Department of Liberal Arts & Sciences

LAS Course Descriptions

LAS001 ESL (0 credit)

Designed to help English language learners 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.

LAS002 Introduction to College English (0 credit)

A prerequisite to LAS103 Effective English for students who are identified by English placement testing as in need of remediation. Focus is given to the mirror processes of reading and writing, including grammatical and stylistic study. Upon completion students will be better prepared for all liberal arts classes in which writing and critical reading are needed.

LAS100 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.

LAS103A/B Effective English A/B (1.5 credits each)

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. The course sequence is highly practical in nature and is meant to hone some of the skills most valuable to college success and career readiness.

LAS110A/B Western Civilization A/B (1.5 credits each)

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.

LAS120A/B Mathematics in Applied Context A/B (1.5 credits each)

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.

LAS204A/B Public Speaking A/B (1.5 credits each)

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 or by instructor consent.

LAS220A/B Calculus A/B (1.5 credits each)

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.

LAS232A/B The Making of the Modern World A/B(1.5 credits each)

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.

LAS272 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.

LAS273 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.

LAS313A/B Masterpieces of World Literature A/B (1.5 credits each)

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 or by instructor consent.

LAS350R Independent Study in Arts and Sciences (1-4 credits)

This independent study course provides students an opportunity to investigate a topic outside the current course offerings from the Department of LAS. All independent study courses must be approved in advance and be closely supervised by a faculty member. An independent study proposal must include a course outline developed through consultation between the student and faculty supervisor, and it will serve as the official course description. The course may take the form of faculty-supervised research, study, or a project. This course may be repeated for credit.

LAS371 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. Prerequisite: LAS273 or by instructor consent.

LAS522A/B Seminar in Performing Arts Management A/B (1.5 credits each)

This course sequence 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 these courses, students will simulate real-world situations in managing a performing arts company or school. The course sequence also emphasizes entrepreneurial thinking in today’s fast-changing world. These courses feature a slate of guest speakers with different expertise.

LAS550 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.

LAS570 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

CLC101A/B, 102A/B Beginning Chinese I-A/B, II-A/B (2 credits each)

Beginning Chinese I and II are 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.

CLC111A/B, 112A/B Elementary Chinese I-A/B, II-A/B (2 credits each)

Designed as an introductory course 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 the equivalent.

CLC131A/B Chinese Civilization A/B (1.5 credits each)

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.

CLC211A/B, 212A/B Intermediate Chinese I-A/B, II-A/B (2 credits each)

Holistically develops students’ reading, writing, speak- ing, 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 understand- ing of Chinese culture and society. Prerequisite: CLC112 or equivalent.

CLC274 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: LAS272.

CLC311A/B, 312A/B Advanced Chinese I-A/B, II-A/B (2 credits each)

Further develops listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in Mandarin Chinese, with an emphasis on vocabulary building and developing life-long 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 by instructor consent.

CLC331A/B Topics in Chinese History A/B (1.5 credits each)

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: CLC131A&B or by instructor consent.

CLC411A/B, 412A/B Classical Chinese I-A/B, II-A/B (2 credits each)

This course serves as a transition from the contemporary Mandarin to classical Chinese language (wen yan wen). Through introduction of selected elementary levels of classical Chinese essays and poetry, students develop basic reading and comprehension skills in classical Chinese. Students study not only syntactic patterns and vocabulary of classical Chinese but also the cultural values, philosophies, and history behind the texts. The course also develops students’ skills in reading and writing in modern Mandarin. Prerequisite: CLC312 or by instructor consent.

CLC421A/B, 422A/B Chinese Language Arts I-A/B, II-A/B (2 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. Prerequisite: CLC412 or by instructor consent.

CLC423A/B, 424A/B Chinese Language Arts III-A/B, IV-A/B (2 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: CLC422 or by instructor consent.

CLC431A/B, 432A/B Chinese Literature I-A/B, II-A/B (2 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: CLC424 or by instructor consent.