Discovery Courses


Discovery Florence

The Discovery Florence program fulfills the same curricular requirements as those pursued by first-year students studying on Syracuse University’s main campus, while providing a course schedule unique to the Florence experience.

Required Courses:

CAS 200.1 Mapping Italy (1 credit)
An introduction to your semester abroad in Florence, aimed at developing intercultural awareness and cross-cultural competencies in a study abroad context. “Mapping Italy” invites you to orient yourself as a foreigner in Italy, treating Florence as your classroom. You will experience Italy through a series of topics to create a multi-layered map of your Italian experience. Prepare to reflect on how you have developed through experiential learning opportunities during your semester abroad, and how you have been impacted by local cultures. This class begins online pre-arrival. You will attend a seminar during orientation at the Syracuse Florence campus and the course will continue asynchronously throughout the semester abroad.

WRT 105 Studio 1: Practices of Academic Writing (3 credits)
In WRT 105 you will focus on critical analysis and argument, practices that are central to the academic work at university, as well as in professional careers. The course will involve you in a shared topic of inquiry—an urgent issue that requires multiple points of view and kinds of knowledge— with which you will engage through readings, a range of informal and formal writing assignments, a modest amount of database and web research, and a lot of conversation with your classmates. You will compose for different audiences and experiment with a range of rhetorical approaches. You will learn to revise and refine your ideas with the feedback and suggestions of peers and the instructor. You will deepen your reading practices as you read both popular and academic essays. The course is structured on a studio model so that each and every day in class you and your peers will collaborate on, discuss, and share texts and ideas, and you will invent, compose and revise in class as well as outside of class. This course satisfies a Liberals Arts Core requirement for writing, except for students who receive AP credit toward writing. Students eligible to receive AP credits toward writing will take HST/SOC/WGS 454 Family and Gender in Contemporary Italy.

ITA 101 Italian I or higher (3-6 credits, depending on level)
Your placement in an Italian class will be determined by an online placement exam. ITA 101 is an introductory proficiency-based course which prepares you to understand, speak, read, and write in culturally authentic contexts. Activities are conducted in Italian. This course meets daily, Monday through Thursday. Other levels of Italian language instruction are available for students with some degree of proficiency.

 Optional Courses:

You will round out your schedule by selecting two of the following optional courses:

CLA/LIT/REL 421 Classical Mythology (3 credits)
 Myths and rituals of Greek mythology and religion. Ancient poets/playwrights and important mythological themes found in later Western religious/artistic traditions. Learn to interpret the many examples of mythological themes that occur in Italian art and literature. Emphasis given to those themes that are especially relevant to your experience in Italy. The course begins with an introduction to the Greek myths of creation and the twelve Olympian gods, covers Theban, Mycenean and Trojan sagas, and focuses on the myths of individual heroes such as Heracles, Theseus, Perseus and Jason. This course satisfies a Core Curriculum requirement for humanities.

HOA 203 Italian Arts from Antiquity to Michelangelo (3 credits)
May not be taken with HOA 320. Explore centuries of Italian art and culture amidst the joyous living museum that is Florence. This course provides an introduction to the art and architecture of the Italian peninsula from the Ancient Greeks to the Renaissance. Participate in classroom lectures, discussions, small group assignments, site visits, and field study (a course fee will be billed from Syracuse to cover field study). This course satisfies a Core Curriculum requirement for humanities.

HOA 320 Italian Renaissance Art (3 credits)
May not be taken with HOA 203. Survey of Italian art and architecture from c. 1200 to 1550 with an emphasis on style, patronage, artistic techniques, and the social, political, and devotional contexts of works by major artists and architects. Introduces the art and architecture of Italy from Giotto to Michelangelo and the early Mannerists. Each week focuses on a single artist or topic and consists of a “looking” assignment, a classroom lecture, and a site visit to a monument or museum in Florence with a course fee billed from Syracuse to cover field study. This course satisfies a Core Curriculum requirement for humanities.

