The Catholic University of America

Course Descriptions

Metro: Social Sciences (MSO)

To view the complete schedule of courses for
each semester, go to Cardinal Station.

MSO 101: Intro to Human Services

3.00 Credits

An overview of human/social service professions within the institution of social welfare. Basic definitions, historical development, trends in social welfare and social work, and a survey of various agencies. May include guest lectures and field trips. Students who have credit for SSS 101 may not receive credit for MSO 101.

MSO 115: The School-Home Connection: Partnerships Supporting Student Learning

3.00 Credits

This course is oriented toward family strengths and a view of families as experts on their children and partners in supporting student learning. Develops effective communication skills with families and strategies to enhance family involvement in the classroom and school. Introduces school policies, programs and services that relate to families. Topics include challenges that families face, particularly balancing work and family and accepting and coping with children's disabilities.

MSO 150: The American Experience to 1877

3.00 Credits

A survey of American history to 1877. From colonization to the early Reconstruction period. Development of political and social institutions, economic growth, immigration and race, and social structures and mobility.

MSO 151: The American Experience 1877 to Present

3.00 Credits

A survey of American History from 1877, reconstruction, unfettered capitalism, the progressive movement, the rise of America as a world power, the depression, the world wars and the cold war.

MSO 152: America and the World

3.00 Credits

The relationship between the United States and the major European powers and the peoples of Latin America, Asia, and Africa in the period 1890-1945, particularly the technologies, economies, and societies.

MSO 170: American Political Science

3.00 Credits

A look into the evolution of American politics, from the enlightenment of Jefferson to the smoke-filled room; from all-male voting to the reformers of the twentieth century.

MSO 180: General Psychology

3.00 Credits

A study of the field of psychology, its nature and scope. Topics include growth and development, motivation and emotion, cognition and learning, sensation and perception, abnormal psychology and psychotherapy, mental abilities, personality and social psychology.

MSO 185: Organizational Behavior

3.00 Credits

This course relates existing theory and research of organizational problems by reviewing basic concepts in the following areas: individual motivation and behavior, leadership, job satisfaction, interpersonal communication and small group behavior. There will be an emphasis on the application of the principles of behavior on operational organizational programs such as organizational assessment, compensation, and training and devlopment programs.

MSO 190: Sociology

3.00 Credits

Examines modern Western society in terms of social processes, organizations, institutions, and problems. How sociologists study these aspects of group behavior.

MSO 200: Human Cultural Diversity

3.00 Credits

The basic concepts of culture, cultural transmission, diversity, human interaction, and cultural identity. Topics include the concept of ethnicity, the nature of prejudice and discrimination, internal and external culture, cultural change, biological versus environmental influences, majority/minority relations.

MSO 203: Social Problems

3.00 Credits

This course is designed to help students develop conceptual knowledge and develop an effective professional critical analysis of a social problem. The course involves an examination of three perspectives on social problems. Additionally, the course will provide current research, the natural history and social policies designed to ameliorate identified social problems. Upon successful completion of the course students will be able to recognize that most social problems are interrelated and the social policies and societal dynamics have a global effect.

MSO 220: Pychology of Stress & Coping

3.00 Credits

Studies the theories and current research in related to stress, grief, and approaches to coping with the effects of these circumstances.

MSO 250: Abnormal Psychology

3.00 Credits

Surveys the historical and contemporary socio-cultural landscape associated with abnormal behavior. Emphasizes the varied categories of abnormal behavior and explores current methods of clinical intervention as well as current issues in abnormal psychology research.

MSO 268: Comparative World Politics

3.00 Credits

This course is an introduction to comparative world politics, focusing on the political environments within the international system. The focus will be on how our U.S. political system is different from other established democracies, and other non-democratic actors.

MSO 270: Understanding Global Issues

3.00 Credits

This course identifies and examines some of the political and social issues that go beyond the traditional boundaries of our nation-state. Using a normative and value-oriented parameters, students are encouraged to identify and examine some of those issues and then make assessment as to how these global issues have affected or changed our lives. Some of the topics include globalization, violence and international terrorism, nuclear weapons and arms control, epidemic and endemic diseases, human rights, and the role of the US.

MSO 271: World Politics

3.00 Credits

Stresses an analytical approach to the understanding and evaluation of contemporary world politics and familiarizes the student with the central concepts and developments in the fields of international relations.

MSO 272: Comparative Politics

3.00 Credits

Introduces students to the major social and political movements and systems that have shaped our twentieth-century world. Focuses on common features of the developmental experiences of the western liberal capitalist, communist, ex-communist, and Third World nations, as well as the ways in which differing political structures have shaped differences between these worlds.

MSO 273: Impact of Technology on International Relations

3.00 Credits

This course, in seminar form, is a general examination of the impact of modern information and communication technology on international affairs. It will concentrate principally, but no exclusively, on exploring the decision making process and the "speed" with which policy-makers must respond to events in our increasingly interdependent geopolitical environment.

