AIFS Abroad

AIFS Study Abroad in San José, Costa Rica
Fall 2018 and Spring 2019
Course Descriptions

   

Spanish Language Courses (Required)

Recommended credits are shown in parentheses. Please note that some specialized Spanish courses and electives are not available every month. For students on the Spring semester who require a 6-credit language course instead of the standard 5-credit course there is the option to add a 1-credit conversation course for a supplemental fee. Please check course descriptions with the AIFS Admissions Officer for details.

Students take a Spanish language placement test before arrival in Costa Rica in order to determine the appropriate course level. We advise students to gain pre-approval for several different levels of Spanish from their university advisors in the U.S. before traveling to Costa Rica in order to ensure that they are able to receive credit for the course that they test into.

Spanish Language Courses (Required)
Course Code and Credits: Spanish 101 (5)/Spanish 102 (5)
Course Title: Elementary Spanish I/Elementary Spanish II
Course Description:
Students with no previous Spanish study or with only one semester in college usually place at these levels. Focus is on functional uses of the language as well as grammar, lexicon and cultural themes. Included are introductions, giving and receiving information, writing letters, indicative, past perfect and preterit tenses, expressing likes and dislikes and imperative forms of “tú” and “usted”.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish 201 (5)/Spanish 202 (5)
Course Title: Intermediate Spanish I/Intermediate Spanish II
Course Description:
Prerequisite SPN 102. Students who have studied Spanish throughout high school and continued with one semester in college, or students who have two to four semesters of college Spanish, usually place into these levels. Focus is on overall communicative skills: perfect tenses, preterit versus imperfect, telling stories, the future and the conditional, the imperative uses of the subjunctive mood, and transmission of messages (verb tenses).
Course Code and Credits: Spanish 210 (5)
Course Title: Intermediate Spanish Conversation
Course Description:
Prerequisite SPN 202. This course is for students with a high Intermediate level of Spanish who wish to improve their communicative skills and pronunciation. Emphasis is placed on day-to-day conversation and cultural issues. The methodology enhances structured speech to provide a firm foundation in patterns of spoken Spanish, progressing towards free conversation.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish 301 (5)/Spanish 302 (5)
Course Title: Advanced Spanish I/Advanced Spanish II
Course Description:
Students with at least six semesters of college Spanish, experience living in a Spanish-speaking country or Spanish study on a regular basis since elementary school usually place at these levels. Grammar work refines and develops communicative skills: the impersonal “se”, adjectives, nouns and verbs, indicative and subjunctive tenses, spelling and accents, arguments/ debates, expressing degrees of possibilities, cause, consequence and mode of action, formal and informal letters.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish 310 (5)
Course Title: Advanced Spanish Conversation
Course Description:
Prerequisite SPN 301. This course is based on acquiring the skill of self-correction. Students will acquire higher levels of diction and fluency through the exposure to oral contexts, idiomatic language and the varieties of Spanish spoken in different Spanish-speaking nations. This course develops skills in reading, discussion, analysis, self-correction and research. Emphasis is given to pragmatic production and students must be prepared to spend a minimum of 2 extra hours per day for assignments.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish 141 (5)
Course Title: Basic Spanish for Health Professionals
Course Description:
This course is designed to give health personnel, who do not have any previous Spanish experience, the tools necessary for interacting with and interviewing Spanish speaking patients. Students will acquire the linguistic knowledge and skills that will permit them to communicate at a basic level with Spanishspeaking patients.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish 241 (5)
Course Title: Intermediate Spanish for Health Professionals
Course Description:
Prerequisite: minimum of two semesters of college-level Spanish. This course is designed for health personnel that have taken a minimum of 100 elective hours of Spanish as a second language. The goal of this course is to deepen the knowledge of medical-related Spanish and increase the competency of communications in specific situations with Spanish-speaking patients.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish 341 (5)
Course Title: Advanced Spanish for Health Professionals
Course Description:
Prerequisite: minimum of four semesters of college-level Spanish. This course is designed for health personnel that have an Advanced background in Spanish and who need to improve their linguistic competency in order to interact with their Spanish speaking patients and their families. The goal at the end of this course is to be able to communicate in an effective and fluent form with Spanish speaking patients and families.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish 151 (5)
Course Title: Basic Spanish for Law Enforcement Professionals
Course Description:
This course is designed to give general law enforcement professionals, who do not have any previous Spanish experience; the tools necessary for interacting with and interviewing Spanish speakers. During the four weeks of the course the students will acquire the linguistic knowledge and skills that will permit them to communicate at a basic level in simulated situations with Spanish native speakers.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish 251 (5)
Course Title: Intermediate Spanish for Law Enforcement Professionals
Course Description:
Prerequisite: minimum of two semesters of college-level Spanish. This course is designed for law enforcement professionals that have taken a minimum of 100 elective hours of Spanish as a second language. The goal of this course is to deepen the knowledge of law-related Spanish and increase the competency of communication in specifically simulated situations with native Spanish speakers.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish 304 (5)
Course Title: Spanish for Business
Course Description:
Prerequisite SPN 301. This course is for students with an Advanced level of Spanish who wish to learn general information about the development and processes of some of Costa Rica’s main entrepreneurial settings. By the end of the course, students will have a general knowledge of business vocabulary and usual business practices in Costa Rica. The course contents are complemented with a couple of field visits to some of Costa Rica’s developing businesses.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish 320 (5)
Course Title: Cultural Heritage in Latin America
Course Description:
Prerequisite SPN 301. This course introduces relevant topics and issues in the development of Latin America’s cultural heritage. Students will develop an understanding of intellectual, artistic, social and historical perspectives in Latin America with emphasis on Costa Rica.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish 330 (5)
Course Title: Spanish for Heritage Speakers
Course Description:
Prerequisite Spanish as a first language speaker with an Advanced level of communication. This course is for Spanish as a first language speakers who wish to acquire proficiency in the use of complex grammatical structures. Emphasis will be given to listening, writing and reading skills.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish 340 (5)
Course Title: Oral Expression Techniques
Course Description:
Prerequisite SPN 301. This course focuses on advanced communication and presentation skills. Students will work on communication techniques and efficient oral expression in formal contexts.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish 410 (5)
Course Title: Advanced Composition
Course Description:
Prerequisite SPN 302. This course is for high Advanced level students who want to further develop their written skills through different composition practices and techniques. The course studies complex and difficult syntax topics. Special attention is given to stylistics and composition structure.