PSC 141 Liberty and Power from the Ancient World to Modernity (3 credits)
What forces have shaped your personal perspectives on justice, equality, and authority? With the cradle of the Italian Renaissance as a fitting backdrop, you’ll engage the juggernauts of social theory including Florence’s own Machiavelli, plus More, Kant, Locke, Wollstonecraft, and other foundational thinkers. Through their eyes – and via your own interactive projects – explore the historical relationships between morality and politics, politics and religion, the foundations of legitimacy through democratic consensus, and the birth of feminism. This course satisfies a core curriculum requirement for Social Science.

EAR 105 Earth Science (3 credits)
Processes that shape Earth and affect humans: Earth’s structure; plate tectonics; geologic time; and surficial processes. Examine the processes that drive the internal dynamic of the planet, which are responsible for major geologic phenomena, to develop an understanding of how they define both the history of the Earth and the sustainable usage of the territory and of the Earth’s resources. In- and out-door labs will be dedicated to the direct observation and examination of the Earth’s materials (i.e., rocks and minerals) and their usage as building stones and raw materials relevant for human life. Examine how phenomena such as earthquakes and volcanoes are relevant to the human habitat and to human creative activity, from architecture to art, with a focus on Florence, where the science of geology was born in the 18th century. Includes a day trip to Lago di Bolsena, a lake of volcanic and tectonic origin (a course fee will be billed from Syracuse to cover field study). This course satisfies a Core Curriculum requirement for Natural Sciences. You may not earn credit for both this course and the main campus course EAR 110 Dynamic Earth

LIT 200.1 Sex, Politics, and Religion in Italian Literature (3 credits)
All texts read in English translation. Sex, politics, and religion in Italian literature from the fourteenth to the twenty-first centuries, using various theoretical approaches. Explores the influence of Italian writers on British and American literature. Discuss issues of gender and sexuality, power and coercion, social class and ethnicity. Almost all the texts read have a central focus on the existence or absence of God that shapes the authors’ world views; we will explore these comparatively, reading Dante with T. S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf, Petrarch with Shakespeare and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Boccaccio with Keats, and Montale with Hemingway. We will also discuss the authors’ political views and political movements that have shaped Italian and European history, such as Republicanism, Communism, Fascism, and Nazism. This course satisfies a Core Curriculum requirement for humanities.

LIT 300.4 Folklore and Fairy Tales in Italian Culture (3 credits)
Folklore, fairy tales, superstitions, and rituals are all expressions of complex systems of concepts and traditions of a culture: they encode and transmit knowledge, shape cultural and national identity, and reveal truths about who we are, individually and collectively. You will gain the conceptual skills needed to decode and identify the truth content expressed in popular folkloric literature, myths and traditions. A course fee will be billed from Syracuse to cover a day trip to Siena and Florence site visits. This course satisfies a Core Curriculum requirement for humanities.

Discovery Madrid (Arts and Sciences)

This Discovery Madrid program fulfills the same curricular requirements as those pursued by first-year students studying on Syracuse University’s home campus, while providing a course schedule unique to the Madrid experience.

Required Courses:

CAS 200.1 Mapping Spain (1 credit)
An introduction to your semester abroad in Madrid aimed at developing intercultural awareness in a study abroad context. A key learning goal in study abroad is gaining a wider perspective on the world and one’s place in it. “Mapping Spain” invites you to orient yourself as a foreigner in Spain. The course launches your semester abroad, where you will make use of the city (Madrid) and the country (Spain) as a classroom.


HST 300.1: Clash of Titans, Meeting of Minds: When Early Islam Met Early Christianity in the Mediterranean (3 credits)
This course explores the 700 years covered by the Islamic conquest and the Christian reconquest of Spain—centuries of rivalry but also of unprecedented coexistence between communities of various ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds. Furthermore, we will investigate how out of that unlikely cauldron arose modern Spain, ready to conquer the American continent. The course will include two mini-tours of diverse cultural and religious interest.  

SPA 101 or higher (3-4 credits, depending on level)
Your placement in a Spanish class will be determined by an online placement exam. SPA 101 is an introductory proficiency-based course that prepares you to understand, speak, read, and write in culturally authentic contexts. Activities are conducted in Spanish. Other levels of Spanish language instruction are available for students with some degree of proficiency.

