General Studies Course Descriptions

Abnormal Psychology

GS109 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: None
An in-depth look at the basic concepts of abnormal psychology. Emphasis is on the DSM-IV disorders including origin, symptoms, and treatment of mental illness.

Anthropological Science

GN206 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: None
This course provides an introduction to the scientific approach to the study of humans with a focus on physiological and cultural adaptation. This course provides an overview of scientific approaches to the study of anthropology. The biological aspects of humans, including biocultural evolution, human genetics, and primate behavior are considered. Modern human variation and adaptations are reviewed from a science-based perspective.

Art History: Classical

GH130 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: None
Introductory survey of the history and development of the art of the Western world from the Ancient through the Medieval and Renaissance worlds. Includes Neoclassicism, and Romanticism.

Art History: Contemporary

GH131 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: None
An in-depth look at the world of contemporary art including painting, photography, sculpting and a host of new art forms. Students attend exhibitions at Los Angeles galleries as well as participating in the creation of contemporary artwork themselves.

Art History: Design

GH134A (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: None
Explores the relationship between the design disciplines of film, stage, furniture, architecture, industrial, interior, and fashion though modern theoretical movements and major art trends. Exploration of various design philosophies will include classroom viewing and discussion of artworks employing a working design vocabulary and knowledge of the most iconic pieces in modern design. The student will comprehend conceptual links between the major modern design movements and the corresponding designers from which they evolved, and finish the course with an understanding of the complexity of the numerous styles and minor movements in the history of modern design.

Art History: Modern

GH138 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: None
An in-depth look at the world of modern art including painting, photography, sculpting and a host of other art forms from the last 100 years. A visit to a Los Angeles exhibit will be part of the class content.

Art History: Photography

GH124 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: None
An in-depth look at the development of an art form that has become intrinsic to the dissemination of information and communication as well as the basis for the cinematic arts. This course will explore photography from its origins and challenge the students to determine what the aesthetic criteria are for the medium.

Art History: World

GH132 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: None
A survey of world art, focusing on folk and traditional cultures from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas. Through reproductions, videos, music, writing and drawing exercises, and a field trip, this course explores the major traditions in the visual arts outside of mainstream Western culture.

Astronomy

GN101 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: None
An introduction to the basic concepts of astronomy and astrophysics. Emphasis is on astronomical science, the solar system, the structure and evolution of stars, galaxies and the universe, including the endpoints of stellar evolution: white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes.

College Writing

GH011 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: Proficiency/Placement
This course will sharpen the student’s critical thinking and analytical tools. The student will learn how to formulate a question relative to a topic and develop and support a response to that question. The student will differentiate between fact and analysis versus opinion and emotion and will examine the writing process: question, research, draft, revise, structure, edit, proofread, and polish. The student will better understand what it means to write at a professional level.

Creative Writing That Sells

GH301A (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite:  GH101 Writers Workshop 1
Students develop their creative talents in various self-chosen forms of writing including poetry, drama, short-form and long-form fiction. This course also incorporates kinds of nonfiction writing requiring creative application of the individual’s interests and abilities. Students are required to produce writing on a weekly basis, participate in workshops, and complete a written project.

Drawing

GH135 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: None
An introduction to the principles and techniques of drawing. From point to line to shading, this class explores the concepts of light and shadow, perspective and volume.

Earth Sciences

GN104 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: None
This course provides an introduction to science and the scientific approach to the study of the Earth, with a focus on physical processes and theories. This course provides an overview of scientific approaches to the study of geology. Aspects of mineralogy, paleontology, seismology, and ecology are considered. Human interactions with the Earth are reviewed as well.

Ecological Science

GN114 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite:  None
An introduction to the study of how organisms interact with each other and their environment. How ecological processes affect individuals, populations, communications, ecosystems, and the planet as a whole is explored.

Evolutionary Biology

GN197 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite:  None
This course provides an introduction to the scientific approach to the study of humans with a focus on physiological and cultural adaptation. This course provides an overview of scientific approaches to the study of anthropology. The biological aspects of humans, including biocultural evolution, human genetics, and primate behavior are considered. Modern human variation and adaptations are reviewed from a science-based perspective.

Flick Lit: From Page to Screen

GH105 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: None
Literature and Cinema have a long history together. This class focuses on the history of adapting the short story, novella, and novel to the big screen. Studies include comparisons between source material and the end product, what works have succeeded and failed, and how the film’s success can eclipse that of the original work. Weekly readings, assignments, midterm, and final complement lectures.

Fundamentals of Music Science

GN120 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: None
This course gives students an understanding of the basic physical principles underlying sound and music and how music is created at its simplest form. It provides a clear demonstration of how physics works using a medium (sound and music) with which we are all familiar. The approach assumes no knowledge of music. A student completing this course will be able to write and recognize music notation symbols of traditional western music. An understanding of the language used by musicians to describe and perform music and film scores will be developed.

Great American Plays All Filmmakers Should Know

GH211 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: GH101 Writers Workshop 1, GH155 Script Analysis 1
In a cinema-oriented world the root of narrative expression -- the theatre play -- is often overlooked. In this course students will read and analyze six or more American plays from the past 100 years to better understand their structure, theme, and impact on American culture.

History of Music

GH114 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: None
This course will examine the historical development of the art of music, showing the increasing complexity of music through the great eras in history and the relationship of music to the political, economic, and cultural conditions of these eras.

