Elective Courses

12 week or 5 week intensive Elective courses in Art, Design & Architecture, Latin-American Culture, Environmental Sciences, Health Sciences, Social Science and International Relations, International Business and Economics. Students who don’t have an advance level of Spanish can enroll in courses taught in English.

Electives Courses Taught in English

Environmental Sciences

+ ENV 3005: Environmental Impact and Social Development 4 credits (60 hours)

This course is an introduction to the study of major environmental problems and issues confronting modern society. Students will examine ecosystems, population patterns and dynamics; use and misuse of resources; population and environmental quality; environmental citizenship and economic incentives and Costa Rican initiatives in eco- tourism.

+ ENV 3044: Tropical Ecology 4 credits (60 hours)

Students will learn about the interactions between earth and land and how these interactions or processes affect our life and the stability of the planet. Emphasis will be given to the study of the most relevant tropical ecosystems such as: tropical rain forest, cloud forests, coral reefs and mangroves. Field trips to selected environments will provide on site examples of some of the issues learned through class work and readings. All field trips are mandatory.

+ ENV 3120 Land Vertebrates of Costa Rica 4 credits (60 hours)

This course is an introduction to the zoology of terrestrial vertebrates in Costa Rica. Students will gain insight about various biological characteristics of the groups of land chordates in the country. Costa Rica has an immensely rich animal biodiversity, with an influence of both North American and South American fauna and is a world-renowned hot spot for animal research and conservation.

Emphasis will be given to the study of Costa Rican species, but others will be discussed as well.

+ ENV 3150 Tropical Botany 4 credits (60 hours)

This lecture/field course will provide students with a general overview of tropical plants. Students will gain insight about basic botanical concepts and be able to explore a variety of ecosystems, their plants and the multiple and complex ecological interactions that can be found in these areas. Costa Rica is a tropical country with an immensely rich biodiversity and for this reason a very representative area to these studies. Emphasis will be given to the most common plant families in Costa Rica, but others will be discussed as well.

+ ENV 3190 Tropical Marine Biology 4 credits (60 hours)

The course studies the balance between ecosystems and human stress and demands on the constant changing Marine environment.

All field trips are mandatory. Certified Divers may pay a $100 fee in order to complete 2 immersions in each field trip (4 immersions total).

+ ENV 4040: Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems 4 credits (60 hours)

This course will examine agricultural and food systems from a ecological systems perspective. After establishing a foundation of basic ecological concepts (relationships and interactions between abiotic/non-living and biotic/living components of an ecosystem), different applications of these concepts to agricultural systems will be investigated. Consumption and production issues related to food system sustainability will be analyzed, and students will explore their own role in the food system. Field trips will provide opportunities for direct observation of (and interaction with) different approaches to food production and distribution in Costa Rica.

+ ENV 4040: Environmental Awareness and Sustainable Development 4 credits (60 hours)

This course is an introduction to the actual world problems in natural resources management and conservation, and its effects on sustainable development efforts in tropical countries. Current issues that condition the possibility for development such as poverty, global warming, deforestation and potable water will be analyzed.

+ ENV 3740: Climate Change and Renewable Energies (New Course to be Opened Fall 14) 4 credits (60 hours)

This course is an introduction to renewable energies and their impact on development and future needs of the planet Earth. Mankind is facing serious natural disasters and events caused by global warming and climate change. These phenomena are related to the population growth and the increase in fossil fuels burning, particularly after the industrial revolution. There is a general concern and interest of societies to change gradually toward the implementation of renewable energies to meet human needs in the future. This course will be focused on Costa Rica’s potential for renewable energies

Art and Humanities

+ ARCH 3112 History of Latin American Architecture and Art 3 credits (48 hours)

A chronological overview of main inventions and influences that contributed to the making of past and present architecture in Latin America analyzing the artistic manifestations.

+ ARCH 3200 Tropical Architecture and Design 4 credits (60 hours)

This course teaches students to develop the skill to analyze a particular architectural situation and be able to offer adequate design solutions that will guarantee a good quality environment. It is offered to all students with no previous knowledge of design projection and means of graphic expression, who want to learn about tropical design.

