Cluster M1

Food: A Lens for Environment and Sustainability

As the world’s human population surpasses 7 billion — with 1 billion people starving and approximately 1.5 billion over-weight — feeding the global population in a healthy, sustainable way in the face of climate change is perhaps the most urgent challenge of our time. Students in the Food cluster explore the complex connections between food and the environment, focusing on scientific, economic, cultural and social factors. The ubiquitous nature of food makes it a remarkable catalyst for interdisciplinary analysis.

Benefits

Satisfy 4 GEs requirements

Satisfy Writing II requirement

College Honors units including Honors Collegium

Priority Enrollment in Eng. Comp. 3

18 units toward degree

Faculty Department
Jay O’Shea (Coordinator) World Arts and Cultures/Dance
Jennifer Jay Institute of the Environment and Sustainability; Civil and Environmental Engineering
David Cleveland Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
Shanna Shaked Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
Library Liaison Peer Research & Writing Specialist
TBD TBD

Writing II and Foundation Area General Education Credit

Upon completion of the yearlong cluster, students will fulfill the Writing II requirement and satisfy 4 GE course requirements:

  • 2 Foundations of Scientific Inquiry (1 in Life Science with lab/demonstration credit, 1 in Physical Science with lab/demonstration credit)
  • 1 Foundations of Society and Culture in Social Analysis
  • 1 of the following (student will choose based on need for GE credit): Foundations of Scientific Inquiry in Life Science (without lab), Foundations of Scientific Inquiry in Physical Science (without lab), Society and Culture in Social Analysis, Society and Culture in Historical Analysis

Food Studies Minor

As the world’s human population surpasses 7 billion — with 1 billion people starving and approximately 1.5 billion over-weight — feeding the global population in a healthy, sustainable way in the face of climate change is perhaps the most urgent challenge of our time. Students in the Food cluster explore the complex connections between food and the environment, focusing on scientific, economic, cultural and social factors. The ubiquitous nature of food makes it a remarkable catalyst for interdisciplinary analysis.

Environmental Systems and Society Minor

Completion of this cluster satisfies one lower-division course requirement for the Environmental Systems and Society minor. See more information on the minor and how to apply .

Cluster 2

Building Climates

Human beings have burned fossil fuels for over two centuries, modernizing industry and expanding a global economy. These activities have radically impacted the planet’s environmental dynamics and given shape to the physical spaces that we inhabit. This cluster explores the root causes of climate change through social, historical, scientific, and technological analyses, centering the built environment as a critical site for observing its most dramatic effects. Looking to our immediate future, it also offers students a tool-kit for engaging with the consequent world of risks and instabilities.

Benefits

Satisfy 4 GEs requirements

Satisfy Writing II requirement

College Honors units including Honors Collegium

Priority Enrollment in Eng. Comp. 3

18 units toward degree

Faculty Department
Michael Osman (Coordinator) Architecture
Salmaan Craig
Architecture
Liz Koslov Institute of Environment and Sustainability
Regan Patterson Civil and Environmental Engineering
Library Liaison Peer Research & Writing Specialist
TBD TBD

Writing II and Foundation Area General Education Credit

Upon completion of the yearlong cluster, students will fulfill the Writing II requirement and satisfy 4 GE course requirements:

  • 1 course in Foundations of Scientific Inquiry (Physical Science without lab)
  • 1 course in Arts and Humanities (Visual & Performing Arts)
  • 2 courses in Foundations of Society and Culture (1 in Historical Analysis and 1 in Social Analysis)

Diversity Requirement

Upon completion of all three quarters of the cluster, students will satisfy the diversity course requirement.

Cluster 10

Data, Justice, and Society

Data-based computation (i.e., algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, predictive modeling, social media) increasingly plays a dominant role in shaping our everyday lives. Data shapes social relations, public policy, law, and market logics, yet it is also embedded in complex power relations. The “Data, Justice, and Society” Cluster begins by asking: what is data, why does it matter, and how are our lives being ordered (or foreclosed) by technologies that govern our lives via their use of data? We, then, proceed to think philosophically, historically, politically, culturally, and practically about its influence on social life. Over three quarters, students will learn how to critically examine data’s influence on all segments of society but also how techniques of gathering statistics, analyzing datasets, mapping, and mobilizing data-based visualizations can work towards social justice.

