The College of Arts and Sciences

Interim Dean
Cy Knoblauch

Assistant Dean, Facilities Management
Sheila McLaughlin

Assistant Dean, Administrative Services
Dona Parker

Assistant Dean, Administration
Richard Rose

Assistant Dean, Academic Program
Gregory Stevens

Director, CAS Computing Services
Felix Wu

The College of Arts and Sciences comprises the students and faculty of 27 departments offering majors and minors, as well as those working in a variety of cooperative interdisciplinary programs. These include the arts, computational sciences, humanistic studies, physical sciences, and social sciences. Study in the Arts and Sciences provides students with a liberal education, including knowledge and skills applicable to further study and to occupations in a great variety of fields.

The presence of research faculty and graduate students in the programs of the College affords undergraduate students the opportunity to study with scholars and researchers working at the cutting edge of their disciplines. Qualified advanced undergraduates, in accordance with University policy, may enroll in appropriate graduate courses.

Fields of study leading to majors in the College are actuarial and mathematical sciences, African/Afro- American studies, anthropology, art, Asian studies, atmospheric science, biology, chemistry, Chinese studies, computer science, computer science and applied mathematics, economics, English, French, geography, geology, Greek and Roman civilization, history, Italian, Judaic studies, Latin American studies, linguistics, mathematics, music, philosophy, physics, psychology, Puerto Rican studies, rhetoric and communication, Russian, Russian and East European studies, sociology, Spanish, theatre, urban studies and planning, and women’s studies. In addition, the college is responsible for interdisciplinary majors with concentrations in art history, biochemistry and molecular biology, East Asian studies, human biology, Japanese studies, medieval and Renaissance studies, and religious studies; and for minor programs in cognitive science, film studies, journalism, Hebrew, Japanese studies, and Portuguese.

For purposes of degree requirements for the B.A. and B.S. degrees, the following undergraduate courses offered by the college are defined as liberal arts and sciences: all courses except A Csi 198, A Eaj 423, A Eco 495, A Heb 450, A Mat 204, A Rus 395.

Courses in this section are preceded by the prefix letter A.

Foreign Language Study Placement Policies

Foreign language placement is based on a student’s current level of competence, as determined by placement procedures developed by the University’s foreign language departments. Regulations covering foreign language placement and credit may be obtained from departmental offices offering the language in question.

The department, through a departmental representative, will assess the active skills in that language and will make a final placement decision for each student no later than the second class meeting of the course being recommended. A student may not earn graduation credit for a course in a language sequence if it is a prerequisite to a course for which graduation credit has already been earned.

Students earning advanced placement credits from high school will be expected to register for the next course in the language sequence. Those earning credit in University in the High School course work must consult with the appropriate department chair for placement in the next course in that language’s sequence.

Courses in Arts and Sciences

A Cas 101 Understanding Language (3)
Nontechnical introduction to the nature and role of human language in everyday life. Topics include factors which give rise to regional and social varieties, ways in which language is exploited (for example, in advertising and government,) and linguistic aspects of such fields as education, literature and computer science. Enrollment limited to freshmen and sophomores.

A Cas 109 Intermediate Science Research (2)
Students learn research methodology in the natural and social sciences by accessing scientific databases, by using on-line bibliographic search techniques, consulting doctoral-level research scholars, developing hypotheses and performing experiments to test them, and by writing research papers and making presentations at scientific symposia. It is expected that the students will have done many of these activities in the prerequisite high school course, and in this course emphasis in placed upon the formulation of hypotheses and initiation of experiments in consultation with mentors. Prerequisite(s): completion of one year of an approved course in science research at the high- school level; permission of instructor; may not be taken by students enrolled in college. Offered summer session only.

A Cas 110 Intermediate Methods of Research (4)
Students learn research methodology in the natural and social sciences by accessing scientific databases by using on-line bibliographic search techniques, consulting doctoral-level research scholars, developing hypotheses and performing experiments to test them, and writing research papers and making presentations at scientific symposia. It is expected that the students will have done many of these activities in the prerequisite high school course, and in this course emphasis is placed upon performing experiments in consultation with mentors. Students are expected to spend at least three hours per week outside of class. Prerequisite(s): Completion of one year of an approved course in science research at the high-school level; permission of instructor; may not be taken by students enrolled in college; available for year-long course of study only.