+ ART 2100 Art Fundamentals: Theory and Practice 3 credits (48 hours)

This course is designed for the beginner student to help find personal meaning in works of art and develop a better understanding of the nature and validity of art as visual and space language (line, shape, volume, light, space, time, motion, color, and texture). This means that you will learn about the essentials of art through experience and experimentation. Through determination and an open mind, you will increase your creativity and discover more interesting ways to understand and judge the visual arts.

Emphasis is on the diversity of form and content in artwork. With willingness to work and an open mind, your experiences in this class will be memorable in a positive way. Upon completion, students should understand the basics of art materials used and have a basic overview of the history of art and how art represents its society, especially, Latin American culture.

+ ART 2130 Mural Painting and Public Art 4credits (60 hours)

ART 2130 Mural Painting and Public Art 4credits (60 hours) This studio art course introduces theoretical and practical aspects of large-scale painting, murals and public art. The course includes an actual practicum in large-scale media and experimentation of early and contemporary techniques including drawing, fresco, painting, aerosol and various industrial materials. The objective of this course is for students to develop understanding about some of the social roles of art and the impact of murals in communities, based upon its historical and contemporary applications. The course will enable student to control scale, color, specific techniques and safety measures aimed at public spaces. Students will incorporate a Service Learning component by either conducting a collective workshop with children from a rural location or actually painting a collective mural as a donation to a community. The Students fine arts background will help with the complexity of the final collective project but the course does not require previous painting knowledge.

+ ART 1301 Basic Principles of Drawing 3 credits (48 hours)

This studio art course introduces basic principles of drawing. The course includes model drawings, landscape drawings and experimental (abstract) drawings. The focus of this course is on the development of expression and observational drawing from still life, a model and landscapes.

+ ART 3200 Liturgical Art and Architecture 3 credits (48 hours)

The course´s objectives are designed to supply the basics in aesthetic and conceptual knowledge as well as an introduction to Christian art´s historical and sociological aspects. Furthermore, it will allow the student to learn about the contextual framework needed for a better understanding of the social representations and ideologies in art history. Therefore, this course is designed to understand art as a social practice and as part of a web of symbolical and cultural phenomena throughout western history.

+ CTV 3400 Documentary Appreciation 3 credits (48 hours)

Documentary Appreciation will focus on the critical analysis of audiovisual documentaries, exploring film and photography mediums in traditional and new media. Class interactions will comprise academic learning, viewing and discussion of material, practical exercises and written assignments.

+ DNCE 2500 Introduction to Latin American Tropical Dance 3 credits (48 hours)

This course explores the technique, rhythm and movement style of Latin American Tropical dance. History, anthropology, folklore videos and songs are part of this experiential course. This course will provide students with a general overview and a better understanding of the folklore and history of Latin American dance. They should also be acquainted with some of the basic rhythms in various countries.

+ HUM 3513 Costa Rica Colloquium: History & Culture 3 credits (48 hours)

This course is a general survey of the complex heritage and social evolution of Costa Rica, examined through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary view focusing on the historical development and present day dynamics of economy, society, politics, natural resources and culture. Emphasis will be placed upon different topics during the course, according to students' backgrounds and expectations.

+ ETH 3100 Selected Topics in Afro-Caribbean Studies 3 credits (48 hours)

Can also count for ETHN 3100 Selected Topics in Ethnic Studies

This course examines a particular topic, theme, issue, or problem concerning the Black presence in Costa Rica and Central America.

Sample offerings could include Central America and ethnic politics, history and Culture, Blacks in Central American governments, Contemporary Black literature, History of the Black experience in Costa Rica.

+ PHIL 3100 Comparative Classical Philosophy 3 credits (48 hours)

This course is an overview of the history and selected concepts in major eastern and western philosophical movements and systems from ancient to the middle age periods. Students will reflect on certain topics such as mind-body, concept of God, knowledge of self and others, predestination and free will, cause and effect and other fundamental ideas in classical knowledge.

+ PHOT 2100 Ecological Photography 4 credits (60 hours)

The course offers general and basic knowledge and skills about the possibilities and stages of digital photography applied to ecological exploration. Through practice exercises and field trips students will be able to consciously create and manipulate digital photographic images while exploring Costa Rican ecological systems.