Benefits

Satisfy 4 GEs requirements

Satisfy Writing II requirement

College Honors units including Honors Collegium

Priority Enrollment in Eng. Comp. 3

18 units toward degree

Faculty Department
Juliet Williams (Coordinator) Gender Studies
Todd Presner European Languages and Transcultural Studies
Munia Bhaumik Center for Community Engagement
Safiya Noble Gender Studies
Sarah Roberts Gender Studies
Miriam Posner Information Studies
Library Liaison Peer Research & Writing Specialist
TBD TBD

Writing II and Foundation Area General Education Credit

Upon completion of the yearlong cluster, students will fulfill the Writing II requirement and satisfy 4 GE course requirements:

  • 3 in Foundations of Society & Culture (1 in Historical Analysis; 2 in Social Analysis)
  • 1 in Foundations of the Arts & Humanities (1 in Literary and Cultural Analysis)

Diversity Requirement

Upon completion of all three quarters of the cluster, students will satisfy the Diversity course requirement.

Cluster 20

Race and Indigeneity in the US

How can a nation as racially diverse as the United States and a state as ethnically varied as California nurture a sense of unity and community? Looking at social and cultural themes that shape contemporary American life, students explore questions such as, “What is the role of race in society today?” and “How are racial stereotypes produced and sometimes challenged in popular culture?” The cluster engages students in active dialogue and debate to teach them to be culturally fluent in the new multiethnic complexities that have displaced the outdated black-white paradigm of U.S. race relations.

Benefits

Satisfy 4 GEs requirements

Satisfy Writing II requirement

College Honors units including Honors Collegium

Priority Enrollment in Eng. Comp. 3

18 units toward degree

Faculty Department
Vilma Ortiz (Coordinator) Sociology; Chicana/o and Central American Studies
Valerie Matsumoto History; Asian American Studies
Kyle Mays African American Studies
TBD
TBD
Library Liaison Peer Research & Writing Specialist
TBD TBD

Writing II and Foundation Area General Education Credit

Upon completion of the yearlong cluster, students will fulfill the Writing II requirement and satisfy 4 GE course requirements:

  • 2 in Foundations of Society & Culture (1 in Historical Analysis; 1 in Social Analysis)
  • 2 in Foundations of the Arts & Humanities (1 in Literary and Cultural Analysis; 1 in Visual and Performance Arts Analysis and Practice)

Diversity Requirement

Upon completion of all three quarters of the cluster, students will satisfy the Diversity course requirement

Disability Studies Major

Completion of the first two quarters of this Cluster satisfies a “Race, Identity and Society” pre-major requirement for the Disability Studies major. See more information on the major and its requirements.

Cluster 27

Global Islam

Islam, the second largest world religion, has played an enormous role in the development of human culture for well over a millennium. Though Islam and Muslims are often in the news, it is one of the least-understood religious traditions among Americans. This cluster draws on the social sciences and humanities to guide students in the interdisciplinary study of global Muslim communities. Students will also learn how about how to analyze global religions through the diverse lenses of anthropology, history, language, and sociology and will learn how to critically engage with representations of Islam and Muslims in public discourse.

Benefits

Satisfy 4 GEs requirements

Satisfy Writing II requirement

College Honors units including Honors Collegium

Priority Enrollment in Eng. Comp. 3

18 units toward degree

Faculty Department
Luke Yarbrough (Coordinator) Near East Languages & Cultures – Islamic Studies
Susan Slyomovics Anthropology
TBD
Library Liaison Peer Research & Writing Specialist
TBD TBD

Writing II and Foundation Area General Education Credit

  • 1 in Foundations of the Arts & Humanities (1 in Literary and Cultural Analysis)
  • 3 in Foundations of Society & Culture (2 in Social Analysis; 1 in Historical Analysis)

Diversity Requirement

Upon completion of all three quarters of the cluster, students will satisfy the diversity course requirement.

