Department of LAS

Course Descriptions

Department of Liberal Arts and Sciences

LAS 001 ESL (0 credit)

Designed to help non-native speakers achieve college-level English proficiency so they can perform competently in academic tasks relevant to their majors. The goal is to enhance students’ ability to read critically, discuss effectively, and present ideas in coherent and effective writing. Vocabulary and grammar will be covered in the context of reading and writing.

LAS 002 Introduction to College English (0 credit)

The Accelerated Learning Program that forms the basis of this course provides a supportive learning experience that allows students to accelerate their learning and completion of requirements in LAS 103 (Effective English) as well as become better prepared for all liberal arts classes in which writing and critical reading are crucial. Focus is given to the mirror processes of reading and writing, including grammatical and stylistic study. Upon completion students will be able to write essays of various lengths and genres with greater ease, clearer organization, and more coherence.

LAS 100 College Success (1 credit)

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.

LAS 103 Effective English (3 credits)

This course 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. Assignments include several short response pieces as well as three to four major papers, ranging from a process analysis to argumentation. The course is highly practical in nature and is meant to hone some of the skills most valuable to college success and career readiness.

LAS 110 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. Formal assessments include unit tests and quizzes. Prerequisites: completion of LAS 103, Effective English.

LAS 120 Mathematics in Applied Context (3 credits)

Covers the fundamental concepts and applications of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data interpretation. Reinforces students’ ability to reason quantitatively—to read a math problem, understand what it is asking, and solve it. Prepares students with quantitative reasoning skills required for professional work as well as for graduate-level studies in the fields of performing arts, liberal arts, and business.

LAS 204 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: LAS103 Effective English or by instructor consent.

LAS 220 Calculus (3 credits)

Intended for students who wish to learn the basics of calculus for application to social sciences or as part of a broader education. Topics include functions, limits, differentiation and integration for applications such as calculating rate of change, growth and decay, optimization, and elementary differential equations. Prerequisite: Placement test.

LAS 230R Topics in Arts and Sciences (1-4 credits)

Students have the opportunity to study subjects and disciplines beyond the regular course offerings of the College through the special-interest topics offered by this course. Topics covered in the course vary from semester to semester and range from recent developments in particular fields, and specific expertise of visiting professors, to essential topics in liberal arts education. Prerequisite: Instructor consent.

LAS 232 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, industrialization, nationalism, imperialism, colonialism and decolonization, the World Wars, and the Cold War. Prerequisite: LAS103 Effective English, LAS110 Western Civilization, and CLC131 Chinese Civilization; or by instructor consent.

LAS 272 Drawing I (2 credits)

Designed to give students a solid foundation in drawing concepts and techniques as well as traditional art appreciation. Topics include drawing tools and media, proportions, shading, line, value, texture, composition, and rendering in three dimensions.

LAS 273 Drawing II (2 credits)

Building upon the fundamental techniques and art appreciation developed in Drawing I, Drawing II further explores rendering, composition, proportions, and perspective, focusing on more advanced subject matter. Additional topics include color theory, color blending, figure drawing, and anatomical rendering studies. Prerequisite: LAS272 Drawing I.

LAS 303 Masterpieces of World Literature (3 credits)

A chronological survey of major authors in world literature since earliest times to the 16th century. Focus is on two traditions, Western and Chinese, providing exposure to a wide variety of literary works set against their historical contexts. Prerequisite: LAS103 Effective English, LAS110 Western Civilization, and CLC131 Chinese Civilization; or by instructor consent.

LAS 350R Independent Study in Arts and Sciences (1-4 credits)

Independent Study provides students the opportunity to gain or enhance knowledge in an area of interest under the close supervision of a faculty member. The student proposes goals, projects, and timelines that are then refined and approved by a faculty supervisor. Course work may include directed readings, applied work, assisting a faculty member with research, completing an independent project, or other appropriate activities. Prerequisite: Instructor consent.

LAS 371 Drawing and Rendering for Theater (2 credits)

This course is designed to give students the essential drawing skills needed in rendering clear and informative compositions for use in theater production. Topics include drawing tools and media, proportions, shading, line, value, texture, composition, and rendering in three dimensions, with an emphasis on practical applications in theater.

LAS 522 Seminar in Performing Arts Management (3 credits)

This course prepares students to play leadership roles in the field of performing arts management. Students will learn the key concepts and terminology in the field, basic structural components of performing arts institutions, and essential managerial knowledge for running a range of performing arts companies. Throughout the course, students will simulate real-world situations to practice goal prioritization. The course also emphasizes entrepreneurial thinking in today’s fast-changing world. The course features a slate of guest speakers with different expertise, including accounting, business law, public relations, and fundraising.

LAS 550 Research Methodology in the Arts (2 credits)

This graduate-level course helps students develop the skills necessary to develop successful master-level compositions. The course will give students an idea of the step-by-step process of thesis writing: from question and conceptualization to research, to organization, to dissertation and presentation. Work in class consists mostly of short writing assignments, peer evaluations, and readings. Through lecture and discussion, students will analyze and examine literature in an effort to improve their own writing. At the end of the term, students will conceive a preliminary proposal for their master thesis project.

LAS 570 Media Technology for the Arts (2 credits)

This course introduces students to two areas of media technology that play a fundamental role in the production and presentation of various performing arts genres: audio and video. Through hands-on practice, projects, and collaboration, students will develop the familiarity and skills needed to develop and implement a sound design for a theater production and to create meaningful and artistic films in the context of performing arts. By the end of this course students will not only gain essential knowledge respective to each field but also be able to integrate audio and video skills in a culminating work.

