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Fall 2019 Augsburg Seminars

For a strong start, first-year students take a seminar experience (AugSem) paired with an academic course. The AugSem is designed to help you connect with a learning community and introduce you to Augsburg and the city.  You may choose an AugSem paired course focused on “Questioning Our World” or one related to your intended major. Feel free to explore! Almost all meet core requirements.

Questioning Our World:  These encourage student to tackle complex issues in the world around us

ART 201:  Introduction to Graphic Design: Creative Process, Practice, and the Beauty of Wrong

Graphic design uses images and words to create meaning. In this course, students will learn foundational concepts for the practice of graphic design. This studio class includes both hands-on work, and the latest design software. It’s great for students who plan to major or minor in graphic design, studio art, or new media, and is highly recommended for students with a fine arts scholarship for visual arts. Coupled with this course is the AugSem “Creative Process, Practice, and the Beauty of Wrong.” This pilot program explores iteration, the unconscious, vulnerability, and creative process across multiple disciplines to equip students with the core tools for creative problem solving, and to help redefine our perceptions of “failure” and “success.” Fulfills requirements for: Fine Arts LAF, Art major, Graphic Design major, Creative Writing major, Communication Studies major


COM 120: Mass Media & Popular Culture

Facebook, Twitter, movies, television, advertisements, and music–every day we create, consume, and engage with media. This course will explore the following questions: how do the media create and shape our culture? What does a media literate society look like? What are the relationships among the media, communities, and culture? This is a required course for all communication studies majors, but would be appropriate for any students interested in how media affects our lives.  Fulfills requirements for: Humanities LAF, Communication Studies major, New Media: Promotional Communication major


EDC 110:  Teaching in a Diverse World – Critical Conversations Across Difference

This course is designed to introduce students to structures for exploring diverse opinions, beliefs and perspectives through engagement in conversation and dialogue. Students will be taught and guided through dialogue and conversational skills and systems at the individual, pair, small group and large group levels. The purpose of this AugSem is to learn skills for engaging others in the public sphere, and on various topics, including political difference, racial diversity, and cultural experience. Consider this course if you are interested in learning and experiencing how to engage with other students! Fulfills requirements for: Education majors


ENL 111: Effective Writing: Writing, Art, and Social Change

In this course, students will examine and write about the ways in which visual, literary, and performative art impact and strengthen communities in the greater Twin Cities. Throughout the semester, we will discuss questions such as: What is the relationship between art and politics? How can art be used to change individuals, institutions, and the world? How can we contribute to our community as artists or supporters of the arts? In addition to developing critical writing skills through traditional formats such as literary analyses and op-eds, students will also produce their own creative work. Fulfills requirements for: Core Skills


ENV 100: Environmental Connections AND POL 241: Environmental and River Politics

In this AugSem, you would take two classes – ENV 100 is an introduction to environment studies through our focus on climate change and environmental justice. The realities of climate change are more evident, and require fundamental changes in our society.  How will we manage these changes and shift to a more sustainable way of living while addressing the impact of environmental problems on marginalized communities? POL 241 explores how governments have responded to the environmental challenges related to rivers and water quality. How has our relationship to the river change? How does the river unite and/or divide us? What kind of river do we want? We will read about and discuss national legislation relating to water quality, watershed habitat protection, environmental justice, and flood management in the Mississippi River watershed. Students will have the opportunity to explore these issues through a series of meetings, site visits, interviews, and research projects in the Twin Cities. Course includes a 4-day canoe trip on the Mississippi River and other site visits and field research – click here for more information. Fulfills requirements for: Social Behavioral Science LAF, Environmental Studies Major, International Relations major, Political Science Major, Political Science: Public Policy/Change Major, Urban Studies Major, and Augsburg Experience.


HIS 170:  Food: A Global History

What is food?  Why do we eat and drink what we do?  All of us need food, but we don’t all eat the same things.  This course explores the history of food – its production and consumption – from the Paleolithic period to the present age, in a search for answers to these questions.  Instruction is split between classroom lecture and discussion, hands-on cooking of historic foods in Augsburg’s Food Lab, and community engagement. Fulfills requirements for: Humanities LAF, History Major


NMS 110:  Exploring Diversity in Mass Media

This course explores four big questions about representation in media: Are we all represented in media? How are we constructed through media? How does mass media shape our identities and communities? How do we shape the media? Through focused study of identity and cultural expression in various media forms, we will uncover constructions of race, gender, and power; examine our own positionality within those structures; and use intercultural awareness to expand the frame. Fulfills requirements for: Humanities LAF, Communication Studies major, Film major, and New Media major  