Global Studies Major and Minor

The Winter quarter of this Clusters satisfies a Culture and Society requirement in preparation for the Global Studies major and minor.

Cluster 60

America in the Sixties: Politics, Society and Culture, 1954-1974

The ‘60s. Hippies and tie-dye, afros and Motown, free love and psychedelic drugs—this era is commonly reduced to a montage of cliché images and phrases. This Cluster goes beyond the familiar, and looks at the major social revolutions of that era that transformed America’s cultural character and political environment forever. Students will better understand this period by exploring the 60’s counter-culture, the turbulent political arena and revolutionary youth movements. And as students analyze movies and music, the Civil Rights movement and campus takeovers, and Vietnam and Cold Wars they will make connections to society today.

Benefits

Satisfy 4 GEs requirements

Satisfy Writing II requirement

College Honors units including Honors Collegium

Priority Enrollment in Eng. Comp. 3

18 units toward degree

Faculty Department
Jeff Decker (Coordinator) English
Eric Avila History; Chicana/o and Central American Studies
Robert Fink Musicology
Lynn Vavreck Political Science
Library Liaison Peer Research & Writing Specialist
TBD TBD

Writing II and Foundation Area General Education Credit

Upon completion of the yearlong cluster, students will fulfill the Writing II requirement and satisfy 4 GE course requirements:

  • 2 in Foundations of the Arts & Humanities (1 in Visual and Performance Arts Analysis and Practice; 1 in Literary and Cultural Analysis)
  • 2 in Foundations of Society & Culture (1 in Social Analysis; 1 in Historical Analysis)

Diversity Requirement

Upon completion of all three quarters of the cluster, students will satisfy the diversity course requirement.

Cluster 70

Evolution of the Cosmos and Life

How to put the universe in a nutshell? The Evolution cluster explores the emergence of the universe and its contents — from the Big Bang to the formation of our solar system, and then the development of life on Earth. The emphasis is on the scientific process, answering the question “How do we know that?” and applying this to the astronomical, geological and biological processes that have shaped the evolution of our world from its beginning to the very recent arrival of humans. Experiential learning through labs and field trips allows students to see firsthand the forces that drive evolution, the evidence for the Earth’s past, and the techniques used to explore that past and the universe.

Benefits

Satisfy 4 GEs requirements

Satisfy Writing II requirement

College Honors units including Honors Collegium

Priority Enrollment in Eng. Comp. 3

18 units toward degree

Faculty Department
Anthony Friscia (Coordinator) Integrative Biology & Physiology
Erik Petigura Astronomy & Astrophysics
David Jewitt Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences
TBD
Library Liaison Peer Research & Writing Specialist
TBD TBD

Writing II and Foundation Area General Education Credit

Upon completion of the yearlong cluster, students will fulfill the Writing II requirement and satisfy 4 GE course requirements:

  • 4 in the Foundations of Scientific Inquiry (2 Life Sciences with 1 laboratory credit; 2 in Physical Sciences with 1 laboratory credit)

Field Trips

Field trips have historically been a part of the course. Although they are not required, they give students the chance to see firsthand the forces that drive evolution, the evidence for the Earth’s past, and the techniques used to explore that past and the universe.

Past field trips have been to places such as fossil sites in western Nevada, tide pools in Palos Verdes, exploration of the Peninsular Ranges, Mt. Palomar Observatory, and the San Andreas Fault. Past field trips have been to places such as fossil sites in western Nevada, Joshua Tree National Park Palos Verdes Tidal Pools Malibu Creek & Lagoon , exploration of the Peninsular Ranges; Santa Monica Mts. Mt. Pinos , Mt. Palomar Observatory, La Brea Tar Pits  and the San Andreas Fault.