Courses Taught in English
Course Code and Credits: Architecture 312/ARCH 3112 (3)
Course Title: History of Latin American Architecture and Art
Course Description:
A chronological overview of main inventions and influences that contributed to the making of past and present architecture in Latin America analyzing the artistic manifestations.
Course Code and Credits: Architecture 320/ARCH 3200 (4)
Course Title: Tropical Architecture and Design
Course Description:
Develop the skills needed to analyze a particular architectural problem and offer adequate design solutions that guarantee a high quality environment. It is offered to all students who wish to learn about tropical design. Previous knowledge of architecture, design projection and graphic expression is not required.
Course Code and Credits: Art 130/ART 1301 (3)
Course Title: Basic Principles of Drawing
Course Description:
This studio art course includes model drawings, landscape drawings and experimental (abstract) drawings with an emphasis on the development of expression and observational drawing from still life, a model and landscapes.
Course Code and Credits: Art 210/ART 2100 (3)
Course Title: Art Fundamentals: Theory and Practice
Course Description:
This course is designed for beginners. Students learn about the essentials of art through experience and experimentation. Emphasis is on the diversity of form and content in artwork. Upon completion, students should understand the basics of art materials used and have a basic overview of the history of art and how art represents its society, especially, Latin American culture.
Course Code and Credits: Art 213/ART 2130 (4)
Course Title: Mural Painting and Public Art
Course Description:
The course includes an actual practicum in large-scale media and experimentation of early and contemporary techniques including drawing, fresco, painting, aerosol and various industrial materials. The objective of this course is for students to develop an understanding about some of the social roles of art and the impact of murals in communities, based upon its historical and contemporary applications.
Course Code and Credits: Art 250/ART 2500 (3)
Course Title: Experimental Printmaking
Course Description:
Students will learn traditional printmaking processes, including relief and mono printing. They will also combine drawing, photography and found images through physical collages and layering, as well as digital imaging. This course is for both beginners and experienced art students, and its structure allows for multiple backgrounds. In group critiques and discussions, students will be encouraged to think conceptually about their work and that of others. The course will conclude with an exhibition at the University, which students will curate.
Course Code and Credits: Business 312/GEB 3120 (3)
Course Title: Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Course Description:
This course seeks to understand the impact of innovation and entrepreneurship on global and local economies as well as patterns of innovation and their impact on cultures and business environments. The content will also include discussions and investigations about important elements of entrepreneurship such as stages of a business, sources of funding, exit strategies and key skills for entrepreneurs.
Course Code and Credits: Business 335/GEB 3350 (3)
Course Title: Introduction to International Business
Course Description:
An overview of the cultural environment of international business, and institutions which affect business today. The Latin American perspective with regard to the U.S., Asia and Europe is examined: NAFTA, Mercosur, the EC and other common market areas and agreements.
Course Code and Credits: Business 350/GEB 3500 (4)
Course Title: Ecotourism: The Costa Rica Case
Course Description:
The course addresses the economic importance of ecotourism for the Costa Rican national economy, the stimulation of grassroots, community ecotourism projects, and the role of ecotourism in securing environmental protection. The advances and limitations of ecotourism will also be explored.
Course Code and Credits: Communications 307/COMM 3070 (4)
Course Title: Creative Conflict Resolution
Course Description:
This multicultural, gender sensitive course is designed for students who wish to learn strategies and techniques in thought and behavior transformations for conflict resolution. The course is based on the Alternatives to Violence Project; a program started in NY State in the seventies and implemented in Costa Rica, Switzerland and other Latin American countries since 1990. Emphasis is made on the following themes: self-esteem and self-care, communication skills, cooperation, community building and conflict resolution, including mediation, bias awareness and cultural diversity. Mandatory fieldwork sessions will be conducted at a school, a communal group or a penal institution.
Course Code and Credits: Communications 320/COMM 3200 (3)
Course Title: Intercultural Communication
Course Description:
This course addresses issues related to diversity and commonalities amongst human beings, and the implications and applications of each situation or professional context. Students will develop the skills needed for intercultural competence.
Course Code and Credits: Economics 340/ECON 3403 (3)
Course Title: Introduction to International Economics in Latin America
Course Description:
Examines Latin American policies affecting the international economy, with attention to trade barriers, economic nationalism and regionalism, international political economy, exchange market intervention and international transmission of economic perturbations.
Course Code and Credits: English 150/ENG 150 (3)
Course Title: Introduction to International Economics in Latin America
Course Description:
This course is for the development of basic invention practices such as brainstorming, free writing; outlining, journaling. Students will have to develop skills in personal narrative, exposition, as well as analytical, descriptive, argumentative writing. The course works with the process based writing and also explores creative sources such as reading, thinking, analyzing, and discussion.
Course Code and Credits: Environmental Sciences 312/ENV 3120 (4)
Course Title: Land Vertebrates of Costa Rica
Course Description:
Students will gain insight about various biological characteristics of the groups of land chordates in the country. Costa Rica has an immensely rich animal biodiversity, with an influence of both North American and South American fauna and is a world-renowned hot spot for animal research and conservation. Emphasis will be given to the study of Costa Rican species, but others will be discussed as well.
Course Code and Credits: Environmental Sciences 320/ENV 3200 (4)
Course Title: Marine Mammals of Costa Rica: Biology and Conservation
Course Description:
