New Topics and Travel Class Descriptions

Academic & Career Advising collects and posts course descriptions from the faculty who are teaching these Special Topics and New Topics courses. If you can't find the course description you're looking for, you can email the professor of the course. We have a running list of all past courses and their descriptions at the end of this page. 

Please refer to the BoxerOnline class schedule for days, times, and other schedule details. 

New Courses, Special Topics, and Travel Course Descriptions  

2023-24 Civic Engagement Guide

Travel Classes - Short-term Study Abroad

Winter 2024

ASL-255-01 Deaf Culture
This course explores Deaf culture and analyzes the different perspectives of seeing deaf persons as disabled or as part of a linguistic and cultural minority. Students will examine differing views and their implications, key aspects of the Deaf community, deaf education,  modes of communication, and assistive technologies. This course is taught in English; no previous study of ASL is required.

BIOL-160-01 The Art of Biology
Biologists and artists interpret the world in complementary ways, especially as both use observation as a fundamental tool of their study.  In this course students will explore the living world around them and depict their understanding of key biological concepts using artistic modals.  As a final project students will have the opportunity to explore a biological topic in depth, creating both an artistic and scientific representation of that topic. Preqs: None; Core: Scientific Perspectives of the Natural World

PACU-155-01 Exploring the Beverage Industry
This comprehensive course delves into the fascinating world of the beer, cider, and wine industry, offering an in-depth exploration of the production, culture, history, and business aspects of these alcoholic beverages. Whether you are an aspiring brewmaster, a cider aficionado, a wine enthusiast, or simply curious about the rich tapestry of flavors and traditions within these industries, this class provides a holistic understanding of the world of fermented beverages. View a flyer for the course here.

REL/SOC 255 Spirituality & Social Justice Retreat
This class will examine social justice through the lens of spirituality, and explore the interconnections between the individual and the collective. Students will have opportunities to disconnect from the digital world, experience silent contemplation, and reflect on spiritual wellbeing—not limited to formal religion—individually and as a community in a retreat setting off campus. There will be daily readings and lectures in which the class examines the concepts of spirituality, religion, and social justice, as well as a chance to learn about universal spiritual practices that support individual and collective wellbeing. (2 credits, IDP designation pending).

This class will involve an off-campus overnight retreat from the dates of 1/16-1/20 at a local retreat center, facilitated by our interfaith university chaplain, Brendan Curran and at no extra cost to students. This is looking to be an amazing experience with outside guest facilitators sharing various spiritual and meditative practices from around the world, a peaceful location in the countryside of Vernonia, Oregon, and an opportunity to explore the relationship between spirituality and social justice.

Spring 2024

BIOL-255-01 Learning Hacks for Intro Bio: Flow of Energy
Do you want to increase your confidence as a science student? Learn how to study more efficiently and effectively? Learn and implement strategies to boost your memory and your exam performance? Have you ever been asked a question on a biology exam and had no idea how to even get started? Want a little extra support to boost your success in Biol 200? Then this course is for you!

The focus of this course is helping students learn how to learn efficiently and effectively. We will practice building skills related to learning in the context of concepts from Biology 200 (Intro Bio: Flow of Energy), which students must be concurrently enrolled in. With faculty guidance and support, students will practice techniques informed by research about learning. We will also be an accountability community for each other as students try to implement different strategies. Practicing skills related to taking exams in biology may also be incorporated into class activities—such as learning how to find the hidden clues in exam questions and break down the problem into steps to solve it. This class is beneficial for students at any level—students struggling to pass biology classes, students wanting to boost their grades from Bs to As, or strong students who want to learn how to be more efficient and effective in their studying. Co-requisite: Biol 200. Grading: pass/fail .

ID-255-01 (Re)Considering the 808 (2 Credits, Tuesdays, 1:00-2:35)
This course draws upon faculty, staff, and community members' expertise in various fields to gain a nuanced understanding of Hawaii. Presenters in the course will share their perspective on "what do we need to know to better understand the complexity of Hawaii?" Topics may include Hawaiian history, environmental concerns, sociopolitical organizing, cultural practices, and more. It is important to note this is not a Hawaiian History or Hawaiian Studies course; it is a course about Hawaii. Course meets IDP requirement.

SOC-355-01 CAS Research Advisory Council
Are you passionate about examining and promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion at Pacific University? If so, you may want to consider joining our new research-based advisory council for the College of Arts and Sciences. As a member of this council, you will have the opportunity to work alongside fellow peers and stakeholders to make a meaningful impact on EDI at our institution, while also honing your research skills through collaborative projects and regular engagement with our community. Throughout this course, we’ll utilize social science research methods to examine the current state of EDI in the College of Arts and Sciences and make suggestions for changes and new efforts that would further advance EDI in CAS. Space in this class is limited to 10 students and instructor approval is needed for registering. If you are interesting in joining this effort, please contact Dr. Daniel Eisen ( for more information.

Past Term Course Descriptions

Fall 2023

Summer 2023

Spring 2023

Winter 2023

Fall 2022

Spring 2022

Winter 2022

Fall 2021

Summer 2021

Spring 2021

Winter 2021

Fall 2020

Spring 2020

Winter 2020

Fall 2019

Spring 2019

Winter 2019

Fall 2018

Summer 2018

Spring 2018

Winter 2018

Fall 2017

Spring 2017

Winter 2017



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