B.I.S. UVa course for credit or who wishes to take a leave of absence from the program must secure approval from the academic advisor before notifying the B.I.S. director.

Students should consult with B.I.S. staff regarding matters pertaining to student services.

Auditing A student enrolled in the B.I.S. program may audit B.I.S. program courses with the permission of the course instructor. Courses successfully completed on an audit basis have the AU recorded as the grade on the academic record. Because audited courses earn no credits or grade points, they are not applicable to the B.I.S. degree. The course instructor is the sole determinant of whether a student can take the course on an audit basis. The approved B.I.S. tuition and fee rates apply to audited courses. Audited courses do not apply toward minimum or maximum credits when calculating course loads.

Course Load B.I.S. students must register for a minimum of three credits per term. A B.I.S. student may not enroll in more than nine credits in the first term of enrollment. In subsequent semesters, students may not exceed the nine-credit limit without permission of his or her advisor. Students who fail to earn a semester GPA of at least 2.000 or who are on academic warning will not be allowed to enroll in more than nine credits the following semester.

Students who plan to apply for financial aid may find that they need to carry a minimum of six credits per term in order to be eligible for some aid programs. These students should contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine what the specific requirements are for the various types of aid they wish to receive.

Credit/No Credit Option Students may choose a credit/no credit (CR/NC) grading option up until the add deadline for courses. Instructors have the right to prohibit students from taking courses on a CR/NC basis. The three required liberal studies seminars, concentration courses, the proseminar and the capstone project must be graded and may not be taken CR/NC. B.I.S. students may take no more than one course per term on a CR/NC basis, and a maximum of nine credits may be taken on a CR/NC basis during a student’s tenure in the B.I.S. program.

Grade Changes No grade may be changed after it has been submitted to the university registrar without the approval of the dean. The dean is not authorized by the faculty to change a grade submitted to the university registrar except when an instructor certifies that, because of an error in calculation or transcription, an incorrect grade has been submitted.

Incompletes Circumstances beyond a student’s control may arise that necessitate his or her requesting an incomplete (IN). In these cases, the transcript records "IN" to indicate that the course grade is being withheld until the student completes all course requirements. The student must initiate the request for an IN, and the instructor must agree. The request must be made in a timely manner such that the professor has time to inform the student of the decision prior to the final exam for the course. The Request for an Incomplete Grade Form (available from the B.I.S. office) must be completed and signed by both the student and instructor prior to the first day of class for the following semester and will be kept on file in the B.I.S. office. The student must complete all course requirements and deliver the completed work to the instructor before the instructor’s imposed deadline (to be no later than the end of the next term), at which time the instructor replaces the IN with a letter grade. If the work is not completed, the IN becomes an F. A degree will not be awarded while an incomplete remains on the transcript.

A student may not request an incomplete in an attempt to raise his or her grade.

Independent Study B.I.S. students who wish to receive degree credit for an independent study must submit, with a faculty member’s endorsement, a proposed plan of study to include a course syllabus. In most circumstances, a maximum of 3 credits of independent study after matriculation to the program may be counted toward the B.I.S. degree.

Intra-University Transfer B.I.S. students, as degree candidates at the University of Virginia, have the opportunity to apply for transfer to other schools of the University through the Intra-University Transfer process. Each school establishes its own criteria and procedures, and students in all schools are subject to them.

Students interested in Intra-University Transfer are to: (1) discuss their intentions and reasons with their academic advisor and with the B.I.S. director; (2) contact the appropriate committee of the school to which the student seeks transfer in order to learn what is required; (3) if the student is prepared to apply for transfer, write to the B.I.S. director to state those intentions; (4) follow that particular school’s steps to apply for transfer; and (5) continue to function as a B.I.S. student until such time as a transfer application may be accepted and matriculation in a new degree program commences.

Leaves of Absence A student who wishes to take a one-term leave of absence must consult with the academic advisor prior to notifying the B.I.S. director. During the period of leave, the student does not receive a student I.D. card or University e-mail privileges without paying a fee.

B.I.S. candidates who wish to take a leave of absence for a second consecutive term should follow the process outlined above; however, the request must be approved by the B.I.S. director. Students on approved leaves of absence are not required to apply for readmission to the B.I.S. program prior to their return but should notify the B.I.S. director of their intended return at least 30 days before the published date of final registration for that term.

Minimum Grades The following courses must be completed with a grade of C or better: one critical issues seminar, one analytical skills seminar, and any other two B.I.S. or B.I.S.-approved UVa courses by the end of the fourth term after B.I.S. matriculation; the proseminar; and the capstone project. Courses taken to meet the concentration requirements must be completed with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.000.

Non-B.I.S. Courses Students enrolled in the B.I.S. program normally will complete their degree requirements by taking B.I.S. courses. Beginning with the second term of B.I.S. enrollment, a student may be granted permission to take a course in another school of the University and have that course count toward B.I.S. degree requirements. Students must obtain advance approval to take a non-B.I.S. course from their academic advisor and then notify the B.I.S. director. Students seeking to enroll in courses offered by the Curry School of Education also must secure permission of the instructor. If advance approval is not obtained, non-B.I.S. courses may not be applied toward the degree requirements. Students pursuing the Individualized Concentration in Education may take up to twenty-four credits of non-B.I.S. UVa courses for the concentration (300 level and above) and up to nine credits of non-B.I.S. UVa courses for degree electives after enrolling in the B.I.S. program. All other B.I.S. students may apply a maximum of eighteen credits of non-B.I.S. UVa courses to the B.I.S. degree after enrolling in the program.

