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Principal Course Distribution Requirement

Principal courses offer introductions to the breadth of disciplines in the College. They acquaint students with the subject matter in an area, with the types of questions that are asked about that subject matter, with the knowledge that has been developed and is now basic to the area, and with the methods and standards by which claims to truth are judged.

Students must complete courses in topical groups in three major divisions (humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences). For the B.A., three courses are required from each division, with no more than one course from any topical group. The B.G.S. requires two courses from each division, with no more than one from any topical group. To fulfill the requirement, a course must be designated as a principal course according to the codes listed below.

These are the major divisions, their topical subgroups, and the codes that identify them:

Humanities

  • HT: Historical studies
  • HL: Literature and the arts
  • HR: Philosophy and religion

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

  • NB: Biological sciences
  • NE: Earth sciences
  • NM: Mathematical sciences
  • NP: Physical science

Social Sciences

  • SC: Culture and society
  • SI: Individual behavior
  • SF: Public affairs

No course may fulfill both a principal course distribution requirement and a non-Western culture or second-level mathematics course requirement. Laboratory science courses designated as principal courses may fulfill both the laboratory science requirement and one of the distribution requirements. No free-standing laboratory course may by itself fulfill either the laboratory science requirement or a principal course requirement. Students should begin taking principal courses early in their academic careers. An honors equivalent of a principal course may fulfill a principal course requirement.

View all approved principal course distribution courses »

Non-Western Culture Requirement

A non-Western culture course acquaints students with the culture, society, and values of a non-Western people, for example, from Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East, or Africa. Students must complete one approved non-Western culture course.

One approved non-Western culture course is required. Occasionally courses with varying topics fulfill the non-Western culture course requirement. See the Schedule of Classes for details. These courses are coded NW.

View all approved non-Western culture courses »

Transfer and Earned Credit Course Codes

These codes are used to evaluate transfer credit and to determine which academic requirements a course meets.

  • H: Humanities
  • N: Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • S: Social Sciences
  • W: World Civilization and Culture
  • U: Undesignated Elective Credit (course does not satisfy distribution requirement)

