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Degrees & Courses

Summer 2017

Regular Session
June 19 - August 13, 2017

Off-Campus Courses
Online Courses


Course Descriptions

PLEASE CALL 815-753-5200 for permit course information. Course details may change. For the most up-to-date information, please see our online listings: www.niu.edu/lasbgs

ATTENTION BGS STUDENTS: You will apply for graduation during the semester in which you register for your final term. You should meet with your adviser to determine that you are registering for the correct courses. You and your adviser must be certain that your file in Registration and Records is complete and accurate with all documents (transcripts, grade changes, substitutions, adviser approval letters) and information necessary for graduation. Please carefully review your Academic Advising Report for accuracy. It is your responsibility to contact your adviser with any questions regarding discrepancies that appear on this report. You may review your Academic Advising Report through MyNIU

Registration appointments are assigned based on the number of cumulative hours. Beginning early March, students may check MyNIU for their appointment day and time. Students may register on or after the assigned appointment day and time as long as there are not any holds assigned to their record. All new undergraduate students are allowed to register after meeting with an academic advisor following their orientation session (providing the appointment day and time has been reached).

If you are unfamiliar with the MyNIU system and/or need assistance, please visit

Courses titled with a computer means that the class is offered online.

BIOS 442/542


Evolution and the Creationist Challenge
BIOS 442/542: YE1, Class #s 2852/2853

The perennial culture wars raging in the USA are expressed in many areas of society. One area of attack is the opposition by the Religious Right to the teaching of evolution in public schools. Since before the famous "Scopes Monkey Trial" in 1925, school boards and legislatures have tried to eliminate, add equal doses of creationism to, or water down the coverage of evolution. They have targeted evolution as a cause for many of their perceived "social evils," don't understand science, and cannot separate evolution from "Social Darwinism."

This course will introduce students to the history of the controversy, define the opposition, and explain where each side gets their ideas and what they believe. We will then explore philosophy of science in enough detail to be able to separate a scientific question from a non-scientific question. A preliminary survey of primarily biological evolution will provide students with the necessary information to counter creationist arguments. This course is designed to give students the ability to not only defend evolution but, more importantly, attack non-scientific intrusions into the public school system. It is not a course in biological evolution but complementary, and can be taken by any upper-level undergraduate with an interest in science and society.

Catalog Description: Evolutionary theory and tenets of present-day anti-evolutionists with emphasis on providing students with the skills to articulate the theory of evolution as it applies to the biological sciences. Not a substitute for a formal course in evolutionary theory. Recommended for students pursuing careers in secondary science education.

Ronald Toth (3 credit hours)

  • Fully online course, 06/19 - 08/13



Major Directors: Films of Alfred Hitchcock
COMS 390: DE1, Class #2854
NOTE: This is an inter-session course.

Catalog Description: Focus on the work of a major film director using the auteur theory. Artistry, vision, and social importance will be examined against the institutional background of film production. Repeatable up to six hours if subject is different.

Matthew Swan (3 credit hours)

  • NIU-Naperville, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, 05/15 - 06/08, 6:30 - 9:15 pm.




Communication and Gender
COMS 410: YE1, Class #2855

Catalog Description: Relationships among communication, gender, and culture through a variety of theoretical and critical perspectives.  Examination of research on verbal and nonverbal aspects of communication as they interact with gener in contexts such as interpersonal, organizations, political, and media.

Katheryn Cady (3 credit hours)

    • Fully online course, 06/19 - 08/13.




Current Economic Issues:
ECON 370: YE1, Class #2857

Catalog Description: Topics of current importance to consumers, resource owners, business, and government. May be repeated up to 9 hours as topics change and can be taken concurrently. PRQ: ECON 260 and ECON 261.

Sowjanya Dharmasankar (3 credit hours)

  • Fully online course, 06/19 - 08/13.


ENGL 308

Technical Writing
ENGL 308: YE1, Class #2858

In this fully online class, students will study the principles and strategies for planning, writing, and revising technical documents common in government, business, and industry. Some of the topics covered in this class are audience analysis and purpose, writing effectively, simplifying coplex information, writing instructions, and document design.

