Special Courses and Seminars

We offer a series of special courses, seminars, and workshops designed just for FSSP students.

FSSP Common Course

Interdisciplinary (INT) 95 - The Modern Research University (1 unit) / Dr. Ralph Gallucci, Classics and FSSP Director

All students participating in FSSP will enroll in this one unit course. Introduction to the creative processes behind research-based knowledge and to other academic and student services available on campus. As part of the course, students will meet faculty and learn about opportunities to become involved in undergraduate research at UCSB.

Freshman Seminar Courses

These small group seminars, with a maximum of twenty students, will be taught by faculty who have volunteered their time and effort because they want to meet and teach students who are early in their UCSB careers. Facilitating student-faculty contact is one of the major goals of the Freshman Seminar. Students have the opportunity to take up to three Freshman Seminars during FSSP:

INT 94ZZ. Asians and Asian Americans in Hollywood Films (1 unit) / Dr. Xiaojian Zhao, Asian American Studies
In this seminar we will explore images of Asian and Asian Americans in Hollywood films. Images of the early 20th century will be compared with those created in the later periods. We will also examine roles played by Asian American actors/ac­tresses in Hollywood films.

INT 94GZ. Mummies, Myths and Magic: Surviving Death in Ancient Egypt (1 unit) / Dr. Stuart Smith, Anthropology
The ancient Egyptians and Nubians spent a great deal of time and effort preparing for the Afterlife, making mummies and providing them with the equipment that would allow them to live forever. Mummies have been a source of fascination for centuries — witness most recently the success of Universal’s remake of “The Mummy.” So what makes a mummy? What was the most important funerary equipment for a successful afterlife? Just how much did immortality cost an average or above average ancient Egyptian? Referencing his own archeological work at Luxor’s Theban Necropolis and in Sudanese Nubia, Prof. Smith will explore some modern myths and the fascinating insights we can gain from mummies and their equipment.

INT 94IM. Research Methods and Opportunities in the Social Sciences (1 unit) / Dr. John Park, Asian American Studies
Leading professors in the social sciences are doing some exciting work at UCSB, and this course provides a glimpse into what they have been up to. Whether their research has been about banking policy, political behavior, mass communication and popular culture, or race, class, and gender inequality, their work has had a major impact on our understanding of complex social processes and problems. This course will focus on how your professors develop research projects, the methods they have used to gather new information, and then the brilliant theories they have proposed to explain their findings. Through this discussion, students will get a better sense of the multiple career opportunities available to students interested in the social sciences, including careers in law, business, public policy, and other related professions. We end with a discussion of the many opportunities available to undergraduates to engage in research, either on their own projects, or as a research assistant to a faculty member.

INT 94FC. Screen Classics: From The Gladiator to the Clash of the Titans (1 unit) / Dr. Dorota Dutsch, Classics
This class examines several Hollywood films dealing with classical subjects, both historical and mythological, which have been produced in the last ten years. We will view excerpts from the Gladiator (2000), Troy (2004), Alexander the Great (2004), the HBO series Rome (2005-2007), Lightening Thief (2010), and The Clash of the Titans (2010), and ask what social trends may be behind this renaissance of interest in classics; we will also attempt to find the generic patterns revealed by these films, whose target audiences range from children to adult audiences with taste for violent and explicitly sexual material. Our goal in noting tendencies and generic patterns will be to identify the role that the classical past has come to play in popular culture.

INT 94RG. Introduction to Engineering and its Applications (1 unit) / Dr. Hua Lee, Electrical and Computer Engineering
This seminar sequence provides an overview of electrical, me­chanical, and computer engineering in a concise and compre­hensive manner. The full-spectrum topics include communica­tions, signal processing, VLSI, control systems, robotics, and computer-aided design in hardware, software, system integration, as well as industrial applications. The seminars will also give you an excellent perspective of the curriculum, advancement in the industry, as well as research directions in graduate study. In addition to presentations by faculty, the course includes a tour of engineering research facilities.

INT 94VK. How to be Successful in Chemistry 1A – General Chemistry (1 unit) / Dr. Bryanna Kunkel, Chemistry
CHEM 1A students: If you have not taken high school chemistry, took it early in your high school career, or feel that your chemistry class did not adequately prepare you for college-level chemistry, this seminar is for you. The seminar will cover both content and study skills. Content areas covered will include stoichiometry and naming (in addition, you can get help on your summer ALEKS assignment). Study skills covered will include note taking, becoming familiar with tools utilized in the General Chemistry series (iclicker, gauchospace, etc.), and acquaint students with resources, faculty, and staff who can help you be successful in the General Chemistry series.