This course is an introduction to the biology of marine mammals of Costa Rica, including whales, dolphins, manatees fur seals and sea lions. Topics covered include the evolution, physiology, behavior, and ecology of marine mammals. Particular attention is paid to current topics in the management and conservation of cetaceans (whales and dolphins) in Costa Rica within marine protected areas or with local coastal communities. Field work will focus on basic ecological monitoring techniques and primary care on marine mammals strandings.
Course Code and Credits: Environmental Sciences 316/ENV 3160 (4)
Course Title: Conservation Biology of Endangered Marine Species
Course Description:
This course aims to highlight the importance of conservation biology in managing endangered marine species, emphasizing recent conservation efforts for umbrella species such as sea turtles and sharks in the Pacific waters bordering Costa Rica. We will develop a critical understanding of conservation biology, emphasizing the general concept of biodiversity and examining present-day case studies that focus on scientific investigations to answer critical aspects of the history of life, recovery programs, species management, community conservation and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Students will also be introduced to a wide range of practical activities by visiting field stations and “natural laboratories” throughout Costa Rica.
Course Code and Credits: Environmental Sciences 305/ENV 3005 (4)
Course Title: Environmental Impact and Social Development
Course Description:
The study of major environmental problems and issues confronting modern society. Students examine ecosystems, population patterns and dynamics; use and misuse of resources; population and environmental quality; environmental citizenship and economic incentives and Costa Rican initiatives in ecotourism.
Course Code and Credits: Environmental Sciences 317/ENV 3170 (4)
Course Title: Freshwater Ecology
Course Description:
Water is a vital resource for human beings. It is also a limited one, which has suffered degradation, while demand is ever growing. Freshwater ecology, otherwise known as limnology, helps us to understand the physical, chemical and biological properties of inland aquatic environments (wetlands, lakes, rivers, mangroves and reservoirs). This course emphasizes the problems and conservation efforts related to water resources. Through field trips and laboratory work, students will learn methods for monitoring aquatic environments.
Course Code and Credits: Environmental Sciences 319/ENV 3190 (4)
Course Title: Tropical Marine Biology
Course Description:
The course studies the balance between ecosystems and human stress and demands on the constantly changing marine environment. All field trips are mandatory.
Course Code and Credits: Environmental Sciences 374/ENV 3740 (4)
Course Title: Climate Change, Impacts and Adaptations
Course Description:
Climate change is dramatically affecting the future of our planet. In this course, students will learn about global climate changes and how these are impacting plant and animal populations, people, and ways of life. Emphasis is placed on learning and understanding the overwhelming evidence for human-induced climate change, and addressing its misconceptions. Students will also study how natural populations are affected by climate change, how can they adapt, and their likely future.
Course Code and Credits: Environmental Sciences 403/ENV 4030 (4)
Course Title: Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems
Course Description:
After establishing a foundation of basic ecological concepts different applications of these concepts to agricultural systems will be investigated. Consumption and production issues related to food system sustainability will be analyzed, and students will explore their own role in the food system. Field trips will provide opportunities for direct observation of (and interaction with) different approaches to food production and distribution in Costa Rica.
Course Code and Credits: Environmental Sciences 404/ENV 4040 (4)
Course Title: Environmental Awareness and Sustainable Development
Course Description:
An overview of the actual world problems in natural resources management and conservation, and its effects on sustainable development efforts in tropical countries. Current issues that condition the possibility for development such as poverty, global warming, deforestation and potable water will be analyzed.
Course Code and Credits: Environmental Sciences 410/ENV 4100 (4)
Course Title: Biotechnology and Sustainability
Course Description:
This course emphasizes the vast possibilities offered by biotechnology for sustainable development through the study of specific cases in Costa Rica. Fundamental and applied concepts of biotechnology will be explored and discussed in terms of life, environmental and social sciences. Work will be heavily based on the study of cases in which biotechnology has become into the best solution for social and environmental situations. The course is for students in many areas such as engineering, scientific and social sciences.
Course Code and Credits: Environmental Sciences 304/ENV 3044 (4)
Course Title: Tropical Ecology
Course Description:
Students learn about the interactions between earth and land and how these interactions or processes affect our life and the stability of the planet. Emphasis is given to the study of the most relevant tropical ecosystems such as: tropical rainforest, cloud forests, coral reefs and mangroves. Field trips to selected environments will provide on-site examples of some of the issues learned through class work and readings. All field trips are mandatory.
Course Code and Credits: Health 102/HHD 1020 (3)
Course Title: Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation for Common Sport Injuries
Course Description:
Introduces the basic concepts of human anatomy, the most common injuries and illnesses that require physical therapy, and the different tools and methods used to treat them. The course consists of theoretical lectures and laboratory practice, giving students a hands-on experience of the techniques provided in the lectures. By the end of the course, students will have a general knowledge of various specialty areas, as well as techniques such as massage therapy, electrotherapy and therapeutic exercise.
Course Code and Credits: Health 105/HHD 1050 (3)
Course Title: Alternative Health Approaches
Course Description:
Introduces the basic concepts of alternative medicine. We will also explore and evaluate alternative approaches and philosophies to personal health and wellness. Topics include: homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, herbal and nutritional therapies, massage, chiropractic therapy, electromagnetic therapy, breathing exercise and others.
Course Code and Credits: Health 307/HHD 3070 (4)
Course Title: Conflict Resolution and Health Care
Course Description:
Health service delivery today encounters frequent conflicts, disputes and other difficult situations, many derived from larger changes occurring in health care systems around the world. The costs and effects of violence will be part of this course, particularly in regard to the WHO definition of health. Costa Rican health care systems will also be touched on.