The class will “meet” in Blackboard Learn where students will find video lectures, video demonstrations, assignment information, discussion boards, and a journal space. Students will also use an online space provided by the textbook publisher to watch video presentations, complete exercises related to the weekly reading assignment, and take quizzes.

The e-textbook Technical Communication, 10th edition, by Mike Markel, is included in the online course space, YourTechCommClass. An access code can be purchased at the University Bookstore and VCB. It can also be purchased online at http://courses.bfwpub.com/yourtechcommclass/student-access.php. Students can also register their access code at this address.

Catalog Description: Principles and strategies for planning, writing, and revising technical documents common in government, business, and industry (e.g., manuals, proposals, procedures, newsletters, brochures, specificaitons, memoranda, and formal reports). Topics include analysis of audience and purpose, simplifying complex information, document design, and project management.

Jan Knudsen (3 credit hours)

  • Fully online course, 06/19 - 08/13.



Literary Topics:  Environmental Literature
ENGL 400 QE1, Class #2919 and ENVS 450 QE1, Class #2920

We will explore how American and British writers have engaged with nature, the outdoors, and environmental ethics. We will consider how literature can help us focus our attention on nonhuman realities around us that often go unnoticed in our current digital age and how such literature can offer insights into human realities and how to approach current environmental problems. We will read short stories, essays, poetry, and memoir and will end the course with Gathering Moss by Robin Wall Kimmerer, awarding-winning writer and founder of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Diana Swanson (3 credit hours)

  • NIU-Rockford, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m., 05/16 - 06/08. 



The English Novel to 1900/19th Century British Novel
ENGL 470/663: CE1, Class #2911/2860

Catalog Description, ENGL 470: Development of the English novel in the 18th and 19th centuries, including works by such representative authors as Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Austen, Thackeray, the Brontës, Eliot, and Hardy.
Catalog Description, ENGL 663: Survey of the British novel from Austen to Hardy and Eliot.

Brian May (3 credit hours)

  • NIU-Naperville, Mondays and Wednesdays 2-4:45 p.m., 06/19 - 08/13.


GEOG 256/556

Maps and Mapping/Fundamentals of Mapping
GEOG 256/556: YE1, Class #s 2861/2862

Though maps have been used by civilizations for well over 5,000 years, practically all aspects of mapping today involve computers – from the collection of real-world data by GPS or satellites, to drafting and printing. Rather than study the history of maps and mapping, we will instead study the concept of maps as tools of modern communication and visualization. This course is also the starting point for NIU’s certificate of undergraduate study in Geographic Information Systems (in addition to applying toward the B.G.S.) and is required for several further courses in geography.

Catalog Description, GEOG 256: Introduction to maps as models of our earth, tools of visualization, and forms of graphic communication. Use of satellite and aerial imagery, land surveying, and geographic information systems in map production. Thematic maps and how they are used. Map design for informational and persuasive purposes. Two hours of lecture, two hours of laboratory.
Catalog Description, GEOG 556: For graduate students with little formal background in mapping. Maps as models, tools of visualization, and forms of graphic communication. Processes of map production, including imagery and surveying. Principles of map design.

Autumn James  (3 credit hours)

  • YE1 & YE2: Fully online course, 06/19 - 08/13.


GEOG 303


Water Resources and the Environment
GEOG 303: YE1, Class #2865

This course in intended to provide the student with a broader understanding of water and its importance to our lives and earth’s complex environment. We will consider issues facing water such as whether the supply of water will continue, how man-made developments have altered water availability, how pollution has eroded this natural resource, and where/how we can restore our water resources. Relevant video clips, online tutorials, and supplemental readings will be used throughout the course to provide examples of water-related issues affecting northern Illinois, other regions of the U.S., as well as various countries around the world.

Catalog Description: Evaluation of water as a resource; its availability, distribution, use, and quality. Operation of the hydrologic cycle and relationships between surface water and the soil, groundwater, and atmosphere. Human impacts on water resources and the mangament of water-related hazards, including flooding, drought, and the spread of disease. Lecture and field experience.

