Recommended Holy Cross Courses

The list of recommended Holy Cross courses on this page can help expand your business skills. 

Students in classroom

Note that some of these courses are available only to majors, may have prerequisites, and may not be offered regularly. Please check with the departments before enrolling. Contact Professor Chu at dchu@holycross.edu for advice on other courses that may not be listed here. 

Completed the course requirement?

Each Certificate Program requires three recommended courses from the list below.  Please submit to update your record once you have completed the requirements.

Recommended Courses

Financial Accounting (ACCT 181)

Accounting is the measurement system used to evaluate the financial status of any business venture. As such, accounting constitutes the common language for anyone who is running a business (for-profit or not-for-profit), and understanding financial statements generated by an accounting system is a key skill that you must have.

Corporation Finance (ACCT 275)

Provides an overview of two important questions posed to corporate financial managers: 1) what long-term investments should the company make? and 2) how will the company finance those investments? Topics include: stock and bond valuation, financial markets, risk and return, project analysis, capital, dividends and leverage. 

Data Analytics (ACCT 286)

This course introduces students to understanding when and how data analytics can address specific organizational questions. In addition, it provides the foundation to understand the impact of data quality, the need for data manipulation and analysis and the reporting of results to key decision makers using industry standard data visualization tools.

Cost Accounting (ACCT 389)

This course covers the use of accounting information for organizational decision making. It focuses on the use of managerial accounting, with discussions of costing methods, cost control and analysis, and budgeting.

The academic internship is a full credit, one-semester course, comprised of both an analytical component (an internship seminar, such as Ethical Issues in Professional Life, Social Justice, or Legal Issues) and an experiential component (fieldwork at an internship site in Worcester or the greater Boston area). 

The seminar associated with AIP may count towards the course requirement and the internship component may count towards the internship requirement.  

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Economic Anthropology (ANTH 268)

An introduction to the issues, methods, and concepts of economic anthropology. This course places economic features such as markets, commodities, and money into a larger cross-cultural context by exploring relations of power, kinship, gender, exchange and social transformation.

Fashion and Consumption (ANTH 269 )

A comparative, cultural anthropological exploration of fashion and consumption as tools for the creation, expression, and contestation of social, cultural, economic, political and individual identities. Topics include: anthropological and semiotic theories of materialism and consumption, subcultural styles, colonialism, race, gender, religious dress, globalization and ethnic chic. 

Ethnographic Field Methods (ANTH 310)

An examination of cultural anthropology’s main data-gathering strategy: long-term ethnographic fieldwork. Topics include: review of the methodology literature, participant observation, in-depth interviews, designing field studies, oral histories, research ethics, issues of power and positionality. Involves hands-on fieldwork in Worcester or Holy Cross. 

Power, Persuasion, and Law (CLAS 225)

A study of Greek and Roman oratory based on the reading and rhetorical analysis of speeches delivered in the law courts and assemblies of 5th and 4th century Athens, and the late period of the Roman Republic (80-45 BC) where the focus will be on the law court speeches of Cicero. The course involves both an introduction to the legal procedures of the Athenian and Roman courts and assemblies, and careful analysis of the literary style and forms of legal argument in selected speeches.

Core Principles of Economics (ECON 100)

Economics is the study of the allocation of scarce resources among competing uses. Microeconomics investigates how households and firms make individual and social decisions concerning the allocation of resources through their interactions in markets. Macroeconomics studies national level economic issues such as growth, inflation, unemployment, interest rates, exchange rates, technological progress, and government budgets. This course introduces the central topics of both microeconomics and macroeconomics in one semester. The purpose of the course is to provide a basic understanding of economics for students who are not economics majors. 

Principles of Economics (ECON 110)

Economics is the study of the allocation of scarce resources among competing uses. Microeconomics investigates how households and firms make individual and social decisions concerning the allocation of resources through their interactions in markets. Macroeconomics studies national level economic issues such as growth, inflation, unemployment, interest rates, exchange rates, technological progress, and government budgets. This course introduces the central topics of both microeconomics and macroeconomics in one semester. The purpose of the course is to provide a basic understanding of economics for students who are not economics majors.

