Gen Eds and Electives

Inspired courses on place, design and community.

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How do we shape our buildings, communities and landscapes—and how do they shape us?

Find out in a College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture course.

The College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture has a number of highly rated Tier One and Tier Two University of Arizona GenEd courses and Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Real Estate Development, Sustainable Built Environments and Urban Planning electives that can satisfy your interest in the built environment.

Learn more about the dynamic courses offered by CAPLA's School of Architecture and School of Landscape Architecture and Planning below.

Or check out our Fall 2020 CAPLA Elective Atlas, filled with one-page course flyers:


CAPLA GenEds

Courses that have been approved by the University of Arizona General Education Committee to satisfy Tier One and Tier Two requirements are listed below. Click a course title to view a course description, syllabus and other materials.

Architecture

Fully online, Tier 1 Traditions & Cultures

The purpose of this course is to lay the foundation for architectural literacy and develop an understanding of architecture’s role in society through ancient times to present day. This is accomplished through studying the major components that affect architecture: region, culture and technology. The basis of this knowledge is found in understanding the relationship between a society and the forms it creates, as the built environment has a permanent and profound impact on personal health, productivity and happiness, and on community life. The course follows these factors chronologically through the history of world civilizations, from ancient civilizations to contemporary society in the East and West.

Usually offered: Fall
Units: 3
Instructor: Ashley Simone

Fully online, Tier 1 Traditions & Cultures

A multidisciplinary introduction to the Sonoran region of Southern Arizona and Northwest Mexico. Providing the context for settlement long before our current political boundaries were shaped, the Sonora is a culture that spans time, human institutions and political ideology. The course’s topics range from earth and natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, architecture and landscape architecture. Self-guided, self-selected field trips form the basis for written investigations; online discussions of texts and current topics broaden understanding of the region and the various ways it is experienced.

Usually offered: Fall
Units: 3
Instructor: Wendy Lotze
Courses syllabus: 

Fully online, Tier 2 Humanities

This course will examine contemporary exhibitions in the Americas and Europe with the intention of sensitizing the student to the connections between art, design and architecture.

Usually offered: Fall
Units: 3
Instructor: Ashley Simone

Landscape Architecture

Fully online, Tier 1 Individuals & Societies

This course is a broad exploration of the natural and built American landscape and how the unique character of American culture continues to shape this place. With readings, discussions, and videos, students will examine dynamic dialogue between humans and nature to understand the creation of the American landscape. Students will understand that both the built environments, such as cities, parks, gardens, and preserves of wild, scenic, and cultural landscapes can be interpreted as physical manifestations of different American ideologies.

Usually offered: Fall, Spring
Units: 3
Instructor: Matthew Lee
Course syllabus: 

Fully online, Tier 2 Individuals & Societies

This course exams the history, function, politics and design of parks, gardens and other urban public spaces in American cities. A typology of public space will be presented and used to examine public life today and how design and public involvement influence the nature of public space. The course will examine contemporary issues in parks and public space such as place-making, environmental integrity and sustainability, diversity and accessibility issues, children and nature, and the privatization of public space.

Usually offered: Fall
Units: 3
Instructor: Gina Chorover
Course syllabus: 

Urban Planning

Fully online, Tier 2 Individuals & Societies, Diversity Emphasis

Urban areas are concentrated sites of human interaction, cultural practice, and social innovation, and therefore are prime locations in which to examine changing ideas, practices, and policies related to sex and gender.

You do not need to have previous knowledge about urban planning or gender studies to succeed in this class. You do not need to identify as female to be in this class. However, you do need to be respectful of gendered experiences and open to critical traditions and theories because this class will challenge you to think critically about several categories, ideas, and objects that we often take as “normal” and unquestioned.

The goals of this class are to encourage you to think critically about how urban planning and policy shapes specific communities and how experiences of marginalized communities shape urban areas.

Usually offered: Fall, Spring
Units: 3
Instructor: Nicole Iroz-Elardo

Fully online, Tier 2 Individuals & Societies

This course surveys international cities to help students understand the world’s urban systems, global variations in urban environments, and the diversity in organization and functioning of cities. 

The class examines the interplay between human activities and land, water, transportation, and energy policies that shape the use of urban resources to produce the built environment. Students will learn about ways in which cities are becoming more vibrant, equitable, greener and more sustainable.

Usually offered: Spring
Units: 3
Instructor: Gina Chorover

Fully online, Tier 2 Individuals & Societies

Cities around the globe are working to be more sustainable in response to social, economic and environmental problems.

This course introduces you to the sustainability paradigm and the role that urban planning and design can play. We will explore issues ranging from economic sustainability to the conservation of natural resources, urban sprawl, and consumerism. We will consider alternatives that promote sustainable cities, such as walkability, green building, and biodiversity.

Usually offered: Fall
Units: 3
Instructor: Philip Stoker
Course syllabus: 


Featured Electives