+ PHOT 2130 Cultural Photography 3 credits (48 hours)

This course offers goes over basic photographic skills as a means of cultural exploration. The practice exercises will apply the information covered in lectures so students can consciously explore Costa Rican culture through the creation of photographic images and essays.

Students will be able to consciously create photographs that document aspects of Costa Rican Culture through Portraiture and Landscapes.

+ PHOT 2600 Digital Photography 3 credits (48 hours)

The course offers the acquisition of technical knowledge and skills in the capture and manipulation of digital photographic images. Students must have a digital point n' shoot or SLR camera and a basic knowledge of Mac and Windows Operating Systems.

Students will apply the information provided in the lectures consciously through the creation and manipulation of digital photographic images.

Business, Economics, and Communication

+ COMM 3070 Creative Conflict Resolution 4 credits (60 hours)

A multicultural, gender sensitive course is designed for students who wish to learn strategies and techniques in thought and behavior transformations for conflict resolution. The course focuses on techniques to bring about positive focused changes through continuous experiences in community building and self-improvement. The course is based on the Alternatives to Violence Project; a program started in NY State in the seventies. Fundacion CEPPA, Center for Peace Studies, has implemented this program in Costa Rica, Switzerland and other Latin American countries since 1990. Using a participatory and interactive methodology, emphasis is made on the following themes: Self-esteem and self-care, communication skills, cooperation, community building and conflict resolution, including mediation, bias awareness and cultural diversity. Mandatory fieldwork sessions will be conducted at a school, a communal group or a penal institution.

+ COMM 3200 Intercultural Communication 3 credits (48 hours)

This course addresses issues of diversity and commonalities amongst human beings, implications and applications according to each situation and professional context. Students will develop skills for intercultural competence.

+ ECON 3403 Introduction to International Economics in Latin America 3 credits (48 hours)

Pre- Requisite ECON 1000, or ECON 2010 and 2020.

Examines Latin American policies that affect the international economy, with attention to trade barriers, economic nationalism and regionalism, international political economy, exchange market intervention and international transmission of economic perturbations.

+ GEB 3350 Introduction to International Business 3 credits (48 hours)

An overview of cultural environment of international business and the institutions, which affect business today. The Latin American perspective with regard to the U.S., Asia and Europe is examined: NAFTA, Merco Sur, the EC and other common market areas and agreements.

+ GEB 3500 Ecotourism: The Costa Rica Case 4 credits (60 hours)

The course will offer the chance to analyze this dynamic process from different socio-economic perspectives. It will discuss the economic importance of ecotourism for the Costa Rican national economy, the stimulation of grassroots, community ecotourism projects, and the role of ecotourism in securing environmental protection. The advances and limitations of ecotourism will be explored.

+ GEB 3120 Innovation and Entrepreneurship 3 credits (48 hours)

This course seeks to understand the impact of innovation and entrepreneurship on global and local economies as well as patterns of innovation and their impact on cultures and business environments. The content will also include discussions and investigations about important elements of entrepreneurship such as stages of a business, sources of funding, exit strategies and key skills for entrepreneurs.

+ MGMT 3030 Creative Leadership Skills 3 credits (48 hours)

Provides the opportunity to learn about and practice the skills required for managerial excellence. These skills include leadership, negotiation, conducting performance appraisals, delegation, effective communication, interviewing and making hiring decisions and effective human resource management.

+ MKTG 3010 International Marketing Management 3 credits (48 hours)

This course is designed to give the student an understanding of international marketing in terms of both the challenges and opportunities. The course assumes that students are familiar with basic marketing terms and have a basic to mid understanding of marketing concepts. The course will examine the concepts related to international marketing, while students analyze case studies and propose ideas through assignments to attain the objectives of the course.

+ PSY 3050 Cultural Psychology 3 credits (48 hours)

This course introduces students to the field of psychology that examines the influence of culture upon human behavior and cognitive processes. “Culture” is defined as the shared norms, values, and behaviors of groups and of the individuals in those groups. We will focus on such topics as cultural factors in self-concept, gender roles, motivation, cognition, emotions, relationships, and social values. Our exploration will be based on psychological theories, research, guest lecturers, and field experiences.