This interactive, hands-on course offers a framework to integrate professional experience with functional communication and mediation skills. Students are encouraged to explore and develop their leadership on matters of public health. Mandatory fieldwork sessions will be conducted at a medical facility, community or school.
Course Code and Credits: History 230/HIS 2302 (3)
Course Title: Contemporary Latin American History
Course Description:
A survey of the main events in Latin American history after its independence. Topics include the historical causes and effects of the independence, some of the main issues on social, economic and political problems and the main historical leaders in modern Latin America.
Course Code and Credits: History 323/HIS 3293 (4)
Course Title: Costa Rican Health Care and Tropical Medicine
Course Description:
The course focuses on the history and development of the public health care system within the context of the Costa Rican sociopolitical and economic situation. A strong emphasis is placed on how the system works, pointing out both its strong and weak points. An additional objective, of fundamental importance in understanding this system, is the study of Costa Rica as a tropical country, specifically the prevention and transmission of relevant tropical diseases.
Course Code and Credits: History 329/HIS 3290 (3)
Course Title: Costa Rican Economic Development
Course Description:
Introduces the outstanding socio-economic and political features that have shaped and defined the history and developmental path of Costa Rica.
Course Code and Credits: Management 303/MGMT 3030 (3)
Course Title: Creative Leadership Skills
Course Description:
Provides the opportunity to learn about and practice the skills required for managerial excellence. These skills include leadership, negotiation, conducting performance appraisals, delegation, effective communication, interviewing and making hiring decisions and effective human resource management.
Course Code and Credits: Marketing 301/MKTG 3010 (3)
Course Title: International Marketing Management
Course Description:
The course assumes that students are familiar with basic marketing terms and have a basic to mid understanding of marketing concepts. The course will examine the concepts related to international marketing, while students analyze case studies and propose ideas through assignments to attain the objectives of the course.
Course Code and Credits: Marketing 315/MKTG 3150 (3)
Course Title: Sustainable Consumption and Production
Course Description:
This course will help students acquire the knowledge, capacities and values to help them contribute to shaping a better tomorrow as more responsible consumers. It will trace the history and the justification for the focus on sustainable consumption. The educational content will be provided through an examination of value systems and the life-cycle assessment of selected consumer items involving their economic, environmental and social aspects, the latter involving an introduction to product responsibility, labor practices, human rights and societal perspectives.
Course Code and Credits: Philosophy 310 / PHIL 3100 (3)
Course Title: Comparative Classical Philosophy
Course Description:
Provides an overview of the history and selected concepts of major eastern and western philosophical movements from ancient times to the middle ages. Students will reflect on topics such as the mind-body experience, the concept of God, knowledge of self and others, predestination versus free will, cause and effect, and other fundamental ideas found in classical knowledge.
Course Code and Credits: Photography 210/PHOT 2100 (4)
Course Title: Ecological Photography
Course Description:
In this course, students will gain a general understanding of the possibilities and stages of digital photography as applied to ecological exploration. Through practical exercises and field trips, students will gain the basic skills needed to consciously create and manipulate digital photographic images, while exploring Costa Rican ecological systems.
Course Code and Credits: Photography 213/PHOT 2130 (3)
Course Title: Cultural Photography
Course Description:
Offers the acquisition of basic photographic skills as a means of cultural exploration. Through practice exercises and field trips aiming to apply the information provided through lectures, students will consciously explore Costa Rican culture through the creation of photographic images and essays. Students will be able to consciously create photographs that document aspects of Costa Rican culture through portraiture and landscapes. May require a course supplement of approximately $120.
Course Code and Credits: Photography 260/PHOT 2600 (3)
Course Title: Digital Photography
Course Description:
The course offers the acquisition of technical knowledge and skills in the capture and manipulation of digital photographic images. Students will apply the information provided in the lectures consciously through the creation and manipulation of digital photographic images. Students must have a digital point and shoot or DSLR camera and a basic knowledge of Mac and Windows Operating Systems. May require a course supplement of approximately $120.
Course Code and Credits: Politics 250/POL 2500 (3)
Course Title: Human Rights in Latin America
Course Description:
A particular emphasis will be given to the case of Costa Rica, giving the students an opportunity to explore the development of human rights in the following areas: women’s rights, children’s rights, HIV/AIDS, the CAFTA agreement and labor rights, indigenous groups and human rights, disability and age issues, and the prison environment.
Course Code and Credits: Politics 310/POL 3100 (3)