A Cas 111 Beginning Fundamentals of Research (2)
Students learn research methodology in the natural and social sciences. Students access scientific databases by using on-line bibliographic search techniques, consult doctoral level research scholars, develop hypotheses and perform experiments to test them, and write research papers and make presentations at scientific symposia. This course emphasizes the first group of these activities, up to the actual performance of experiments, but some students may go further. Students are expected to spend at least three hours working on class work per week outside of class. May be repeated once for credit.

A Cas 125 A Diversity of Voices in Literature and the Arts: Creating Ourselves and Our Cultures (3)
Meets General Education: HD
Examines the emergence of American literary and other creative endeavors from the diverse experiences and heritages of the American peoples. The course focuses on creative works that explore and create representations of the self in relation to individual and group identity, and on the ways that cultural values and ideologies influence creative expression.

A Cas 131 Diversity and Equity in America (3)
Meets General Education: HD
What are the sources, extent, and consequences of diversity in American society? Using various approaches in the social and behavioral sciences, this course compares the American beliefs about equality with evidence of unequal treatment of groups labeled on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, and religion. The course also considers how group conformity, stereotyping, and prejudice affect individuals in their everyday lives.

A Cas 141 Concepts of Race and Culture in the Modern World (3)
Meets General Education: HD
This course considers the complex dynamics of global human diversity from the vantage point of the various social sciences. It explores the use of race, nationality, ethnicity, culture, and gender as focal concepts in the critical analysis of human behavior and interaction in the modern world. Cross-cultural and cross-national aspects of these issues are of central concern to the course.

A Cas 150 Cultural Diversity and the Human Condition (3)
Meets General Education: HD
Interdisciplinary study of selected cultures or societies focusing on six themes: family and social structure; religion and cultural values and traditions; art and nature; continuity; change and their global implications; work and play; health, ecology, science/technology. Each semester two or more cultures, including at least one non-Western culture, will be compared and contrasted with each other and with contemporary U.S. experiences. Examples will include Brazil, China, France, India, Mexico, Peru, Russia and West Africa. May be repeated once for credit when content differs. May be taken only by freshmen and sophomores.

A Cas 160Z Bronowski’s “The Ascent of Man” (3)
Meets General Education: WI
Based on the Bronowski television series, which will be supplemented by readings, lectures and discussions. Ranging backward and forward in time, the Bronowski series places scientific turning points in a larger intellectual setting by considering the leaps of imagination that lead to major conceptual changes, and by reflecting the lives and thoughts of key men and women against the values of their times. May not be offered during 1998-99.

A Cas 198 Special Topics in the Humanities (1–4)
Special group studies which provide students and faculty with the opportunity to explore significant themes, issues and problems from a broadly humanistic and interdisciplinary perspective. May be repeated for credit provided the subject matter is not repeated.

A Cas 200 Computing in the Social Sciences (3)
Overview of internet resources for research in the social sciences, including fundamental computing terminology and the use of internet net browsers and search engines. May not be taken for credit by students with credit for A Csi 101N, A Csi 201N, or B Msi 215. May be offered as a quarter course. A–E graded.

A Cas 202L Understanding the Arts (3)
Meets General Education: HA
Interdisciplinary course designed to foster an awareness and understanding of the significance of great works of Western art, music and literature. Students will study how to perceive and analyze works of art drawn from various periods. Categories include: architecture, sculpture, painting, music, drama, poetry and fiction.

A Cas 209 Advanced Science Research (2)
Continuation of work undertaken in A Cas 109 or equivalent with emphasis placed upon the completion of experiments in consultation with mentors. Students will consult with their teachers as necessary, but will not meet in a formal classroom period. Prerequisite(s): Satisfactory completion of A Cas 109 or completion of two years of an approved science research course at the high school level; permission of instructor; may not be taken by students enrolled in college; offered summer session only.

A Cas 210 Advanced Methods of Research
Continuation of work undertaken in A Cas 110 or equivalent with emphasis placed upon the communication of results. Students are expected to spend at least three hours per week outside of class. Prerequisite(s): Satisfactory completion of A Cas 110 or completion of two years of an approved science research course at the high school level; permission of instructor; may not be taken by students enrolled in college; students must be enrolled throughout an entire academic year to obtain credit.

