Courses

Courses for the holistic student.

SNF Paideia designated courses, designed and taught by faculty from all of Penn’s twelve Schools, aim to examine the theory and practice of dialogue across differences and to apply a dialogue lens to issues of citizenship, community service, or individual and community wellness. Open to all Penn undergraduates, SNF Paideia designated courses are noted on student transcripts. In addition, the Program identifies and recommends other courses offered at Penn that focus on wellness, service, citizenship, and dialogue. Read more about Paideia designated and recommended courses below.

Penn students on the lawn

Spring 2023

PSCI 4991 - 001

American Conservatism from Taft to Trump

Instructor(s)

  • Brian Rosenwald

Semester

Spring 2023

How did the GOP come to be dominated by Donald Trump, in the process going from a Conservative party to a right wing populist one? The answer to that question actually requires going far deeper historically, and studying how the party went from being a center right party — one with liberals, moderates and conservatives — in the mid-20th century to a conservative one. The institutions, media, and politicians responsible for that transformation helped laid the groundwork for Trump’s takeover.

Learn More
PSCI 4201 - 001

Political Empathy and Deliberative Democracy in the US

Instructor(s)

  • Lia Howard

Semester

Spring 2023

This course seeks to understand contemporary political divisions in the United States.  Guiding our analysis will be scholarship from the discipline of political science, with particular attention given to political culture, polarization and federalism while incorporating scholarship from several other disciplines.

Learn More
AFRC 3804 / AFRC 6804 / ANTH 3804 / ANTH 6804

Sighting Black Girlhood

Instructor(s)

  • Deborah Thomas
  • Grace L. Sanders Johnson

Semester

Spring 2023

The class is part of a broader multi-year project that is designed to address the gendered dimensions of broader social inequalities. As this is a weekly three-hour seminar, students will be expected to participate robustly in class discussions, and in all “field” visits.  Because the course involves a variety of forms of community engagement and summer travel, all interested students should fill out the attached questionnaire and send the responses to deborah.thomas@sas.upenn.edu.

Learn More
ASAM 0115 / SAST 0115 / URBS 1150 / LALS 0115 / AFRC 1115

American Race: A Philadelphia Story

Instructor(s)

  • Fariha I. Khan
  • Fernando Chang-Muy

Semester

Spring 2023

This course proposes an examination of race with a two-pronged approach: one that broadly links the study of race in the United States with a multi-disciplinary approach and also simultaneously situates specific conversations within the immediate location of Philadelphia, home to the University.

Learn More
BIOL 1850

Research in Biological Sciences and Its Social Impact

Instructor(s)

  • Mecky Pohlschroder

Semester

Spring 2023

This course focuses to enrich students understanding, communication, and access of and to research in the biological sciences.

Learn More
COMM 2760 / NURS 2760 / PSYC 2760

How We Change: Social-Psychological and Communication Dynamics

Instructor(s)

  • Dolores Albarracín

Semester

Spring 2023

Have you wondered why people undergo religious conversion, change their political affiliation, suddenly endorse conspiracy theories, alter their taste in music, or seek hypnosis to quit smoking? What is common to these processes of change, and how does resistance to change play out across these seemingly different contexts?

Learn More
EDUC 2551

Mindfulness and Human Development

Instructor(s)

  • Elizabeth Mackenzie

Semester

Spring 2023

This course will introduce the student to the many ways in which mindfulness is currently being implemented to support the health and success of students of all ages.  Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), in particular, which utilizes secularized practices from Asian and South Asian traditions for the remediation of various health concerns, has revolutionized behavioral medicine, and the scientific evaluation of MBSR has shed new light on the bio-mechanical pathways linking mind and body.

Learn More
COMM 3220 - 301

History and Theory of Freedom of Expression

Instructor(s)

  • Carolyn Marvin

Semester

Spring 2023

Every society limits speech in significant ways. What are these limits in the United States, why are these the limits, and are they the ones we want? Explore these topics and more.

