The topics listed below represent a comprehensive listing of all FIGS classes that have been offered. For a list of current offerings, check out our course catalog or the Schedule of Classes (course number 01:090:120 or 11:090:120).

View the 2019 FIGS Catalog here.

Fall 2019 FIGS Course Offerings

Arts, Communications, and Entertainment

  • American Studies & Pop Culture
  • Art History
  • Asian American Studies
  • Communication
  • Creative Writing
  • English Literature
  • Information Technology & Informatics*
  • Journalism
  • Linguistics & Speech and Hearing Sciences*
  • Linguistics & World Languages
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Theater

Business, Financial Services, and Logistics

  • Business
  • Economics
  • Information Technology & Informatics*
  • Mathematics*
  • Statistics & Data Analysis*

Education and Public & Human Services

  • Africana Studies
  • Community Activism & Civic Engagement
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education
  • Geography & Global Studies*
  • Government & Public Policy
  • History
  • Law & Leadership
  • Linguistics & World Languages*
  • Philosophy*
  • Political Science
  • Psychology*
  • Public Health*
  • Social Work
  • Women’s & Gender Studies

Food & Agriculture and Environmental & Natural Resources

  • Animal Science
  • Careers in the Sciences*
  • Chemistry*
  • Ecology, Evolution, & Natural Resources
  • Environmental Policy & Awareness
  • Geography & Global Studies*
  • Nutrition*
  • Plant & Agricultural Science
  • Science of the Environment

Life Sciences and Health

  • Careers in the Sciences*
  • Chemistry*
  • Cognitive Science*
  • Dental Professions
  • Exercise Science – Kinesiology & Health
  • Genetics & Genetic Counseling
  • Health & Medicine
  • Linguistics & Speech and Hearing Sciences*
  • Nutrition*
  • Psychology*
  • Public Health*

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

  • Careers in the Sciences*
  • Chemistry*
  • Cognitive Science*
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering
  • Geography & Global Studies*
  • Mathematics*
  • Physics & Astrophysics
  • Statistics & Data Analysis*

Arts, Communication, and Entertainment

Communication

Learn about this exciting field through the exploration of interpersonal, mediated, and organizational communication. Students will be introduced to current topics within the study of communication such as the function of public relations, advertising, and reputation management to the outsized influence of the media and popular culture, and will see how this discipline impacts their everyday lives. Students will have the opportunity to learn more about related co-curricular resources available at Rutgers while discovering the limitless applications of the field of communication.

Creative Writing

Do you have a passion for creative writing? Would you like to make writing a part of your undergraduate experience? In this seminar, you will study the craft of story building and developing a narrative voice and discuss ways to incorporate your interest in writing into your academic life. You will also learn about writing-related programs and workshops at Rutgers, examine relevant major and minor options, explore internship opportunities and job market resources, and discover how the Rutgers community can be an engaging place to foster your creativity.

English Literature

Do you love to read? Would you like to channel your literary creativity? Are you wondering how to get the most out of your interest in English literature? In this FIGS, you will study short works of historical and contemporary literature and discuss significant authors and important literary movements. You will meet faculty from the English department, explore a wide range of curricular offerings and extracurricular resources available to Rutgers students, and learn more about the exciting internship and job opportunities available to English majors.

Exploring Art History

Are you interested in art and architecture? Have you ever wondered why people make art and what it means? Would you like to know what it takes to be an art historian or work in an art museum? If so, join us as we explore the study of art and the field of Art History. In this FIGS, you will be introduced to important artists and architects, meet faculty from the Art History department, go to the Zimmerli Museum, and learn about a variety of resources available to Rutgers students. If you’re interested in art and want to share that curiosity with others, then this is the course for you.

Foreign Language & Linguistics

Are you interested in the acquisition and mastery of different languages? Do you know what linguists do? In this FIGS, you will explore the relevance of foreign languages and linguistics in American culture—as well as their impact in other parts of the world—and learn about the variety of foreign language programs and linguistics-related resources and opportunities at Rutgers. In an increasingly connected global age, this course will provide you with insight into the career options available to foreign language and linguistic specialists and the real-world applications of such knowledge.