History, Politics, and International Relations

+ HIS 3290 Costa Rican Economic Development 3 credits (48 hours)

This course introduces the outstanding socio-economic and political features that have shaped and defined the history and development path of Costa Rica.

+ HIS 2302 Contemporary Latin-American History 3 credits (48 hours)

This course is a survey of the main events in Latin American History after its independence. Topics include the historical causes and effects of the independence, some of the main issues on social, economic and political problems and the main historical leaders in modern Latin America.

+ POL 2500 Human Rights in Latin America 3 credits (48 hours)

A particular emphasis will be given to the case of Costa Rica, giving the students an opportunity to explore the development of human rights in the following areas: women’s rights, children’s rights, HIV/AIDS, the CAFTA agreement and labor rights, indigenous groups and human rights, disability and age issues, and the prison environment.

+ POL 3100 Costa Rican Tradition: Peace and Democracy 3 credits (48 hours)

The general objective of this course is to discuss, with students, the social, economic and political issues of the process of construction of peace and democracy in Costa Rica and Central America (1948-2005).

+ POL 3220 Migration Issues: The Costa Rica Case 3 credits (48 hours)

This class studies the construction of migrants as others, the management of their image by media and elements pertaining to human rights and citizenship in the cases of immigrants in Costa Rica and opening the possibility to compare the United States as a host country. The objective is to visualize the construction of cultural identities, its effects on the intergroup encounters and societal perspectives on migration issues.

+ POL 3450 International Relations in Latin America 3 credits (48 hours)

The course will analyze the aspects of the Economic Integration, globalization and conditions for a successful integration between economies and the effects of free trade in the region as well as the effects of protectionism. There will be a special treatment on foreign investments and joint ventures in the Latin America.

+ POL 3560 International Politics in the Middle East 3 credits (48 hours)

This course examines the historical and actual events in The Middle East. The focus is to understand the background of conflicts in Iraq, Lebanon and The Palestinian Territories. The aftermath of the Middle East Peace conference of December 2007 will be closely followed.

The objective of the course is to promote the interaction of ideas and arguments based on a balanced analysis of the themes. Students participate in various ways: writing essays, Internet research assignments, documentary movies, socio- dramas and debating actual topics.

+ POL 3740 Economic Integration in Latin America 3 credits (48 hours)

This course will analyze the beginning of the International Relations in Latin America and the most important historical facts that marked the politics in the region in the current era. The focus of this course is on the historic background of the region before independence and post-independence that helped to consolidate the American hegemony and the insertion of foreign investment, the North American imperialism and the Latin-American resistance.

Theological Studies

New courses. Only offered for SPRING II AND SUMMER

+ THEO 3000 Theo-Praxis: Theology for Life 3 credits (48 hours)

This is a course designed to provide a strong biblical and theological foundation, which is invaluable for the student’s personal faith and leadership journey. In it, we will explore a biblical worldview, a survey of Old and New Testament, understanding the Bible as one story, exploring important theological questions in our post-modern era and a brief understanding of world religions. Theopraxis is designed specifically to help students integrate a theological framework with their lives, leadership, and communities.

+ THEO 3001 Habitudes: Habits and Attitudes for Emerging Christian Leadership 3 credits (48 hours)

This course is designed to be used by an instructor who will be leading a group discussion on the four book series called, Habitudes: Images That Form Leadership Habits & Attitudes. In our culture today, students cannot simply survive college life. If life on the university campus is going to prepare them for the uncertain future, they must learn to “lead.” They must first lead themselves and then think like a leader as they enter into their chosen field of interest. Over the last six years, “Growing Leaders” has surveyed thousands of students, all from the Millennial Generation. Based on our findings, as the Higher Education Research Institute, sponsored by the Kellogg Foundation, we will study the conclusions regarding students and leadership development.