MSO 275: Public Administration

3.00 Credits

A survey of American public administration, considering its structure, management, and role in the American governmental system.

MSO 276: Public Policy

3.00 Credits

This course represents a study of public policy and process. We will study historical trends and institutions. And we will examine the role of regulators, lobbyists, political action committees, special interest groups, elections, the media, and elected lawmakers at various stages of the process on the local, state, and federal levels.

MSO 313: Contemporary American Politics

3.00 Credits

no description available

MSO 317: Global Economic Environment

3.00 Credits

With the rise of competitive states like China and India, with the expansion of the European Union, with the instability of the international currency markets, and with the rise of the global Internet, international business operates in a complex environment. As international business continues to expand, it is evolving the global economic environment. This course will present an overview of international business. We will consider cultural influences, trade relations, legal and labor agreements, governments, and business structures in our global economy.

MSO 328: Public Policy & Human Services

3.00 Credits

Designed to provide students with an understanding of how changes within the local government affect the way social and human services are provided to the poor and indigent in the District of Columbia.

MSO 334: Human Services Delivery: A Comprehensive Evaluation

3.00 Credits

no description available

MSO 335: Human Services Delivery: Skills, Strategies, and Resources

3.00 Credits

Prerequisite: MSO 101 or MSO 334.

MSO 340: Human Services Administration

3.00 Credits

Serves to focus on the operational activities associated with managing and growing a human services organization. Emphasizes issues such as strategic planning and management, organizational assessment, community outreach, and fund-raising.

MSO 345: Legal and Ethical Issues in Human Services

3.00 Credits

Explores the legislative issues and court decisions related to client rights and care as well as the legal standards to which human service workers are held accountable. The dynamic interplay between law, ethical codes of conduct, and good professional practice is examined.

MSO 350: The American Civil War

3.00 Credits

A study of the background, development, personalities, and aftermath of the Civil War. Special attention to the coming of the war and the different explanations of its causes. Prerequisite: MSO151.

MSO 358: Immigrant Experience in America

3.00 Credits

Discusses the cultural, social, political, religious, and psychological aspects of immigration to the United States, the adjustment of immigrant groups to American society, and the reaction of Americans to the arrival of new groups.

MSO 363: Africa from Colonialism to Independence

3.00 Credits

no description available

MSO 365: Introduction to Counseling

3.00 Credits

Provides the student with background in the three basic elements of counseling: self-development, skill development, and process development. Engages students in research on theoretical issues and practical applications of various counseling modalities, as well as examining the process of assessment, treatment, and evaluation as practiced in professional counseling. Provides opportunities to practice a variety of counseling skills with appropriate monitoring and assessment of application.

MSO 371: International Cultures in American Literature

3.00 Credits

no description available

MSO 380: Social Psychology

3.00 Credits

An introduction to the study of the individual interacting in a social context. Theories of attitude development and change, social perception, and small group behavior. Applications of social psychology in social work and other professional fields.

MSO 381: Psychology of Aggression & Violence

3.00 Credits

Examines interpersonal, intergroup and international violence and aggression from the standpoints of physiological, motivational, learning, cognitive, and interpersonal factors, as well as structural and sociological factors. Also covers aspects of the psychology of nonviolence.

MSO 384: Principles and Practices of Social Entrepreneurship

3.00 Credits

This course provides an introduction to principles and practices in social entrepreneurship. Students gain an overview of the perspectives and strategies of visionaries who are creating new ways to address intractable social problems. Students identify and assess social needs and how they are addressed by entrepreneurs, philanthropists and government.

MSO 385: Public Private Partnerships

3.00 Credits

This course provides an introduction to the role public agencies and private corporations play in partnership to solve social problems in a variety of sectors. Discusses the framework used to identify, establish and sustain partnerships, and reviews US and international case studies of public-private partnerships.

MSO 386: Corporate Social Responsibility

3.00 Credits

Through thought leadership and effective management, socially responsible corporations can expect to attract investors, customers, recruit and retain highly talented employees, and improve their bottom line. This course explores how corporations design, manage and measure social strategies to generate social and business value. Students learn the frameworks, methodologies and tools used by leading corporations to create socially responsible businesses.

MSO 395: Conflict Resolution

3.00 Credits

The study of the analysis and resolution of human conflict. Emphasis on the role of mediation in dispute resolution focusing on language, listening, and problem-solving techniques.

MSO 396: Working with Couples and Families

3.00 Credits

Addiction problems affect more than the substance user. Finding solutions to addiction problems can be enhanced by engaging families in the treatment process. Integrating diverse approaches to family therapies through a multi-phase process will be presented. Participants will have the opportunity to apply the model to clinical situations they wish to discuss.

MSO 397: News Media International Affairs

3.00 Credits

This course presented in Seminar form, is an examination of the relationship between the news media and government decisions in international affairs. It will concentrate principally, but not exclusively, on the relationship between the press and the U.S. government. The press is often called the "fourth branch of the government" because of its extensive influence on international and domestic activity. The course will examine the complexities of this relationship.