RLN 100: Vocation and Search for Meaning I

This  course engages students in the search for meaning through the narratives of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, explores the concept of vocation, and invites students to consider their own religious, philosophical, and ethical commitments in dialogue with other perspectives.  Included in the course are visits to churches, mosques, and synagogues as well as other organizations in the community that promote interfaith dialogue and action. Fulfills requirements for:  Core Curriculum’s Signature Curriculum, Religion major, Theology and Public Leadership major


SOC 121: Introduction to Sociology: Through the Stuff of Everyday Life

What does the coffee we drink, the jeans we wear, or our smartphones reveal about us and the society we live in? How are we all interconnected through the stuff we encounter in everyday life? This course will examine what everyday objects reveal about our relationships, our social networks, and our connections to the larger world. Fulfills requirements for: Social Behavioral Science LAF, Sociology major, Social Work major, Social Psychology major, Social Studies Teaching Licensure


WST 220:  Topics: Gender, Race, and American Identity in Comics and Graphic Novels.

What does it mean to be “American”? How do marginalized people-women, people of color, and the LGBTQIA community- develop their own experiences and theories of American identity? This course will utilize graphic novels (like “American Born Chinese”), comics (like the new “Black Panther” series), and other visual media to explore the production of contemporary American identity through issues like the past and present of American imperialism, the politicization of immigration, the legacy of slavery, and the restrictiveness of gender binaries. We will also examine how authors and artists from marginalized groups use visual media to challenge oppression and create new uptian worlds. Fulfills requirements for: Humanities LAF; Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Major

Fine Arts: The Study of Visual and Performing Arts

MUS 113:  Music Theory & Aural Skills 1

This first of four music theory courses takes a student’s passion for music and teaches the student the “language” of music—essentially a language to communicate with other musicians. It is the starting point for music majors, which include music, music performance, music education, music business, and music therapy. Fulfills requirements for: Music Majors.


MUS 130: Introduction to Music in the Fine Arts

This class draws students into the information web using the history of Western art music as the thread that ties culture together from the Middle Ages to the present.  A “top ten of the last millennium” will provide mileposts for understanding music in social context. Live performance in class and attending concerts will introduce students to the culturally rich artistic life in the Twin Cities. The ability to read music is not required. Fulfills requirements for: Fine Arts LAF, Business – Music Business major, Film Production major


THR 232: Acting

An introduction to the art of acting, this is a good start for students interested in exploring and participating in the Theater Department through classes and productions. Students will develop themselves as curious and creative artists. It is designed to help the actor integrate their body, voice, and mind into the basic concepts of acting. Students will learn through scene study and collaborative exercises how to channel their instincts and talents. Fulfills requirements for: Fine Arts LAF, Theater Major, Film Major

Professional Studies:  Business, Education, and Helping Professions

HPE 104: Components of Fitness Training

Designed for students who plan to pursue health education, physical education, or exercise science, this course takes a performance-based approach for learning strength and cardiovascular training. Fulfills requirements for:  Physical or Health Education major, Exercise Science Major.


MIS 260:  Problem Solving for Business

A hands-on course focused on the application of computer technology (spreadsheets, databases and data visualization) for students who want to explore a business major, including management information systems (MIS), accounting, finance, international business, management, marketing, or music business. Math Placement Group 3 Fulfills requirements for: Any Business Major


MKT 252: Principles of Marketing

All of us are affected by marketing every day. Marketing is how we communicate and deliver something of value—like a product, service, or idea—to people, organizations, and society. This class is a requirement for all business majors, and students will have fun trying to figure out how marketing affects purchasing decisions. Fulfills requirements for:  Any Business Major


SWK 100:  Introduction to Professional Social Work

This course provides an opportunity for students to explore the social work major and a potential career in human services. Students will gain an understanding of common human needs, an overview of how social welfare is structured in modern society, some methods social workers use, and insight into social work as a vocational option.  Students will complete a service learning activity within a human service agency or program as part of their required course work. Fulfills requirements for: Social Work Major

Social and Behavioral Sciences:  The Study of People, Relationships, Society, and Behavior

POL 158:  Introduction to Political Science

What do you most want to know about how the world works? In this course, we look closely at current events and examine basic patterns in political systems and social movements. We draw on the core concepts of political science and the comparative method to critique political claims and develop strategies to take action on the issues that affect our lives.  Fulfills requirements for: Social Behavioral Science LAF, Political Science major, International Relations major