+ THEO 3120 Revolution, Spirituality and Religion in Latin America 3 credits (48 hours)

This course will provide students with a panoramic view of the influence that spirituality and religion have had in Latin America. Latin America is one of the regions with the most variety off spiritual expressions. There is everything from the Budu in Brazil to the most recent expressions of the Islam, Judaism and Christianity through the whole continent.

Being one of the regions that has provided so much influence in the ecological way of thinking and sustainability, we will review the most influential thinkers that have added religion to sustainability (such as Leonardo Boff).

There will be a historical analysis of each tendency and how it has affected culture, society and politics of the area.

+ THEO 3150 Major Word Religions 3 credits (48 hours)

Together we will learn about the major world religions; Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and more. Answering questions such as: what are their core beliefs; is there an afterlife; and what is expected of a follower?

Each religion represents a large population of God's sons and daughters and understanding their worldview will help us know how to best respect and love them.

+ THEO 3170 God and Science 3 credits (48 hours)

This is a course to prepare students to defend the Christian faith in a loving manner, from a scientific and logical perspective. Major attention is given to the questions that Christians and non-Christians ask regarding the creation on the world, the existence of God, the life and resurrection of Jesus, and the validity of biblical revelation. Philosophical, scientific and theological topics will be discussed through the course.

+ THEO 3200 Signs and Wonders 3 credits (48 hours)

This course will explore concepts, profound faith and life experiences that change our perception. We will discuss topics such as: The Kingdom of God; The right now and not yet; The theology behind Power Evangelism, divine encounters and walking the faith in everyday lives; Power Healing; The listened prayer; Average people for supernatural projects; Naturally Supernatural. This course aims to open a strong appreciation for the “learning status” because it will open critical thinking about topics that are not always discussed. “Jesus left His spirit and his followers should not waste it”.

Health and Human Development

+ HIS 3293 Costa Rican Health Care System and Tropical Medicine 4 credits (60 hours)

Costa Rica’s health care system is unique due to the fact that it’s socialized and has achieved excellent health indicators. The course focuses on the history and development of the public health care system within the context of the Costa Rican sociopolitical and economic situation. It also gives a strong emphasis on how the system actually works and points out not only the strongholds of the systems, but also its weak points. A third objective, of fundamental importance in order to understand this system, is the study of Costa Rica as a tropical country. Students will learn about the prevention and transmission of relevant tropical diseases.

+ HHD 1020 Introduction to Physical Therapy 3 credits (48 hours)

This course will introduce basic concepts of human anatomy, an overview of the most common injuries and illnesses that require physical therapy, and an introduction to the different tools and methods used to treat them. The course will consist of lectures about the theoretical concepts, and also laboratory practice, which will allow the student a hands-on experience of the different techniques given during the lectures. At the end of the course the student will have general knowledge on various areas of expertise, and on techniques such as massage therapy, electrotherapy, and therapeutic exercises, among others.

+ HHD 1050 Alternative Health Approaches 4 credits (60 hours)

This course will introduce basic concepts of alternative medicine.

Also this course will explore, and evaluate alternative approaches and philosophies to personal health and wellness. Some of the topics included are: Homeopathy, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) Acupuncture, Herbal and Nutritional Therapies, Massage, Chiropractic Therapy, Electromagnetic Therapy, Breathing Exercise and others.

+ HHD 3070 Conflict Resolution and Health Care 4 credits (60 hours)

This course will introduce basic concepts of alternative medicine.

Health service delivery today encounters frequent conflicts, disputes, and other difficult situations, many of them derived from larger changes occurring in the health systems of the world. These conflicts include differences due to multiculturalism; the appropriateness and quality of care; gender issues; power disputes and providers and recipients over institutional and funding policies. Violence, its effects and costs will be part of this course, particularly under the WHO definition and perspectives. Costa Rican health care systems will be part of the course. This interactive, hands-on course offers a framework to integrate professional experience with functional communication and mediation skills. Students are encouraged to explore and develop their leadership into progress on matters of public health importance. Mandatory fieldwork sessions will be conducted at a medical facility, community or school.

