Course Descriptions

Core Courses

ISS 301: Social Science Theory in Context

Instructor: ISS Teaching Team
Credits: 5
Learn how to integrate social science theories and disciplinary traditions to make sense of the complexity of social life. Survey the key concepts and research interests that ISS faculty bring to their teaching and develop the skills needed to study, communicate and collaborate as a socially engaged online student.


ISS 302: Survey of Social Science Methods

Instructor: ISS Teaching Team
Credits: 5
Get an inclusive survey of methods used across the social sciences. Learn about statistics, survey research and data visualization techniques. Explore qualitative research methods ranging from participant observation to archival textual analysis. Develop skills in both quantitative and qualitative reasoning using real-world evidence.


ISS 350: Introduction to Portfolios in the Social Sciences

Instructor: ISS Teaching Team
Credits: 2
Discover how to develop your ISS E-portfolio, the integrated suite of Web content that will document your learning and forge connections between different disciplines. Explore how to plan your pathway to degree completion, articulate connections between what you learn in your courses and outside of your studies, and prepare to describe that learning to diverse audiences through your portfolio.


ISS 355: Portfolio Seminar in Integrated Social Sciences

Instructor: ISS Teaching Team
Credits: 3
Continue the reflection, integration and representational work begun in ISS 350, developing your E-portfolio into a personalized tool for conceptualizing and communicating your learning in the program. Collaborate with fellow students to draw connections between courses, create presentations and make aesthetic and content-based website platform decisions.
Prerequisite: ISS 350


ISS 401: Integrated Social Sciences Capstone

Instructor: ISS Teaching Team
Credits: 5
Synthesize your ISS coursework and fine-tune your ability to showcase your learning to audiences beyond the university, including employers and graduate schools. Reflect on the artifacts from your coursework, review the social science practices you have learned and examine your personalized glossary of social science keywords as you complete, present and publish your E-portfolio.


Other ISS Courses

AES/COM/GWSS 389: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Media

Instructor: LeiLani Nishime
Credits: 5
This course offers an introduction to media representations of gender, race and sexuality.


AES/COM 489: Black Cultural Studies

Instructor: Ralina Joseph
Credits: 5
Examine how images of blackness have been (re)constructed through identity formation and entrenched inequality. Topics include black women's bodies, black men's bodies, blackface minstrelsy, black queer studies, black power and black hybridities.


ANTH 308: Anthropology of Gender, Women’s Health, and Reproduction

Instructor: Rachel Chapman
Credits: 5
This course explores anthropological approaches to improving women's health by surveying women's health history, status and participation in health care. Analyze a range of health issues — including reproductive health care problems, women's body images and sexuality, and current health policies — as they relate to daily structures and relationships of gender, race/ethnicity and class.


ANTH 377: Anthropology of International Health

Instructor: James Pfeiffer
Credits: 5
Learn about international health from medical anthropological perspective, focusing on serious health problems facing resource-poor societies around the globe and in the United States. Develop an awareness on political, socio-economic, ecological and cultural complexity of most health problems, and anthropology's consequent role in the field of international health.


ANTH 378: Sustainability, Resilience, and Society

Instructor: UW Faculty
Credits: 5
This course offers an introduction to concepts of sustainability and resilience and their relevance to environment and society in the current Anthropocene era. Understand sustainability and resilience through ecological footprints, lessons from small-scale societies, case studies of resource management, theory of common property regimes, philosophies of environmental stewardship and implications of climate change.


ANTH 460: History of Anthropology (and the Future of Social Science)

Instructor: Celia Lowe
Credits: 5
This course covers sources and development of leading concepts, issues and approaches in anthropology. It includes findings of anthropology in relation to scientific and humanistic implications and to practical application. It looks at the main contributors to the field, both their work and their influence. Past, present and future perspectives, including anthropology of modern life, are investigated.


COM 220: Introduction to Public Speaking

Instructor: Matthew McGarrity
Credits: 5
This course is designed to increase competence in public speaking and the critique of public speaking. It emphasizes choice and organization of material, sound reasoning, audience analysis and delivery.


COM 318: The Creative Advantage

Instructor: Nancy Rivenburgh
Credits: 5
Drawing research related to cognition, communication and creativity, this course trains students in the design and application of problem-solving approaches to complex community and organizational challenges. It emphasizes the benefits of diversity and collaboration in the design of innovative solutions.