All Liberal Arts & Sciences courses

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Investigation of the interrelations between sociocultural systems and the natural environment, including a survey of major theories and descriptive studies. (Same as GEOG 670.) LEC
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The course is for students who wish to understand the prehistory of Eastern Europe with special attention to the Slavs. The interdisciplinary course examines East European prehistory from the perspectives of archaeology and linguistics, considering also how ideologies have influenced the interpretation of results. No language prerequisite. (Same as SLAV 635) LEC
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The course reviews the history of archeological, ethnographic, physical anthropological and other types of collections. It also considers current issues facing anthropologists, such as: contested rights to collections and the stories that accompany them; representation and interpretation of cultures; art and artifact; conceptualization, design and building of exhibitions; and anthropological research and education in the museum. LEC
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Five hours of class per week. Basic level of oral fluency and aural comprehension. Vocabulary acquisition, pronunciation, grammar, and writing. Reading of simple texts. Not open to native speakers of Arabic. LEC
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Five hours of class per week. A continuation of ARAB 110. Readings in cultural texts. Prerequisite: ARAB 110. LEC
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Three hours of class conducted in Arabic. Intermediate oral proficiency and aural comprehension. Systematic review of grammar. Writing skills beyond the basic level. Introduction to modern Arabic texts and discussion in Arabic. Prerequisite: ARAB 120. LEC
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Three hours of class conducted in Arabic. Continuation of ARAB 210. Discussion in Arabic of texts studied. Prerequisite: ARAB 210. LEC
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A practical Arabic language course involving advanced study of the grammar, reading of texts on a variety of subjects, conversation, and composition. Taught in Arabic. Designed for students who have had two or more years of Arabic study. Open to native speakers. Prerequisite: ARAB 220 or consent of instructor. LEC
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A continuation of ARAB 310. Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of ARAB 310 or consent of instructor. LEC
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Designed for native and near-native speakers, this course involves reading newspapers and other publications in the language intended for native speakers, conversation, oral presentations, and advanced grammar. Prerequisite: Native or near-native speaker proficiency or consent of instructor. LEC
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Continuation of ARAB 401. LEC
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A survey course that describes the interplay between the science of astronomy and cultural beliefs. It uses, among others, examples of how religious and philosophical tenets have enhanced or conflicted with scientific principles. Not for astronomy majors. LEC
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The structure and evolution of the universe, from nearby planets to distant quasars, are examined. Topics include recent discoveries concerning planets, stars, galaxies, pulsars and black holes as well as their evolution, the structure of the universe today and how it will be in the future. The emphasis is descriptive rather than mathematical. Concurrent enrollment in ASTR 196 suggested, but not required. Prerequisite: One year each of high school algebra and geometry. LEC
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An introduction to astronomical observations and methods. Students have the opportunity to use the telescopes at the K.U. observatory. The course includes constellation recognition, finding celestial objects, and interpreting astronomical data. A companion course to ASTR 191 or ASTR 391. Counts as a laboratory science when preceded or accompanied by ASTR 191 or ASTR 391. Prerequisite or corequisite: ASTR 191 or ASTR 391. LAB
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An exploration of astronomical extremes from various points of view: extremes in ages (the Big Bang and recent star formation), velocities and distances (quasars), rotation (pulsars), density (white dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes), energy release (stellar explosions), and proximity (interacting binary stars). Prerequisite: Survey course in astronomy. LEC
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Undergraduate observational or theoretical problems in astronomy. Maximum credit, six hours. Prerequisite: Permission of department. IND
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An honors, calculus-based introduction to astronomy and astrophysics, required for astronomy majors. Components of the Universe - from planetary systems, stellar systems, large scale structure and cosmology - are examined to illuminate the physics principles which govern their evolution. Not open to students with prior credit in ASTR 191 or ASTR 291. Prerequisite: MATH 121, and either permission of instructor, or participation in the University Honors Program. LEC
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An introduction to the search for planets around other stars and for life in the universe beyond the earth. A discussion of the astronomical conditions under which life might form and the biological conditions of life formation and evolution. Methods of searching for extraterrestrial life. Prerequisite: An introductory course in biology, astronomy or geology. LEC
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This course is for students seeking to fulfill the undergraduate research requirement. Students are expected to participate in some area of ongoing research in the department, chosen with the help of their adviser. At the end of the term, students will present their results in a seminar to other students and faculty. (Same as EPHX 503 and PHSX 503.) Prerequisite: Junior/Senior standing in Astronomy, Engineering Physics, or Physics, or permission of instructor. IND