Course Title: Costa Rican Tradition: Peace and Democracy
Course Description:
The general objective of this course is to discuss with students the social, economic and political issues of the process of construction of peace and democracy in Costa Rica and Central America (1948-2005).
Course Code and Credits: Politics 322/POL 3220 (3)
Course Title: Migration Issues: The Costa Rica Case
Course Description:
This class studies the construction of migrants as others, the management of their image by media and elements pertaining to human rights and citizenship in the cases of immigrants in Costa Rica and draws comparison with the United States as a host country. The objective is to visualize the construction of cultural identities, its effects on the intergroup encounters and societal perspectives on migration issues.
Course Code and Credits: Politics 342/POL 3420 (4)
Course Title: Costa Rican Environmental Policy: A History of Policy, Politics and Action
Course Description:
We will study environmental history and policy at a regional and national level, and will explore the emergence of Costa Rica’s cutting edge environmental politics and government commitments. We will critically review Costa Rica’s sustainable development model, and explore the “state of the nation and region” in regard to environmental indicators as well as taking a close look at how government policy translates into practice by reviewing case studies of community and grassroots action in forestry, organic farming, recycling, cooperatives and women’s environmental groups. Lastly, we will address some of the central issues and challenges facing these activities and the resulting environmental conflicts.
Course Code and Credits: Politics 345/POL 3450 (3)
Course Title: International Relations in Latin America
Course Description:
Analysis of the aspects of the economic integration, globalization and conditions for a successful integration between economies and the effects of free trade in the region as well as the effects of protectionism. There will be a special treatment of foreign investments and joint ventures in Latin America.
Course Code and Credits: Psychology 220/PSY 2200 (3)
Course Title: Health Psychology
Course Description:
The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Today, health care professionals must have a bio-psycho-social approach to patient health. It is extremely important that they have a general understanding of health psychology, which studies how biology, behavior and social context influence health and illness. This provides a truly integrated approach to treating patients. In this course, we will discuss some of the most common topics related to health psychology.
Course Code and Credits: Psychology 305/PSY 3050 (3)
Course Title: Cultural Psychology
Course Description:
Introduces students to the field of psychology that examines the influence of culture upon human behavior and cognitive processes. “Culture” is defined as the shared norms, values, and behaviors of groups and of the individuals in those groups. We will focus on such topics as cultural factors in self-concept, gender roles, motivation, cognition, emotions, relationships, and social values. Our exploration will be based on psychological theories, research, guest lecturers, and field experiences.
Course Code and Credits: Society 305/SOCY 3050 (3)
Course Title: Diversity and Sexual Identity in Latin America
Course Description:
Studies the LGBTQ+ community and related social issues in the Latin American context. Special attention will be given to the Costa Rican case study where sexuality, identity, expression, health, community, family, and other social, political and lifestyle issues will be discussed. This course offers students one of the only opportunities to study LGBTQ+ Latin American dynamics and issues. This is a young, but growing field of study in Latin America and one that deserves much attention, especially as the region is home to some of the most homophobic countries in the world and at the same time undergoing radical change in terms of its acceptance of the complete spectrum of sexuality and identity expression. Students will be invited to explore LGBTQ+ Latin American community issues, to appreciate how particular countries are advancing in relation to equality and to assess present day contexts that are struggling with recently developed anti-discriminatory frameworks.
Course Code and Credits: Sustainable Development 310/SUSD 3100 (4)
Course Title: Gender and Sustainable Development
Course Description:
Studies the intersection between gender, socio-economic discrimination and sustainable development and discusses women and natural resources, women and forests, women’s role in conservation, women and land use/agriculture, rural women, women and the built environment, women and environmental policy, women in relation to poverty, disaster risk and mitigation, adaptation for climate change, female civil society and political actors pushing for change, women in the environment, and sustainable innovations. We will work with local women in the community and gain hands-on practical experience during farm and forest project work. Student’s will conduct surveys, develop in research projects and participate in two field trips to help them better understand the dynamics and complexities of gender and sustainable development.
Course Code and Credits: Sustainability 317/SUSD 3170 (4)
Course Title: Sustainable Development in the Cities
Course Description:
It is estimated that by 2050, nine out of ten Costa Ricans will be living in cities. How will cities need to change to accommodate this growth, without jeopardizing the potential for future generations to meet their needs?