Social Welfare and Public Policy (ECON 114)

This course explores the development and impact of public welfare, public health, public education, and other social programs in the United States. It analyzes the values and assumptions that formed the foundations of social welfare policy and explores the economic, politica​l,​and social context in which these policies developed. The course utilizes economics tools and the results from empirical economics research to evaluate the effectiveness of such policies in improving outcomes for vulnerable populations including low-income households, children and the elderly. 

Statistical Analysis (ECON 149)

This course introduces probability and statistics. After covering the basic summary statistics, the course transitions into the construction and the rules of probability, such as the permutations and combinations, addition law, multiplication law, conditional probabilities, and Bayes's Theorem. This knowledge is necessary for the study of random variables, which is the focus of the remainder of the course. Within random variables, topics include discrete random variables, continuous random variables, probability distribution functions, cumulative probability distribution functions, expected values, variances, sampling, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, and the Central Limit Theorem. The course concludes with an introduction of least squares estimation that focuses on interpretation of the estimates and goodness-of-fit.

Economics of European Union ( ECON 210)

Applies economic theory (e.g., market equilibrium, externalities, optimal exchange rate arrangements, and welfare effects of free trade) to understand multiple facets of the process of the EU integration. Discusses the history of European integration (with the emphasis on political motivations of different national and political leaders); free mobility of goods, services, capital, and labor; regional income inequality; trade and environmental issues related to Common Agricultural and Common Fisheries Policies; the Euro; labor market policies and unemployment; sustainability of the government-provided pension systems; and the EU as a political player on the world stage. 

Economic Development of Modern China (ECON 221)

Aims to provide the student with a sophisticated understanding of economic development in China. The historical circumstances and resource endowments which have constrained Chinese economic development are examined as a basis for analyzing the intentions and success of policies adopted since 1949. 

Health Economics (ECON 222)

Explores the health care sector and health policy issues from an economic perspective. Topics include the production of and demand for health and health care, moral hazard and adverse selection in insurance markets, information asymmetries in physician-patient relationships, regulation and payment systems for providers, medical technology, the pharmaceutical industry, Medicare, Medicaid and other social insurance programs, and national health care reform and comparisons to other countries.  

Environmental Economics (ECON 224)

Shows how natural resource usage and environmental issues can be analyzed from an economic perspective. Presents the basic concepts of environmental economics and develops the analytical and policy tools used in environmental economics. Considers the problems of air pollution, water pollution and solid and hazardous waste management, their causes and how they can be reduced. Other topics such as global warming, amendments to the Clean Air Act and international environmental issues will be discussed. 

Economics of Sports (ECON 229)

Applies economic tools to study the field of professional and collegiate sports. Topics include the organization of sports leagues, profit maximization by teams, the application of antitrust to sports, competitive balance, labor relations, gender and racial discrimination, the tension between academics and athletics at universities and the economic impact of sports on local economies. Special emphasis is placed on the relationship between law and economics in sports and the regulation of leagues and athletes.

Financial Markets and Institutions (ECON 230)

A basic introduction to the main features of financial institutions and markets in the United States. First part covers interest rates, including rate of return calculations, how markets determine the overall level of interest rates and why different securities pay different interest rates. Second part covers financial markets and the assets that are traded on those markets, including the money, bond, stock and derivatives markets. Last section details workings of some financial institutions, including banks, mutual funds and investment banks. When discussing these institutions, particular attention is paid to conflicts of interest. 

Statistics (ECON 249)

An introduction to statistical methods emphasizing the statistical tools most frequently used in economic analysis. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability theory, random variables and their probability distributions, estimation, hypothesis testing and linear regression analysis. 

Comparative Economic Systems (ECON 309)

First segment develops an analytical framework for the comparison of economic systems. Second segment uses this framework to examine and compare the economic systems of various countries including the United States, Germany, France, Japan, China, the former Soviet Union and other East European states.

Political Economy (ECON 315)

This course examines both the inherent limitations of the market and the role public policy plays in achieving social efficiency. In addition to models of externalities and public goods, this course analyzes voting systems, lobbying, redistribution, and optimal taxation. These models are applied to the pollution market, auctions, and insurance.