Sharon Ashley (3 credit hours)

  • Fully online course, 06/19 - 08/13.


GEOG 359/557


Introduction to GIS/Fundamentals of GIS
GEOG 359/557: YE1, Class #s 2863/2864

Have you ever asked yourself, “Where in the world am I?” GEOG 359 may help you answer that question with an introductory study into the principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). In this online course, we develop skills in GIS, its components, and how it applies to our surrounding environment. This course is a primer for those who are interested in learning more about the dynamic and ever-changing world of GIS and its career applications.

Catalog Description, GEOG 359: Study of the fundamental principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Emphasis on the development of these systems, their components, and their integration into mainstream geography. Two hours of lecture, two hours of laboratory. PRQ: GEOG 256 or GEOG 352 or consent of department.
Catalog Description, GEOG 557: For graduate students with little formal background in GIS or computer mapping. Principles, components, and uses of geographic information systems. PRQ: GEOG 552 or GEOG 556, or consent of department.

Philip Young (3 credit hours)

  • Fully online course, 06/19 - 08/13.



ILAS 390

Spring 2017 Courses - NIU - College of LA&S External Programming

Catalog Description:Work as an intern in an off-campus agency in activites related to one of the majors in the college. Reading and paper preparation under the supervision of a faculty member in the college. May be repeated once. S/U grading. PRQ: Consent of major department and college; junior or senior standing

Judy Santacaterina (3 credit hours)

Contact Judy Santacaterina for information at 815-753-7961 or jsantaca@niu.edu



Topics in Liberal Arts and Sciences: 

Leveraging Your Liberal Arts & Sciences Degree
ILAS 399: DE1, Class # 2866

Note:  This is an intersession course

This course is designed to introduce students to the history of the liberal arts and science degree, to assist in identifying career goals, and to hone communication skills and strategies in the job search and advance degree programs. Emphasis is placed on identification of individual goals, assessment of talents, exploration of career options, analysis of the job market, effective use of employment search tools (e.g., resumes, interviewing, networking and management of career pathways). The course stresses the value of the arts and sciences degree as preparation for a variety of experiences; graduate school, the labor market, non for profit, and government leadership

Catalog Description: Varied honors topics in the Liberal Arts and Sciences that are interdisciplinary in nature or can be fruitfully approached from multiple disciplinary perspectives.  May be repeated to a maximum of six semester hours as the topic varies.

Judy Santacaterina (3 credit hours)

  • NIU-Hoffman Estates, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, 05/15 - 06/08, 6:30 - 9:15 pm.




Journalism Law and Regulations
JOUR 480: CE1, Class #2856

Catalog Description: Law and regulation affecting the concept of freedom of the press, access to information, free press, fair trial, libel, privacy, copyright, access to the media, and legal concepts and restrictions related to the press, publishing, electronic media, photojournalism, and public relations.  PRQ: Junior standing.

Allen May (3 credit hours)

    • NIU-Naperville, Mondays and Wednesdays 6:30-9:15 p.m., 06/19 - 08/13.




Introduction to Law and Courts
POLS 210: YE1, Class #2867


Catalog Description: Introduction to the study of law and courts, including legal theory, judicial institutions, legal actors, legal systems and ways in which law is interrelated with politics, public polity and society.

James Pickerill (3 credit hours)

  • Fully online course, 06/19 - 08/13.




Political Psychology
POLS 301: YE1, Class #2868

Catalog Description: Examination of the social connections that form the basis of citizen views about politics.  Emphasis on group identities, political information processing, cognition, and the role of emotions in American politics.  Not available to students who have credit for POLS 407.  Recommended:  At least sophomore.

April Clark (3 credit hours)

  • Fully online course, 06/19 - 08/13.



PSYC 324


Introduction to Brain and Behavior
PSYC 300: YE1, Class #2897

Catalog Description: Introductory survey concerned with the relationship between the brain and a wide variety of behaviors, both normal and abnormal.  Provides a fundamental understanding of how the brain controls and mediates behavior, and a foundation for more advanced courses in behavioral neuroscience.  PRQ: At least sophomore standing and PSYC 102, or consent of department.