Learn More
ENGL 2145 / CIMS 2145

Failure to Communicate

Instructor(s)

  • Carlin Romano

Semester

Spring 2023

The phrase “failure to communicate” became iconic in American English from the 1967 film “Cool Hand Luke,” in which Paul Newman played a convict who refuses to listen or follow orders. The film raised questions about the multiple ways we understand “failure to communicate” and its consequences. Is it sometimes a decision to resist a presumption, a premise, an interpretation, an argument, a directive from authority? Is it at other times simply a mechanical failure? This course examines “failure to communicate” in multiple cultural areas, among them literature, romance, politics, theater, law, science, war, psychology, philosophy, business, religion, humor and education.

Learn More
PSCI 4991 - 004

Key Questions in Political Theory

Instructor(s)

  • Jeffrey Green

Semester

Spring 2023

This course is a basic introduction to certain fundamental topics in political theory. It aims to provide students with concepts and ideas by which to more clearly make sense of political reality.

Learn More
NURS 3200

Designing to Care: Improving Health and Wellness

Instructor(s)

  • Sara F. Jacoby
  • Mikael Avery

Semester

Spring 2023

Designing to Care is informed by ideas and skills from across the disciplines of design, nursing, and health research. As an interdisciplinary and project-based course, it actively examines the connection between the design of healthcare, how we communicate health strategies, and the impact of both on individual, institutional, and community wellbeing.

Learn More
PSYC 2400 - 001

Introduction to Positive Psychology

Instructor(s)

  • Caroline Connolly

Semester

Spring 2023

This highly engaged course integrates the process of learning about positive psychology with personal experience and reflection. We explore topics such as well-being, positive affect, optimism, relationships, and character strengths.

Learn More
CIMS 2000 - 401 / ENGL 2951 - 401

Virtual Reality Lab

Instructor(s)

  • Peter Decherney

Semester

Spring 2023

This course mixes virtual reality theory, history, and practice. Students read scholarship, manifestoes, and memoirs that examine virtual reality and other immersive technologies, stretching from the 18th century to today.

Learn More
BIOL 3851

Biology and Society

Instructor(s)

  • Mecky Pohlschroder
  • Paul Schmidt

Semester

Spring 2023

This course uses a biological foundation to explore general issues at the interface of biology and society. We will use both historical and contemporary reading materials, with an emphasis on the primary scientific literature, to inform discussions on often controversial issues in biology as well as the social responsibility of scientists to respond to these issues.

Learn More
BENF 2990-001

Health Capability

Instructor(s)

  • Jennifer J. Prah

Semester

Spring 2023

This course examines the idea of health capability.  Health capability is the ability to be healthy; it integrates health functioning and health agency. Health capability helps us understand the conditions that facilitate and barriers that impede health and the ability to make healthy choices.

Learn More
MKTG 3530 - 001

The Business of Wellness: Marketing and Consumption

Instructor(s)

  • Annie Wilson

Semester

Spring 2023

Wellness relates to the active pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health. The global wellness industry represents a rapidly expanding, multi-trillion-dollar market. The purpose of this SNF Paideia designated course is to provide a better understanding of the marketing of wellness brands, services, and products and the consumer behavior of wellness.

Learn More
EDUC 5800 - 005

Student Engagement Practicum

Instructor(s)

  • Valerie Swain-Cade McCoullum

Semester

Spring 2023

In Student Engagement Practicum Penn students will provide support to City of Philadelphia middle school and high school students who are currently enrolled in 6th grade through 12th grade in School District of Philadelphia public schools.

Learn More

SNF Paideia designated courses will be noted on a student’s transcript.

Preceptorial

Racism and
Anti-Racism in Contemporary America

A unique series of interdisciplinary conversations among leading scholars and practitioners drawn from a wide range of fields. Each conversation focuses on the ways in which institutional racism is deeply embedded in different parts of our economic, political, social, and cultural systems.

Racism and Anti-Racism in Contemporary America
Protestor holding up Black Lives Matter poster

Suggest a course.

We are eager to hear from faculty about classes they would like offered under the SNF Paideia Program.

Propose a Course