Chinese Language and Culture Courses

CLC 101 – Beginning Chinese I (4 credits)

Introductory course for non-heritage students. With communicative classroom activities and practices, the course helps students acquire a fundamental knowledge of Chinese and develop basic skills for listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Chinese. Students are expected to develop a good command of the pronunciation system, read short passages, and write simple sentences with an active vocabulary of about 200 Chinese characters. Prerequisite: None.

CLC 102 – Beginning Chinese II (4 credits)

A continuation of CLC101 for non-heritage students. Further develops students’ language skills for listening, speaking, reading, and writing. By the end of this course, students are expected to be able to communicate in some real-life situations in a Mandarin-speaking environment with an active reading and speaking vocabulary of 400 Chinese characters. Prerequisite: CLC101 or equivalent.

CLC 111 Elementary Chinese I (4 credits)

Introductory course for heritage speakers and for learners who have completed CLC102 or the equivalent. Building upon the students’ oral/aural abilities, this course develops students’ communicative competence in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in modern Mandarin Chinese, with special emphasis on reading and writing. By the end of the course, students are expected to have a good command of Mandarin pronunciation, comprehend commonly used sentence patterns, read and write with an active vocabulary of 400 Chinese characters, and possess basic Chinese language reading and writing skills. Prerequisite: CLC102 or equivalent.

CLC 112 Elementary Chinese II (4 credits)

A continuation of CLC111. This course further develops students’ communicative competence in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, with an emphasis on reading and writing. By the end of the course, students are expected to master 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 stories and personal communications. Prerequisite: CLC111 or equivalent.

CLC 131 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.

CLC 211 Intermediate Chinese I (4 credits)

Holistically develops students’ reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills of Chinese language at the intermediate level. Students are expected to acquire cumulatively 1,200 most commonly used Chinese characters, including 100 idioms and phrases; be able to read expository and narrative writings with familiar vocabulary; have 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 equivalent.

CLC 212 Intermediate Chinese II (4 credits)

A continuation of CLC211. Further develops students’ reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills at the intermediate level. Students are expected to acquire cumulatively 1,600 of the most commonly used Chinese characters, including 200 idioms and phrases; be able to read more lengthy expository and narrative writings; be able to write narrations, descriptions, and simple argumentations; and demonstrate a detailed understanding of Chinese culture and society. Prerequisite: CLC211 or equivalent.

CLC 274 Chinese Painting and Calligraphy (2 credits)

Drawing upon the 5,000 years of Chinese philosophical and artistic traditions, this course aims to give students both the technical skills of how to use a Chinese brush and ink as well as the deeper cultural meaning behind the art form. Topics include brush control, stroke order and direction, stroke quality, and traditional composition. Prerequisite: LAS273 Drawing II.

CLC 311 Advanced Chinese I (4 credits)

Further develops listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in Mandarin Chinese, with an emphasis on oral communication. Through examining representative public speeches, debates, in-depth interviews, and news reports, students explore the interplay of various factors governing effective oral communication. Multimedia and online resources are used extensively. Students can expect to build vocabulary significantly while gaining cultural knowledge related to Chinese literature and history. Forms part of a two-year looping sequence with CLC312. Prerequisite: CLC212; or by instructor consent.

CLC 312 Advanced Chinese II (4 credits)

Further develops listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in Mandarin Chinese, with an emphasis on written communication. By studying representative expository and descriptive pieces, as well as persuasive articles and poetry, students will develop the ability to summarize, explain, and persuade through effective writing. Multimedia and online resources are used extensively. Students can expect to build vocabulary significantly while also gaining cultural knowledge related to Chinese literature and history. Forms part of a two-year looping sequence with CLC311. Prerequisites: CLC212; or by instructor consent.

CLC 331, 332, 333 Topics in Chinese History I, II, III (3 credits each)

An in-depth study of the Han dynasty (I), Tang and Song dynasties (II), and Ming and Qing dynasties (III). 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: CLC131 Chinese Civilization; or by instructor consent.

CLC 411, 412 Classical Chinese I, II (4 credits each)

Designed for advanced students of the Chinese language, this course sequence covers classical Chinese (wenyanwen/classical prose文言文) and a wide variety of poetic genres. The two courses aims to help students to build up the necessary foundation for learning and studying Chinese classics in the future. Prerequisite: CLC312; or by instructor consent.

CLC 421, 422 Chinese Language Arts I, II (4 credits each)

This course sequence is designed for students who have completed primary education in a Chinese-speaking country or who have completed the two-year sequence of Classical Chinese at Fei Tian. This course sequence builds on students’ native language proficiency and aims to extend and expand their linguistic and cultural knowledge. In particular, it develops students’ ability to read Classical Chinese and to write in modern Chinese. It also exposes students to the cultural traditions of China.

CLC 423, 424 Chinese Language Arts III, IV (4 credits each)

This course sequence is intended for students who have completed 8 to 9 years of education in a Chinese-speaking country. Building upon students’ native proficiency, the course sequence further develops students’ ability to read both prose and poetry in Classical Chinese and to write in formal modern Chinese. It also exposes students to the cultural traditions of China. Prerequisite: CLC421 and CLC422.

CLC 431, 432 Chinese Literature I, II (4 credits each)

A focused study of the dominant literary genres and representative works of classical Chinese literature, including Tang poetry, Song ci (lyrics), Yuan qu (verses), pre-Qin essays, and fiction from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Students learn to appreciate and analyze major classical Chinese literary works and apply rhetorical skills in their writings. Designed for native speakers or advanced Chinese learners. All readings are in Chinese. Prerequisites: CLC131 Chinese Civilization and CLC412 Classical Chinese II.