Journalism

Are you interested in the dissemination of news and information? Whether in print, radio, television, Internet, or Podcasts, journalists serve a critical function in media every day. In this course, we will discuss topics such as how to critically evaluate information, important writing and presentation skills, and the practical experiences and professional activities that will help you thrive in the rapidly changing field of journalism. You will learn about the departments and academic resources at Rutgers related to journalism and receive an introduction to the many on-campus publications and relevant involvement opportunities available to Rutgers students.

Linguistics & Speech and Hearing Sciences

What do typical language and communication look like, and what happens when things go wrong? How do we diagnose and treat communication disorders? What is the range of cognitive and communication disorders, and what do they say about the relationship between language and cognition? In this FIGS, you will learn about the important connection between the fields of Linguistics and the Speech and Hearing Sciences. You will see how an understanding of linguistic phenomena and the physical and cognitive mechanisms that make communication possible can prepare you to be a skilled researcher, clinician, pathologist, or audiologist—and there are resources available to you right here at Rutgers that help make these various career paths possible! 

Linguistics & World Languages

Are you interested in how children acquire language and how people attain varying degrees of mastery of different languages as first or second language learners? Do you know what linguists do? In this FIGS, you will explore something every human knows something about: language! You will come to appreciate the role of language in our global society and culture, what it means to study language scientifically, and how language helps define who we are as humans. You will also become aware of the wide variety of linguistics- and language-related resources and opportunities right here at Rutgers. This course will provide you with insight into the career options available to graduates with linguistic and language expertise, and the real-world applications of this knowledge in an increasingly multilingual world.

Music

From Paleolithic bone flutes to Spotify and Pandora, music remains a timeless, universal language. In this FIGS, we will dive into the origins of different musical genres and explore how music remains prevalent in a variety of art forms and professional career paths. Discover the music-related academic tracks that Rutgers offers; learn about out-of-class opportunities to experience, appreciate, and perform music; and discuss the career opportunities available to students interested in the musical arts. In addition, you will also meet a faculty member and learn about the resources and opportunities Rutgers offers. If you love music, then this is the course for you!

Theater

The theater is unquestionably a meeting place of the arts. In this seminar, we will discuss the wide range of academic options and career paths open to theater majors—from acting and playwriting to set design and production—and will explore involvement opportunities for Rutgers students interested in this field of study. In addition, we will learn more about the theatrical world through a local excursion and hear from a Rutgers faculty member. If you have a passion for the performing arts, this course is for you!

Business, Financial Services, and Logistics

Business

Would you like to learn about the business world and explore the current issues, trends, and practices shaping the future of domestic and international business? This FIGS will introduce you to various undergraduate plans of study for business and liberal arts majors as well as the Rutgers Business School and business-related graduate programs. Additionally, you will discover the vast array of relevant academic resources and co-curricular involvement opportunities while also hearing from faculty and business majors who will provide valuable insight and advice on current hot topics in business.

Economics

Are you interested in working on Wall Street, consulting for the government, or applying the study of economics to another industry? In this FIGS, you will explore the diverse field of economics and discover how it intersects with fields such as politics, psychology, public policy, health, and finance. Basic economic concepts like resource allocation, individual decision-making, and global trends will be discussed as you get a taste of the powerful analytical tools and skills developed in economics. We’ll also examine the flexible academic and career paths and the wide array of opportunities available for economics majors, such as research, extracurricular activities, various certificates in Economics, internships, and more!

Management & Labor Relations

This FIGS will explore topics such as the impact of the United States labor movement, contemporary ideas surrounding work and industry, and the development of effective teams and productive employees. Learn about the management of employees from entry-level jobs to corporate leadership, as well as American union movements and contemporary social movements. Students will be introduced to careers in the management and labor relations field and will be able to discuss their experiences as workers and how their future goals fit into the American labor structure and workplace. Students will discover the academic resources, internship, and co-curricular involvement opportunities Rutgers has to offer for a successful college and management career.

Sport Management-Kinesiology and Health

Are you a sports fanatic? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work for your favorite professional sports team? If so, join this FIGS and explore the wide world of Sports Management! Because people are often unfamiliar with the many professional positions within sports franchises, this seminar will introduce you to the Sports Management degree, to peers majoring in the field, to faculty from the Department of Kinesiology and Health, and to a variety of careers related to the business of sport. You will also learn the ins and outs of relevant Rutgers resources to prepare for a successful college experience.