This course examines the meaning of sustainability as defined by the Earth Charter. San José will be the main case study, in which students will apply theory and discover the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats of each. A field visit will be conducted in Nosara, Guanacaste, a beach village that claims that the practices carried out by its citizens make it the most sustainable city in the country.
Course Code and Credits: Technology 210/TECH 2100 (3)
Course Title: Introduction to Programming and Coding
Course Description:
This course is an Introduction to programming and coding, focused on teaching the basics in programming to develop projects. The programming language that will be used is Java because of its ease to use and powerful applications in online applets. Students will develop at least one full project assisted by the professor and fellow students to demonstrate the knowledge gained.
Course Code and Credits: Technology 310/TECH 3100 (4)
Course Title: Digital Media Installations
Course Description:
This course will focus on the conceptual role that an artist or a multidisciplinary creative director has in the Digital Media field. Students will work on three creative projects. A film-animation, a website-portfolio and a digital painting project. Throughout the course many team management skills will also be practiced including daily icebreakers, ideation-brainstorming, team leading and following, selling pitch presentations, sketching and fast Prototyping.
Course Code and Credits: Theology 312/THEO 3120 (3) spring only
Course Title: Revolution, Spirituality and Religion in Latin America
Course Description:
Provides students with a panoramic view of the influence that spirituality and religion have had in Latin America. The Latin American region represents some of the most diverse spiritual expression in the world, ranging from Budu in Brazil to the more recent expressions of Islam, Judaism and Christianity throughout the entire continent.

