Electives offer you another unique way to diversify your course of study and, like city seminars, often take advantage of Philadelphia by using it as a classroom. Our adjunct faculty members, many of whom are practicing professionals, bring their real-world perspectives into the weekly class sessions.

Elective Courses

TPC’s four-credit electives often fulfill specific requirements on your home campus. TPC offers five to seven electives in the fall and spring, including:

Abnormal Psychology

The Abnormal Psychology course will establish a foundation for the identification and treatment of the major psychological disorders. The course will also provide a forum for students to critically examine the construct of abnormality and to deepen their compassion and empathy for those experiencing mental illness.

Students will learn about the etiology, treatment, and current research on these disorders through a combination of lecture, cases, multimedia, class discussion, and experiential exercises. Additionally, we will examine the various disorders from biological, social, behavioral, cognitive, psychological, and humanistic perspectives. Students will have opportunities to apply class material to contemporary issues in mental health, as well as to their internship experiences. Throughout the course, students will be exposed to the complexities of human behavior and psychological struggles, as well as cultural, economic, and ethical issues that arise in diagnosing and treating mental illness.

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Economic Perspectives on Modern Urban Issues

This course examines and applies economic theory to urban and metropolitan issues, focusing primarily on our own laboratory: Philadelphia. Theory and Issues in Urban Economics deals with the intersection of economics and geography; it adds a spatial component to standard microeconomic theory. The goals of the course are to help the student understand: the fundamental workings of an urban economy, economic incentives and public policies influencing the growth or decline of urban economies, and the basis for intelligent discussion of interesting urban and regional economic and social issues. It begins with a classic microeconomic framework showing the location decisions of utility-maximizing households and profit-maximizing firms, and shows how these decisions cause the formation of cities of different size and shape, and what kinds of patterns, benefits, and problems emerge.

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Exploring Relationships in Fiction and Film: Sex, Gender and Sexuality

This course examines our understandings of gender, race, class, and sex, and how they play a part in our developing relations with others.  We will use fiction and film as our subject matter and specifically look at the perspectives an individual writer/director demonstrates around gender, race, class, and sex representations.  With a critical attention to the ways people are culturally and socially classified, we will investigate the meanings and effects these labels have on individuals and groups, as well as on relationships, generally.  Also, we will discuss other topics such as commitment, love, desire, morality, objectification, exploitation, possession, intimacy, friendship, and responsibility.  Our explorations of these fiction and film texts will help us reflect on our own lives and experiences, and question our beliefs, values, and actions.

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Principles of Finance

This course provides the essential elements for understanding corporate financial management and the decision making that it requires. Topics include time value of money, valuation techniques, risk and return, cost of capital, capital budgeting, capital structure, dividend policy, and international financial management. Its emphasis is on grasping key concepts and applying that knowledge to solving quantitative problems. Command of basic arithmetic and elementary algebra, the ability to think analytically, and familiarity with using a scientific calculator are all essential for doing well in this course.

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Principles of Marketing Management

This course will serve as an introduction to the principles, concepts, strategy and tactics of marketing.  It will provide an overview of marketing – the empathetic art of building relationships between products and services, and unique consumers, businesses and markets. Abstract theory and concepts will be brought to life by case studies, examples, discussion, and individual & group projects. This class will serve as a training ground for evaluating marketing, creating and executing ideas, and grappling with the current trends, ethics and controversies of modern marketing. In addition, this course will consider other disciplines as part of the marketing mix, including public relations and advertising.

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Social Justice

The Social Justice Elective offers students an opportunity to critically examine, from the perspective of law and politics, a variety of topics which may be defined within the broad category of “social justice.” Using the protections afforded by the Bill of Rights as a framework for discussion, a number of controversial issues will be covered, including the rights of criminal defendants; discrimination on the basis of race, gender or sexual orientation; capital punishment; prison conditions; immigration reform; freedom of expression; and the war on terror.

Local professionals will occasionally be guest speakers and there will be field trips to relevant sites. Students will also have the opportunity to broaden their views and challenge assumptions by engaging in classroom debates on a number of topics. Students will be expected to regularly read a major city newspaper in print or online.

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Senior Seminar (For Albion College students only)

In this seminar, participants will use readings, discussions, and activities to interrogate the terms values and vocation, in order to explore and develop a personal philosophy of life.  We will define, analyze, and critique these and related terms as we come to articulate what they mean to us personally and in relation to faith-based or other concepts of life-view and worldview.  Students will debate questions of happiness, meaningfulness, fulfillment, and satisfaction as they consider what kinds of people they want to become, how they will contribute to their communities and the larger society, and what they wish to take from their college education.

Seminar participants will read, conduct interviews, visit several placement sites, screen films, attend events in the city, write exercises, reports, essays, and a culminating life-view paper, and draw heavily on their reflections and learning from their field placements, seminars, and city living.
This course is designed to fulfill a graduation requirement of Albion College but is open to all TPC students, space permitting.

Additional electives may be offered pending enrollment.