+ PSY 2200 Health Psychology 3 credits (48 hours)

The World Health Organization defines health as being “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well- being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. Based on this definition, the concepts of health and illness have changed. Nowadays, health care professionals have to tackle the health from a bio-psycho-social concept. For this reason, it is extremely important for health care professionals (doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, just to mention some) to have general information about Health Psychology, which studies how biology, behavior, and social context influence health and illness. In this way, health care professionals can have an integral approach to the patients under their treatment. This will discuss some of the most common topics related with Health Psychology and pertinent to practice in the health care professions.

Electives Courses Taught in Spanish

Literatura y Lingüística

+ SPN 1002 Comunicación Oral Básica 3 credits (48 hours)

Este curso está diseñado para estudiantes de español como segunda lengua que cuentan con un dominio elemental del idioma en los aspectos morfosintácticos, léxico-semántico y fonético-fonológicos, por lo que deben haber aprobado el nivel básico 1. A lo largo del curso, desarrollará su competencia comunicativa oral, que le permitirá desenvolverse de manera efectiva y eficaz en situaciones cotidianas.

+ SPN 3000 Introducción al Análisis Literario 3 credits (48 hours)

El curso ofrece una introducción por parte de los estudiantes al estudio de la literatura en español y presenta los recursos básicos para la elaboración de un comentario o análisis literario. El estudiante adquirirá la terminología necesaria así como métodos críticos que le permitan generar comentarios y explicación de textos informados.

+ SPN 3020 Lecturas Selectas de la Literatura Latinoamericana 3 credits (48 hours)

Estudio panorámico de autores, corrientes literarias o particularidades de género en la literatura Latinoamericana.

+ SPN 3050 Fonética y Fonología 3 credits (48 hours)

En este curso se aprenden métodos y herramientas de la lingüística descriptiva aplicada a la fonética y articulación.

+ SPN 3070 Introducción a la Traducción 3 credits (48 hours)

Una introducción a las herramientas teóricas y prácticas para el proceso de traducción del inglés al español. Los estudiantes aprenderán a hacer traducciones de textos sencillos de complejidad intermedia y avanzada tratando de mantener la mayor fidelidad posible con la intención y estilo del autor.

+ SPN 3520 Dialectología Latinoamericana 3 credits (48 hours)

Este curso explora una perspectiva socio-histórica de la lengua como un aspecto de estudio importante, para comprender el mecanismo lingüístico actual dentro de diferentes contextos sociales de habla. El enfoque de este curso es analizar la variedad dialectal que se refleja en los diferentes países latinoamericanos mediante rasgos: fonológicos, morfológicos y léxicos que toman en cuenta elementos culturales.

Además, el curso pretende como objetivo primordial conocer y poner en práctica estrategias dialectales para fomentar elementos comunicativos auténticos que enriquezcan el uso del idioma español.

+ SPN 3560 Tópicos Selectos en Literatura Comparada 3 credits (48 hours)

El curso plantea los fundamentos de poesía, narrativa (cuento corto y noveleta) y drama, que servirá como marco teórico de discusión de textos representativos de esos mismos géneros. Los textos han sido seleccionados con base en sus recursos para establecer comparaciones, y en el grado de interés que pueden despertar no sólo a estudiantes de literatura, sino a estudiantes de español como lengua extranjera.

+ SPN 4110 Escritoras Contemporánea Costarricenses 3 credits (48 hours)

El curso aborda la principal producción literaria femenina en Costa Rica. Se enfoca en el análisis de temáticas presentes en los diferentes textos y su relación con la realidad nacional.

+ SPN 4330 Tópicos Selectos en la Literatura Española 3 credits (48 hours)

Este curso es una panorámica de la literatura española, desde sus inicios hasta la primera mitad de la literatura contemporánea.

Presenta una visión general de cada período en los que se ha dividido la literatura española, así como sus principales características. También se estudian los textos más representativos de los exponentes de cada período.

+ SPN 4390 El Cine y la Literatura Latinoamericana 3 credits (48 hours)

Este curso es un estudio de algunas producciones cinematográficas basadas en textos literarios de reconocidos escritores latinoamericanos. El curso se basa en el análisis y discusión de las principales características de la cultura, valores y temáticas de la realidad Latinoamericana presentes en dichas muestras literarias y cinematográficas.