We will review the region’s most influential thinkers who have successfully combined religion with sustainability, and how they have affected the culture, society and politics of the region.
Course Code and Credits: Theology 315/THEO 3150 (3) spring only
Course Title: Major World Religions
Course Description:
In this course we will learn about the major world religions: Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and others. We will explore questions such as: What are the core beliefs? Is there an afterlife? What is expected of a follower? Each religion represents a population of God’s sons and daughters, and understanding their worldview will help us to better know how to respect and love them.

Courses Taught in Spanish (Students must test into high intermediate or advanced level Spanish to take these courses)
Course Code and Credits: Communications 315/COMM 3150 (3)
Course Title: Derechos Humanos desde una Comunicación con Perspectiva de Género
Course Description:
Nowadays new technologies promote better communication and social interrelations involving the concept of human ecology making reference of seeing life from emotional economy of human development. Gender equity is a fundamental component to consecution, from communication, respect and interaction of human development to establish better relations and understand relevant facts of life through a more holistic vision.
Course Code and Credits: Communications 317/3170
Course Title: Comunicación Oral Básica (3) (Basic Oral Communication)
Course Description:
This course is designed for students of Spanish as a second language who have a basic understanding of the various linguistic aspects of the language. Throughout the course you will develop your oral communicative competence therefore enabling you to communicate effectively and efficiently in daily situations.
Course Code and Credits: Literature 300/SPN 3000 (3)
Course Title: Introducción al Análisis Literario (Introduction to Literary Analysis)
Course Description:
Introduces students to the study of literature in Spanish and presents the basic tools to create a commentary or literary analysis. Students will acquire the terminology and critical methods that will enable them to explain texts in an informative way.
Course Code and Credits: Literature 302/SPN 3020 (3)
Course Title: Lecturas Selectas de la Literatura Latinoamericana (Latin American Literature)
Course Description:
This survey course provides a panorama of outstanding classical and contemporary works, authors, genres or major literary currents in Latin America. Taught in Spanish.
Course Code and Credits: Literature 305/SPN 3050 (3)
Course Title: Fonética y Fonología (Select Readings: Phonetics and Phonology)
Course Description:
This course provides methods and tools of descriptive linguistics applied to phonetics and articulation.
Course Code and Credits: Literature 307/SPN 3070 (3)
Course Title: Introducción a la Traducción (Introduction to Translation)
Course Description:
An introduction to the theoretical and practical tools for the translation process from English to Spanish. Students learn how to translate texts of intermediate and advanced complexity maintaining high fidelity to the author’s intention and style.
Course Code and Credits: Literature 352/SPN 3520 (3)
Course Title: Dialectología Latinoamericana (Latin American Dialectology)
Course Description:
This course explores a social-historical perspective of the language to understand the current linguistic mechanisms within the different social contexts where it is spoken. The approach of this course is to analyze the variety of dialects in the Latin American countries through phonological and morphological traits of cultural elements. Put into practice dialectical strategies to promote authentic communicative elements that enrich the Spanish language.
Course Code and Credits: Literature 411/SPN 4110 (3)
Course Title: Contemporary Costa Rican Female Writers
Course Description:
This course focuses primarily on the work of female authors in Costa Rican literature. Themes of different texts and their relationship with national identity are analyzed.
Course Code and Credits: Literature 433/SPN 4330 (3)
Course Title: El Cine y la Literatura Latinoamericana (Latin American Cinema and Literature)
Course Description:
This course is a study of some of the film productions based on the literary texts of well-known Latin American writers. The course is based on the analysis and discussion of the principal characteristics of the culture, values and themes of the Latin America presented in this particular literature and cinematography.
Course Code and Credits: Literature 439/SPN 4390 (3)
Course Title: Tópicos Selectos en la Literatura Española (Selected Topics of Spanish Literature)
Course Description:
Overview of Spanish literature, from its beginning until the first half of contemporary literature. The course provides a general view of each period, main characteristics, and texts of the most representative authors.

