College Experience

Course Descriptions

College Experience students participate in two classes.  For the morning session, each student selects a three-credit-hour course from SMU's regular summer school offerings, which include choices from many of the disciplines.  In the afternoon, participants study together in a unique learning community - the College Experience Seminar.  Led by dynamic SMU faculty members, students engage in in-depth studies that integrate the disciplines with reading, writing, discussion and learning skills. 

College Experience Seminars

In the afternoon, students participate in a special College Experience seminar. 

PLSC 4323: Politics of Change in America

American society and culture have changed significantly since 1950 — the way we grow up, the way we learn, the way we work and live, the way we communicate, what we find entertaining and informative, and the way we seek entertainment and information. These changes, in turn, have altered – at times dramatically – the conduct of politics and government. The purpose of this course, then, is to document major changes and reform efforts in American politics and to demonstrate that “political and social change” can be explained and understood in a systematic and rigorous manner.


Morning Class Choices

The following courses are frequently recommended for College Experience students. For other choices, consult the SMU Summer schedule, available online at, or from the CE office.


 ANTH 2301: Introductory Cultural Anthropology

Basic theories and methods of cultural anthropology. Explores variations in cultural values, social practices, religion, rules of law, etc., in different cultures around the world. Focuses on understanding the forces that shape cultures and societies, and how they adapt to a rapidly changing world. 

CTV 3300: Film and Television Genres

This course examines questions of genre pertinent to film and/or television by focusing on various generic forms and their history. The specific genres under consideration will vary from term to term.

ENGL 1300: Foundations of Rhetoric

(Designed for students who need to improve skills before taking freshman English.) Emphasizes the fundamentals of grammar, usage, punctuation, syntax, and paragraph development. Concludes with the writing of short essays.

ENGL 1301: Rhetoric I

Rhetorical principles of audience, persona, and purpose; techniques of local and global revision; and a review of mechanics. Students write thesis-directed, analytic essays. (Placement in English 1301 is contingent on successful completion of a rhetoric exam.)

ENGL 2311: Poetry

Analysis, interpretation, and appreciation of poetry: with attention to critical theory.

ENGL 2315: Introduction to Literary Study

Introduction to the discipline for beginning English majors: covering methods of literary analysis in selected texts spanning a range of genres and historical periods.

Math 1304: Pre-Calculus Mathematics

(Especially intended for students who plan to major in science or engineering.) Inequalities, absolute value, graphs, functions, basic analytic geometry, trigonometry, inverse functions. Designed for students who need to improve mathematics skills before taking calculus.
Prerequisite: One year of high school algebra required; two years of algebra and pre-calculus are highly recommended.

Math 1309: Introduction to Calculus for Business and Social Science
(Designed for students planning to major in business or the social sciences.) Derivatives and integrals of the algebraic, logarithmic, and exponential functions with applications to curve sketching, maximum-minimum problems, and computation. Prerequisite: Two years of high school algebra are required, and pre-calculus is highly recommended.

Math 1337: Calculus with Analytic Geometry I
(Generally for science and engineering majors.) Differential and integral calculus of algebraic and some trigonometric functions with applications to velocity, maximum-minimum problems, areas, volumes, work, and curve sketching.
Prerequisite: Two years of high school algebra and pre-calculus. Calculus courses are fast paced and should be taken only by the strongest math students.

MSA 1315: Mass Media and Technology

An overview of technology as it applies to mass media in America, emphasizing the access of information via the Internet and World Wide Web. Topics include the expanding nature of technology, legal aspects, and the effects of technology on society.

MSA 2301:Mass Media and Society

A survey of all print and broadcast media - their backgrounds as well as their current status as industries. Ethics, law, effects of mass media, international communication, advertising, and public relations are also treated.

PHIL 1305: Introduction to Philosophy

This course revolves around three questions: What is real? What is knowledge? and What is good? The major alternative answers to these questions are explored.

PHIL 1317: Business Ethics

A discussion of the moral and political issues surrounding a free-enterprise system. Students are introduced to basic moral theory. Further topics include distributive (or economic) justice, the moral preferability of capitalism and socialism, and selected concrete moral issues such as truth in advertising, worker safety, and affirmative action.

PLSC 3321: Congress and Legislative Process

The powers, organization, and rules and procedures of legislatures in the United States: emphasizes the U.S. Congress: its constitutional responsibilities, committee and staff systems, and legislative procedures in the House and Senate.

PSYC 1300: Introduction to Psychology

Broad introduction to psychology as a behavioral science with emphasis placed on cognition, development, learning, social, personality, physiological, and clinical psychology.




* The University reserves the right to make changes in this schedule at any time.  Classes are subject to cancellation if enrollment is insufficient.