Statistics & Data Analysis

Are you interested in using numbers to tell a story? Do you like applying math to the real world? If so, join us as we jump into the versatile world of statistics. In this course, you will gain the necessary analytical perspective to apply statistics to many industries, including finance, healthcare, retail, and education. This course will connect you to important resources at Rutgers, including professors and research opportunities, and show you what it means to pursue a career in the exciting world of data science.

Education and Public & Human Services

Africana Studies

Are you interested in learning more about the African American Experience in the United States, Africa and abroad? Do you want to discuss the importance of social movements like #BlackLivesMatter or learn about how Rutgers University was involved in the fall of apartheid in South Africa? Regardless of your specific major or career interests, these are important questions that impact us all. This course will focus on debunking myths regarding African Americans, the African continent and the African diaspora as well as introducing you to the beauty and intriguing nature of Africana Studies and its importance today. Along the way, you’ll gain valuable knowledge as well as an introduction to the skills and Rutgers resources necessary to succeed both in and out of the classroom.

American Studies & Pop Culture

Do you enjoy studying American history? Are you also interested in pop culture and cultural history? Have you ever thought about why pop culture is so widely discussed? If so, then join us as we discuss a wide range of topics on how pop culture affects our everyday lives. Filled with intriguing music, film, and texts, this course will be a great introduction to the field of American Studies. In addition, this seminar will explore the many academic resources and involvement opportunities that Rutgers has to offer. If you are interested in culture, then Exploring American Studies and Pop Culture is for you.

Anthropology

What do we mean when we use the words “culture” and “society”? What is the relationship between the individual and the collective? What role does cultural difference play in our lives and in the world around us? This FIGS will explore such questions by introducing students to the study of anthropology and to the various anthropological perspectives—sociocultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and evolutionary anthropology—that make for exciting educational paths and career opportunities. This course also offers the opportunity to gain valuable insight on how to navigate college life and Rutgers resources available for students interested in anthropology.

Asian American Studies

This FIGS will introduce students to the diversity of Asian American peoples and cultures in the United States and inspire a better understanding of one of our country’s most vibrant sub-populations. Looking at examples such as cinematic and literary works, the course will discuss topics such as history, stereotypes of the “Model Minority” and the “Perpetual Foreigner,” language, society, and popular culture. Throughout this FIGS, students will meet faculty and staff members affiliated with the Asian American Studies Initiative and Global Asias Initiative; explore relevant study abroad, academic, and involvement opportunities; and network with peers who are also interested in Asian American culture. 

Community Activism & Civic Engagement

This course will introduce students to different types of civic engagement— such as advocacy, rallying, and political campaigning—and will demonstrate how these practices have been used historically to promote social change. Students will learn to think analytically about how various forms of activism are used to solve different social issues while being introduced to social justice opportunities on- and off-campus, relevant academic disciplines, and exciting career possibilities.

Community Service and Public Policy

Have you been involved in community service for as long as you can remember? Are you interested in improving the lives of those around you by working within the government or a nonprofit organization? This course will explore how direct service at the community level can shape public policy and achieve broader systemic change. You will be introduced to related majors and minors, career paths, student organizations, and service-learning opportunities. Whether you are interested in learning more about public policy or simply enjoy giving back through volunteering, this course is for you.

Criminal Justice

Are you thinking about a career in criminal law, counseling, or law enforcement? Do you want to know more about working within the court system, correctional facilities, or even the FBI? A degree in Criminal Justice will satisfy a variety of interests and provide you with a strong foundation for academic and professional success. This seminar will explore the connections between criminal justice and social issues such as race, class, violence, and discrimination. This course will also offer the opportunity to explore relevant academic and co-curricular resources to make your criminal justice journey at Rutgers a success. 