International Finance (ECON 330)

Studies large-scale economic interactions among interdependent economies using advanced theoretical and empirical tools from economics. Addresses topics such as the role of financial traders in exchange rate determination, the impact of monetary and fiscal policies on the international asset position of a country, the role of the International Monetary Fund in promoting economic development and stability around the globe, and the effects of macroeconomic policies of advanced nations on third world and emerging market economies.

Financial Economics (ECON 332)

This course serves as an introduction to the data and mathematical models of modern financial economics. Topics covered include present value models for the pricing of fixed income securities, the dividend discount model and the Capital Asset Pricing Model for equity evaluation, optimal portfolio choice theory and binomial and Black-Scholes models for options pricing. Students will also collect and analyze data on asset prices.

Economics of the Arts (ECON 326)

Examines the markets for the performing and visual arts in the United States. The course begins by utilizing economic tools to analyze supply and demand in these markets, and then covers a number of special topics. Issues considered include copyrights, ticket scalping, performer wages and labor unions, government subsidization of the arts, auctions, art as an investment and the political economy of the arts sector.

Introduction to Creative Writing: Narrative (ENGL 142)

An introductory course in the study of the varied forms and techniques of fiction and non-fiction. Emphasis is on the intensive reading and writing of various prose forms. Lectures on form, language and finding material for inspiration. Class size limited to 12 students.

Opposites Attract: Writing Science (ENGL 211)

Focuses on the study and practice of various types of writing about scientific phenomena; considers fundamental questions about the relationship between scientific and humanistic modes of inquiry. 

Rhetoric (ENGL 381)

A consideration of rhetorical theory in the classical texts of Plato and Aristotle, an analysis of some famous examples of persuasive eloquence, and the student’s own exercise of persuasive speech on subjects of public concern.

U.S. in the 20th Century I: 1890-1945 (HIST 205)

Examines the major political, economic, social and cultural forces that contributed to the modernizing of America. Special emphasis on: industrialization and Empire; the impact of racial, gender, class and ethnic struggles for justice within a democratic republic; “Americanism”; the expanding role of the government in the lives of its citizens; labor and capitalism; popular and consumer culture; war and home front. 

U.S. in the 20th Century II: 1945-present (HIST 206)

Examines the major political, economic, social and cultural forces of the post-WWII era. Special topics include: Reorganizing the post-war world; McCarthyism; consumer and youth culture; the Civil Rights Movement; the New Left and the Vietnam War; the women's movements; Watergate and the resurgent Right; and post-Cold War America.

History of U.S. Capitalism & Politics (HIST 212)

The goals for this course are: an understanding of the importance of capitalism--the free market, labor, the lives of workers and consumers, the politics that structure these factors, and the effects of capitalism on American society and culture from the Civil War to the present day. Topics will include political ideology, immigration, imperialism, civil rights, wars, party politics, religion, gender, consumerism, entertainment, terrorism, and mass media. Students will participate in conversations with peers and professor to further the understanding of change over time and the importance of context; and learn to write with clarity, verve, and conciseness about historical issues.

Capitalism in Context (CISS 112)

Capitalism in Context will introduce students to the intellectual foundations and principles of capitalism, detailing how these intersect with ideas about individual liberty, social responsibility and human flourishing.  Capitalism itself is a contested term, and we will explore some of the many “capitalisms” that have arisen, always with an eye to normative questions about which accord best with the demands of morality and justice.  Additional topics to be addressed may include, but are not limited to: debates about regulation and the proper relationship between the state and the market; theories of corporate social responsibility and the evolution of corporate governance; the challenges posed by the increasing focus on finance rather than industrial production as the main source of profit making; and the social, political and technological changes that have accompanied this shift.

Business Fundamentals Lab (CISS 199)

The Business Fundamentals Lab helps students develop a clear, basic understanding of the central unit of the institution of business: a company.  Led by a practitioner, students will learn the components and functions common to companies, and explore the internal workings by which companies assess their ability to achieve multiple goals while generating profit. Acting as the managerial and executive staff of a hypothetical company named “Helios,” students will experiment with making complex decisions while addressing competing demands, not only concerns immediate, bottom line profit but also broader concerns about shareholders, stakeholders, ethical impact, and company culture.  The Lab is a recommended course for the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society, fulfills the Fundamentals requirement for the minor in Business, Ethics, and Society, and is open to any student interested in understanding how businesses function and the decision making processes they follow.  Students should have Microsoft Office on their computers.