INT 35LT. Experiencing Shakespeare (8 units)
This innovative course brings together faculty from the departments of English and Theater & Dance to offer students an immersive experience of Shakespeare that combine performance, literary study, and research. As part of the course, students will attend a live theatrical production of Hamlet, directed by Irwin Appel, one of the professors of the course. Students can expect Shakespeare to come to life on page and stage as we experience these multi-faceted plays from a variety of perspectives.

Research and Enrichment Courses

Ecology, Evolution, & Marine Biology (EEMB) 4FS. Introduction to Research in the Life Sciences(1 unit) / Brian Haggerty, Doctoral Student, Biology
In this course, we will explore UCSB research projects in biol­ogy, ecology, biochemistry, and biophysics. We will learn about a range of research questions being addressed by leading researchers, who are collecting new data as they attempt to solve these problems. Topics may include cell-cell interac­tion, conditions for life, disease and parasitism, threats to local fisheries, and environmental issues. Meet undergraduate students like yourself, who are presently either volunteering, or employed part-time by the research groups. This class is especially valuable for anyone who wants to get involved in undergraduate research in the biological sciences or work in a lab or who is thinking of a career as a professional research­er or wants to go to medical, dental, pharmacy, veterinary, or nursing school.

INT 1. Introduction to Library Research (1 unit) /Jane Faulkner, MLS, Davidson Library
This course is designed to assist entering students in learning to use essential facilities and resources at the UCSB Davidson Library. This is a one unit, pass/no pass course designed to teach the nature of research and the role of the library in the research process. Students will learn to: select a research topic and write an effective research statement; create and re­fine search strategies using the online catalog, article indexes, and other electronic resources; distinguish between popular and scholarly works; think critically about information and its sources; and document sources in an appropriate citation style.

Classics 99/H. Introduction to Undergraduate Research in the Humanities: The History of Democracy (1-3 units) / Dr. Ralph Gallucci, Classics and FSSP Director
We live in a democracy. Most of us likely believe that it is the best form of government, but what is its historical background.  This class traces the origins of democratic government from ancient times up through the present.  We begin in ancient Iraq, in a kingdom called Sumer, and read about a political system called “primitive democracy.”  We will also look at other examples of “primitive democracy” in evidence among ancient tribal societies and chiefdoms and in the modern anthropological record. We next examine the political systems of the Greeks and Romans, and how they have influenced our modern notions of democracy as well as socialism and communism since medieval times.

INT 64 - Major & Career Exploration (2 units / Career\Services)
This course provides students with a foundation for academic, personal, and career success. Through personal assessment activities that examine interests, personality styles, values, skills, and strengths, this course assists students in their exploration of college majors and career options while further developing an understanding of themselves as beginning college students. The focus will be on researching academic departments, career paths, and labor market trends while providing students with tools and strategies for reflection, goal-setting, and success.

College of Letters and Science Honors Program Opportunities

Students in the Honors Program can begin meeting their 6-unit honors requirement this summer by enrolling in these courses.

  • Classics 99H. The History of Democracy (description above) is worth up to 3 units of honors credit.

  • Classics 40H (discussion section) taken in conjunction with Greek Mythology (description below) is worth 5 units of honors credit.

Greek Mythology - Classics 40 (4 units)/ Dr. Ralph Gallucci, Classics and FSSP Director/Satisfies Area G and the European Traditions requirements (open to all FSSP students).
Examination of the world of Greek mythology: the origin of the gods, the universe, and humans as well as the stories of the major Greek heroes, such as Cadmus, Perseus, Heracles, Theseus, Achilles, Odysseus, and Penelope. Readings include the near eastern Epic of Gilgamesh, Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Hesiod’s Theogony and Works and Days, and the Homeric Hymns. Special attention will be given to the religious, archaeological, social, historical, and cultural background of these works. Moreover, the class examines theories of myth interpretation and the influence of Greek myth in popular culture today.


2019 Research and Enrichment Courses, and Workshops

We offer workshops on topics such as Time Management, Taking Good Lecture Notes, Understanding your Reading Assignments, Objective Exam Strategies, Essay Exam Strategies, Honors College and Undergraduate Research Opportunities, Choosing a Major, How to Graduate on Time, Involvement and Leadership at UCSB, Career Testing, Successful Relationships, Drug and Alcohol Awareness, Eating Well, and Filmmaking. We also have a Drop-In Center in the residence hall, staffed by student life counselors and academic advisors.