Universidad Veritas Courses (taught in Spanish with Costa Rican Students)

Students on the 16-week program can take a combination of elective courses listed in this catalog and (depending on their level of Spanish) regular Veritas University courses taught in Spanish alongside Costa Rican students for a fully-immersive experience. You must have a minimum of 2 years college-level Spanish and test into the high Intermediate or Advanced level of Spanish in order to take regular University courses.

Many courses are offered every semester by the following University departments:

  • Architecture
  • Digital Animation
  • Film and T.V.
  • Advertising Design
  • Interior Design
  • Product Design
  • Photography
  • Fashion Design

Fields of Study and Courses for the Certificate Program

Global Leadership

  • Creative Leadership
  • Intercultural Communication
  • International Business
  • International Economics and Latin America
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Environmental Policy and Sustainability Awareness

  • Environment Awareness and Sustainable Development
  • Costa Rican Environmental Policy
  • Sustainable Consumption and Production
  • Conservation Biology and Endangered Marine Species
  • Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems
  • Climate Change, Impacts and Adaptations
  • Environmental Impact and Social Development

International Marketing and Communications

  • International Marketing
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Sustainable Consumption and Production
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Creative Leadership

Tropical and Environmental Sciences

  • Tropical Ecology
  • Tropical Marine Biology
  • Land Vertebrates of Costa Rica
  • Introduction to Genetics: Current Applications
  • Neotropical Ornithology: Birds of Costa Rica
  • Tropical Botany: Useful Plant Workshop
  • Conservation Biology of Endangered Marine Species
  • Freshwater Ecology

Artistic Development

  • Latin American Art and Architecture
  • Art Fundamentals: Theory and Practice
  • Basic Principles of Drawing
  • Muralism and Public Art
  • Tropical Architecture and Design
  • National Identity and Art in Costa Rica

Healthcare Approaches and Systems

  • Costa Rican Health Care and Tropical Medicine
  • Alternative Health Approaches
  • Health Psychology
  • Conflict Resolution and Healthcare
  • Introduction to Physical Therapy

Human Rights and Conflict Resolution

  • Costa Rican Tradition of Peace and Democracy
  • Human Rights in Latin America
  • Creative Conflict Resolution
  • Cultural Psychology
  • Intercultural Communication

Latin American Politics

  • International Relations in Latin America
  • Human Rights in Latin America
  • Migration, Globalization and Social Change
  • Costa Rican Environmental Policy
  • Costa Rican Economic and Human Development
  • Contemporary Latin American History