Readmission Students who do not enroll at the University for more than two terms, and who are not on an approved leave of absence, may be required to apply for readmission. Application for readmission must be made to the B.I.S. director at least 30 days in advance of the next University registration period. Students should include with their applications a statement that (1) addresses their readiness to return to the program in light of any serious difficulties during their most recent enrollment (e.g., financial, medical, or personal hardship) and (2) outlines those courses that the students will take over the remaining terms to qualify for a degree.

Students who have been placed on suspension by the B.I.S. program, or who have been asked to withdraw, may petition the B.I.S. director and the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies for readmission to the B.I.S. program after one calendar year. These students should follow steps 1 and 2 outlined above.

Repeated Courses Two essentially identical courses, whether under the same course number or not, may not both be counted for degree credit. If a course is passed and repeated, only the first grade received is entered in the computation of the grade point average and counts toward the 120 credits required for graduation, although the repeated course and its grade do appear on the student’s transcript. If a course is failed and then repeated, both courses and grades appear on the transcript and are computed in the grade point average.

Requests for Exceptions and Appeals Students who believe they should be exempted from prerequisite courses or other B.I.S. requirements or regulations may petition for an exception to the B.I.S. director and to the B.I.S. Faculty Advisory Committee after they have consulted with their academic advisor.

Academic Grievance Procedure A student enrolled in the B.I.S. program who has a grievance with a faculty member, the B.I.S. director, the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, or the Vice President and Provost of the University is invited to discuss the grievance in the following manner:

  1. Concerns related to a faculty member that cannot be resolved by the two parties should be discussed with the B.I.S. director.
  2. If the concern relates to the director, the student should file a grievance with the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
  3. If the concern relates to the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, the student should file a grievance with the Vice President and Provost.
  4. If the concern relates to the Vice President and Provost, the student should present appropriate documentation in writing to the President of the University.

Satisfactory Academic Performance Students admitted to the B.I.S. program are expected to complete all degree requirements within seven years (i.e., twenty-two terms including fall, spring, and summer) of matriculation into the program. Leaves of absence and suspensions do not change the requirement to complete all degree requirements within these parameters. All B.I.S. students are expected to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the degree. To that end, each student’s academic standing is reviewed at the conclusion of each semester.

Academic Warning Students may be placed on academic warning, with a notation appearing on their transcripts, if they:

  1. Fail to earn a 1.8 for the semester;
  2. Fail to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.000;
  3. Earn more than one grade below C- in any given semester;>
  4. Earn a grade below D in any course during two consecutive semesters;
  5. Fail to complete the requirements of the first two or first four semesters on time.

Students on academic warning are expected to meet with their academic advisors no later than the third week of the next term to discuss their plans to remedy their academic shortcoming(s). Students on academic warning who withdraw or take leaves of absence are eligible to return but do so on academic warning and are subject to suspension if they do not attain good standing within the first semester of their return.

Suspension Students are subject to suspension after two consecutive terms on academic warning. Students who have been suspended from the B.I.S. program may apply for readmission after one calendar year. While on suspension, students may not earn credits to advance their progress toward the B.I.S. degree. Readmission must be approved by the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. Application for readmission is made to the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at least 30 days before the next University registration period in which the student is eligible to reapply. Students should include with their applications a statement that (1) addresses their readiness to return to regular study (i.e., 3-9 credits per term) in light of any serious difficulties during their most recent enrollment (e.g., financial, medical, or personal hardship) and (2) outlines those courses that the students will take over the remaining terms to qualify for a degree. B.I.S. candidates may petition the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies for a waiver of the suspension, citing extenuating circumstances. Such appeals should be addressed to the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, P.O. Box 400764, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4764. Students who are readmitted after being on suspension must meet specified academic objectives.

Withdrawal The following policies govern withdrawal from the B.I.S. Program as well as from individual courses:

Course Withdrawal With the instructor’s permission, B.I.S. students may withdraw from a fall or spring course with a grade of W for a period of eight weeks from the semester’s (not the course’s) first day of instruction. After this cutoff, students either must complete the course or, with the instructor’s endorsement, submit a request for an incomplete. During the summer term, B.I.S. students may withdraw from a course with a grade of W until the midpoint of the course. With an endorsement from the professor, the B.I.S. director will consider a student’s petition to withdraw from a course after the deadline because of compelling or highly unusual circumstances. Students who discontinue a course at any point without complying with the proper procedure may be subject to a failing grade.

Enforced Withdrawal The Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies may compel a student to withdraw from the B.I.S. program for good cause. A student who is asked to withdraw from the program may petition the dean for readmission after one calendar year.