MSO 398: International Conflict Resolution

3.00 Credits

The goal of this course is to introduce students to major theories and approaches in the field international conflict resolution, including material from political science and peace studies. Students will also gain familiarity with important case studies of interstate and intrastate conflict, and learn how to apply different theories to practical cases. At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to demonstrate understanding of different theoretical approaches to international conflict, and assess case studies according to the approaches learned.

MSO 401: Management for Public Health

3.00 Credits

This course provides the student with a broad range of factors that can affect public health policy development and implementation, which can influence how public health services are organized and developed. The differing approaches to develop and implement public health policy and to organize and manage a unit within the public health service.

MSO 412: Social Entrepreneurs, Innovators, and Problem Solvers

3.00 Credits

This course will introduce students to some key social innovators that are attempting to solve today's social problems in creative and innovative ways. Students will analyze the vision, activities and challenges of these visionaries.

MSO 413: Africa Rising

3.00 Credits

This course covers some trends, prospects, challenges and opportunities in the economic growth and development of Africa.

MSO 415: International Social Entrepreneurship

3.00 Credits

This course introduces students to the traditional methods of social change, and then examines new approaches for effective social change in the 21st century. Students will learn about the international social entrepreneurs, innovators and visionaries who are creating new strategies for solving social problems.

MSO 417: Social Enterprise Development

3.00 Credits

This course focuses on innovative approaches to creating social value through the development of social businesses. Students learn about the strategic tools that social entrepreneurs use, factors pivotal to success, and the challenges that social enterprises face from inception to maturity. Students prepare a blueprint to address a social problem of their choice.

MSO 450: Case Management and Crisis Intervention

3.00 Credits

Provides the foundation of good practice, including models, theories and ethics of case management and crisis interventions, including intake, assessment, action plans, resources, referrals, and informational strategies. Explores the use of case management in both public and private human services programs; focuses on issues of eligibility coordination, efficient use of community resources, program planning, crisis response, and models of case management.

MSO 453: Elections

3.00 Credits

no description available

MSO 455: Psych. Child Abuse & Neglect

3.00 Credits

Review of current literature on child abuse and neglect, including identification, etiology, treatment, prevention, and legal aspects. Also discusses family violence. Prerequisite: MSO180 or MSO190.

MSO 461: Psychology of Group Behaviour

3.00 Credits

An analysis of the effects of the individual on the group and the group on the individual. Investigates unstructured collective behavior, group formation and development, member characteristics, conformity, cohesiveness, and leadership.

MSO 470: Research Methods and Statistics for Social Science

3.00 Credits

no description available

MSO 476: Public Policy Analysis and Implementation

3.00 Credits

no description available

MSO 490: Topics in Social Science

3.00 Credits

Selected subjects in the social science fields discussed from time to time.

MSO 500: Catholic Servant Leadership

1.00 Credits

no description available

MSO 575: Public Administration

3.00 Credits

This course is to teach participants the primary principles in public administration. The course will start with an overview of public administration: the early voices and the first quarter century ' ancient times to the 1920s; the New Deal to mid-century ' 1930s to 1950s; from JFK to civil service reform ' the 1960s and 1970s; from Reagan to reinvention ' the 1980s and 1990s; and finally public administration in the twenty-first century. The course will then shift its focus more topically, covering contents that include: the discipline of public administration; public administration in context; bureaucracy; organization theory; human resources management; the budgetary process; public management; public policy and analysis; intergovernmental relations; and public service ethics.

MSO 576: Public Policy Analysis and Implementation

3.00 Credits

This course represents a study of politics and process and explores historical trends and institutions. Examines the role of regulators, lobbyists, Political Action Committees, special interest groups, elections, the media, and lawmakers at various stages of the process on the local, state, and Federal levels.

MSO 584: Principles and Practices of Social Entrepreneurship

3.00 Credits

This course provides an introduction to principles and practices in social entrepreneurship. Students gain an overview of the perspectives and strategies of visionaries who are creating new ways to address intractable social problems. Students identify and assess social needs and how they are addressed by entrepreneurs, philanthropists and government.

MSO 585: Public Private Partnerships

3.00 Credits

This course provides an introduction to the role public agencies and private corporations play in partnership to solve social problems in a variety of sectors. Discusses the framework used to identify, establish and sustain partnerships, and reviews US and international case studies of public-private partnerships.

MSO 586: Corporate Social Responsibility

3.00 Credits

Through thought leadership and effective management, socially responsible corporations can expect to attract investors, customers, recruit and retain highly talented employees, and improve their bottom line. This course explores how corporations design, manage and measure social strategies to generate social and business value. Students learn the frameworks, methodologies and tools used by leading corporations to create socially responsible businesses.

MSO 587: Social Enterprise Development

3.00 Credits

This course focuses on innovative approaches to creating social value through the development of social businesses. Students learn about the strategic tools that social entrepreneurs use, factors pivotal to success, and the challenges that social enterprises face from inception to maturity. Students prepare a blueprint to address a social problem of their choice.