WRT 105 – Studio 1: Practices of Academic Writing (3 credits)
In WRT 105, you will focus on critical analysis and argument, practices that are central to the academic work in universities and in professional careers. The course will involve you in a shared topic of inquiry—an urgent issue that requires multiple points of view and kinds of knowledge— that you will engage with through readings, a range of informal and formal writing assignments, a modest amount of database and web research, and a lot of conversation with your classmates. You will compose for different audiences and experiment with a range of rhetorical approaches. You will learn to revise and refine your ideas with the feedback and suggestions of peers and the instructor. You will deepen your reading practices as you read both popular and academic essays. The course is structured on a studio model so that each and every day in class you and your peers will collaborate on, discuss, and share texts and ideas, and you will invent, compose, and revise in and outside of class.

Students may be exempt from this requirement if bringing in AP, IB, or other qualifying college credit and may select one of the optional courses below in its place.


Optional Courses:

You will round out your Madrid schedule with one to two of the courses below.

CHE 180.1 & CHE 180.2: General Chemistry and Laboratory I (4 credits)
Offered in partnership with ICAI School of Engineering, these corequisite courses are equivalent to Syracuse’s CHE 106 and 107. They cover fundamental principles and laws underlying chemical action, states of matter, atomic and molecular structure, chemical bonding, stoichiometry, properties of solutions, chemical equilibria, and introductory thermochemistry. Laboratory work concerns experimental study of basic principles and techniques of chemistry: states of matter, determination of formulas and molecular weights, simple volumetric and gravimetric analysis, heats of reaction. Equilibrium, rates of reactions, and qualitative analysis.  

EAR 104 & EAR 105: Earth Sciences Laboratory and Lecture (1 + 3 credits)
In these courses, you’ll learn about the processes that shape Earth and affect humans: Earth’s structure; plate tectonics; volcanoes; geologic time; and surficial processes. Laboratory (EAR 104) includes three field trips to explore the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park and its most important geological structures and two visits to Madrid museums.

MAT 295: Calculus I (4 credits) OR MAT 194: Precalculus (4 credits)

Designed for science majors, Calculus I (MAT 295) covers Analytic geometry, limits, derivatives, maxima-minima, related rates, graphs, differentials, exponential and logarithmic functions, mean-value theorem, L’Hospital’s rule, and integration.

Precalculus (MAT 194), appropriate for those who do not yet place into MAT 295, covers polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions, as well as analytical trigonometry and trigonometric functions, and prepares you for success in MAT 295.


HOA 209: Arts of Spain (3 credits)
Introduction to the art of Spain, through the analysis of the history of Spanish painting from the late Gothic (15th century) to Goya (19th century), and its relation to other European schools including the Flemish and Venetian Schools (Raphael, Titian, Rubens, etc). Concentration on El Greco painting in Toledo, the Spanish Baroque and the importance of Velazquez, and the modernity of Goya. Illustrated lectures given in class and at the Prado and other museums.  

HST 412/PSC 422: Modern Spain: History and Politics (3 credits)
 Through history, and by analyzing the present, the main aim of this class is to help the students understand present-day Spain, politically, socially, economically, culturally, etc. Starting with a review of Spanish history, and analyzing in depth the numerous political systems developed during the 20th century (including a parliamentary monarchy, a republic that brought the Civil War, the forty-year dictatorship of Franco, and the outstanding Spanish transition to democracy), they will be able to understand the origin and debates concerning some of the conflicts that exist today in Spain such as the regional-nationalisms, the debates about the structure of Spain, the welfare state, Spain in the EU, etc.

PSC300.1 Energizing Europe: Politics of Energy and Sustainability (3 credits)
 In an era characterized by unprecedented global energy challenges, this course is designed to provide you with an initial introduction to the intricate network of policies, regulations, sustainable practices, and diverse energy sources that shape the energy sector.  Through case studies, interactive discussions, and practical exercises, you’ll gain insights into the complexities of policy crafting, regulatory frameworks, and the evolving landscape of sustainable practices in the European energy sector (and a comparison with America). The course will also feature an introduction to the various sources of energy, enabling you to grasp the unique policy challenges associated with each.


