Elective Courses

Although AUV students enjoy a full schedule of General Eduction courses, foundation courses for their major and required courses, there are a number of limited opportunities for electives in various disciplines. These electives provide students with a chance to explore subjects outside their chosen learning and career fields.

Exploring cuisine is a good way to explore culture. This course examines the geographical and historical factors that combine to create a culture and its cuisine, and investigates the social and religious symbolism of food and sharing food. The course analyzes a range of cultures and cuisines, ancient and modern, to show how they reflect and reveal the variety of human experience.

Music Appreciation is designed to help the student acquire informed listening skills which promote the development of curiosity about, an enthusiasm for and the enjoyment of many types of music. This course provides an approach to perceptive listening and an introduction to musical elements, forms, and style periods. The discussion of composers’ lives, individual styles and representative works aim not merely to give facts, but stimulate curiosity and enthusiasm. The class material will cover from the Renaissance to the present. This course will relate the music of an era to historical events and to the art and literature of the time period discussed.

A review of cinema history with viewing and analysis of landmark films, directors, actors and technical achievements with consideration of film/video as an art form. 

Also introduces the video/filmmaking process using single camera theory, lighting, audio, and editing techniques

This class will introduce students to the process and techniques of creative writing. Students will experiment with various types of writing, including the writing of fiction and poetry. Class readings will expose students to various writing styles and provide examples of the successes and strategies of other writers. Class time will be spent discussing the writer's craft, the assigned readings, and student writing.

A survey of world literature from the ancient world through the present. Students will study works of prose, poetry, drama, and fiction in relation to their historical and cultural contexts. Texts will be selected from a diverse group of authors and traditions. 

Through writing exercises, students in this course will learn to craft dialogue, scene, memory, and detail.  By applying these skills, students will write several short stories throughout the semester, each developing particular aspects of prose fiction.  Students should expect to read and discuss contemporary short fiction, to write prose exercises and their own original short stories, and to learn about and participate in workshopping. 

An introduction to modern philosophy, from the Renaissance to the present, with careful study of works by Descartes, Hume, Kant, and others. Emphasis is placed upon the complex relations of philosophy to the development of modern science, the social and political history of the West, and man's continuing attempt to achieve a satisfactory worldview.

 Human ecology is the systematic application of ecological concepts, principles, theory and research methods to the study of human populations and communities. Human ecology examines the way in which human population-resource relationships affect the adaptation of human populations to desert, arctic, forested and other types of ecosystems.  It also examines the role that the resource requirements needed to sustain a population play in determining local differences in subsistence, labor allocation, technology, reproductive behavior, residential distribution, household composition and structure, community social and political organization, inter-population relationships and other social behaviors.  Human ecology also examines contemporary ecological concerns that result from population growth and industrial development in the light of the larger body of human ecological research.

This course is an introduction to the academic study of religion and of world religions, and to the religious traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Primal or “oral” religions will also be studied, and contrasted with “historical” religions. The course examines the historical evolution, the fundamental doctrines and beliefs, the practices, institutions and cultural expressions of these religious traditions. The course also deals with some of the essential differences and similarities which exist among each religious tradition, and points to the uniqueness of each of them. Goals for students enrolled in this course are to develop the ability to think both empathetically and critically about conflicting religious claims and to gain knowledge of the history and culture of several major religious traditions.

A systematic introduction to the processes operating on the surface of the earth, their spatial variation, and their contribution to the spatial patterning of life on earth. The course stresses interactions among climate, landforms, soils and vegetation and, to a lesser extent, examines human interaction with the environment.

This course presents the basics of the French language as spoken in Europe. Students learn greetings, verb conjugations, basic survival vocabulary, pronunciation rules, grammatical structures, and cultural highlights. They develop basic reading and conversational abilities, learning to understand and practically apply the facts rather than simply memorizing them. The instructor presents material primarily in English, using songs, verse, readings on culture, and video supplements.

This course strengthens students' comprehension of the spoken and written language. Students learn how to respond in real-life situations while expanding their vocabulary and improving their reading skills. They increase freedom of expression through oral and reading comprehension exercises based on excerpts from great French literary works. Grammar exercises focus on reflexive verbs, direct and indirect pronouns, subjunctive mood, and preterit, imperfect, conditional, and past-perfect tenses. Students learn about the many French-speaking lands around the world. Supplements include songs, verse, and video clips. The instructor presents material in both English and French.

Introductory course in modern spoken and written Japanese, designed to develop fundamental skills in the areas of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Gives contextualized instructions to develop both communicative and cultural competency. Systematically introduces the Japanese writing system (Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji).

A continuation of modern spoken and written Japanese designed to continue the development of fundamental skills in the areas of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Continues the introduction of the Japanese writing system (Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji).

First-year Korean designed to introduce the Korean language and alphabet, Hangul. This course is for students without any or very little knowledge of the Korean language and provides a solid foundation in all aspects of the language, including speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Students study the language’s orthographic and phonetic systems, grammar, syntax, and vocabulary within social and cultural contexts.

A continuation of the concepts presented in Korean I including, speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Students continue the study of the the orthographic and phonetic systems, grammar, syntax, and vocabulary.