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Social & Behavioral Science - LEAP (SBS-LEAP)



Did you know that 20% of the students who graduate from the University of Utah receive a degree in a major from the College of Social & Behavioral Science?

Working jointly with the College of Social & Behavioral Science, the LEAP Program has created SBS-LEAP, A two course experience, specifically focused on helping you determine the social science major for you. The two classes are

  • LEAP 1101, sections 6 and 7 in the Fall Semester fulfills one of the two general education requirements in Social/ Behavioral Sciences (BF.)
  • LEAP 1100, sections 6 and 7 in the Spring Semester fulfills one of the two general education requirements for Humanities (HF), and the University Diversity Requirement (DV.) Students will fulfill three requirements toward graduation.

These classes will also fulfill allied hours for your major in the College of Social & Behavioral Science.


This fall semester course focuses on how the multiple disciplines in the social sciences attempt to explain human behavior and understand the complexities of human societies. During the second half of the semester students, working in teams, will apply their knowledge of one of the social science disciplines in order to explain, understand and interpret a social problem of importance in society today. As part of the team project, students will learn how to research, work in teams and present their research findings in a conference-like setting.

Course Learning Objectives
After completing this course a student should be able to:

  1. Apply critical thinking to intellectual content
  2. Understand how to effectively employ written and oral communication skills
  3. Understand how to apply knowledge of the main library and utilize its technologies
  4. Discover ways to link ideas among classes and across disciplines rather than seeing them as 4 separate, unrelated entities through class discussions and written assignments.
  5. Know how to succeed in university classes through networking with fellow students, with faculty members, and also peer advisors connected to the LEAP Program.
  6. Adapt to the University of Utah environment by actively participating in a learning community of first-year students entering the university.
  7. Identify and distinguish between the basic methods, language, and particular contributions of anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, and sociology in addressing the issues listed above.
  8. Articulate a critical understanding from a social science perspective of global community and individual behavior in relation to issues of wealth and poverty, violence, well-being, and equality.
  9. Work effectively in teams.
  10. Conduct a research project using social scientific research methods.

 Required Texts 
All the course readings can be accessed on Canvas under “Files,” or through the web link provided on the syllabus. (See a list of these articles at the end of the syllabus)


In the second semester of Social & Behavioral Science LEAP the focus is on broadening our understanding of the diversity of experience in America. We examine literature that offers a variety of contemporary perspectives on equality, race, and opportunity in America. The variety of perspectives allows this course to fulfill the University’s Diversity requirement.

As you read the texts, consider questions such as:

  • How does the perspective of America described in the reading compare to your perspective of America?
  • Why do you think the author wrote the text? Do they have a clear point to get across to their audience?
  • How does the protagonist in the particular reading describe and identify himself or herself? How do they see the world around them? Do they provide an explanation for their viewpoints?
  • How does one’s culture and the history of that culture affect one’s identity and behavior?
  • What impressions, feelings or questions do you have after doing the reading?
  • How do you feel towards the main character or protagonist? Is this someone you would want to eat dinner with or sit by on an airplane or get to know better?
  • Is the perspective of the author and/or the main character slanted toward the position that in America culture, wealth, and race are more determinant of one’s future or is the position slanted towards individual responsibility and accountability as determinants of success?
  • How do your own personal experiences shape your analysis and impressions of the reading?
  • What opinions, comments and questions about the reading can you bring to the class discussion on this reading?

 Required Texts

  1. Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance (2016)
  2. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (1999)
  3. There’s No Jose Here by Gabriel Thompson (2007)


 Fall 2018 Class

Class # Subject Cat #  Sec Days/Time
12078 LEAP  1101 006 MWF / 09:40AM-10:30AM
15321 LEAP 1101 007 MWF / 11:50AM-12:40PM



For more information on Departments in the click College of Social and Behavioral Science



Social & Behavorial Science-LEAP Faculty

Becky Larsen, PhD

801 585-9922


Last Updated: 1/23/19