COM 325: Communication, Cities, and Sustainability

Instructor: Nancy Rivenburgh
Credits: 5
This course explores the varied ways in which communication and creativity can improve the sustainability and livability of cities. Students employ an array of fieldwork techniques to observe and analyze the complex, urban communication environment in which they live.


COM 339: The Business of Media in the Digital Age

Instructor: UW Faculty
Credits: 5
Examine the production of media within changing social, technological and economic contexts. Look at how new technologies can change the market for media goods and media experiences and the ways in which mediated production pervades contemporary economic life.


COM 420/JSIS B 419/POLS 468: Comparative Media Systems

Instructor: UW Faculty
Credits: 5
Understand policies that shape national communication processes and systems. Use comparative analysis to identify both similarities and differences among media structures of nations at different levels of development. The primary emphasis is on broadcast media. Offered jointly with JSIS B 419/POL S 468.


COM 468: Media Ethics

Instructor: UW Faculty
Credits: 5
Study ethical issues and ethical decision making as they pertain to journalistic and media practices.


ECON 200: Introduction to Microeconomics

Instructor: Haideh Salehi-Esfahani
Credits: 5
This course includes an analysis of markets: consumer demand, production, exchange, the price system, resource allocation and government intervention.


ECON 201: Introduction to Macroeconomics

Instructor: Dennis O'Dea
Credits: 5
Undertake an analysis of the aggregate economy: national income, inflation, business fluctuations, unemployment, monetary system, federal budget, international trade and finance.
Prerequisite: ECON 200


ECON 282: Using Econometrics: A Practical Approach

Instructor: Greg Ellis
Credits: 5
This course focuses on estimating economic relationships, confronting economic theory with facts and testing hypotheses involving economic behavior. Specific topics include mathematical statistics, single and multiple variable regression analysis, the Gauss-Markov Theorem, hypothesis testing, model specification, multicollinearity, dummy variable, heteroskedasticity and serial correlation.


ENVIR/POL S 385: Political Ecology of the World Food System

Instructor: Karen Litfin
Credits: 5
Investigates the intersection of globalization and food politics, the pivotal role of petroleum in the world food system, and the commodity chains for some foods. Includes an optional service learning component.


GEOG/JSIS D 323: Globalization and You

Instructor: UW Faculty 
Credits: 5
This course offers an evidence-based analysis of globalization that addresses how individuals are affected personally as well as economically a midst the market-led processes of global integration.


GEOG 337: Migration and Development in China

Instructor: Kam Wing Chan
Credits: 5
Examine patterns of China's internal migration in different periods in relation to economic development. Explore how the state-created dual structure and the household registration system enables China to have a huge class of super-exploitable migrant labor and become the world's premier low-end manufacturing center.


GEOG 478: Social Justice and the City

Instructor: UW Faculty
Credits: 5
Study the link between general theories of urban inequality and their specific manifestation in the United States. Explore a series of themes related to contemporary urbanization processes including the recent mortgage crisis, segregation, gentrification, enclaves, fortification, redevelopment, homelessness and the loss of public space.


HSTAS/JSIS A 454: History of Modern China

Instructor: Madeleine Yue Dong
Credits: 5
Delve into the social, cultural, political, economic and intellectual transformations and continuities in China from the end of the imperial period to the present.


HSTCMP/JSIS A 205: Filipino Histories

Instructor: Vicente Rafael
Credits: 5
Get an introduction to the histories, cultures and politics of Filipinos and the Philippines. This course examines pre-colonial societies, Spanish colonial rule, nationalism and Revolution, the Filipino-American war, U.S. colonial rule, Japanese occupation, postcolonial period to Martial Law, continuing rebellions, and the Filipino diaspora.


HSTCMP/CHID 485: Comparative Colonialism

Instructor: Vicente Rafael
Credits: 5
Explore the historic roots and practices of colonialism throughout the world, focusing on the roles of nationalism, cosmopolitanism and imperial domination. The course treats colonialism as a world event whose effects continue to be felt and whose power needs to be addressed.


ISS 381: Advanced Research Writing in the Social Sciences

Instructor: ISS Teaching Team
Credits: 5
This course concentrates on the development of advanced research-based writing skills in the social sciences.


JSIS A/POL S 435: Japanese Government and Politics

Instructor: Robert Pekkanen
Credits: 5
Explore the government and politics of Japan with emphasis on the period since 1945.