Diversity & Social Justice

What prejudices exist in society?  How do we begin to challenge them?  Regardless of your career interests, these questions impact all of us. Join us as we explore the rich diversity of our world from historical, social, and political perspectives. Enjoy lively conversation on topics such as race, class, language, sexual orientation, and disability. Challenge yourself to discuss your beliefs about these issues and their place in the 21st century. This FIGS will help you identify relevant majors and minors, campus organizations, career paths, and all the resources you’ll want to use to make the most of your passion for social justice!

Education

Are you passionate about changing the lives of tomorrow’s youth? What about a career in K-12 teaching? Educators today have immense influence, yet face a wide range of issues in our ever-changing society. This course is designed to introduce you to teaching in the United States educational system. Discover your options through the perspective of an upper-class student pursuing a career in education and find out more about becoming a certified K-12 teacher in New Jersey. You will also examine the relevant academic resources and involvement opportunities Rutgers has to offer for a successful college career. 

Environmental Policy & Awareness

Are you interested in improving and protecting our environment? This course will provide information about what you can do to be a global citizen and an ethical consumer. Topics covered may include fair trade, locally sourced goods, sustainable initiatives, and environmental policies. You will also learn about relevant academic resources, co-curricular involvement opportunities, exciting career possibilities, and meet faculty specializing in environmental awareness. Learn what you can do to keep our planet safe and secure, both as a Rutgers student and as a future professional.

Foreign Language & Linguistics

Are you interested in the acquisition and mastery of different languages? Do you know what linguists do? In this FIGS, you will explore the relevance of foreign languages and linguistics in American culture—as well as their impact in other parts of the world—and learn about the variety of foreign language programs and linguistics-related resources and opportunities at Rutgers. In an increasingly connected global age, this course will provide you with insight into the career options available to foreign language and linguistic specialists and the real-world applications of such knowledge.

Geography & Global Studies

Are you interested in developing your understanding of Planet Earth?  Have you ever wondered how geography impacts culture, economics, and the connections humans have to the environment?  In this FIGS, you will learn more about our globalized world as you explore both natural and human-altered systems.  We will explore the vast dimensions of geography from urban planning to threats to biodiversity, and by the end of the course, you will have a newfound appreciation for the “science of where.”  You will also be introduced to research opportunities and career options available for geography majors.  Come network with other students and faculty and find out how Rutgers resources can help you have a successful future as a global citizen. 

Government & Public Policy

Interested in practical applications of public policy, governmental theory, political science, sociology and economics? This FIGS explores using policy analysis, quantitative methods, sociological analysis, public finance, politics, and government studies to create concrete solutions to real world problems. Throughout the course you will dive into the theory and evidence of specific policy issues such as healthcare, education, and other current policy concerns.  You will interact with faculty, learn about academic and co-curricular resources for these fields, and discover options for graduate studies and rewarding career paths.  

History

How is history relevant to our everyday lives? Can we really learn from the past? In this FIGS, we will study both primary and secondary sources and discuss the methodologies that historians use to examine and understand historical events.  History will come alive as we learn more about the exciting courses offered in the department, meet a faculty member and talented upper-class students, gain insight on navigating relevant opportunities for research and involvement at Rutgers, and discover the many career paths available to those who pursue a degree in History.

International Relations

Who’s who in the Middle East? What does a Taiwanese presidential election or Japanese constitutional shift mean for U.S.-China relations? How do governments manage conflict in a world where ethnic and religious tensions, economic change, and territorial demands threaten their very existence? Exploring International Relations will provide students with skills to analyze the myriad questions that emerge daily in our fast-paced global environment. Students will explore international relations concepts, discuss case studies, debate current events, learn about academic, career, and professional opportunities, and meet faculty and students from a range of departments.

Latin American Culture

Are you interested in gaining insights into the fascinating and diverse region that stretches from the Mexican border to the tip of Tierra del Fuego?  We will explore topics together such as politics, economics, art, history, society, language, culture and the relationship between North and Latin America.  We will discuss study abroad opportunities and academic resources, meet faculty from the Department of Latino & Hispanic Caribbean Studies, explore relevant career paths, and discover how studying the richness and diversity of Latin American culture complements any major program or career focus.

Law & Leadership

Are you a budding legal ace? Do you want to engage in civic leadership? This course will examine a wide range of legislative and judicial issues that have shaped our nation and our world and will introduce you to the political and legal spheres. You will also learn more about different career and educational paths, including law school, pursuing a Ph.D., and other possible vocations. We’ll introduce you to the tools and information necessary to become leaders in the Rutgers community and the greater world of law and politics.

