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University 201

UNIV 201, Fundamentals of Inquiry, is a course that uses inquiry based approaches to promote integrative learning. Students practice integrating concrete experiences with theoretical foundations by reflecting and applying information. These courses focus on any of the four USC Connect Pathways, which include:

  1. Community Service
  2. Research
  3. Global Learning (engaging in experiences across cultures, including but not limited to Study Abroad)
  4. Professional and Civic Engagement (preparing for internships, professional work experience, student leadership roles)

The opportunity to participate in a concrete experience related to the pathway is a fundamental aspect of the course. This could include a short-term study abroad program, service-learning project, undergraduate research project, or experiential education opportunity related to the major. These courses are designed to springboard students into deeper participation in the pathway later in their college career.

Sample Course Descriptions

Professional and Civic Engagement

UNIV 201: Experience It- Preparing and Experiencing the World of Work
Work occupies the majority of your waking hours and is one of the most significant factors in determining your quality of life. This course will challenge students to identify their interests and actively explore experiential education opportunities specific to internships, co-ops and job shadowing. Students will learn how the global economy is impacting the workplace and shaping today’s new knowledge workers. Students will identify why experiential education and skill development are critical components of career preparation. This course will utilize critical thinking, problem-solving and provide practical tools for workplace preparation and performance. 

Community Service

Univ 201: Service to Youth
Service to Youth is designed to help students develop a better understanding of service as it relates to their college experience and future aspirations. Students volunteer twice a week with at-risk children and youth in afterschool or mentoring programs in Columbia. The class also gathers once a week to focus on topics such as disparities in education, the impact of poverty on our local and national communities, and ways to engage at-risk children and youth. The course provides a general orientation to the functions and resources necessary to address local community needs. Students learn about and develop their service leadership skills both inside and beyond the classroom.

Global Learning

UNIV 201: International Inquiry in Taiwan
This course is taught both stateside as well as in Taipei, Taiwan. Students participate in five preparatory class sessions held at USC prior to departure. Students learn about the history and culture of Taiwan and study basic Mandarin. The program includes several group excursions to historical and cultural sites in Taiwan. Students conduct a research project that relates to their academic interests and often includes a project related to their major (e.g. a pre-med major focusing on medical practices in Taiwan). Students are encouraged to pursue any line of inquiry related to Taiwan as long as they are able to demonstrate that their project is feasible and that they are capable of completing the work. The course is open to undergraduates in any major.


UNIV 201: College Slang
This course introduces students to research and firsthand data collection by investigating language use around the USC campus. Students learn through a combination of readings, discussions, library research, and firsthand data collection projects which aim to document the use of innovative slang terms among USC college students. The class collaborates on data collection and research which culminate in a guide to USC slang that is published on the Internet.