Law and Everyday Life

GS104 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: None
Introduces the basic concepts of law that govern everyone’s life. This course is an overview of the everyday legal problems that everyone must face and how to deal with them. This course also provides an introduction to the state and federal court system.

Theatre History: Great American Plays that Became Great American Films

GH370 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: GH152 History of Critical Analysis in Cinema 1
It is often said, “If it’s not on the page, it’s not on the stage.” But will it play on the screen? In this course students explore enduring American plays that have been adapted for the screen to understand what makes them work in one medium and how narrative alterations were employed when the camera became part of the mix. Understanding the strengths and boundaries of different media is foundational for filmmakers and actors alike.

Math Essentials+

GN105A (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: Proficiency/Placement Assessment
A college math course geared for the eyes and sensibilities of visual artists. Topics include Non-Euclidean and projective geometry, as well as many areas that are foundational for cinema.

Modern Business & Industry

GS108 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: None
If you are going to be in business you need to know the basics of business be it loans or revenue. Or, perhaps you just want to know how to handle the money you are going to make in your professional life. This course explores the vital aspects of business often with examples of show business companies.

Music Appreciation and Analysis

GH113 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: None
A survey of America's Popular music beginning in the Jazz Era through the chart busters of the turn of the millennium. Students examine the historical and cultural influences creating the framework for the different genres of popular American music.

Painting

GH136 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: None
A hands-on introduction to the basic elements of acrylic painting. With specific instruction about the preparation and use of materials, students explore basic concepts such as composition, light and shadow and color mixing. Part of every class is spent painting with direct response and guidance from the Instructor. Emphasizes development of the individual eye and expressive use of color.

Philosophy

GH112 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: None
An introduction to the great secular thought of Western civilization, beginning with the classical world and proceeding through the thinkers of the Medieval, Renaissance, and Neoclassical worlds. The Enlightenment and the Romantic Movement are also examined, as well as the ideologies of the 20th Century such as Marxism, Freudianism and Existentialism.

Public Speaking for Filmmakers

GH202 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: None
If you plan to produce, write or direct, you are going to have to present your ideas verbally along the road. This course will aid you in organizing your thoughts and using your verbal powers when interacting with potential investors for your films, being interviewed about your projects on radio or TV, and, overall becoming a more persuasive communicator. Conquer your worries about speaking one-on-one or to a group.

Science of Filmmaking

GN113 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: None
Demonstrates the science behind the technology utilized in film production from 3-D, to film processing, to how light captures images, to how sound can be captured on magnetic strips, and more.

Science: The History of Life

GN280 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: None
This course provides an introduction to science and the scientific approach to the study of the Earth, with a focus on physical processes and theories. This course provides an overview of scientific approaches to the study of geology. Aspects of mineralogy, paleontology, seismology, and ecology are considered. Human interactions with the Earth are reviewed as well.

Sculpting

GH137 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: None
Explores a variety of forms of expression in three dimensions, using a wide variety of materials, both traditional and non-traditional. Students work on developing sensual consciousness of form, space, line, scale, and texture and develop their own pieces under individually guided instruction in a hands-on studio oriented environment.

Social Psychology of Sex and Gender Roles

GS251 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: None
This course examines multiple aspects of sex and gender: distinctions, social and cultural repercussions of those distinctions, historical changes, current issues, and the depiction of sex and gender in film in the past and today. The class will examine the topics through discussion, readings, films, exercises, and projects. At the end of this course the student will distinguish between sex and gender, be conversant with historical patterns of sex and gender, gain perspective on current controversies and change, and enhance sensitivity towards the fundamental aspects of change in this dimension.

Sociology: Violence in the American Family

GS207 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: None
This course is an exploration and analysis of violence in American families from a sociological perspective. The extent of the problem and different forms of violence and abuse, as well as theoretical explanations of the dynamics that contribute to such violence are investigated.

Sociology of Knowledge

GS280 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: None
In this course students will learn to appreciate and understand how we think and what we think as it is reflected in and reflects back upon the social organization from which thought patterns arise. We will ask what we (think we) know about society and what we (think we) know about thinking.

Space Sciences

GN109 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: None
An introduction to the exploration of space, with special focus on knowledge about the solar system and stars. An in-depth look at the space programs of the US and the USSR/Russia: the origins of rocket science, the first orbits, the US manned program to the moon, Russia’s Mir Space Station, the unmanned exploration of planets and the joint Russian/US programs for a space station and the exploration of Mars.

U.S. History

GS101 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: None
A survey of the historical development of the United States with an emphasis on its political and legal evolution as well as the timeline of issues facing the country today.

Western Civilization

GH111 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: None
The development of the major themes of Western civilization, including the basic questions of human rights, individual freedom, state-secured justice and the development of business and industry. The approach is principally historical and examines the evolution of these issues over time.

Writers Workshop 1

GH101 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: None
Students increase their ability to write and use language through ongoing writing exercises and essays. Students will learn how to make a stronger rational case for their perspective in essays and critiques, learn how to write a strong synopsis, and also work on such practical writing exercises as various forms of business letters.

Writers Workshop 2

GH201 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: GH101 Writers Workshop 1
Daily exercises and assignments heighten confidence and experience with college-level writing and help students to further develop skills of creative and analytical expression. Course emphasizes the use of writing as a tool for achieving individual goals.