Entrepreneurship (CISS 208)

Entrepreneurship begins with a vision. This course focuses on the foundations of entrepreneurship and is appropriate for students from any major. It is designed to introduce students to the entrepreneurial process so that they may begin to shape their own entrepreneurial vision. Course objectives include an introduction to the challenges of entrepreneurship, an understanding of the ethical environment within which entrepreneurs operate, the skills to think critically and work toward the ability to evaluate opportunities in the business. This is a course that includes project-based entrepreneurial activities where students work to test ideas.

CreateLab – Borders: Tension & Possibility (CISS 275)

Borders - between ecosystems, between ideologies, between art and commerce, history and myth, conservation and innovation, us and them – are places of tension as well as possibility. By exploring different kinds of borders, we’ll experiment with the process of creativity, which is vital to every field from medicine to politics to education to business to the arts.

Statistical Reasoning (STAT 120)

This course presents the basic concepts of statistics and data analysis in a non-technical way. Topics include graphical methods of summarizing data, descriptive statistics, and methods of statistical inference. STAT 120 is a terminal, introductory course intended for students who are not interested in pursuing mathematics, economics, biology, psychology, sociology, or the health professions. 

Statistics (STAT 220) 

This course presents statistics intended for students aspiring to the health professions or minoring in statistics. Topics include sampling strategies and experimental design, numerical and graphical methods of describing data, basic concepts in probability, discrete and continuous probability distributions, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing and simple linear regression. 

Linear Models (STAT 231)

This course provides a thorough examination of the theory and practice of ordinary least squares (OLS) regression modeling. Model interpretation and a conceptual understanding of confounding, mediation, and effect modification are emphasized. Specific topics include analysis of variance (ANOVA), derivation of parameter estimates, correlation, prediction, dummy variables, contrasts, testing general hypotheses, analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), multicollinearity, regression diagnostics, techniques for handling model misspecification (incorrect functional form, heteroskedasticity), and model-building strategies. Students will work extensively with data sets and the R statistical software package. 

Data Mining (CSCI 307)

Data Mining refers to the process of extracting useful models of data. Sometimes, a model can be a summary of the data, or it can be the set of most extreme features of the data. Computer scientists often approach data mining in one of two ways, as an algorithmic problem or by using data along with a machine learning engine. This course provides an introduction to Data Mining and will examine data techniques for the discovery, interpretation and visualization of patterns in large collections of data. Topics covered in this course include data mining methods such as classification, rule-based learning, decision trees, association rules, and data visualization. The work discussed originates in the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning, statistical data analysis, data visualization, databases, and information retrieval.

Statistical Learning (STAT 381)

This course is an introduction to the main principles of supervised and unsupervised machine learning within the context of data analytics. Methods include linear regression, logistic regression, K-nearest neighbors, and discriminant analysis. Resampling methods such as cross-validation and bootstrapping, as well as model selection and regularization techniques are discussed. Non-parametric methods, including classification and regression trees (CART), boosting, bagging, and random forests are presented. Unsupervised learning methods focus on principal components analysis, K-mean, and hierarchical clustering. Students will work extensively with data sets and the R statistical software package.

Business of Music (Music 163)

Explores the world of music business from both a contemporary and historical perspective. Students will examine the economic structure that surrounds the core relationship between the artist and the fan. Topics include: copyright, music, publishing, recording contracts, music production, marketing, royalties and concert promotion. 

