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First-Year Pathways

First-year freshmen participate in the Freshman Year Experience program which is made up of the first-year pathway (courses) and "co-curricular" activities. First-Year Pathways for freshmen are include courses that fall into three categories:

  1. The Core.  The "essential skills" courses in Math/Statistics (GE Area B4 Quantitative Reasoning) and English (GE Area A2 Written Communication).  Your Placement Categories in Math/Stats and English will determine your Math/Stats (B4) Pathway and your English (A2) Pathway.  
  2. The Community.  Courses that are part of a learning community, including GS 101A, B Foundations of Success I, II and "linked" courses which may be part of the major.  
  3. The Options.  Additional courses that may be taken based on the unit load and that fulfill GE and/or major requirements.

FirstYearPathway Courses

The recommended average unit load per semester is 15 units to be on track for graduation within 4 years (or 8 semesters).  However, 12 units is the minimum course load considered full-time for Financial Aid purposes.  
     
First-Year Freshman Pathways are given names based on the themes of the linked courses. The pathway you select should be one that is appropriate for your major or area of interest (if you have yet to decide on a major). Below is the description of all the available First-Year Pathways for freshmen.

Freshman Pathways

Emphasizes the continuity and contrast between modern humanity and the ancient world.  Examples of themes include gender in the ancient world; the individual and the state; choice, control, and the ancient world.  This learning community is appropriate for majors in Anthropology, Business Administration, Economics, and Speech Pathology & Audiology.   

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • THEA 103 Ancient Theatre
  • PHIL 120 Freshman Topics in Philosophy
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

Classic and modern approaches to understanding natural forces and the principles of physics.  This learning community is appropriate for majors in Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Geology, and Physics.  

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • PHYS 135 Physics for Scientists I
  • PHYS 136 Physics for Scientists II
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

Unity and diversity of life on Earth explored from the cellular/molecular and organismal levels; emphasis on the ecological and evolutionary pressures that have shaped life on Earth.  This learning community is designed for Biology and Biochemistry majors and is also appropriate for Environmental Science and other STEM majors.  

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • BIOL 140A Principles of Cell and Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 140B Principles of Organismal Biology
  • CHEM 111 General Chemistry I
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

Costs and benefits of drugs to human health, society, and the environment.  This learning community is appropriate for the major in Psychology.  

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • PSYC 100 General Psychology
  • CHEM 106 Chemistry and Society
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

Exploration of environmental problems and their health consequences in the East Bay, emphasizing health equity and disparities related to the environment.  This learning community is appropriate for Health Science majors.

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • HSC 130 Health Humanities
  • ENSC 280 Humans and the Environment in California 
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

Technological achievements in chemistry and engineering that have impacted human behavior and health.  This learning community is appropriate for majors in Industrial Engineering and Construction Management.

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • CHEM 110 General Chemistry for Engineering
  • PSYC 110 General Psychology
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

Exploration of environmental activism, social justice, and citizen science in California.  This learning community is appropriate for majors in Business Administration, Economics, English, Environmental Science, and Human Development.

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • ENSC 280 Humans and the Environment in California 
  • ENGL 204 Writing About Literature
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

 

Exploration of environmental activism, social justice, and citizen science in California.  This learning community is appropriate for majors in Ethnic Studies, International Studies, Political Science, and Speech Pathology & Audiology.  

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • PHIL 120 Freshman Topics in Philosophy
  • POSC 150 Conflict in World Politics
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

Think globally, act locally—interdisciplinary exploration of heritage, local communities, and global cultural and sociopolitical arenas, particularly for Asian American and Asia Pacific communities.  This learning community is appropriate for majors in Anthropology, Business Administration, Economics, Ethnic Studies, French, International Studies, Political Science, and Spanish.  

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • MLL 211 Multicultural Cinema
  • ENGL 220 Immigration and Migration in American Literature
  • THEA 102 Asian American Theatre
  • POSC 102 Public Policy/California Politics
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

Healthier Living--Option A

Designed for undeclared students who are interested in the Pre-Nursing track, this learning community emphasizes the basic skills and content relevant for improving health and wellness.

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • CHEM 165 Basic Chemistry for Healthier Living
  • BIOL 270 Human Anatomy & Physiology I
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

Healthier Living--Option B

Designed for undeclared students who are interested in the Pre-Nursing track, this learning community emphasizes the basic skills and content relevant for improving health and wellness.  For students who need additional support in math and/or English courses during the first year.

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • HSC 130 Health Humanities
  • PSYC 100 General Psychology
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

 

Scientific perspectives on how natural phenomena and technological devices "work" in the real world.  This learning community is appropriate for majors in Art, Communication, English, History, Liberal Studies, Mathematics, Statistics, and Philosophy.  

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • BIOL 101 Introduction to Biology
  • PHYS 106 Physics for Future Leaders
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

Integrates the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences for a holistic, integrated approach to understanding humans and the world they live in. Emphasizes the diverse local and global context for civic engagement and responsibilities.  This learning community is appropriate for majors in Anthropology, English, History, International Studies, Liberal Studies, and Philosophy.  

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • HIST 120 Self and Story in World History
  • GEOG 120 Human Geography: Diversity and Globalization
  • BIOL 100 Biology in the Real World
  • CHEM 100 Introduction to College Chemistry OR GEOL 100 Earth Systems Science
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

Through performance and experiential learning, exploration of some of the most pressing mind/body-oriented issues, placed in the context of social justice and diversity.  This learning community is appropriate for majors in International Studies, Liberal Studies, and Speech Pathology & Audiology.