Doublas Wallace (3 credit hours)

  • Fully online course, 06/19 - 08/13


PSYC 332


Social Problems
SOCI 270: YE1, Class #2872

Catalog Description: Why social problems occur and how society can work toward correcting them.  Exploration of how different value premises and social theories lead to distinctive ways of addressing social problems.  Issues such as poverty, crime, homelessness, intergroup conflicts, and sexual identity discrimination provide case materials for these explorations.  Use of this approach to examine underlying structural problems such as economic restructuring, the overall health and aging of the population, and urban change and decline.

Kevin Ervin (3 credit hours)

  • Fully online course, 06/19 - 08/13.


PSYC 372


The Criminal Justice System
SOCI 289: YE1, Class #2873

Catalog Description: Overview of the relationship among the system's parts, including law, police, courts, prisons, and other agencies of coercive control.  Examination of the flow of clients through the system, and relationships of the system to external institutions and social influence.  PRQ: SOCI 170 or SOCI 250 or SOCI 260 or SOCI 270, and at least sophomore standing, or consent of department.

Kristy Crane (3 credit hours)

  • Fully online course, 06/19 - 08/13.


SOCI 354


Families and Social Change
SOCI 354: YE1, Class #2874

This course will utilize research, current cultural analysis, and online discussions to explore the concept of family. Family is both intimate and personal, shaping our identities; as well as a public institution since families are shaped by and shape the social, economic, and political institutions in society. We will primarily focus on the family and kinship groups in the United States but comparisons will be made with other societies globally.

Catalog Description: Introduction to family sociological and historical research, focusing on the diversity and adaptability of families in changing contemporary American society. Emphasis on how large social trends and forces such as economic transitions, governmental policies, and societal values and beliefs affect families as units and family members as individuals. Attention given to understanding the dynamic social construction of gender within and outside of families. PRQ: SOCI 170 or SOCI 250 or SOCI 260 or SOCI 270, or consent of department.

Janet Reynolds (3 credit hours)

  • Fully online course, 06/19 - 08/13.


SOCI 361


Race and Ethnicity
SOCI 361: YE1, Class #2874

This course provides basic theoretical and empirical knowledge about racial and ethnic relations in the United States. The first part of the course explores theories that explain the introduction, maintenance, reproduction, and persistence of race and ethnicity as meaningful social groupings. With this theoretical backdrop, we examine racial and ethnic relations in the “real world.” The main themes of this course are: 1) to explain whether, how and why race and ethnicity matter; 2) to demonstrate how race and ethnicity interact with and relate to larger social and economic institutions in the U.S.; and 3) to help you to construct theoretically informed and cogent arguments that support your own perspectives on racial and ethnic group relations.

We will consider the following questions: 1. What accounts for biological emphasis of race? 3. What accounts for racial/ethnic groups’ position in the class hierarchy? 4. How does the fact of being a racial/ethnic minority affect other group experiences? How does this vary by class status, gender, nation of origin, or even skin color? 5. What are the relations with local racial/ethnic groups and coethnics? 6. How do local cultures, transnational cultures, and a pan-ethnic “cultures” develop? 7. How do class/class conflict, gender/gender conflict, race/race conflict, and national origin play a role in the establishment of the group in local or national contexts? 8. How does the immigration experience, settlement experience, or ethnic group culture of the group compare with others we have learned about? What accounts for similarities and differences? What political policies impact these experiences or outcomes?

Catalog Description: Analysis of the social and cultural patterns that structure the lives of ethnic and racial groupings in American society; impact of social change and conflict upon minority, majority relations; present trends in ethnic/racial identity and identity crises of selected ethnic and racial groups. PRQ: SOCI 170 or SOCI 250 or SOCI 260 or SOCI 270, or consent of department.

Carol Walther (3 credit hours)

  • Fully online course, 06/19 - 08/13.