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Recommended Holy Cross Courses

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

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


Financial Accounting (ACCT 181)

Multiple sections offered every semester for non-majors.
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.

Excel Accounting Lab (ACCT 185)

This lab is offered annually.
Provides an opportunity to use Excel spreadsheet tools to explore financial statements, build financial models, value transactions and evaluate economic opportunities. Provides additional development of the quantitative reasoning and technical skills introduced in the financial accounting coursework. Overload. One-quarter unit.

Corporation Finance (ACCT 275)

This course is offered annually.
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. Prerequisites: Economics-Accounting 277 or Economics-Accounting 181and Economics 111 or 112. One unit

Academic Internship Program

Persuasive Communication Seminar (ACIP 380-06)

This course will be offered in the spring.
The central question of this course is, what communication "factors" contribute to persuasion. By the end of the course, you should: (1) Understand key theories in the area of persuasion and social influence (2) Recognize the role that is played by such factors as sender characteristics, receiver characteristics, message characteristics, and context characteristics (3) Comprehend key principles of logic that apply to promotion/persuasion (4) Have an increased awareness of others' efforts to influence you, thus becoming a more critical consumer of persuasive messages (5) Be able to apply the principles and practices of these theories to address real-world situations and (6) Be able to create persuasive messages.

Interdisciplinary & Special Studies

Writing about Data and Policy (CISS 199)

This course will be offered Spring 2017.
Students will become confident in their own abilities to coherently and concisely relay data driven information. Drawing from their own disciplinary interests, students will conduct research and create policy statements and researched proposals in multiple formats and modes, including digital media. Emphasis is placed on the development and control of the writing process so that students can adapt their writing for a variety of audiences and writing circumstances.

Entrepreneurship (CISS 299)

This course will be offered Spring 2018.
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)

This course will be offered Fall 2016.
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.


Power, Persuasion, and Law (CLAS 225)

This course will be offered alternate years.
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 110)

This course will be offered in the fall.
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 199)

This course is offered every semester.
The first half of the course will focus on how rational economic agents make individual and social decisions concerning the allocation of scarce resources through their interactions in markets (microeconomics). The second half of the course will focus on how the actions of a large number of individual consumers and producers, as well as the actions of the government and foreign countries, combine to create a whole economy (macroeconomics). We will discuss and develop both mathematical and graphical models examining a wide range of economic topics including supply and demand curves, production possibility sets, utility and profit maximization, differences in short and long run outcomes, the effect of government intervention, imperfect markets, externalities, gains from trade, aggregate output, inflation, wages, unemployment, investment, monetary policy, and interest rates.

Economic Development of Modern China (ECON 221)

This course will be offered annually.
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. Prerequisites: Economics 111, 112, or permission.

Financial Markets and Institutions (ECON 230)

This course will be offered annually.
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. Prerequisites: Economics 111, 112.

Statistics (ECON 249)

This course will be offered every semester.
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. Students may take MATH 376 in place of this course but may not take both courses. Prerequisites: Economics 111 or 112. One unit.

African Economies (ECON 299)

This course will be offered in the fall. Non-economics majors.
The course will explore the major economic dynamics, both positive and negative, in the economies of Sub-Saharan African countries. These will include interrelated issues such as economic growth, income inequality and poverty, international trade and finance, and economic factors in conflict and peacebuilding and vice versa. The recent debates about the 'Africa Rising' narrative that developed 2000-2010 will help focus our study. Since this course is for non-economics majors, the students will bring the perspectives of their own discipline, such as politics or music, in a way that will enrich the discussion. The national dynamics vary widely among these 50+ countries so each student will follow a particular country or region throughout the course, making a presentation on its dynamics and writing a paper on his or her research.


Introduction to Creative Writing (ENGL 142)

This course will be offered every semester.
An introductory course in the study of the varied prose forms and techniques of fiction and nonfiction. 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. One unit.

Opposites Attract: Writing Science (ENGL 211)

This course will be offered every third year.
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. One unit.

Rhetoric (ENGL 381)

This course will be offered annually.
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)

This course will be offered in the fall.
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. One unit.

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

This course will be offered annually.
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. One unit.

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

This course is offered in the spring.
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.


Statistical Reasoning (MATH 120)

This course is offered in the annually.
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. Mathematics 120 is a terminal, introductory course intended for students who are not interested in pursuing mathematics, economics, biology, psychology, sociology, or the health professions.

Linear Models (Regression) (MATH 231)

This course will be offered in the spring.
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. Prerequisites: Math 135 and one of Bio 275, Economics 249, Math 220, Psychology 200, Sociology 226, or Math 376. One unit.

Data Science (MATH 392)

This course will be offered Spring 2017.
This is a course about processes and systems to extract knowledge or insights from data in various forms, either structured or unstructured, which is a continuation of some of the data analysis fields such as statistics, data mining, and predictive analytics. The course employs techniques and theories drawn from many fields, including signal processing, probability models, machine learning, statistical learning, data mining, pattern recognition and learning, visualization, predictive analytics, uncertainty modeling, and data warehousing and compression.


Business of Music (Music 163)

This course will be offered alternate years.
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. One unit.

Political Science

Intro to International Relations (POLS 103)

This course will be offered every semester.
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. One unit.

Latin American Politics (POLS 251)

This course will be offered alternate years.
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)

This course will be offered in the spring.
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)

This course will be offered in the fall.
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. Prerequisite: Political Science 102. One Unit.

International Political Economy (POLS 275)

This course will be offered in the spring.
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. Prerequisite: Political Science 102 or 103.

International Politics of East Asia (POLS 278)

This course is offered in the spring.
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. One unit.

Government and Business (POLS 299)

This course is offered in the summer 2017. Schedule: June 5th-July 14th, MTWR 9-11AM
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. No prerequisite.

Seminar: Ethics & International Relations (POLS 333)

This course will be offered in the fall.
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. Prerequisite: Political Science 103 or CIS 130 – Introduction to Peace and Conflict. One unit.


Judgment and Decision Making (PSYC 299)

This course will be offered Spring 2017. Psychology majors have enrollment priority for this course.
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.


Social Statistics (SOCL 226)

This course will be offered in the fall and spring.
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 will be offered alternate years.
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. Prerequisite: Sociology 101. One unit.


Spanish for Business (SPAN 314)

This course will be offered alternate years.
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. Prerequisite: Spanish 301 or 302 or the equivalent.


Basic Acting (THEA 101)

This course will be offered every semester.
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.

Visual Arts - History

Introduction to the Visual Arts (VAHI 101)

This course will be offered in the fall and spring.
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 will be offered in the fall for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year students.
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.