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Fundamentals of stellar astronomy including astronomical optics and techniques, coordinate and time systems, stellar spectroscopy, properties of normal, binary and variable stars. Prerequisite: PHSX 212. An introductory astronomy course is desirable. LEC
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A study of stellar groups, the interstellar medium, galactic structure and dynamics, galaxies, and cosmology. Prerequisite: ASTR 591 or consent of instructor. LEC
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Students acquire practical experience with astronomical equipment and data reduction techniques used in research and educational contexts. Prerequisite or corequisite: ASTR 591. LEC
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Individual students work on specialized research problems in the field of observational or theoretical astrophysics. Maximum credit, six hours. Prerequisite: ASTR 592. IND
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An introduction to radiation processes, thermal processes, and radiative transfer in stellar atmospheres and the interstellar medium. (Same as EPHX 691 and PHSX 691.) Prerequisite: PHSX 313 or consent of instructor. LEC
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The formation and evolution of stars, nucleosynthesis of the elements, and the physical processes of high energy physics. Prerequisite: ASTR 691 or consent of instructor. LEC
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A lecture and laboratory course introducing students to the atmosphere, weather and climate phenomena, and their controlling physical processes. Topics covered include: the structure of the atmosphere, energy and energy budgets, climate and climate change, air pollution, clouds and precipitation, pressure and wind systems, severe weather, and weather forecasting. LEC
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Honors version of ATMO 105. A lecture and laboratory course introducing students to the atmosphere, weather and climate phenomena, and their controlling physical processes. Topics covered include: the structure of the atmosphere, energy and energy budgets, climate and climate change, air pollution, clouds and precipitation, pressure and wind systems, severe weather, and weather forecasting. Prerequisite: Membership in University Honors Program or by permission of instructor. LEC
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An introductory lecture course which surveys the general principles and techniques of atmospheric science and illustrates their application through discussions of natural but unusual weather phenomena such as blizzards, hurricanes, tornados, and chinooks, of the effects of air pollution on weather, and of intentional human alteration of the atmosphere. LEC
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This course introduces students to meteorological events that affect aircraft operations. Aviation applications of meteorological observations including satellite and radar observations are discussed. Students learn about graphical displays of meteorological information. Numerical forecasting models and how their output is applied for aviation is also considered. Forecasting of weather events of particular interest to aviation such as ceiling, visibility, icing and turbulence is emphasized. Prerequisite: ATMO 105 or AE 245 or equivalent. LEC
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This course is designed to introduce students to the nature of the Earth's physical climate. It introduces the basic scientific concepts underlying our understanding of our climate system. Particular emphasis is placed on energy and water balances and their roles in evaluating climate change. The course also evaluates the impact of climate on living organisms and the human environment. Finally, past climates are discussed and potential future climate change and its impact on humans is evaluated. (Same as GEOG 321.) Prerequisite: ATMO 105 or GEOG 104. LEC
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Open to students with nine hours of upper level credit in Atmospheric Science, an average of at least 3.5 in all Atmospheric Science courses, and an overall average of at least 3.25. Includes the preparation of an honors paper and its defense before a committee of a least two regular faculty members. LEC
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A first course in synoptic meteorology designed to introduce students to weather analysis and forecasting through the application of hydrodynamic and thermodynamic principles to operational analysis and forecasting. Topics include analysis and interpretation of surface and upper-air observations and data from satellites, radars, and wind profilers; chart and sounding analysis; and three-dimensional, conceptual models of weather systems. The course includes student-led weather briefings and analysis exercises. LEC
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Introduction to basic numerical weather prediction methods. Computer programs are used to apply numerical methods to weather data and to evaluate dynamical processes on numerical grids. Meteorological graphics packages are used to analyze current weather data and numerical model output. Current operational numerical models and output products are discussed. Prerequisite: ATMO 505, MATH 122, and EECS 138 or EECS 168. LEC
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A study of the distribution and circulation of water in the air-earth system as influenced by atmospheric processes and surface conditions. The solar and terrestrial radiation budget and the water balance at the earth's surface will be applied to agricultural and urban energy and water problems. Prerequisite: ATMO 105 or EECS 138. LEC
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A study of climatic environment near the earth-atmosphere interface. Consideration of rural climates in relation to agriculture and urban climates as influenced by air pollution and other factors. Emphasis is on physical processes in the lower atmosphere, distribution of atmospheric variables, the surface energy budget and water balance. (Same as GEOG 521.) Prerequisite: ATMO 105 and MATH 106 or MATH 121. LEC
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A study of background levels and concentrated sources of atmospheric pollution together with considerations of pollution buildup in urban areas as related to particular weather conditions. Inadvertent weather modifications and effects of atmospheric pollution on particular weather events and general climate will be discussed. Prerequisite: ATMO 105, MATH 121, and EECS 138. LEC