Linguistics & World Languages

Are you interested in how children acquire language and how people attain varying degrees of mastery of different languages as first or second language learners? Do you know what linguists do? In this FIGS, you will explore something every human knows something about: language! You will come to appreciate the role of language in our global society and culture, what it means to study language scientifically, and how language helps define who we are as humans. You will also become aware of the wide variety of linguistics- and language-related resources and opportunities right here at Rutgers. This course will provide you with insight into the career options available to graduates with linguistic and language expertise, and the real-world applications of this knowledge in an increasingly multilingual world.

Mathematics

Do you enjoy solving complex math problems? Do you see yourself working with numbers for a living? As one of the most uniquely versatile academic subjects, mathematics serves as the logical “common denominator” behind various disciplines including (but not limited to) computer science, education, engineering, and physics. This FIGS will introduce you to different courses of study, numerous academic resources, and involvement opportunities while helping you to integrate your mathematical passion into your Rutgers experience. Meet fellow students interested in this field, network with faculty, and learn about the many career paths available to those who pursue a degree in mathematics. Come join us, and we’ll prove it to you!

Middle Eastern Studies

This FIGS will help you understand American perspectives of the Middle East and North Africa and explore issues such as culture, language, religion, and gender. We will examine what we know about the Middle East and how knowledge has been shaped (and sometimes misshaped) by historical events and international politics. Throughout the course, you will engage in informed dialogues about the Middle East, meet faculty affiliated with the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and learn about a variety of academic paths and career opportunities related to this exciting field.

Music

From Paleolithic bone flutes to Spotify and Pandora, music remains a timeless, universal language. In this FIGS, we will dive into the origins of different musical genres and explore how music remains prevalent in a variety of art forms and professional career paths. Discover the music-related academic tracks that Rutgers offers; learn about out-of-class opportunities to experience, appreciate, and perform music; and discuss the career opportunities available to students interested in the musical arts. In addition, you will also meet a faculty member and learn about the resources and opportunities Rutgers offers. If you love music, then this is the course for you!

Philosophy

Who are you? What gives your life purpose and meaning? Why do you do the things you do? Join this seminar as we explore such questions and engage in philosophical speculation and debate. Throughout the course, you will learn how to analyze major issues, strengthen arguments, and prove points. This FIGS will expose you to different philosophical fields and to the opportunities and academic resources that exist at Rutgers to pursue an academic and career path related to philosophy. If you like to think about thinking, then enroll in this seminar and learn more about the field, network with upper-class philosophy students, and get to know faculty from the Department of Philosophy.

Political Science

Do you know how politicians are elected or how legislation is passed? Have you ever wondered why countries get involved in some international conflicts but not in others? Are you interested in national politics and world affairs? Students enrolled in this FIGS will explore the various subfields of the Political Science major—including American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory, and public law—and will learn about involvement opportunities and professional career paths in both the public and private sectors. Discover the numerous resources Rutgers has to offer for a successful college career and meet like-minded peers and faculty from the Department of Political Science. 

Psychology

Do you often wonder why people do the things they do?  Or what drives human behavior? In this FIGS you will learn about psychological theories, subfields within psychology, current psychosocial trends, and the everyday applications of psychology.  You will discover the broad array of internships and career paths available to students interested in psychology, while also learning about relevant research and co-curricular involvement opportunities available to Rutgers students. 

Religion

Are you interested in an interdisciplinary field that provides perspectives on international events, global culture, and human interaction?  This seminar will give you insights into how religious and faith-based traditions impact our daily lives.  Whatever career you plan to pursue, the study of religion can illuminate important issues you will face as a Rutgers student and a member of an increasingly interconnected global society.  In this FIGS, we will examine concepts such as belief structures, faith systems, and religious cultures, and explore the diversity of religious life, experiences, and thought throughout human history. Take this seminar to meet faculty and upper-class students from the Department of Religion, get to know relevant academic paths and university organizations and learn about the amazing career opportunities available to students interested in the study of religion.