Cluster M71

Biotechnology and Society

In the early days of genetic engineering, few people would have predicted the creation of three-person embryos or CRISPR-based gene therapy. Biology and biotechnology have changed the way we interact with and understand the world around us. The Biotechnology and Society Cluster explores contemporary issues in science from multiple perspectives, including biology, sociology, gender studies, ethics, literature, and more. In this Cluster you will not only learn key discipline-specific ways of thinking about and doing science, but will apply these in concert with other perspectives to address complex, often controversial issues at the intersections of biology and society. Key questions we will address include: Who benefits from scientific advancements, and who is left out? Who makes decisions about how these benefits are allocated? How do scientists, regulators, and the public make decisions in the face of scientific uncertainty and risk? Who gets to participate in science, and what are the ethical boundaries of scientific practice? We’ll address these questions and more with case studies that may include: the Covid-19 pandemic, genetically modified organisms, reproductive technologies, and more.

Benefits

Satisfy 4 GEs requirements

Satisfy Writing II requirement

College Honors units including Honors Collegium

Priority Enrollment in Eng. Comp. 3

18 units toward degree

Faculty Department
Michelle Rensel (Coordinator) Institute for Society & Genetics
Rachel Lee English
Aaron Panofsky Institute for Society & Genetics
TBD
TBD
Library Liaison Peer Research & Writing Specialist
TBD TBD

Writing II and Foundation Area General Education Credit

Upon completion of the yearlong cluster, students will fulfill the Writing II requirement and satisfy 4 GE course requirements:

  • 1 course in Foundations of Scientific Inquiry (Life Science without lab)
  • 1 course in Arts and Humanities (Literary and Cultural Analysis)
  • 2 courses in Foundations of Society and Culture (1 in Historical Analysis and 1 in Social Analysis).

Diversity Requirement

Upon completion of all three quarters of the cluster, students will satisfy the diversity course requirement.

Human Biology and Society Major

Completion of the first quarter of this cluster satisfies a pre-major requirement for the Human Biology and Society major. See more information on the major and how to apply .

Disability Studies Major

Completion of the first two quarters of this Cluster satisfies a “Humanities and Ethics” pre-major requirement for the Disability Studies major. See more information on the major and its requirements.

Cluster 72

Sex: From Biology to Gendered Society

Whereas our biological sex is determined by various physical factors such as our chromosomes, hormones, and genitalia, gender pertains to psychological and social features of our experience and position, including not only our self-concept and identity but also institutional patterns shaping gender relations. Sex and gender both influence our development, aspects of our behavior, and how others perceive us. Because sex and gender are complexly intertwined, identifying the distinctive effects of each can be challenging. This course draws on several disciplines – from biology, anthropology, sociology, philosophy and literature – to develop a layered understanding of the interplay between sex and gender and the way our understanding and experience of each affects our understanding and experience of the other.

Benefits

Satisfy 4 GEs requirements

Satisfy Writing II requirement

College Honors units including Honors Collegium

Priority Enrollment in Eng. Comp. 3

18 units toward degree

Faculty Department
Martie Haselton (Coordinator) Communication
Jessica Lynch (Coordinator) Institute for Society & Genetics
Barney Schlinger Integrative Biology & Physiology
TBD
Library Liaison Peer Research & Writing Specialist
TBD TBD

Writing II and Foundation Area General Education Credit

Upon completion of the yearlong cluster, students will fulfill the Writing II requirement and satisfy 4 GE course requirements:

  • 1 course in Foundations of Scientific Inquiry (Life Science without lab)
  • 3 courses in Foundations of Society and Culture (1 in Historical Analysis and 2 in Social Analysis)

Diversity Requirement

Upon completion of all three quarters of the cluster, students will satisfy the diversity course requirement.

Human Biology and Society Major

Completion of the first quarter of this cluster satisfies a pre-major requirement for the Human Biology and Society major. See more information on the major and how to apply .

Disability Studies Major

Completion of the first two quarters of this Cluster satisfies a “Race, Identity and Society” pre-major requirement for the Disability Studies major. See more information on the major and its requirements.

Cluster 73

All in Your Head? Brain, Bodymind, and Society

We are living in an age of rapid growth in the field of neuroscience – with new insights promising to explain how our brains make us who we are. But while the brain is indispensable to all our mental functions, it is also a dynamic organ, interacting not only with our bodies but also with the diverse worlds we inhabit. This course seeks to engage and expand your ideas about the brain and mental health and their relation to experiences of being human. We draw on several disciplines – from neurobiology and psychology to literary and film analysis, as well as philosophy and disability studies – to explore how we relate our increasingly sophisticated knowledge of the brain to our understanding and experience of subjectivity, mental health, and disability.