Medical Withdrawal A student may withdraw from the B.I.S. program for reasons of health with the approval of the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies and B.I.S. director. A notation of Medical Withdrawal will appear on the student’s transcript.

Voluntary Withdrawal A B.I.S. student who wishes to withdraw from the program must formally withdraw from the University. The student is encouraged to meet first with the academic advisor of record; the student must meet with the B.I.S. director for an exit interview, fill out the appropriate paperwork, and turn in the University identification card. Leaving the program without following the requisite process results in the student’s receiving a grade of F in all courses that he or she fails to complete. A student who withdraws from the University voluntarily has the notation "Withdrew [date]" recorded on his or her permanent academic record.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

A student enrolled in the B.I.S. program, or a person applying to enter the B.I.S. program, must inform the University of the need for academic accommodation due to a qualifying disability. Requests for accommodation should be supported by appropriate documentation of the relevant disability filed with the University Learning Needs and Evaluation Center. Requests for reasonable variation in degree requirements to accommodate a student’s disability should be submitted in writing to the LNEC and will be subject to review by the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Personnel at the LNEC are available to counsel the student or applicant in preparing his or her request for academic accommodations and to help him or her secure other necessary support services. A deaf or hearing-impaired student or applicant may dial (434) 243-5189 to receive telecommunications accessibility.

A student who has disabilities that may interfere with his or her performance in a course, or who requires special and reasonable accommodation in the conduct of the course, should inform the instructor of that fact at the beginning of the course. Any questions concerning the propriety of particular accommodations should be referred to the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies or to the assistant director of the Learning Needs and Evaluation Center (434) 243-5181 or (434) 243-5189.

Accuracy of Student Records

Students are responsible for the accuracy of their academic records. The Office of the University Registrar provides access to ISIS, the student information system, via the Internet (www.virginia.edu/registrar). Students may access their grades and their unofficial transcripts by connecting to ISIS. It is the student’s responsibility to point out errors in the record and to do so in a timely manner.

Financial Aid

B.I.S. students interested in applying for financial aid should file the federal Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the UVa Undergraduate Financial Aid Application. Minimum semester credit requirements for federal financial aid may be greater than those required by the degree program. Information about the FAFSA can be found at www.fafsa.ed.gov; information about the Office of Financial Aid is available at www.virginia.edu/financialaid or by calling (434) 982-6000.

Orientation

New students entering the program must attend the B.I.S. orientation prior to the beginning of classes. At this meeting students are provided with information about registration and student services, as well as academic advising.

Student Activities and Services

B.I.S. students have full access to intramural and recreation activities and facilities, University Career Services, electronic mail, the Information Technology Center and its services, and other non-curricular activities.

Degree Requirements

To be awarded the B.I.S. degree, students must present 120 semester credits, including 60 credits earned at the University of Virginia, and successfully complete the B.I.S. curriculum, as outlined below in "Curriculum." At least 51 credits taken at the University must have been completed on a graded (A+ to D-) basis. Students must have earned a 2.000 cumulative grade point average on all work taken at the University. Students are subject to the degree and curricular requirements in effect for the term for which they were admitted to the B.I.S. program.

Awards and Honors

Alpha Sigma Lambda The University of Virginia hosts the Beta Iota Sigma chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda, a national academic honor society for adult students. B.I.S. students who have completed at least twenty-four credits at UVa since B.I.S. matriculation with a cumulative grade point average of 3.400 or higher are eligible to be considered for membership in the society. The cumulative grade point average will be calculated at the conclusion of the fall semester, with induction occurring in the spring.

Final Honors Degrees with distinction, with high distinction, and with highest distinction are awarded to B.I.S. students who have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.400, 3.600, and 3.800, respectively, on all UVa course work completed since matriculation into the B.I.S. program.

Curriculum

The B.I.S. curriculum has five components: liberal studies seminars, including critical issues seminars and analytical skills seminars; a concentration; degree elective courses; a proseminar; and a capstone project.

Liberal Studies Seminars Two types of liberal studies seminars comprise part of the curriculum of the B.I.S. degree program: critical issues seminars and analytical skills seminars. Their collective purpose is to enhance students’ ability to read and think critically about abstract ideas and complex social issues; to teach students how to make persuasive and well-supported arguments in writing and in speech; to develop students’ ability to solve problems in groups; and to ensure that students can employ both qualitative and quantitative reasoning. Students are required to complete with a grade of C or better one of each type of seminar within four terms of B.I.S. matriculation; they then must complete successfully at least one more critical issues seminar before graduating with a B.I.S. degree. Additional liberal studies seminars may be taken for degree elective credit.

Analytical Skills Seminars take as their goal the critical analysis of information in both quantitative and qualitative forms and address such issues as variability in data, assessing risk, and using data to support an argument.

Critical Issues Seminars focus on ethics and effective decision-making in contemporary society. During the semester, an issue is addressed from multiple disciplines. The courses are also writing-intensive and students produce several short essays, at least one of which is revised.

Concentrations Students will indicate an intended concentration upon admission to the B.I.S. program. Any prerequisites for the concentration must be successfully completed before the end of the second term after B.I.S. matriculation. All courses taken to fulfill the concentration requirements must be completed with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.000.

