University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

First-Year Experience

Integrated Social Sciences Program (ISSP)

Fall Semester Courses


ANTH 059 ~ D2: Culture and Environment

Instructor: Luis Vivanco Professor of Anthropology More . . .

Environmental degradation is currently one of the most pressing problems facing humanity. This course examines the socio-cultural causes and consequences of environmental degradation around the world, as well as the efforts to solve these problems. Students will analyze the increasing globalization of human/nature interactions and environmental degradation, and consider how solutions to environmental problems have dealt (or not dealt) with culturally distinct definitions of nature and social change.

Requirements Satisfied: one Social Sciences course, a D2/Non-European Cultures General Requirement course, and a University-Wide Sustainability Requirement course.


EC 060 ~ Capitalism & Human Welfare

Instructor: Elaine McCrate Associate Professor of Economics More . . .

Economic growth and innovation shape our world and our standard of living. This course examines theories of economic growth, the historical experience of growth and innovation that let the U.S. surge ahead of its competitors, the relative decline of the U.S. since 1950, and the more recent slowdown of growth.

Requirements Satisfied: one Social Sciences course


SOC 032 ~ Social Inequality

Instructor: Moustapha Diouf Associate Professor of Sociology More . . .

Who gets what and why?  This course examines class, racial/ethnic, and gender inequality in the distribution of valued rewards (e.g., wealth, power, prestige) in society. Students will describe the distribution of rewards, explain its causes, and discuss its consequences. The focus is on the contemporary United States, and the history of social inequality under Globalization.

Requirements Satisfied: one Social Sciences course

Spring Semester Courses


GEOG 096A ~ Cultural Geography (Actual Topic TBA)

POLS 051 ~ Introduction to International Relations

Instructor: Melissa Willard Foster Assistant Professor of Political Science More . . .

The state of world affairs is rapidly changing. From confrontation with Russia over the Ukraine, to the emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the world is in some ways more dangerous than it was just a few short years ago. And yet, there remains reason to be optimistic. Countries now cooperate on a scale unprecedented in the history of international relations. They are working together to solve global problems such as nuclear proliferation, climate change, economic recession, and terrorism. During our semester together, we will explore how states interact in the international arena. We will examine why states go to war and why they sometimes cooperate, even when their interests conflict. To test our theories of international relations, we will also examine the historical record, looking at the causes of World Wars I and II, as well as more recent conflicts, such as the Iraq War. Finally, we will also consider current topics in the field, such as the causes of terrorism and the consequences of foreign intervention.

Requirements Satisfied: one Social Sciences course


Thesis ~ ISSP Thesis (Optional)

Instructor: Luis Vivanco Professor of Anthropology More . . .

Requirements Satisfied: one Social Science course