A Cas 211 Intermediate Fundamentals of Research (2)
Students learn research methodology in the natural and social sciences. Students access scientific databases by using on-line bibliographic search techniques, consult doctoral level research scholars, develop hypotheses and perform experiments to test them, and write research papers and make presentations at scientific symposia. In this course emphasis is placed upon performing experiments and the communication of results. Students are expected to spend at least three hours per week working on class work outside of class. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite(s): completion of A Cas 111.

A Cas 220L Literatures of the World I (3)
Meets General Education: CHP & HA
Major works in English translation from literatures of ancient Mediterranean (Judaic, Graeco-Roman), China, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, and Francophone world. The first-semester course feeds into the second-semester course, but either semester may be taken alone. The course is team taught by faculty from the respective literature departments.

A Cas 221L Literatures of the World II (3)
Meets General Education: CHP & HA
Major works in English translation from more recent literatures of Hebrew, China, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, and Francophone worlds. The first semester course feeds into the second semester course, but either semester may be taken alone. The course is team taught by faculty from the respective literature departments.

A Cas 222 The Undiscovered Self (3)
Study of the nature of the inner self and its possible relation to God and the meaning of life. Themes to be discussed include: life after death, reincarnation, psychic phenomena, meditation and extrasensory perception.

A Cas 230 Expressionism in the Arts (3)
Expressionism as a characteristic of the arts in Central Europe (Germany and Austria) and Scandinavian countries (1905-1933). Includes literature, art (with slides), film and theater. The discussion includes the aesthetic principles of Expressionism, the political and artistic background of the period as well as parallel developments elsewhere in Europe. Conducted in English.

A Cas 240 Images and Issues of Diversity in the Visual Arts (3)
Meets General Education: HD
This course will look at the visual arts produced in selected subcultures and will consider the ways in which such social identities as race, class, gender and age are represented. The course focuses on the relationship of artists and their work to cultural and critical history, on social conditions under which these artists create, and the effect of these conditions on the themes, content, forms and shape of the reality in their art.

A Cas 331Z Decadence in American, French, English, and Russian Literatures
Decadents’ fascination with death, drugs, perverse sexuality, strangeness, self, irrationality, exotic lifestyles and literary techniques. Literary works of the period examined against the background of other contemporary art, especially painting and music. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior class standing, or permission of instructor.

A Cas 348 America’s Radical Past: 1848–77 (3)
Meets General Education: CHP
Interdisciplinary course which focuses on the period in American political and cultural history from the Women’s Rights Convention at Seneca Falls to the end of Reconstruction. Examines major literary and historical events from the perspective of race, sex and class, in an effort to redefine and reinterpret the American experience. If the topic for A His 390 is “America’s Radical Past: 1848– 77,” students may not receive credit for both A His 390 and A Cas 348.

A Cas 360E Passion and Choice (3)
Meets General Education: HA & WI
Through film drama, fiction and philosophy, this team-taught course will focus generally on the inner and outer dynamics of the individual as he/she interacts with the world and culture, and will take up such issues as the authority of reason versus the authority of the passions; personal responsibility versus allegiance to society; wealth as redemption and corruption; finding one’s personal myth; and gender identity and the quest for happiness.

A Cas 390 New York State Theatre Institute Internship (1–15)
A full- or part-time program involving academic study through classes, individualized instruction and written projects, and supervised applied experiences structured around the Institute’s theatrical productions and its residencies in New York State schools. These internships emphasize interdisciplinary learning about the arts in society, in the education of children, and the arts’ aesthetic, technical, and business aspects. Open to qualified majors in diverse fields or undeclared majors through a competitive selection process. Applications should be made to the Arts and Sciences faculty coordinator by November 1 or April 1 for the following terms. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior class standing, and permission of instructor. S/U graded.

A Cas 497 & 497Z Special Topics in the Humanities (1–4)
Special group studies which provide students and faculty with the opportunity to explore, on an advanced level, significant themes, issues, and problems from a broadly humanistic and interdisciplinary perspective. A Cas 497Z is the writing intensive version of 497; A Cas 497 and/or 497Z may be repeated for credit provided the topic differs. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior class standing or permission of instructor.


Undergraduate Bulletin — Table of Contents
University at Albany
State University of New York