 The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • DANC 101 Dance for All Bodies and Abilities
  • THEA 101 Social Justice Theatre
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

Content-based and life-situational learning experiences that include art, music, film, literature, social studies, and creative expression intertwined into the language curriculum.  This learning community is designed for language majors or minors in French, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, or American Sign Language; also appropriate for majors in Business Administration, Economics, International Studies, Speech Pathology & Audiology.   

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • Elementary I or Intermediate I in French (MLL 121 or 221), American Sign Language (MLL 131 or 231), Spanish (MLL 141 or 241), Japanese (MLL 151 or 251), or Mandarin Chinese (MLL 161 or 261)
  • Elementary II or Intermediate II in French (MLL 122 or 222), American Sign Language (MLL 132 or 232), Spanish (MLL 142 or 242), Japanese (MLL 152 or 252), or Mandarin Chinese (MLL 162 or 262)
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

Prepares students for meaningful, practical work to promote and improve the health of children and adults.  This learning community is designed for Kinesiology majors.

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • KIN 162 Nutrition and Performance
  • BIOL 270 Human Anatomy & Physiology I
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

Roles of molecules and energy in the environment and in biological systems, and the connections between chemistry and biology that lead to the support of life on Earth.  This learning community is appropriate for majors in Biochemistry, Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Geology. 

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • CHEM 111 General Chemistry I
  • CHEM 112 General Chemistry II
  • BIOL 100 Biology in the Real World or BIOL 140A Principles of Cell and Molecular Biology
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

Exploration of the art forms of music and theatre in Western culture, with an emphasis on foundational principles, history, and structure of both art forms.  This learning community is designed for majors in Music and Theatre.  

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • MUS 108 The Language of Music
  • THEA 100 Theatre: A Spotlight on Life
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

Exploration of popular culture and how we learn from it, and in this context, how we can distinguish between science and pseudoscience.  This learning community is appropriate for majors in Business Administration, Economics, English, Human Development, Mathematics, and Statistics. 

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • PHIL 120 Freshman Topics in Philosophy
  • ENSC 235 Disasters on Earth and in Hollywood
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

Exploration of the creation and perception of music.  This learning community is appropriate for majors in Art, Business Administration, Economics, French, History, Mathematics, Philosophy, Psychology, Spanish, and Statistics.     

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • PSYC 100 General Psychology
  • PHYS 104 Musical Acoustics
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

Exploration of the creative and innovative approaches used by ancient cultures all over the world to scientific problems—integrating science, technology, politics, religion, and culture from different perspectives.  This learning community is appropriate for majors in Anthropology, Business Administration, Economics, and Philosophy.

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • HIST 140 Humanity, Science and Nature in History
  • PHYS 108 Astronomy of Ancient Cultures
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

For Biology, Biochemistry, or other STEM majors who may want a more gradual transition into majors' level science courses and who may need more academic support in math and/or English.  

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • BIOL 100 Biology in the Real World
  • CHEM 100 Intro to College Chemistry 
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

Exploration of the questions, “Who am I, and how do I fit in the world around me?” which touch on issues of rights, obligations, morality, behavior, and thought.  This learning community is appropriate for majors in Criminal Justice and Sociology.  

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • PHIL 120 Freshman Topics in Philosophy
  • SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
  • HIST 120 Self and Story in World History
  • PSYC 100 Introduction to Psychology
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

Environmental challenges and solutions in sustainability and social justice from multiple dimensions, including sociopolitical, socioeconomic, scientific, and technical.  This learning community is appropriate for majors in Criminal Justice; Environmental Science; Recreation, Hospitality & Tourism; and Sociology. 

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • ENVT 101 Environmental Challenges of the 21st Century
  • SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

Exploration of the philosophy of science and science ethics in relation to sustainable energy, including critical global challenges such as climate change and energy security.  This learning community is appropriate for majors in Art, Business Administration, Economics, Human Development, and Philosophy.

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • PHYS 107 Science of Energy
  • PHIL 120 Freshman Topics in Philosophy
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

Taking charge of your life, specifically in personal nutrition, wellness, and leisure, with emphasis on building community.  This learning community is appropriate for majors in Kinesiology; Philosophy; Recreation, Hospitality & Tourism; and Speech Pathology & Audiology.  

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • KIN 162 Nutrition and Performance
  • REC 235 Leisure, Self, and Society
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

Exploration of the role of 500 years of European colonialism on contemporary cultural diversity.  This learning community is appropriate for majors in Anthropology, Business Administration, Economics, Ethnic Studies, History, and Speech Pathology & Audiology. 

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • PHIL 120 Freshman Topics in Philosophy
  • MLL 211 Multicultural Cinema
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)

Social and institutional change, political structures and arrangements of power, and the ethics surrounding movements for change; builds leadership skills.  This learning community is appropriate for majors in Business Administration, Economics, Ethnic Studies, History, Political Science, 

The following list of courses will be taken during your first two semesters. This list only represents the "Learning Community" courses and does not include any Option courses you can take to reach the 12-15 unit course load.

  • PHIL 120 Freshman Topics in Philosophy
  • COMM 100 Introduction to Public Speaking
  • HIST 111 United States History Since 1877
  • POSC 101 American Political Institutions
  • GS 101A Foundations of Success I
  • GS 101B Foundations of Success II
  • MATH (courses depend on placement pathway)
  • ENGL (courses depend on placement pathway)
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