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Examples of Electives

Because we believe a place cannot be understood without historical and cultural context, students must choose at least one unit from each group. This list is limited to reflect only courses with real Southwest Studies content taught by regular faculty members.

Each major should consult with program advisors to insure coherence and proper preparation for a proposed senior project.  Topics courses taught by regular faculty and by visitors will be added to the list if they enhance the program for majors, with approval from the Southwest Studies Faculty Advisory Committee.

Elective Course Examples



This category includes courses that examine the cultural identity and expression of specific groups of people in the Southwest and their relationships with each other.

  • SW214/HY210/CS200 History of Native America. 1 unit (Hyde)
  • SW200/FS205 The Western. 1 unit (Simons, J.)
  • SW/CS253/EN280 Literature of the Southwest: Introduction to Native American Literature. 
  • SW/CS253/EN/FG280 Writing the Land of Enchantment. 1 unit
  • SW280/EN286/CS200/FG110 Topics in Literature: The Poet as Witness to War (Writing Intensive). 1 unit (Martinez, D.)
  • SW308/CO351/CS380/EN380 Literature of the Southwest: Borderlands, Theory, Song, and Literature. 1 unit
  • SW/AN/CS321 Rio Grande – Culture, History, & Region. 1 unit (Montano, M.)

Time and Power

This category includes courses that examine the region over time, power arrangements between different groups in the region, and the creation of mechanisms of state and nation.

  • SW/EC/EV141 Sustainable Development. 1 unit (Hecox, W.)
  • SW/CS200/AN209 Theory, Methods, and Practice of Community Based Participatory Research in the Southwest. (Field Trip Possible) 1 unit (Varela, M.)
  • SW/CS/HY200 The Student’s Role in the 1960s Southern Civil Rights Movement. 1 unit (Varela, M.)
  • SW214/HY210/CS200 History of Native America. 1 unit (Hyde)
  • SW220/CS200/EV120/SO190 Environmental Justice in the Southwest (Writing Intensive). (Field Trip) 1 unit (Varela, M.)
  • SW230 Native Americans under Federal Law. 1 unit (Kannan, P.)
  • SW/PS316 State and Local Government. 1 unit (Loevy, R.)
  • SW/EC/EV341 Ecological Economics & Sustainability. 1 unit (Hecox. W.)


This category includes courses that highlight the region’s distinctive nature as a place: its physical setting and the way people have interpreted and used this setting.

  • SW/PC131 Cultural Astronomy. 1 unit (Hilt, R.)
  • SW200/BY100 Forest Ecology of the Colorado Front Range. 1 unit (Snyder, M.)
  • SW200/EN286 Speaking for Nature: Writing Natural History (Writing Intensive).  (Day Trips) 1 unit (Zwinger, S.)
  • BY/SW202 Field Botany. 1 unit (Kelso, T.)
  • BY/SW203 Field Zoology.  1 unit (Linkhart, B.)
  • BY/EV/SW208 Ecology.  1 unit (Ebersole, J., Snyder, M., and Gray, E., Dept.)
  • SW220/CS200/EV120/SO190 Environmental Justice in the Southwest (Writing Intensive).  (Field Trip). 1 unit (Varela, M.)
  • SW/BY410 Ornithology. 1 unit (Linkhart, B.)

Southwest Studies Faculty

Eric Leonard (Geology, Director of Southwest Studies), Santiago Guerra (Southwest Studies), Eric Perramond (Environmental Science/ Southwest Studies). Visiting Faculty: Rios (Anthropology), Interdisciplinary Faculty: Arroyo-Rodriguez (Spanish), Ebersole (Biology), Gomez (Anthropology), Hecox (Environmental Science), Heschel (Biology), Hilt (Physics), Hyde (History), Kannan, (Environmental Science), Kelso (Biology), Levine (Music), Leza (Anthropology), Linkhart (Biology), Monroy (History), Montano (Anthropology), Snyder (Biology), Tucker (Art)

For a current listing of Southwest Studies courses go to: catalog

The Southwest Studies program is housed in the Hulbert Center for Southwest Studies, located at 1109 N. Cascade (just north of the Tutt Library). Stop by our office to learn more about our course offerings, major and minor, and special programs. For further information contact