Degree Elective Courses outside the Concentration In consultation with their advisors, students will distribute their degree credits beyond the liberal studies seminars, the concentration, the proseminar, and the capstone project in courses that complement their academic, professional, and personal interests. Students enrolled in the business concentration must fulfill their degree elective credits with non-business courses.

Proseminar The required 3-credit proseminar course provides students an opportunity to strengthen their analytical thinking and communication skills while exploring the process of research and project design. Students will apply what they learn to develop a thoughtful proposal for their individual capstone projects.

Capstone Project The required capstone project is the culminating academic activity of the B.I.S. program and provides students with an opportunity to integrate academic accomplishments and professional interests in a research project. It builds upon students’ course work, research, and writing in the program, as well as on current professional involvement and/or aspirations. Projects must be supervised by an approved faculty mentor. Students must successfully complete the proseminar before they may register for the 3-credit capstone project.


Course Descriptions

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Mnemonics are alphabetical and indicate the degree requirement (ISAS and ISCI, liberal studies seminars; ISPS, proseminar; ISCP, capstone project) or concentration (ISBU, business; ISHU, humanities; ISIT, information technology; ISSS, social sciences). B.I.S. business (ISBU) and IT (ISIT) courses may be restricted by the instructor to those students who are concentrating in the discipline and who have completed the appropriate prerequisite courses. Not all courses will be offered every semester.

ISAS 301, 399 - (3) (Y)
Analytical Skills Seminar

Develops quantitative reasoning skills by requiring students to gather and analyze data to formulate persuasive arguments. The seminars are topical (e.g., global warming, tax policy, assessing risk) and interdisciplinary, but their emphasis lies with understanding qualitative and quantitative analysis, including variability in data, making decisions in the face of uncertainty, and using data to support arguments.

ISAS 302 - (3) (Y)
Critical Thinking and Creativity
The goals of this seminar are to develop your ability to critically and creatively evaluate complex issues and to increase your sensitivity to the pervasive character of deceptive reasoning in our culture. The seminar will focus on topics including evaluating the reasoning of others, manufacturing consent, seeing the big picture, thinking out of the box, building and sustaining effective teams, recognizing and leveraging the talents of others, the use and misuse of statistics, and, in general, the limits to critical thinking set by our own beliefs and preconceptions.

ISAS 303 - (3) (Y)
Critical Thinking and Creativity II
The goals of this seminar are to develop your ability to critically and creatively evaluate complex issues and to increase your sensitivity to the pervasive character of deceptive reasoning in our culture. The seminar will focus on topics including evaluating the reasoning of others, and manufacturing consent.

ISBU 320- (3) (SI)
Business Software Development
A hands-on introduction to developing software applications for business. Explores relevant programming principles, including object-oriented methods and basic data management. Cross listed as ISIT 320.

ISBU 325 - (3) (SI)
Quantitative Analysis
Prerequisite: CS 120 and STAT 112 or equivalents, or instructor permission.
Studies the principles and methods business analysts and managers use to assess the various areas of a business organization, including accounting, finance, information systems, operations, and personnel. Focuses on the role of statistical models, data analysis, and information systems in decision-making. Cross listed as ISIT 325.

ISBU 326 - (3) (SI)
Business Information Systems

Overview of basic operations management using an information processing systems approach. Emphasizes the role of information technology and information systems within all areas of business. Focuses on a process-oriented view of the organization and building process modeling skills. Cross listed as ISIT 326

ISBU 327 - (3) (SI)
Investment Analysis
Students will learn to understand basic investment principles including the risks and rewards of securities, the power of compounding and the significance of global capital markets. Corporate finance, investments, and financial institutions will be covered in this course and several cases will be used to augment the theoretical material.

ISBU 341 - (3) (SI)
Commercial Law
Surveys the American legal system and principles of constitutional, criminal, and tort law, emphasizing legal issues related to contracts, agency, corporations, and partnerships.

ISBU 351 - (3) (SI)
Fundamentals of Marketing
Prerequisite: ECON 201 and 202 or equivalents, or instructor permission.
Introduction to marketing principles and activities in both profit and non-profit enterprises, from the conception of goods and services to their consumption. Participants study consumer behavior as well as ethical, environmental, and international issues in marketing.

ISBU 361 - (3) (SI)
Organizational Behavior
Studies the basic theories and research related to the practices of contemporary organizational behavior. Emphasizes the interpersonal skills that promote individual, group, and organizational effectiveness. Class activities are interactive and include experiential exercises, case analyses, and collaborative learning.

ISBU 371 - (3) (SI)
Managerial Finance
Prerequisite: ISBU concentration prerequisites or instructor permission.
Principles and practices of business finance focusing on managerial decision-making in financial policy. Topics include capital structure, types of securities and their use in raising funds, risk, valuation, and allocating resources for investment.

ISBU 381 - (3) (IR)
Business Ethics
Uses philosophical ethics as a framework for investigating moral dilemmas in contemporary business. Case study method used. Cross listed as ISIT 381.

