Course assignments are based on the following criteria:
Evidence of the students suitability for the course;
Information provided in the essays;
Date the completed application is received;
Available space in the class; and
Alumni status in the program.
Although SMU does not grant high school credit for TAG courses, many students have negotiated with their local school districts to arrange for high school credit. For assistance, contact the Director of TAG.
Morning Selections (Credit Courses)
Typically, students with strong SAT/ACT or comparable test scores are the first considered for credit-course placement. Individual classes have specific requirements. Qualified younger students are eligible for (and have been highly successful in) credit classes. All students who participate in these freshman-level, college-credit courses receive grades which will appear on an official SMU college transcript.
ARHS 1335: Monsters, Mayhem, and Miracles: Art and Life in the Medieval World
Dr. Pamela Patton
3 college credits
The Great Hall at Hogwarts; the Knights Templar of the Da Vinci Code; the werewolves from New Moonwhat do these have in common? They are all creations of the Middle Ages, an age of daring crusaders, awesome architecture, and fantastical beings of all kinds. This course explores the medieval world through images, monuments, music, and legends ranging from the miraculous to the preposterous, offering students a new perspective on the power of our medieval heritage.
EDU 2349: Psychology of Adjustment
MATH 1307: Introduction to Mathematical Science
Dr. Ann Batenburg
3 college credits
When we think of psychology, we often think of what would be abnormal psychology – what can go wrong with a person, or why people behave as they do in negative situations. Positive Psychology takes the opposite approach. It looks at what is right with human behavior and wonders how we can increase positive behavior and affect. It is a rapidly emerging field within the social sciences. It focuses on human strengths as well as weaknesses. It examines both stressors and resources in the environment. Positive psychology is interested in resilience as well as vulnerability. The topic of positive psychology is well-being, the cultivation of optimal living. The goal of positive psychology is to increase flourishing. Well-being theory has five elements: positive emotion, engagement, meaning, accomplishment, and positive relationships. The goal of this class goes beyond the cognitive understanding of positive psychology. It invites students to engage in discussions and activities that promote the acquisition of strategies and skills that enhance each student’s capacity to live a flourishing life.
Dr. Montie Monzingo
3 college credits
Students explore operations on sets, permutations and combinations, probability, vectors and matrices, Markov chains, linear programming, and elementary statistics. Prerequisite: Algebra I.
ME 1301: Machines and Society
Dr. Chuck Lovas
3 college credits
What would we do without our vehicles? We depend on cars and trucks and are frustrated when they don't work! In this course, students will learn how machines such as the automobile, the airplane, and the mag-lev train operate as well as why they sometimes dont perform as they should. Machines and Society focuses on a variety of modern machines and how they impact us as individuals and as a society.
MUAS 1323 Exploring the Power of Music in Our Lives From Chaos 2 Creation
Dr. Robert Krout
3 college credits
Sounds surround us everyday and begin to influence us even before we are born. They can have a major impact on health and happiness. Why do humans find some sounds pleasing (music) and other sounds chaotic (noise)? This experiential course explores the creative use of sound, including topics such as pitch, timbre, rhythm, melody, and harmony. It explores the interaction of sound and the environment and introduces the human hearing system. Students will learn how music affects brain function and stimulates the emotions. Creating new songs and improvising with familiar music will unlock thoughts and emotions in healthy ways. Experiences also include using live and recorded music with imagery and biofeedback for stress reduction and relaxation. No musical training is required to be successful in this course.
PLSC 4334: The Politics and Legacies of the Civil Rights Movement
Dr. Dennis Simon
3 college credits
This course will focus upon the history, politics, and moral claims of the movement that not only destroyed the system of racial segregation known as Jim Crow but also dissolved barriers to political participation by African Americans in the American South. Accordingly, we will examine the rise of the civil rights movement, the politics and culture of the segregated South, and the evolution of how national politicians addressed the issues of race and segregation. We will also explore the legacy of this revolution and its influence on contemporary politics and culture in the United States.
Afternoon Selections (Noncredit Courses)
All afternoon courses are taken for noncredit.
Crime Scene Investigations
Ms. Andra Lewis-Krick
Do you enjoy watching CSI Las Vegas/Miami? Ever wonder what really goes on in the world of crime scene investigations? This course is designed to introduce students to the world of crime scene investigations through both lecture and hands-on activities in the areas of forensic photography, processing for fingerprints, blood spatter analysis, trace evidence collection and the exploration of DNA in real life situations. In addition, field trips will be scheduled to the Dallas County Courthouse, the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Science (SWIFS), and Dallas Police Headquarters. During the final week of the course, a crime scene will be constructed in which the students will be required to process the scene and then present their case in a mock trial. .
Mr. Tim Murray
Dallas has moved into the world of mass transit with its train system linking north and south. The train can whisk TAG students to the West End or to downtown in minutes to explore among the skyscrapers and discover secrets of architecture and careers hidden among the glass-front buildings. Students in this course will explore all this and more as they visit various sites throughout Dallas and meet with professionals within the city. The course will combine architecture, urban planning, government, and sociology by applying them to real world situations.
Creative Writing: Poetry
Ms. Tori Sharpe
We know what a poem looks like—a grouping of words with intentional line breaks, making a jagged right margin. But, aside from a certain physical structure (which, when you’re talking about prose poems doesn’t even apply anymore), what makes a poem a poem? Dante said, "poetry is putting together the best words in the most beautiful order." Emily Dickinson said that poetry was the kind of writing which "takes the top of your head off." Federico Garcia Lorca claimed that poetry must have the "duende," a kind of fight or struggle, that "umph" which is indefinable, and yet, a reader recognizes it when it is there. In this three week course, we will attempt to answer this very question, one which has been debated by writers for centuries: what is poetry? We will read at a variety of forms—defined both by structure and content— from the elegy to the ode, from the sonnet to the sestina, and from the narrative poem to the villanelle. We will analyze poems by formalists and by writers who defy traditional forms. But, rather than simply reading and discussing these works, we will attempt to discover the essence of this genre through invention, by creating the very poetic forms and structures we are studying. Through reading, discussion, and writing, we will create a community of poets, and whether or not we decide on a precise definition for the genre by the end of the session, we will have a wonderful time learning about and creating the oldest form of literature known to man.
Ms. Linda Raya
This course focuses on body technique, voice and diction, imagination, acting techniques, characterization, and preparation of monologues and duets. Visiting experts provide enrichment workshops on topics such as stage combat, sword fighting, stunts, makeup, and dance. The expanded class format allows former students to continue their Theater Arts studies.
Whats Eating You? The Truth About Our Food
Ms. Kelyn Rola
This course will cover all things Food. We will discuss the origin of the food we consume, how various products are made, factors that influence what we eat, and what changes we can make to be more health-conscious and environmentally-friendly. We will spend time critically analyzing the organic food industry, local sustainable food, and discuss which foods are really bad for us and which are not. We will also spend a portion of the course covering health and how nutrition impacts health. Students will leave this course with the knowledge to make informed choices about what they eat, as well as improved critical analysis skills.
Who Am I?
Ms. Laila Sanguras
Beginning with studying various philosophical concepts, students will work to define themselves in terms of culture, relationships, politics, and religion. Literature, composition, and research come together in student-created online portfolios, Vokis, Wordles, and blogs. Students will also try their hands at writing poetry, short stories, and parodies. They will craft their personal and academic voices as they analyze graphic novels, biographies, and write and deliver speeches answering the ultimate question: Who am I?