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An investigation of special topics in atmospheric science. May include topics in dynamic, physical or synoptic meteorology or climatology as well as related topics in earth and physical sciences. May be repeated if topic differs. LEC
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Students enhance their forecasting expertise by preparing forecasts for presentation to the public through a variety of media. Classroom activities include weekly map discussions and analysis of current weather situations. Forecasting topics such as forecast verification, aviation forecast products, severe weather, flash floods and watches and warnings are examined. Credit for ATMO 605, ATMO 606, and ATMO 607 is limited to a total of eight hours, six of which may be counted toward a degree in atmospheric science. Prerequisite: ATMO 505. FLD
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Practical experience in private industry working with current and/or archived meteorological data. Possibilities include the preparation of forecasts for TV stations and meteorological consulting firms, and working with environmental consulting firms to assess air pollution hazards. May be repeated two times for credit. Credit for ATMO 605, ATMO 606, and ATMO 607 is limited to a total of eight hours, six of which may be counted toward a degree in atmospheric science. Prerequisite: ATMO 605. FLD
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Practical experience working in a National Weather Service forecasting center in analyzing weather data and preparing weather forecasts. May be repeated two times for credit. Credit for ATMO 605, ATMO 606, and ATMO 607 is limited to a total of eight hours, six of which may be counted toward a degree in atmospheric science. Prerequisite: ATMO 605. FLD
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Interpretation, development, and analysis of synoptic charts. Prerequisite: ATMO 505 and ATMO 640. LEC
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Atmospheric processes are described and discussed in relation to the climate of the earth's surface. Such topics as the greenhouse effect, ozone depletion, and the effect of solar irradiance on climatic change will be included. The physical processes and relationships between various climatic features will be studied. Prerequisite: ATMO 505 and DSCI 301 or MATH 526. LEC
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This course introduces the student to the fundamentals of fluid dynamics necessary for understanding large scale atmospheric motions. Fundamental physical laws of conservation of mass, momentum and energy are examined and applied to atmospheric flows. Rotation in the atmosphere is examined quantitatively in terms of both circulation and vorticity. Prerequisite: MATH 223, PHSX 212, prerequisite or corequisite of ATMO 505. LEC
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This course is designed to prepare students to effectively use remotely sensed data in operational or research settings for further work in this field. Topics include radiation and radiation transfer applied to active and remote sensing; radiative properties of space, sun, earth and atmosphere; instrument design considerations and operational characteristics; inversion methods for temperature or concentration profiling; surface temperature measurement; cloud top height determination; rain rate and wind velocity measurement; severe weather detection; satellite photograph interpretation. Prerequisite: ATMO 680, MATH 581. LEC
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Analysis and interpretation of synoptic weather charts including treatment of numerical weather forecasting. Prerequisite: ATMO 630 and ATMO 660. LEC
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Advanced study of the atmosphere including treatment of the vorticity equation. Prerequisite: ATMO 630, ATMO 640, PHSX 211, and MATH 123. LEC
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This course is designed to enhance the student's understanding of atmospheric processes through the study of these processes at molecular through micro scales. Topics include the properties and behavior of gases; transfer processes; phase change; solar and earth radiation; cloud drop, ice crystal and precipitation formation; atmospheric electricity; stratospheric chemistry. Prerequisite: MATH 223, PHSX 212. LEC
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Prerequisite: Nine hours in meteorology. IND
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Current research in atmospheric science will be discussed. May be repeated for a total of two credit hours. Prerequisite: Senior level in atmospheric science. LEC
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Prerequisite: Twelve credit hours in meteorology. IND
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First Semester. Five hours of recitation and drill in the spoken language per week. Essentials of grammar, practice in reading, writing and speaking Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian. LEC
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Similar to BCRS 104 but with additional work aimed at accelerating the student's progress to proficiency and widening understanding of cultural context. Prerequisite: Open only to students admitted to the University Honors Program, or by permission of instructor. LEC
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Second Semester. A continuation of BCRS 104. Prerequisite: BCRS 104. LEC
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Continues BCRS 105. Similar to BCRS 108 but with additional work aimed at accelerating the student's progress to proficiency and widening understanding of cultural context. Prerequisite: BCRS 104 or 105. Open only to students admitted to the University Honors Program, or by permission of instructor. LEC
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Second-year course in the language with emphasis on reading, composition, and conversation. Prerequisite: BCRS 108. LEC
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Similar to BCRS 204 but with additional work aimed at accelerating the student's progress to proficiency and widening understanding of cultural context. Prerequisite: Open only to students who have received an A in BCRS 108 or an A or B in BCRS 109, and who are admitted to the University Honors Program, or by permission of instructor. LEC
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A continuation of BCRS 204. Prerequisite: BCRS 204. LEC
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