Thematic Studies Courses

Thematic studies courses are interdisciplinary courses about significant problems, themes or ideas.  All College of Professional & Liberal Studies students must complete 6 credit hours of thematic studies courses. Please note not all UNIV courses are thematic studies so please check the list below for approved thematic studies courses or speak to your advisor.


Students who have a GPA of 3.50 on the last 12 credit hours they have taken are eligible to enroll in honors thematic studies courses. Contact your college advisor for a permit.


Some thematic studies courses are offered online and can be easily identified by the instructional method and section number in the course schedule.

Online courses are sections M5x, and R50.
Ex. UNIV 3580-R50, PHIL 3514-M52

UNIV 3522

American Cinema (3) 

Overview of American film history from silent cinema to the present. Considers the place of Hollywood film in American popular culture, the relation of movie technology to film art, and seeks to develop cinematic literacy and the ability to think critically about popular culture.

UNIV 3526

War and American Society (3)

Interdisciplinary examination of the concept and effects of war from historical, literary, artistic and philosophical perspectives. Focus on the various ways in which America has dealt with war, from the Revolutionary War to the recent Gulf Conflict, and on the changes in American society that have resulted.

UNIV 3531

American Experience: Images and Narrative (3)

Organized around "images" and "narrative". Utilizes a variety of cultural materials to enhance appreciation of the peoples and experiences that define the term "American".

UNIV 3534

Theatre and Therapy (3)

Traces the therapeutic functions of theater from the ancient practice of shamanistic rituals up to the contemporary applications of psychodrama and drama therapy. Considers the meaning of drama and play in a evolving culture. Practical experience in the therapeutic uses of theater through a series of workshops. 

UNIV 3535

Family Communication (3) 

Provides a framework and perspective for analyzing the family as a communication system. It examines the ways in which members of family systems interact in order to develop, sustain and manage their relationships in an era when family issues are at the forefront of national concerns, particularly in governmental, educational and religious arenas.
UNIV 3540

Ethics and Professionalism (3)

An analysis of ethical decisions and dilemmas of professional practice. A study of elementary principles of moral philosophy and applying those principles to professional decisions. Learning how to tolerate disagreement, developing respect for ethnic and gender diversity, and gaining a sense of moral responsibility in your professional practice. 

UNIV 3542

Baseball in America (3) 

Baseball in America covers the game’s early history to the present, formation of the National and American Leagues, the Dead Ball Era, establishment of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, key players, racism in the game, including the Negro Leagues, the AAGPBL, as well as baseball in war, film, poetry, and song. The course will also explore how the sport has affected a cross section of America and the world and the business aspects of the game from free agency to radio-television contracts. 

UNIV 3543

College Football in America (3)

This course is an introduction to the cultural aspects of college football in America and its impact on society. Discussions will include the early history of the game, the formation of the major conferences, the playoff system, formation of the NCAA, integration of the sport, the Heisman Trophy, along with its economic impact on America. College football's bowl season means big money for the local economies of its host cities – especially those that host one of the marquee "New Year's Six" playoff matchups, according to a recent study.

UNIV 3550

Clash of Cultures (3)

Multi-leveled, complex, and consequential clashes that have shaped American culture and much of the modern world. 

UNIV 3565

Comparative Christianity (3)

Commonality in Christianity; major turning points in Christian history; the tradition's variety of subgroups, starting with the three great groupings: Eastern Christianity, Roman Christianity, and Protestant Christianity; examination of future of Christianity. 

UNIV 3580

Hebrew and Greek Legacy (3)

Interdisciplinary examination of salient ideas, values, and traditions of ancient Hebraic and Greek cultures, with emphasis on those ideas and values that have most significantly influenced the modern world. Understanding of ideas and values enhanced through comparison with selected non-Western traditions. 

UNIV 3581

Faith, Reason & Imagination (3)

Interdisciplinary examination of religious, rationalist, and aesthetic viewpoints as distinctive ways of understanding what is fundamental to human experience. Exploration of historical development of each of these modes of understanding and examination of tensions that exist among them in modern world.

UNIV 3585

Ancient Empires & Contemporary Interpretations of the Old Testament (3)

Thematic, interdisciplinary approach to the academic study of the Old Testament, including some of the complex historical, literary, and cultural contexts of the ancient production and contemporary interpretation of these texts.

UNIV 3590

New Testament (3)

Main events, background, characters and teaching of the New Testament and how it relates to the Old Testament and to today. 

UNIV 3592

Rel Perspec Death/Afterlife (3)

(Same as UNIV 3716). Explore religious rituals and beliefs about death, burial, and afterlife from various global, historical, cultural, and social perspectives.

UNIV 4506

The Chinese (3)

(Same as ESCI 4307). Provides an understanding of the people, history, culture, and government of a civilization more than 5,000 years old. Shows the influence ancient Chinese medicine, art and religion has had on the contemporary world and illustrates the way in which China attempts to balance economical and political development with ancient customs, rituals, and beliefs. Also considers the role which China plays in the global economy - now and in the future. 

UNIV 4511

(Same as JDST 4511)

Holocaust Studies (3)

Synthesizing knowledge and methodologies from several disciplines; contexts and implications of the Holocaust; encompass periods before, during, and after the event to explore questions of human values and responsibility; research paper, journal, writing for oral presentation and essay exam. 

UNIV 4518

Literature of the Americas (3)

Explores the diversity, similarities and universality of the central themes of Spanish- American and African-American fiction. 

UNIV 4520

(Same as PSYC 4305)

Mind, Brain & Intelligence (3)

Examination of theories, mechanisms, and systems in the cognitive sciences that explain intelligent thought and behavior. Explores the implications of core ideas on ethics, values, public policy. 

UNIV 4527

The Developing Adult (3)

Explores issues involving the developing adult, such as: early adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood including understanding social relationships, retirement options and issues, choice in living arrangements and finally, end-of-life concerns. 

UNIV 4530

(formerly MRCH 4300)

Family Resource Management (3)

Investigates values, goals, and human and material resources necessary for individuals and families to make informed management decisions throughout the life span. 

PHIL 3514

Biomedical Ethics (3)

Discussion of ethical problems raised by contemporary medical practices and biological innovations from standpoint of contemporary ethical theories including abortion, euthanasia, behavior modification, human experimentation and genetic engineering.