This cluster explores the biology of the brain and the neurobiology and psychology of essential mental functions like learning and memory. We investigate conditions such as dementia, autism, depression, trauma, and schizophrenia not only to understand the neurobiological bases of these conditions but also to see what they can tell us about the norms and expectations that inform our judgments about what (and who) count (and don’t count) as healthy, sane, or normal selves, minds, and behaviors. We examine how disability and chronic illnesses impact the lives and bodyminds (a term we discuss) of people in our communities and explore how various social realities – from racism and poverty to Instagram and Facebook – affect our mental wellbeing and ability to thrive.

Benefits

Satisfy 4 GEs requirements

Satisfy Writing II requirement

College Honors units including Honors Collegium

Priority Enrollment in Eng. Comp. 3

18 units toward degree

Faculty Department
Sally Gibbons (Coordinator) Undergraduate Education Initiatives; Institute for Society & Genetics
Efrain Kristal Comparative Literature; Spanish & Portuguese
Romy Sutherland Comparative Literature
Marcia Meldrum Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
TBD
TBD
Library Liaison Peer Research & Writing Specialist
TBD TBD

Writing II and Foundation Area General Education Credit

Upon completion of the yearlong cluster, students will fulfill the Writing II requirement and satisfy 4 GE course requirements:

  • 1 course in Scientific Inquiry (Life Sciences without laboratory credit)
  • 2 courses in Arts & Humanities (Literary & Cultural Analysis , Philosophic & Linguistic Analysis)
  • 1 course in Society & Culture (Social Analysis)

Disability Studies Major

Completion of the first two quarters of this Cluster satisfies a “Humanities and Ethics” pre-major requirement for the Disability Studies major. See more information on the major and its requirements.

Diversity Requirement

Upon completion of all three quarters of the cluster, students will satisfy the diversity course requirement.

Cluster 80

Frontiers in Human Aging

Today’s college freshman can expect to live decades longer than their ancestors. Since the aging process is both biologically influenced (beginning even before birth) and socially constructed, lifestyle and social opportunities are just as important as genes and biology, if not more so. While advances in medical technology and public health have significantly increased life expectancy, our perceptions of age are still deeply rooted in culture, religion, literature, music, and film, all of which shape our views of the human life course. This Cluster incorporates hands-on education through “Elder Interviews” and Community Engagement in the Los Angeles community, and is perfect for those who wish to explore fundamental issues that relate to living longer and more fulfilling lives.

Benefits

Satisfy 4 GEs requirements

Satisfy Writing II requirement

College Honors units including Honors Collegium

Priority Enrollment in Eng. Comp. 3

18 units toward degree

Faculty Department
Paul Hsu (Coordinator) Fielding School of Public Health
TBD
TBD
Library Liaison Peer Research & Writing Specialist
TBD TBD

Writing II and Foundation Area General Education Credit

Upon completion of the yearlong cluster, students will fulfill the Writing II requirement and satisfy 4 GE course requirements:

  • 3 in Foundations of Society & Culture (2 in Social Analysis; 1 in Historical Analysis)
  • 1 in Foundations of Scientific Inquiry (Life Science without lab/demonstration credit)

Diversity Requirement

Upon completion of all three quarters of the cluster, students will satisfy the diversity course requirement.

Gerontology Minor

Students who have completed Clusters 80A with a grade of B or better, and have an overall grade-point average of 2.0 or better, do not need to take Gerontology M108. Successful completion of this cluster sequence (Clusters 80A, 80BX, 80CW) counts for CM108 and one elective course.

Global Health Minor

Students who have completed General Education Clusters 80A with a grade of B or better may petition to have the course applied toward the Global Health Minor  core course requirement.

Disability Studies Major

Completion of the first two quarters of this Cluster satisfies a “Race, Identity and Society” pre-major requirement for the Disability Studies major. See more information on the major and its requirements.