SOC/WGS 302: Gender, Race, Migration and Family in Spain (3 credits)
This course examines how all people’s lives are shaped by the concept of gender and how it interacts with other identity variables like class, race or religion. You will explore the links between gender roles and family relations, and reflect on the consequences of these interactions in the labor market. Persisting gender inequalities like the feminization of poverty and gender-based violence will be analyzed. The course explains the social structure of the Spanish family system and the relevance of family networks for social cohesion and stability, and examines the Spanish labor market from a gender perspective. The course also explores the migration model in terms of migrants’ population composition and gender-related issues. This course satisfies a Liberal Arts Core divisional requirement in the Social Sciences.

Discovery: Engineering and Computer Science (Madrid)

This specialized Discovery program fulfills the same curricular requirements for first-year students focusing on Engineering and Computer Science on Syracuse University’s home campus, while providing a course schedule unique to the Madrid experience.

Required Courses:

CAS 200.1 Mapping Spain (1 credit)
An introduction to your semester abroad in Madrid aimed at developing intercultural awareness in a study abroad context. A key learning goal in study abroad is gaining a wider perspective on the world and one’s place in it. “Mapping Spain” invites you to orient yourself as a foreigner in Spain. The course launches your semester abroad, where you will make use of the city (Madrid) and the country (Spain) as a classroom. 

ECS 101: Introduction to Engineering and Computer Science (3 credits)
This gateway course includes discussion of disciplines within the college, technical communication, presentation of technical results, professional behavior, ethics, problem solving, modeling, and data analysis. Laboratory topics include computers, computer language, and software packages.

SPA 101 or higher (3-4 credits, depending on level)
Your placement in a Spanish class will be determined by an online placement exam. SPA 101 is an introductory proficiency-based course that prepares you to understand, speak, read, and write in culturally authentic contexts. Activities are conducted in Spanish. Other levels of Spanish language instruction are available for students with some degree of proficiency.

WRT 105: Studio 1: Practices of Academic Writing (3 credits)
In WRT 105, you will focus on critical analysis and argument, practices that are central to the academic work in universities and in professional careers. The course will involve you in a shared topic of inquiry—an urgent issue that requires multiple points of view and kinds of knowledge— that you will engage with through readings, a range of informal and formal writing assignments, a modest amount of database and web research, and a lot of conversation with your classmates. You will compose for different audiences and experiment with a range of rhetorical approaches. You will learn to revise and refine your ideas with the feedback and suggestions of peers and the instructor. You will deepen your reading practices as you read both popular and academic essays. The course is structured on a studio model so that each and every day in class you and your peers will collaborate on, discuss, and share texts and ideas, and you will invent, compose, and revise in and outside of class.

Students may be exempt from this requirement if bringing in AP, IB, or other qualifying college credit and may select one of the optional courses below in its place.


MAT 295: Calculus I (4 credits) OR MAT 194: Precalculus (4 credits)

Designed for science majors, Calculus I (MAT 295) covers Analytic geometry, limits, derivatives, maxima-minima, related rates, graphs, differentials, exponential and logarithmic functions, mean-value theorem, L’Hospital’s rule, and integration.

Precalculus (MAT 194), required for those who do not yet place into MAT 295, covers polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions, as well as analytical trigonometry and trigonometric functions, and prepares you for success in MAT 295.

Students may be exempt from this requirement if bringing in AP, IB, or other qualifying college credit.


CHE 180.1 & CHE 180.2: General Chemistry and Laboratory I (4 credits)
NOTE: Optional for Computer Sci, Computer Eng, and SIS students.
Offered in partnership with ICAI School of Engineering, these corequisite courses are equivalent to Syracuse’s CHE 106 and 107. They cover fundamental principles and laws underlying chemical action, states of matter, atomic and molecular structure, chemical bonding, stoichiometry, properties of solutions, chemical equilibria, and introductory thermochemistry. Laboratory work concerns the experimental study of basic principles and techniques of chemistry: states of matter, determination of formulas and molecular weights, simple volumetric and gravimetric analysis, heats of reaction. Equilibrium, rates of reactions, and qualitative analysis.

CHE 180.1 and CHE 180. are required for Aero, Bio, Chem, Civil, Elec, Env, Mech, and undecided majors. Students in these majors may be exempt if bringing in AP, IB, or other qualifying college credit.