ISBU 384 - (3) (SI)
International Business
Prerequisite: ISBU concentration prerequisites or instructor permission.
An introduction to the practice and theory of international business. Consideration given to global trade and economic integration theory; the major instruments and procedures needed for management and operation of an international business; modes of international market entry and foreign direct investment; strategies appropriate to managing an international business; global environmental issues; and the importance of culture and ethics in international business.

ISBU 463 - (3) (SI)
Human Resource Management
Prerequisite: ISBU 361 or instructor permission.
Study of human resource management and its role in meeting company objectives; examines essentials of job analysis, recruitment and selection, training and development, performance, compensation, and employee and labor relations. Discussion of contemporary legal pressures and issues relative to a global workforce.

ISBU 467 - (3) (SI)
Organizational Change and Development
This course is designed to equip anyone who has a role to play in organizational change—employees and associates at all levels, supervisors and managers, information technology consultants, and a variety of organizational stakeholders—with the basic tools required to analyze change and its consequences. Cross listed as ISIT 467

ISBU 468 - (3) (SI)
Entrepreneurship
Prerequisite: ISBU concentration prerequisites or instructor permission.
Explores the process of creating and managing new ventures. Study of financing for initial capital and early growth of the enterprise; legal and tax issues associated with a new business; how to identify opportunity areas; and the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.

ISBU 470 - (3) (Y)
Strategic Management Consulting
This course develops the practical, strategic-thinking and behavioral skills required to operate in a double-hatted mode. It focuses on identifying, diagnosing, and resolving client issues; introduces students to the strategy, process, and technology of consulting; reviews change-management methodologies; considers the "psychological stance" required to succeed in the consultant role; and compares and contrasts the roles of external and internal consultants. The course integrates readings, case studies, group activities, and client-focused work to simulate what it feels like to be a consultant. Cross listed as ISIT 470.

ISBU 485 - (3) (SI)
Strategic Management
Prerequisite: ISBU concentration prerequisites or instructor permission.
Examines the basic elements, processes, and techniques of strategic planning. Focuses on the development of the student’s decision-making abilities as a manager and calls upon the student to synthesize material learned across the concentration. Case studies, interactive classes, and business simulations are used to develop student’s managerial skills.

ISBU 499 - (1-3) (IR)
Independent Study
In exceptional circumstances and with the endorsement of an approved faculty member and the B.I.S. director, a student may undertake a rigorous program of independent study in business designed to explore a subject not currently being taught or to expand upon regular offerings.

ISCI 301, 399 - (3) (S, SS)
Critical Issues Seminar
A multidisciplinary themed course that focuses on an ethical issue. Through discussion, extensive writing, and presentations, students use academic argument as a basis for exploring effective decision-making in contemporary society. Topics have included: Punishment and Forgiveness; Nationalism and National Identity; Issues in Global Business; American Foreign Policy; Political Violence in Democracies.

ISCI 301 - (3) (S, SS)
Nationalism and National Identity
This seminar will focus on the role of nationalism and national identity in two regions of particular interest currently, the British Isles and the Balkans. Two key questions to be examined are: How can national traditions peacefully be expressed and preserved in an age of increasing supranational identities such as the European Union and the global economy? Do human rights broadly defined and enforced by international organizations supersede the right of peoples to be governed with, and ruled by, those of common language and culture?

ISCI 302 - (3) (S, SS)
Good Cop/Bad Cop
Government plays a central role in the life of the contemporary citizen. While there is much current debate about the scope of that role, it has been recognized, at least since the adoption of our constitution, that an essential function of a governmental entity is to "insure a domestic Tranquility." Given the profound ramifications for both society and the individual, it is essential to understand the responsibilities of, and limitations on, the proper exercise of that formidable power. This course seeks to examine the current use of the police power in a variety of situations, informed by the past and motivated by the future. Particular emphasis will be on contemporary real-life examples to inform the discussion on the proper use of the police power. Those examples will be subjected to a variety of perspectives, societal and individual, to gain a fuller understanding of the delicate balance of competing values.

ISCI 305 - (3) (S, SS)
Critical Issues in American Foreign Policy
With appropriate historical background, we will explore through moral, ethical, political, economic, and legal lenses the principal challenges and opportunities for American policymakers.

ISCI 308 - (3) (S, SS)
Decision-Making and Medical Ethics
This course brings together the resources of philosophy, religion, and social sciences to examine the ways in which life and death decisions are being made in current medical practice. Students will examine the ethical principles utilized to examine health care issues. They will also evaluate the procedures followed by major medical organizations in making medical decisions. Such contemporary issues as cloning (and other alternative methods of reproduction), euthanasia, organ donation and the financing of health care will be addressed.

ISCI 309 - (3) (S, SS)
The Enlightenment Era
This course will explore the Enlightenment era from different perspectives that include the morality, politics, music, and education of this period. The consequences of this movement during the American Revolution and the French Revolution also will be examined.

ISCI 311 - (3) (S, SS)
Minds and Machines
This critical issues seminar offers an interdisciplinary exploration of the varied and sometimes surprising connections between mind, brain, and mechanism from a range of perspectives including philosophy, psychology, cognitive science, neurobiology and evolution. Among other topics, we will examine the logical limits of computing devices, the power of algorithms or mechanical "recipes," implications of recent work in cognitive science on the mind vs. machine dispute, the concept of consciousness, the nature of emotion, the argument from design, mechanistic origins of "the mental", and what it means to be a person.

