University of Southern Indiana

Course Descriptions

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LBST 550 - Special Studies in Liberal Arts

Liberal studies in conjunction with special activities and events such as seminars, conferences, fieldwork, lecture series, research, and travel. Repeatable, but only a total of three hours may apply to the 33 hours required in the MALS degree. Credit varies, and the instructor together with the director of the MALS program will determine the amount of credit.

LBST 590 - Interdisciplinary Topics in Liberal Studies

A seminar in which students will draw upon their educational experiences to develop interdisciplinary responses to a problem or issue in contemporary life. Course parallels LIBA 497 in the undergraduate curriculum and will be offered in concert with sections of that class but with additional requirements suitable for the awarding of graduate credit. Repeatable with topic change.

LBST 601 - Language

A study of the complex abstract system that links meanings with sounds and symbols. Beginning with the question "What is language?" this course explores all aspects of language study, including how children learn language; how languages change; how regional dialects vary. It provides an interdisciplinary survey of basic concepts and applications to understand the subconscious knowledge speakers have. The course will provide an opportunity for students to upgrade their interdisciplinary academic writing skills if necessary. A humanities core course in the MALS program.

LBST 602 - Nature and Nurture

An introduction to the neurogenetic revolution currently gaining momentum in the biological and social sciences. The course examines research and theory from the fields of evolutionary psychology, behavioral genetics, and behavioral endocrinology as challenges to the anti-biological perspectives on human social behavior found in traditional social science. Such issues lend themselves well to the most important purpose of the course: developing the skills, worldview, and values of a critical thinker. A social sciences core course in the MALS program.

LBST 603 - American Values: Contemporary Debate

An examination of current controversies involving the evolution and effects of values in American culture, including equality, materialism, personal responsibility, and rights. Explores the relationships between cultural and economic forces with respect to such social problems as poverty, crime, racial friction, and family disorganization. A social sciences core course in the MALS program.

Cross-Listed: Cross-listed as SOC 603.

LBST 606 - After Darwin

A study of the consequences of Charles Darwin's theories as they pertain to the humanities including history, literature, philosophy, religion, and civics. Includes a discussion of the methodologies of humanities research. A humanities core course in the MALS program.

LBST 609 - Readings in Contemporary Science and Mathematics

This course is designed to introduce graduate students who are not necessarily scientists to the literature of modern science and mathematics. Students will select, read, report on, and discuss books from reading lists provided by the instructor in five different areas of science and mathematics. This course can be taken as the natural science core requirement or as an elective for the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program or an elective in the Master of Science in Education program.

LBST 610 - Capstone Course, Graduating Seminar in Liberal Studies

The objective of this course is to give students in the MALS program an opportunity to create a meaningful synthesis of their core courses and electives. The organizing topics for this course can be varied. This course along with one other 600-level elective or other organizing topics of 610 constitutes one of the options for the final six hours of the MALS called the Capstone Experience.

LBST 611 - Capstone Elective

The word "rhetoric" can be traced back to the simple assertion "I say" (Eiro in Greek). Almost anything related to the act of saying something to someone-in speech or in writing-can conceivably fall within the domain of rhetoric. This course will explore the various philosophical and psychological theories of humans that impinged on various rhetorical theories and practices from classical times to the present. We will see how political, technological, economic, and scientific events affected rhetorical theory and practice and how in turn rhetoric affected them. We will explore the ethical dimensions of rhetoric. We will attempt to salvage the best of past and present theory and practice and attempt to integrate them into comprehensive and useful perspective on rhetoric-and eventually into our own practices in speaking and writing.

LBST 612 - Modernity and Postmodernity

An examination of the historical eras labeled in Western society as "modernity" and "postmodernity," and an attempt to define such eras through the disciplines of sociology, philosophy, and history. Also includes analyses of modern and postmodern culture in the realms of literature, poetry, art, music, and architecture. A social sciences core course in the MALS program.

LBST 613 - Science in Society

A study of the place of science in and as society. Considers science in its increasingly salient role in politics, law, economy, medicine, and resolution of socio-technical problems. Also addresses social structural dimensions of the scientific community and social shaping of scientific knowledge. A social science core course in the MALS program.

LBST 615 - Revolutions

An interdisciplinary examination of the origins and progress of European revolutions from the French Revolution of 1789 through revolutions in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in 1989-1991. A goal of the course is to understand the lessons or patterns represented in European revolutions during this period. The course introduces the topic through lecture. Students discuss and present in a seminar setting, and complete a substantial research project by the end of the semester.

LBST 621 – Readings in Contemporary Social Sciences

An interdisciplinary exploration of significant issues and perspectives on society and how people interact and develop as a culture. Topics may vary from semester to semester. The seminar should be taken within the first year of the student's enrollment in the program.   This course satisfies three hours of credit toward the required 12 hours of core electives. This course, a core LBST course, has no prerequisites.

LBST 622 – Readings in Contemporary Humanities

An interdisciplinary exploration of significant issues and perspectives on human culture and the contemporary world. Topics may vary from semester to semester. The seminar should be taken within the first year of the student's enrollment in the program.   This course satisfies three hours of credit toward the required 12 hours of core electives. This course, a core LBST course, has no prerequisites.

LBST 670 – The Individual and Community

A community outreach and service-based course, offered as an independent study and supervised by the program director or appointed advisor. This course may be repeated one time, if the duration of the project warrants it. This course satisfies three to six hours of credit toward the required 12 hours of core electives.

LBST 680 - Topics in Liberal Studies

Examination of topics germane to the liberal arts but not included in the regular graduate course offerings. Specific topics will vary from semester to semester and will be announced in the schedule of course offerings.

LBST 690 - Independent Work in Liberal Studies

Directed study or research in a specific area of liberal studies. Topic of investigation is selected to meet the needs and interests of the student, subject to the availability of graduate faculty to supervise the work. Not to be taken more than twice by master's degree candidates without prior permission of graduate advisor.

LBST 697 - Capstone Project in Liberal Studies I

The first of two courses involving intensive study of a topic within liberal studies, selected with the student's faculty advisor and approved by the members of the MALS faculty advisory committee. Combined with the LBST 698, the study should yield a written work of sufficient length and quality to warrant a total of six hours of graduate credit, although projects such as artistic creations, computer programs, theatrical productions, and community service programs also may be acceptable.

LBST 698 - Capstone Project in Liberal Studies II

The second of two courses involving intensive study of a topic within liberal studies, selected with the student's faculty advisor and approved by the members of the MALS faculty advisory committee. Combined with LBST 697, the study should yield a written work of sufficient length and quality to warrant a total of six hours of graduate credit, although projects such as artistic creations, computer programs, theatrical productions, and community service programs may also be acceptable. Final grade recorded as satisfactory or unsatisfactory only.

View current class schedules.

In addition to dedicated liberal studies classes (LBST prefix), the MALS also accepts courses from other disciplines and from other master’s programs at USI, though the director of the MALS has to seek approval for students in such cases. The net effect is that the MALS has access to more courses than just those with the LBST prefix.

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