Corporate Moral Agency (PHIL 302)

The course explores the question of whether highly organized collectives (corporations, governments, colleges, etc.) qualify as moral agents.  If they do, then they have moral obligations and it is wrong when they lie, cheat, or steal. If they don’t, then they don’t have moral obligations and it isn’t wrong when they lie, cheat, or steal.  That’s an unattractive result, but holists claiming that such collectives are moral agents face a difficult challenge. The holist has to demonstrate that (1) the collective entity exists, that it cannot be “reduced” to its members; (2) the entity qualifies as an “agent”, with beliefs, desires, and the ability to act on them; and (3) the entity has the additional capacities necessary for “moral agency” (including free will).  That is the path we will trace in this course, drawing on contemporary analytic work in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, agency, and ethics to see whether collectives can meet the standards established there. Throughout, we will consideration the implications for either the Enron scandal, NASA’s failures with the Challenger and Columbia shuttles, the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky scandal, or the Countrywide mortgage scandal – student choice.  By the end, students should be able to (1) adopt a position on each of these core questions, supporting their position with reference to the contemporary literature and responding to criticisms, and (2) draw a conclusion about the situations involving the contemporary issue we choose to explore. 

Intro to International Relations (POLS 103)

Introduces students to major theories and concepts in international politics and examines the evolution of the international system during the modern era. Principal topics include: the causes of war and peace, the dynamics of imperialism and post-colonialism, the emergence of global environmental issues, the nature and functioning of international institutions, the legal and ethical obligations of states, and the international sources of wealth and poverty. International Relations. 

Capitalism in Crisis (POLS 220)

The use of markets to allocate economic resources is the dominant mode of economic organization in the modern world. Market systems, however, have at times experienced crises that have threatened the foundations of their economic order. These crises, which go beyond the travails associated with recessions in the ebb and flow of the business cycle, raise questions about the political, economic and cultural preconditions of a capitalist economic order. This course examines various theories regarding the causes of two such crises, the Great Depression and the current Great Recession, and appropriate policy responses to them. American Government. 

Latin American Politics (POLS 251)

What factors have shaped Latin American politics? To what extent can these factors explain commonalities and differences among Latin American countries? What are the strengths and limitations of theories that attempt to explain Latin American development/underdevelopment? What can the world learn from the Latin American experience with authoritarianism, democratization, revolutions, and civil wars? How have Latin American countries responded to new challenges of the 1980s and 1990s, such as drug-trafficking, environmental degradation, human rights abuses, regional integration, and economic globalization? This course will address these questions while providing the student with intellectual and methodological tools to pursue further research on Latin America.

Politics of Development (POLS 257)

The purpose of this course is to challenge, both theoretically and ethically, students’ ideas about development. What does development mean? Who benefits from it? What strategies have been used in its pursuit? What conflicts – economic, political, religious, ethnic, and environmental — has it triggered or fueled? What kind of developmental path should the world pursue in the next millennium?

Politics of the Middle East (POLS 272)

An examination of politics in selected Middle Eastern countries. Begins with a brief overview of the rise and spread of Islam in the region and the establishment of Muslim empires, then turns to an exploration of the role of European colonialism in post-independence Middle Eastern politics. Analyzes various explanations for the difficulty of establishing durable democracies in the region, explores the political implications of religious identity and secular nationalism, and assesses prospects for peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Comparative Politics. 

International Political Economy (POLS 275)

This course is designed to be an introduction to international political economy. Provides an overview of theories of international political economy, a historical review of the international political economy in light of these theories, and an application of the theoretical approaches to issues of trade, monetary relations, finance, and development. Readings and discussion focus on issues of conflict and cooperation; the relationship between the international system and domestic politics; economic growth, development, and equity; and the connections between the study of economics and politics. International Relations. 

International Politics of East Asia (POLS 278)

This course examines China’s emergence as a major power, and surveys the relationships of East Asian states with each other and with external powers including the United States. In addition to China, substantial attention is given to Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Topics covered include military competition and regional security, trade relations, globalization, human rights, and potential conflict flashpoints such as North Korea and Taiwan. International Relations. 

Government and Business (POLS 237)

Markets are generally efficient mechanisms for allocating resources and producing goods and services, but real-world markets are never perfect. Government regulation of markets provides a mechanism for addressing market imperfections, but government regulation is itself imperfect. Regulatory bureaucracies can be captured by private interests or can pursue regulatory agendas that reflect the goals of the regulators rather than the preferences of voters or even the common good. This course primarily studies the history of regulation of business in the American case and assesses its strengths and weaknesses. There will be some comparison of the American approach to regulation with regulatory approaches in other developed market economies. 