ISCI 312 - (3) (S, SS)
Determining Community Need in an Individualistic Society
This course will focus on the tension evident today between the dynamism of a consumer-driven individualistic society and the need in the modern interrelated world for good definitions of community needs. Through the use of case studies and other timely reading material, through class discussion, and through individual research, the course will encourage and enable students to think critically about social and political issues.

ISCP 400 - (3) (SI)
Capstone Project
Prerequisite: grade of C or better in ISPS 399.
Students design, develop, produce, and evaluate a semester-long project that synthesizes their educational experiences and professional interests. Done individually or occasionally in teams and supervised by a faculty mentor; proposal for the project must be approved before students may register for this course.

ISHU 301 - (3) (SI)
Humanities I
The first half of a two-term survey designed to introduce students to dominant humanistic traditions of Eastern and Western civilizations. Addresses topics in philosophy, art, literature, religion, and cultural history. Part one covers the period from early recorded history to the dawn of the modern age. Can be taken after ISHU 302.

ISHU 302 - (3) (SI)
Humanities II
The second half of a two-term survey designed to introduce students to dominant humanistic traditions of Eastern and Western civilizations. Addresses topics in philosophy, art, literature, religion, and cultural history. Part two covers the period from the late European Renaissance to the twenty-first century. Can be taken before ISHU 301.

ISHU 303 - (3) (IR)
The Tragic and the Demonic
Students will address issues of evil in the more specific context of the tragic and the demonic. The tragic will be explored through the genre of tragedy, which reveals the intertwining of guilt, innocence, accountability, and divine malice. Emphasis will be placed on close readings of philosophical, theological, and literary texts.

ISHU 304 - (3) (IR)
Home Runs, Assassinations and Surgical Strikes: Contemporary American Literature in the Age of Television
Through post-WWII novels and essays, this course examines claims about truth and authenticity in a world largely experienced through the mass media. Readings will include Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey, Music for Torching by A.M. Homes, and Libra by Don Delillo.

ISHU 305 - (3) (IR)
Issues in Philosophy
Students will practice skills and methods of philosophical inquiry and analysis. Issues of free will and determinism, ethical decision-making, the mind-body problem, the nature and existence of God, and the relationship of the individual to society will be explored. Tensions among various conceptions of human existence are a central theme. Emphasis is placed upon writing critical responses to articles written by leading philosophers.

ISHU 310 - (3) (IR)
Advanced Writing I
Students read, study, and practice a variety of prose forms, including narration, short stories, and non-fiction and critical essays.

ISHU 311 - (3) (IR)
Aspects of Narrative I
This course focuses on the writing and analysis of narrative prose, fiction or non-fiction. Full-group workshop discussion of works in progress will be accompanied by discussion of short examples of published fiction and memoir and occasional writing exercises on aspects of narrative, including revision. Students will write and revise at least two separate works, totaling at least 20 pages.

ISHU 312 - (3) (IR)
Aspects of Narrative II
This course focuses on the writing and analysis of narrative prose, fiction or non-fiction. Full-group workshop discussion of works in progress will be accompanied by discussion of short examples of published fiction and memoir and by occasional writing exercises on aspects of narrative. Students will write and revise at least two separate works, totaling at least 20 pages. Readings, exercises, and topics focused on will be different from those in ISHU 311.

ISHU 324 - (3) (IR)
American Literature of the Twentieth Century
Study of the fiction and poetry of U.S. writers ranging from the early modernists to contemporary writers, including such prose writers as Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, Ellison, and Morrison and poets such as Frost, Eliot, Stevens, B.I.S.hop, and Williams.

ISHU 380 - (3) (IR)
Important Issues in Art Since 1945
This course will cover the development of high modernism, beginning with Abstract Expressionism, and continue through postmodern practices of conceptual art, feminism, performance art, and site-specific installation art.

ISHU 400 - (3) (IR)
Writing the Unwritten
Since the Romantic era, writing has often been motivated by the desire to say what has not been said, whether through neglect or through social censorship. Reading works by American and British novelists from the 19th century to the present, students will explore changing definitions of the unwritten during this period as well as write their own personal narratives, analytic essays and prose fiction as a means to discover and bring forth the unwritten in their own experience.

ISHU 401, 409 - (3) (IR)
Advanced Topics in the Humanities

Topical seminars that may be interdisciplinary or discipline-specific. May be repeated for credit when content differs.

ISHU 403 - (3) (IR)
Religion and the Quest for Meaning
This course examines the religions of the world as ways of finding patterns of meaning and value for our personal and social existence. Students will survey the major religions of the world, using both primary and secondary sources.

ISHU 404 - (3) (IR)
Authenticity: American Literature and Culture
This course scrutinizes several theoretical, dramatic and fictional responses to this crisis. We’ll read from Walter Benjamin who examines what happens to art in an age of mechanical reproduction. We’ll see how Oscar Wilde not only accepts but embraces in authenticity as a way to mock repressive late Victorian sexual and social norms. We’ll examine Jean Hegland’s scathing novelistic attack on modernity while pondering her radical solution: a return to primitivism. This class will take place in seminar form and will have a substantial writing workshop component.