PSY 105: Principles of Psychology

Do you ever wonder why people are the way they are? Or how experiences and people shape our thoughts and actions? Psychology is the study of the human mind and behavior, and this course is a great fit for students interested in a psychology major or minor or who want to better understand human behavior. Fulfills requirements for:Social Behavioral Science LAF, Psychology major


SOC121: Introduction to Sociology

What is society and how does it make us who we are? Sociology offers insights into discovering the world and one’s place in it. Course study focuses on an understanding of culture, social structure, institutions, and our interactions with each other. Fulfills requirements for: Social Behavioral Science LAF, Sociology major, Social Work major, Social Psychology major, Social Studies Teaching Licensure

STEM, Natural Sciences, Pre-Engineering, and Pre-Healthcare

SCI 114: Exploring Science and Engineering

Are you interested in science and/or engineering and need to strengthen your math and critical thinking skills?  This AugSem presents a multi-disciplinary approach to science and engineering. It will explore potential careers in science and engineering, and what academic pathways are needed to realize those careers.  This includes health care professions such as doctors, physician assistants (PAs), physical therapists (PTs), pharmacists, engineers, chemists and biologists (such as biochemists, microbiologists, industrial chemists).  We will also explore the varied environments in which scientists and engineers work including hospitals, research laboratories, large corporations and small start-up companies, as well as government agencies such as the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Center for Disease Control (CDC).Math Placement Group 2 or Math Placement Group 3 with advisor discussion. Fulfills requirements for Natural Science and Mathematics lab LAF;


BIO 152:  Evolution, Ecology, and Diversity


BIO 151:  Introductory Biology

Do you like the sciences, but can’t choose just one? Register for only ONE of the Biology courses with its connected AugSem – BIO 152 or 151 – it doesn’t matter which because you will take the other in the spring term! Biology is a multidisciplinary experience that opens many opportunities. You could pursue a career in teaching, biomedical sciences or biotechnology, natural resources, environmental education, or health care. You could earn a graduate degree and find a career in university teaching, basic or applied research, and public health; or enter professional programs in health sciences. Math Placement Group 3. Fulfills requirements for: Natural Science & Math Lab LAF, Biology Major, Pre-Healthcare interest


CHM 115: General Chemistry 1

Are you a problem solver? Do you like to work with scientific equipment? Do you like to organize and analyze information? If so, you should consider studying chemistry. It is a versatile major that allows you to work in industrial, health, educational, scientific, or government fields. Augsburg chemistry grads have gone on to great things, too—including a Nobel Prize and a Rhodes Scholarship. Math Placement Group 3 Fulfills requirements for: Natural Science & Math Lab LAF, Chemistry major Biology major, Pre-Healthcare interest


CSC165: Introduction to Computer Programming (Python)

When you are looking for something to do, a computer tells you where you want to go, how to get there, and what experiences other people have had at that location. When you need to do work, a computer tells you what your tasks are, helps you solve your tasks, and helps you distribute your solutions to people who need them.  Teaching a computer how help anyone do anything is what Computer Science is all about. Every discipline has unique problems; we will teach computers to help solve these problems! Math Placement Group 3 Fulfills requirements for: Computer Science majors, Mathematics major, Management Information Systems major


MAT 145: Calculus

Why explore mathematics as a field of study?  Because mathematics has it all! The analytical skills gained in mathematics are easily transferable to many careers.  Not only that, but careers with mathematics always rank near the top of the list for job satisfaction. Mathematics is a great double major for students exploring careers in economics, data analytics, statistics, physics, business, biology, chemistry, computer science, or environmental science.  Try this course out if you have taken pre-calculus, calculus, or AP Calculus. Math Placement Group 4 Fulfills requirements for: Natural Science & Math LAF, Business major, Computer Science major, Mathematics major


PHY121:  General Physics

This course is for students interested in careers in engineering or physical sciences. In the past ten years, students who have participated in this AugSem-paired course have gone on to start their careers at companies like 3M, Honeywell, and Medtronic, or earn graduate degrees in physics, electrical, mechanical, automotive, civil, and biomedical engineering.  The Fall 2019 AugSem will focus on building computational tools and engineering. This is a great option for students interested in computer science, engineering, or physics. Math Placement Group 4 Fulfills requirements for: Natural Science & Math Lab LAF, Physics major, Pre-Engineering interest