JSIS B 310/POL S 320: State-Society Relations in Third World Countries

Instructor: José Antonio Lucero
Credits: 5
Examine the relationships among political, social, and economic changes in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Explore problems of economic and political development, revolution and reform, state-society relations, imperialism and dependency.


JSIS B 320: Yoga: History, Practice, and Health

Instructor: Christian Novetzke
Credits: 5
Delve into the history, practice, literature, and health effects of yoga from ancient to modern times. Explore essential texts and ideas, issues of health and wellness, and contemporary legal debates about yoga.


JSIS B 331: Political Economy of Development

Instructor: Sunila Kale
Credits: 5
This course covers growth, income distribution and economic development in less-developed countries today. Includes examination of policies concerning trade, industrialization, the agricultural sector, human resources and financing of development.


JSIS B 351: The Global Environment

Instructor: Celia Lowe
Credits: 5
Explore the environment through an international perspective emphasizing the social implications of living in an economically globalized and environmentally interconnected world. Examine these implications through examples of toxics and the human body, biodiversity conservation, climate change, disease and environmental problems.


JSIS B 406/POL S 432: Political Islam and Islamic Fundamentalism

Instructor: Karam Dana
Credits: 5
Study the resurgence, since the mid-1970s, of political Islam and what has come to be called Islamic fundamentalism, especially in the Middle East. Topics include the nature and variety of political Islam today, causes and implications of the current resurgence, and comparison with previous resurgences.


JSIS B 416: Putting the World on the Couch: Psychoanalysis and International Studies

Instructor: Deborah Porter
Credits: 5
Examine the relation of trauma to memory and cultural production, focusing on historical, literary and filmic treatments of hysteria and repression, shell shock, and the effects of war, terrorism and psychic trauma. Use psychoanalytical theory to analyze the commentary on international issues that lies in texts, films and other cultural phenomena.


JSIS B 420: Failed States

Instructor: Scott Radnitz
Credits: 5
Critically examine the causes and consequences of state failure. Analyze theories about the rise of the modern state and the precondition for "successful" states to form and endure, then examine theories and case studies of the modern failed state.


LSJ/POL S 327: Women's Rights as Human Rights

Instructor: Rachel Cichowski
Credits: 5
Explore women's rights in comparative perspective, focusing on varying settings that alter the meaning and practical application. Topics at the domestic level include abortion politics to trafficking in women. Topics at the international level include equality claims before European supranational judicial bodies and rape as war crime in international law.


PHIL 102: Contemporary Moral Problems

Instructor: Michael Blake
Credits: 5
This course offers a philosophical consideration of some of the main moral problems of modern society and civilization, such as abortion, euthanasia, war and capital punishment. Topics vary.


PHIL 343: Ethics and the Environment

Instructor: UW Faculty
Credits: 5
Undertake an advanced introduction to environmental ethics, with an emphasis on nonanthropocentric value theory.


PHIL 362: Topics in the Philosophy of Science

Instructor: Lynn Hankinson Nelson
Credits: 5
This course offers a critical study of nature of scientific knowledge, emphasizing the role of evidence in several different sciences. Topics include accounts of scientific methods; the relation of theory to observation; how theories change; and the nature of the confirmation and falsification of hypotheses and theories.


POL S 312: Survey of American Political Thought

Instructor: Jack Turner
Credits: 5
This course is a survey of American political thought from colonial times to the 1980s. Topics include the idea of the self-made man; the intellectual contexts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution; slavery, abolition and the Civil War; progressivism; Cold War liberalism; the Civil Rights Movement and its critics; and modern conservatism.
Prerequisite: cannot be taken for credit if POL S 318 or POL S 319 has already been taken.


RELIG 380: Theories in the Study of Religion

Instructor: James Wellman
Credits: 5
Look at a variety of approaches to the study of religion, centered on examining the relationship between religion and modernity in the tradition of post-enlightenment, Euro-American scholarship. Examine theories of religion across disciplines: history, anthropology, sociology, Marxism, feminism, postmodernism, political theology and Freudian psycho-analytical theory.


SOC 362: Race Relations

Instructor: Alexes Harris
Credits: 5
Review social science perspectives on race and ethnicity. Explore sociological definitions and understandings associated with race and ethnicity and the construction of identities. Examine different issues that impact the life chances of individuals and groups.