ISHU 405 - (3) (IR)
Knowledge, Truth, and Objectivity
This course examines some of our most basic beliefs about the world we think we know and the nature of our knowledge about that world. The goals of the course are to understand what these philosophers took to be the important questions concerning the nature of knowledge and then see to what degree these insights are relevant in our own everyday dealings with the world.

ISHU 499 - (1-3) (IR)
Independent Study
In exceptional circumstances and with the endorsement of an approved faculty member and the B.I.S. director, a student may undertake a rigorous program of independent study in humanities designed to explore a subject not currently being taught or to expand upon regular offerings.

ISIT 310 - (3) (SI)
Technological Communications
Overview and application of how to present technical information in a variety of media and for different audiences and purposes.

ISIT 320- (3) (SI)
Business Software Development
A hands-on introduction to developing software applications for business. Explores relevant programming principles, including object-oriented methods and basic data management. Cross listed as ISBU 320.

ISIT 325 - (3) (SI)
Quantitative Analysis
Prerequisite: CS 120 and STAT 112 or equivalents, or instructor permission.
Studies the principles and methods business analysts and managers use to assess the various areas of a business organization, including accounting, finance, information systems, operations, and personnel. Focuses on the role of statistical models, data analysis, and information systems in decision-making. Cross listed as ISBU 325.

ISIT 326 - (3) (SI)
Business Information Systems
Overview of basic operations management using an information processing systems approach. Emphasizes the role of information technology and information systems within all areas of business. Focuses on a process-oriented view of the organization and building process modeling skills. Cross listed as ISBU 326.

ISIT 327 - (3) (SI)
Database Management Systems
Prerequisite: ISIT 320.
Focuses on managing the information needs of an organization and on designing and building database applications and application programs using contemporary database software. Topics covered include database architecture, data security and integrity, modeling techniques, and overall database administration.

ISIT 351 - (3) (SI)
Technology and Product Development Life Cycle
Investigates the management and investment issues associated with technology and product development including research and development; process choices, selection, and improvement; and product choices, replacement, and discontinuance. Course follows a product life- cycle structure.

ISIT 352 - (3) (SI)
Science and Technology Public Policy
Investigates the broad development of federal public policies associated with the promotion and regulation of science and technology. Areas of consideration include the federal government’s historical interest in science and technology; the agencies and organizations involved in creating federal policy; how science and technology are regulated federally; and the roles of state and local governments in local science and technology policies. Special consideration is given to American policy development within an international context.

ISIT 381 - (3) (IR)
Business Ethics
Uses philosophical ethics as a framework for investigating moral dilemmas in contemporary business. Case study method used. Cross listed as ISBU 381.

ISIT 399 - (3) (SI)
Case Studies in Technology Management and Policy
Special topics course; topics vary but each explores how technology, management, and policy issues interact within a specific context. Possible contexts include a business organization; an industry; a governmental sector; specific legislation; a judicial ruling; a social issue; a historical era; or a combination of these.

ISIT 427 - (3) (SI)
Systems Analysis and Design
Prerequisite: ISIT 327 or instructor permission.
Comprehensive examination of the principles, techniques, and tools involved in the analysis and design of computer-based information systems as they are used to solve business problems. Practical experience with development technologies used throughout the systems development cycle builds students’ skills in information gathering, communication, analysis, functional design, and implementation.

ISIT 428 - (3) (SI)
Data Communications
Prerequisites: ISIT 427 or instructor permission.
Studies the use of data communications as a means for gaining a competitive business advantage in a global environment. Presents current technologies and techniques employed in the development and management of computer-based networks.

ISIT 429 - (3) (SI)
Selected Topics in Management Information Systems
Prerequisite: ISIT concentration prerequisites or instructor permission.
An in-depth study of an MIS topic. The course may explore either a new MIS concept or system or provide an opportunity to research a specific area of MIS in greater depth than is possible in other courses.

ISIT 467 - (3) (SI)
Organizational Change and Development
This course is designed to equip anyone who has a role to play in organizational change—employees and associates at all levels, supervisors and managers, information technology consultants, and a variety of organizational stakeholders—with the basic tools required to analyze change and its consequences. Cross listed as ISBU 467.

ISIT 470 - (3) (Y)
Strategic Management Consulting
This course develops the practical, strategic-thinking and behavioral skills required to operate in a double-hatted mode. It focuses on identifying, diagnosing, and resolving client issues; introduces students to the strategy, process, and technology of consulting; reviews change-management methodologies; considers the "psychological stance" required to succeed in the consultant role; and compares and contrasts the roles of external and internal consultants. The course integrates readings, case studies, group activities, and client-focused work to simulate what it feels like to be a consultant. Cross listed as ISBU 470.

ISIT 499 - (3) (IR)
Independent Study
In exceptional circumstances and with the endorsement of an approved faculty member and the B.I.S. director, a student may undertake a rigorous program of independent study in information technology designed to explore a subject not currently being taught or to expand upon regular offerings.