Optional Courses:

If you have met any of the above requirements through Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or other qualifying college-level credit, you may round out your schedule with one or two of these optional courses:

EAR 104 & EAR 105: Earth Sciences Laboratory and Lecture (1 + 3 credits)
In these courses, you’ll learn about the processes that shape Earth and affect humans: Earth’s structure; plate tectonics; volcanoes; geologic time; and surficial processes. Laboratory (EAR 104) includes three field trips to explore the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park and its most important geological structures and two visits to Madrid museums.

HOA 209: Arts of Spain (3 credits)
Introduction to the art of Spain, through the analysis of the history of Spanish painting from the late Gothic (15th century) to Goya (19th century), and its relation to other European schools including the Flemish and Venetian Schools (Raphael, Titian, Rubens, etc). Concentration on El Greco painting in Toledo, the Spanish Baroque and the importance of Velazquez, and the modernity of Goya. Illustrated lectures given in class and at the Prado and other museums. 

HST 412/PSC 422: Modern Spain: History and Politics (3 credits)
 Through history, and by analyzing the present, the main aim of this class is to help the students understand present-day Spain, politically, socially, economically, culturally, etc. Starting with a review of Spanish history, and analyzing in depth the numerous political systems developed during the 20th century (including a parliamentary monarchy, a republic that brought the Civil War, the forty-year dictatorship of Franco, and the outstanding Spanish transition to democracy), they will be able to understand the origin and debates concerning some of the conflicts that exist today in Spain such as the regional-nationalisms, the debates about the structure of Spain, the welfare state, Spain in the EU, etc.  

PSC300.1 Energizing Europe: Politics of Energy and Sustainability (3 credits)
 In an era characterized by unprecedented global energy challenges, this course is designed to provide you with an initial introduction to the intricate network of policies, regulations, sustainable practices, and diverse energy sources that shape the energy sector.  Through case studies, interactive discussions, and practical exercises, you’ll gain insights into the complexities of policy crafting, regulatory frameworks, and the evolving landscape of sustainable practices in the European energy sector (and a comparison with America). The course will also feature an introduction to the various sources of energy, enabling you to grasp the unique policy challenges associated with each.


SOC/WGS 302: Gender, Race, Migration and Family in Spain (3 credits)
This course examines how all people’s lives are shaped by the concept of gender and how it interacts with other identity variables like class, race or religion. You will explore the links between gender roles and family relations, and reflect on the consequences of these interactions in the labor market. Persisting gender inequalities like the feminization of poverty and gender-based violence will be analyzed. The course explains the social structure of the Spanish family system and the relevance of family networks for social cohesion and stability, and examines the Spanish labor market from a gender perspective. The course also explores the migration model in terms of migrants’ population composition and gender-related issues.

Discovery Strasbourg

Students participating in the Discovery Strasbourg program will enjoy a rich and varied introduction to France through a  semester-long curriculum. The program fulfills the same curricular requirements as those pursued by first-year students studying on Syracuse University’s main campus, while providing a course schedule unique to the Strasbourg experience.

Required Courses:

CAS 200.1 Mapping Strasbourg: Living in a European Capital (1 credit)
An introduction to the study abroad experience in Strasbourg, which aims to develop students’ intercultural awareness as well as their understanding of the layers that compose the city’s complex identity within Alsace, France and Europe. You will explore the diversity of Strasbourg through lectures, projects, and visits to the European institutions.

FRE 101 – French I or higher (3-4 credits, depending on level)
Your placement in a French class will be determined by an online placement exam. FRE 101 is an introductory proficiency-based course that prepares you to understand, speak, read, and write in culturally authentic contexts. Meets four days per week. Activities are conducted in French. Other levels of French language instruction are available for students with some degree of proficiency.