Seminar: Ethics & International Relations (POLS 333)

Can considerations of justice and morality be incorporated successfully into national foreign policies, given the will to do so? Or must a successful foreign policy always be amoral? This course examines problems of ethical choice as they relate to international politics. Topics include the relationship between ethical norms and international law, the laws of war, the tension between human rights and state sovereignty, the ethical implications of global inequity, and the difficulties involved in applying standards of moral judgment to the international sphere. International Relations. 

Statistics (PSYC 200)

An introduction to descriptive and inferential statistical methods in analysis and interpretation of psychological data. 

Social Psychology (PSYC 227)

An overview of the methods and research findings of social psychology. Emphasis is on the experimental analysis of topics such as person perception, interpersonal attraction, prosocial behavior, aggression, social exchange, and group behavior. 

Judgment and Decision-Making (PSYC 238)

This course will provide an overview of the psychological research on human choice and decision making. It will investigate sources of bias and error in decision making and consider whether the actual choices that people make in their own lives align with theories that prescribe how decisions should ideally be made. Topics will include risk and uncertainty, emotion and intuitive judgment, self-control, moral decisions, and social influences on decision making. When possible, the course will consider how existing research findings can be applied to reduce biases and improve the quality of decision making.  

Judgment and Decision Making (PSYC 299)

This course will provide an overview of the psychological research on human choice and decision making. It will investigate sources of bias and error in decision making and consider whether the actual choices that people make in their own lives align with theories that prescribe how decisions should ideally be made. Topics will include risk and uncertainty, emotion and intuitive judgment, self-control, moral decisions, and social influences on decision making. When possible, the course will consider how existing research findings can be applied to reduce biases and improve the quality of decision making.

Consumer and Corporate Sustainability (SOC 210)

This course asks what it means to be a good citizen, good consumer, and good corporation in light of contemporary social and environmental problems by focusing on the relationship between democracy and capitalism. It investigates the complexities of understanding and implementing social responsibility on the local, national, and global level. 

Social Statistics (SOCL 226)

Social Statistics introduces students to the use of data to answer questions about the social world. The beginning of the course is dedicated to basic data literacy. Emphasis here is on picturing, analyzing, and computing distributions of single variables. We next move to statistical analyses to describe the relationship between social phenomena. Ultimately, we transition from general ways of the presentation and discussion of statistical techniques, discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of various methods of data production, and interactive exercises that take advantage of a statistical software program to analyze data.

Sociology of TV and Media (SOCL 247)

This course investigates the evolving role of television in shaping our understanding of the world as it relates to democracy, consumerism, human relationships, and how we make sense of our own lives. More specifically, the course examines the nature of entertainment, advertising, news and the institutions that create television programming. 

Spanish for Business (SPAN 314)

This course seeks to expand the students’ overall command of Spanish and develop their ability to communicate effectively in a variety of formal and professional settings. The class covers key terminology and grammatical structures, focusing on areas such as advertising, tourism, transportation, international travel, imports, exports, human resources, financing and job-hunting, among others. The course emphasizes both oral and written skills, and it also addresses cross-cultural differences in business practices and etiquette. 

Basic Acting (THEA 101)

This course offers, through classroom exercises, improvisations and performance of scenes from plays, an approach to understanding, appreciating, and practicing the art of acting and theatre.

Introduction to the Visual Arts (VAHI 100)

Fundamental, introductory course in art history and visual culture. Emphasis is on the acquisition of basis visual skills and an understanding of the major periods in the history of art. Exposure to works of art through the collections of The Worcester Art Museum is an integral part of the course.

Introduction to Museum Studies (VAHI 199)

This course addresses such central questions in the history, mission, and structure of museums. We also explore the ways in which visual display conveys knowledge and builds broader arguments about cultures and society. We engage with the ethics embedded in acquiring and displaying irreplaceable and ritual objects from other cultures. In addition, this course also treats practical issues like conservation of art, funding, organization, and public outreach in museums. Many Thursday classes will take place in the Worcester Art Museum. Students participate in field trips to different types of museums and learn about careers as directors, curators, collections managers, and educators in museums and historic houses.