College of Social Sciences


The Global and Public Affairs Living-Learning Community offers two types of courses for program participants. One is a required one-credit colloquium that all participants must take in both the fall and spring semesters. The other category of courses are the "in-house" courses -- special sections of introductory-level courses taught in a classroom in the residence hall (DeGraff 1106) for which enrollment is restricted to Community residents. The two in-house courses are taught only in the Fall and enrollment is capped at 20 students. Each Community resident must take one of these two in-house courses during the Fall semester (a student may take both courses if space allows).

Information on both the colloquium and the in-house courses can be found online. The FSU Registrar's Office provides an Online Course Lookup form that allows users to search the course catalog. One of the options in this search form is the optional "Student Group" field, which includes the option "Social Science Living-Learning Community." When this option and the correct year and term are selected, all of our courses will be listed in the results.

The Public Affairs Colloquium

All Social Science & Public Affairs Community participants are required to take a one credit hour course in both the fall and spring semesters. This course is taught in both the fall and spring semesters by Dr. Eric Coleman of FSU's Political Science department. If you do not enroll in the course during both semesters, your FSU Housing contract will be cancelled, because you are not fulfilling your obligations as part of the Community.

ISS1921: Colloquium in Public Affairs

  • Taught by Dr. Eric Coleman.
  • Meets Mondays 6:00-7:00.
  • Overview and Objectives

Welcome to the Global and Public Affairs Learning Community (GPALC). You are here because you were competitively selected to participate in this unique educational opportunity based upon your academic credentials and interest in global and public affairs. Whether your interest is in understanding the systems by which goods and services are produced, distributed, and consumed (economics); understanding “who gets what, when, why and how” (political science); the structures and norms that govern social interactions from the family to world society (sociology); or the specific environmental and social characteristics of a place that give it its unique history and future (geography), the social sciences are, in the broadest sense, about understanding the world around you. As we will come to understand over the course of the semester, the social sciences are interconnected, and it is difficult to talk about one without considering another.

This is a one-year course, which is offered for one credit hour in both the fall and spring semesters. Enrollment is restricted to students in the GPALC, and students in the Community are required to take the course both terms. If you leave the GPALC for any reason you may not continue to participate in the Colloquium, and you may no longer live in the GPALC portion of DeGraff Hall.

By the end of the course, you will have gained skills in: describing a broad range of social and policy problems; summarizing the views of various actors interested in these social and policy problems; devising and justifying potential solutions for resolving or navigating through these social and policy problems; and expressing your opinions, both orally and in writing, regarding these social and policy problems.

Other In-House Courses

Every Fall, the GPALC also offers two smaller "in-house" courses, which are open only to members of our Community. Community residents are required to take one of these courses during the Fall term. The courses meet in a small classroom located in the residence hall itself, offering the convenience of going to class without even leaving the building. They feature small class sizes, with a maximum of 20 students per course -- offering a much friendlier learning environment than is possible with the 50-70 students that are found in many upper-division courses and 200 or more students in many introductory courses. Additionally, because these courses are limited to Community members, they offer yet another opportunity to benefit from the sense of community in this program by taking courses with your neighbors.

Special class sections, limited to 20 members of the living-learning community, are offered by the Economics, Geography, Political Science, and Sociology Departments in the DeGraff Hall classroom. The specific courses offered will vary from year to year.

These courses are generally sections of courses that are offered regularly at FSU. They typically are introductory courses that serve as prerequisites to more advanced coursework, as well as courses that meet graduation requirements (such as Liberal Studies requirements or the Multicultural X or Y requirements).

Note that these in-house courses cannot substitute for the required Colloquium in Public Affairs. The requirement that every Community member takes one of the two in-house courses during the Fall is in addition to the requirement that every community member take the Public Affairs Colloquium during both the Fall and Spring semesters.