WRT 105 – Studio 1: Practices of Academic Writing (3 credits)
In WRT 105, you will focus on critical analysis and argument, practices that are central to the academic work in universities and in professional careers. The course will involve you in a shared topic of inquiry—an urgent issue that requires multiple points of view and kinds of knowledge— that you will engage with through readings, a range of informal and formal writing assignments, a modest amount of database and web research, and a lot of conversation with your classmates. You will compose for different audiences and experiment with a range of rhetorical approaches. You will learn to revise and refine your ideas with the feedback and suggestions of peers and the instructor. You will deepen your reading practices as you read both popular and academic essays. The course is structured on a studio model so that each and every day in class you and your peers will collaborate on, discuss, and share texts and ideas, and you will invent, compose, and revise in and outside of class. This course satisfies a Liberal Arts Core requirement for writing.

Plus either 

PHI 192 - Introduction to Moral Theory (3 credits)
 Major philosophical theories about moral rightness, virtue, and the good life, such as utilitarian, Kantian, and Aristotelian theories. Historical and contemporary sources. Credit cannot be received for both PHI 192 and PHI 209. This course satisfies a Liberal Arts Core Critical Reflections requirement. This course is required for students who have satisfied the Writing Skills requirement with AP, IB, or other college-level credit.

OR  

HST 281 - Hostile Friends? France and the U.S., 1919 - Today (3 credits)
Examine the evolution of French and North American (U.S.) national identities and cultures from 1919 to the present. Major themes discussed will include cross-border cultural exchanges (together with the notion of ‘borders’ in general), “Americanization,” and Old World v. New World. Through film screenings and readings by authors as diverse as Alexis de Tocqueville and Julia Child, you will come to see how the cultural differences between our two nations have shaped the way we see and understand each other today. This course satisfies a Liberal Arts Core requirement for social sciences. This course is required for students who have satisfied the Writing Skills requirement with AP, IB, or other college-level credit.

Optional Courses:

You will round out your schedule by selecting one of the following optional courses:

HST 419/STS 300.1 – Scientific Controversies: Historical Perspectives and Social Implications (3 credits)
Examine the history of science and technology since 1900 and its social impact; consider how existing knowledge is maintained and extended in scientific research; discover how doubts and errors can enter the research literature; learn why public communication of science often ends up oversimplifying claims to new findings; and study how reports of scientific controversies can be deliberately manipulated using tactics from lobbying and public relations. This course satisfies a Liberal Arts Core requirement for social sciences (HST 419) or natural sciences (STS 300.1).

HOA 206 - Arts of France (3 credits)
Introduction to the major artistic movements in France from 1750 to 1950. Explore how artists both portrayed and influenced society during these two centuries, a period that witnessed such dramatic events as the French Revolution and two World Wars, as well as the rise of industrialization and the creation of the modern city. Learn how to “read” images, both by comparing them with images from earlier periods, as well as by placing them in their historical context. Includes a visit to the museum of Strasbourg and a three-day study tour to Paris (a course-related fee will be billed from Syracuse). This course satisfies a Liberal Arts Core requirement for humanities.

IRP/MES 300.2 – Along the Silk Road: Europe's Encounters with Turkey and Central Asia (3 credits)
From Mozart to Molière and Shakespeare, Europeans have long been both fascinated and frightened by the “Turks.” We  explore Europe’s engagement with the religion, culture, politics, and language of the “Turkish world” – both modern-day Turkey and its predecessor, the Ottoman Empire, and Central Asia. Using a historical, political, and cultural perspective, we examine the European-Turkish encounter over time while also focusing on more recent developments, including the European Union’s complex relationship with Turkey. We also study Turkish-speaking or Turkish-influenced areas such as the Balkans, the Caucuses, and Central Asia. Drawing on the rich and historic Turkish community in Strasbourg, we engage with local stakeholders and diplomatic representatives. This course satisfies a Liberal Arts Core requirement for social sciences.

PSC 350/HST 415 – Europe, Russia and the Eastern Borderlands (3 credits)

The importance of Europe’s eastern borderlands is linked to the current expansion of the European Union eastward, resulting in a new status for a host of countries situated between the Baltic and the Black Sea. In this new configuration, Russia will play an important, though different, role than hitherto, especially when it comes to forging a new relationship with the EU. The first part of the course focuses on the historical question of borders and territorial change, the construction of nations, and the emergence and collapse of empires. The second part examines general problems common to all of these post-communist countries and specific questions of geopolitical character. This course satisfies a Liberal Arts Core requirement for social sciences.