Undergraduate Graduate Online\Off-Campus Academic Calendar

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Learn about the GWU Off-Campus programs: Online Studies, Extension Courses and Statesmanship Seminars

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Winter 2016 Courses 

Classes are available both online and on-campus

The registration deadline is December 28.  Students may still register for classes up until January 14 but will be a $25 late fee.

Morning classes (typically held between 8:00am and noon)
See the schedule here

Political Philosophy I: Classical & Medieval
Why are people still reading Plato's Republic? Is it advocating Communism or is there something more? How did the Greeks and Romans establish the basis for the Enlightenment, and the ideas that culminated in the U.S. Constitution? Did they also sow the seeds of the totalitarian atrocities of the Modern Era? In this course you'll discover the insights of the early philosophers, what also went wrong, and how to spot the difference.

- Plato
- Aristotle
- Augustine
- Aquinas
- and others

Political Philosophy II: Enlightenment
Modern political debate is rarely anything new - it's typically Locke, Rousseau, Machiavelli and Kant recycled. The period studied in this course set the stage for the birth of constitutional governments and new global conflicts on an unprecedented scale. To be effective in moving the cause of liberty, today's leaders must understand the Enlightenment philosophies that underpin the modern discussion.

- Locke
- Kant
- Machiavelli
- Rousseau
- and others

Financial Competence, Fraud and Ethics: Principles & Practice
What if we could fortify and inoculate future leaders against the ethical blind spots, justifications and naive mistakes that end the careers of so many talented and promising servants for good causes? Being competent, wise and moral in financial stewardships make a timeless set of habits. Gain the fundamental tools to understand the basic operations of both personal finance and the many organizations you will one day serve and lead.

Subjects covered:
- Personal Finance
- Investing
- Business Finance
- Government Finance and
- Fraud Signals and Warnings
- Ethics in Finance

Biology & Environment: Classical and Modern Perspectives
How soon will people begin altering the DNA of their children? Can human organs really be printed by machines? What is the truth about the claims behind climate science, and what is the conflict about? This course explores the theoretical and physical understanding of organic life from Aristotle through modern times. Landmark developments that gave birth to scientific and philosophical controversies surrounding evolution and the environment will receive special attention. Students will gain a rich understanding of all sides of these issues both in historical and modern contexts in order to consider their future implications for society at large.

- Aristotle
- Darwin
- Waddington
- Schrodinger
- Collins
- and others

Afternoon classes (typically held between 12:00pm and 4:00pm)
See the schedule here

World History III: Renaissance and Reformation
This course explores the driving forces and key events that shaped Western Civilization through the Renaissance and Reformation, continuing through the first European ventures in colonization that reshaped the cultures and governments of the world.

- From Dawn to Decadence
- The Making of the West
- The Civilization of the
   Renaissance in Italy

- When Asia Was the World
- and others

World History IV: Enlightenment through Industrial Revolution
This course examines the Age of Enlightenment, the contrasting forces behind the American and French revolutions, and how the aftershocks of these and other developments in Europe and its colonies up through the dawn of the twentieth century set the stage for the great global conflicts to follow.

- From Dawn to Decadence
- The Making of the West
- Ancien Regime and the
   French Revolution

- The Birth of the Modern
- and others

Literary Agents of European History and Culture
A number of seminal classics laid the foundation for European society, even playing key roles in shaping the culture that kept mainland Europe separate from England in political ideology and liberty. This course examines a select handful of such works that delve into the heart of the great human struggles of moral agency, virtue, justice, mercy, power, humility and wisdom - a literary snapshot of European culture and its fruits up through the late 19th century.

- Les Miserables
- The Don Quixote
- Candide
- The Sorrows of Young
- and others

Art, Architecture & Music: Timeless Agents of Culture & Change
Whether ambassador of peace or agitator for revolution, the arts have historically been used as a potent agent of culture and change. From the earliest civilizations to the majesty of Rome, through the Renaissance and to the present -- the symbols, styles and aesthetics used in sculpture, architecture, paintings, music, theater and film evoke both visceral and cognitive responses, always for the aims of the artist. In this course, our appreciation of their beauty will be enriched and informed, and finally intrigued with an expository tour of propaganda throughout history and the modern age.

Art Periods:
- Greek / Roman
- Medival / Renaissance
- Baroque
- Neo-Classical
- Romantic / National
- Modern / Post-Modern

Evening class
(Every other Tuesday 5:30pm-8:30pm)

Literary Agents of English History and Culture
Was there something about British culture that facilitated the birth of modern liberty as we know it? A number of seminal classics laid the foundation for English society, playing key roles in shaping the culture of liberty that set England apart from mainland Europe. This course examines a select handful of such works that delve into the heart of the great human struggles of moral agency, virtue, justice, mercy, power, humility and wisdom - a literary snapshot of English culture and its fruits up through the late 19th century.

- Pride & Prejudice
- Tale of Two Cities
- Middlemarch
- Hamlet
- Gulliver's Travels
- and others

Distance Studies Courses
Students may take these courses independently.
If enough students enroll, they may be offered as evening courses.


Foundations of American Government and Culture
This course establishes a framework of lenses through which to examine the past as well as the ongoing development of American society, paying special attention to the political, cultural, religious, ideological and economic forces that have played key roles -- and continue to do so -- whether historically from the Old World, circumstantially from within, or from elsewhere.

- Roots of American Order
- American Beliefs
- Promised Land
- Federalist Papers
- Democracy in America
- and others

Foundations of Inquiry & Influence 
Do the messengers of virtue ever give their cause a bad name? Explore how habits of humility and sincerity protect against corruption and the worst of human nature -- even when serving good causes -- especially when entrusted with authority. Discover how the pure humility needed for sincere inquiry is the same key ingredient for having deep and lasting influence for good.

- The Weight of Glory
- Bonds That Make Us Free
- Principle Centered
- You Are the Message
- and others

Roots, Issues and Controversies in Liberal Arts Education  
Have the real causes of love (and hate) of learning actually been overlooked? Compare the major approaches to home, public and private education from Ancient Greece to the most recent scientific discoveries plus the impacts on society. Examine old and new agendas including the Progressives and Common Core, the special interests that shape the debates, new surprises in pedagogies for special outcomes, bold reforms and the principle of parental stewardship.

- C.S. Lewis
- E. D. Hirsch Jr.
- Jacques Barzun
- John Dewey
- John Gatto
- and others


If you would like to sit in on a class, please contact registrar@gw.edu

How to Register

Returning GWU Student

Continuing Education non-credit ►



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To build men and women of virtue, wisdom, diplomacy, and courage who inspire greatness in others and move the cause of liberty.

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