ISPS 399 - (3) (S, SS)
Proseminar
Explores the process of basic research and project design. Working with a faculty mentor, students will develop a proposal for the capstone project. The completed proposal must be approved before students may register for ISCP 400.

ISSS 301 - (3) (SI)
Social Sciences Introductory Course
An interdisciplinary, often team-taught, course that uses a single theme to introduce students to the primary methodologies, content areas, and contributions of three social science disciplines. Designed to provide students with a framework for studying social sciences and articulating academic arguments in the social sciences. Students learn the similarities among disciplines that constitute the social sciences, as well as what differentiates social sciences from humanities and from sciences.

ISSS 302H, 302S - (3) (IR)
Women’s Studies: Theories and Practices
American history and culture are examined from the perspective of gender. Students will learn critical methods and vocabulary used to analyze gender while focusing on American women’s movements as well as contemporary notions of global feminism. Explores commonalities and differences among women, gender norms, sexual mores, the representation of women in the media, gender gaps in education and employment, and changing notions of family.

ISSS 303S – (3) (IR)
Sociology of Morality
Explores how forms of morality emerge or decline under different social conditions. Students will examine historical and contemporary forms of morality directly and through institutions which often express moral understandings and perceptions, such as religion and politics.

ISSS 306G - (3) (IR)
Military Force in International Relations
Examines the threat and use of military force in international relations. Topics include deterrence theory and recent critiques, ethical and international legal considerations, domestic constraints, and the postwar U.S. and Soviet experiences with the use of force.

ISSS 316 - (3) (IR)
Democracy in America
This seminar course will focus upon the theoretical foundations and institutional development of democracy and of representative forms of governance. The theoretical focus will be sharpened by our awareness of the works of several political theorists. The institutional focus will be grounded primarily upon a detailed examination of the historical development of representative government at the national and state levels within the United States. Cross-temporal, cross-national, and multi-level comparisons also are welcomed topics for discussion and research papers.

ISSS 320 - (3) (IR)
British History
In this course we will study the history of Britain from around 1830 through the present, considering social class structure, the impact of the Industrial Revolution on work and family, women’s roles, political developments such as the evolution of democracy and the endurance of monarchy, intellectual and cultural trends, and attitudes towards empire. Although we will focus primarily on England, we will also devote some attention to Scotland, Wales, and Ireland in this period.

ISSS 321 - (3) (IR)
Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics
Russia has undergone tremendous changes over the past decade and remains in a state of flux. This course is designed to explore some of this country’s major political themes of the twentieth century: the Russian revolution, Stalinism, the nature of the Soviet political system, Gorbachev’s perestroika, nationalism, the Soviet collapse, and Russia’s rather tentative steps towards capitalism and democracy. Much of the course will be devoted to the dramatic events since the fall of the Soviet empire. However, we will make sense of the present through an understanding of the history, culture, and politics on which it is built.

ISSS 360 - (3) (IR)
Economics and the Environment
This course establishes a framework for analyzing conflicts between economic growth and efficiency and a sustainable environment in an interdisciplinary context emphasizing the complex interrelationships among social, political and economic goals.

ISSS 361 - (3) (IR)
Contemporary Economic Problems
The course will provide students with the conceptual framework and methods of economic science necessary for analyzing a variety of contemporary economic problems. The usefulness of these economic concepts will be taught as applications to specific public policy issues.

ISSS 400H - (3) (IR)
The Experience of the Great War: Life and Literature
Drawing on histories and literature, including autobiographies, poetry, and novels, this course focuses on the experiences and mentalities of those who fought in World War I, as well as those who remained on the home front. The realities and myths of the Great War are explored. An emphasis is placed on British, French, and German writings about the Western Front as well as some consideration of the fighting on the Eastern Front and in Turkey.

ISSS 401 - (3) (IR)
The Second World War: Experience of Total War
This course will cover military, political, social and economic aspects of history’s most devastating conflict. Students will explore the Holocaust and the experience of both soldiers and civilians.

ISSS 406 - (3) (IR)
War and World Politics
Through major scholarly works, primary documents, films, class discussions, papers, and lectures the class will explore the causes of war, evolution and advances in military strategy, historical case studies, and contemporary issues of nuclear weapons, humanitarian war, and war against terrorism.

ISSS 413 - (3) (IR)
Developmental Psychology and Public Policy
This course examines how scientific research in developmental psychology can by used to inform social politics and programs relevant to children and families.

ISSS 456 - (3) (IR)
Russian-American Relations
Drawing on contributions from international relations scholars and practitioners, as well as historians, economists, philosophers, and political psychologists, we will discuss Russian-American relations through historical and contemporary perspectives. Students will be encouraged to come up with their own answers to many of the riddles of this ambiguous and never indifferent relationship between the two countries. Much of the course will be devoted to the evolution of Russian-American relations since the fall of the Soviet empire.

ISSS 499 - (3) (IR)
Independent Study
In exceptional circumstances and with the endorsement of an approved faculty member and the B.I.S. director, a student may undertake a rigorous program of independent study in the social sciences designed to explore a subject not currently being taught or to expand upon regular offerings.

 

 
 
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