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Courses for Graduate Studies

Engaging the Challenge, Together. Information for a remote-only fall semester.

Graduate Courses by Program

Agnes Scott's cutting-edge graduate programs are innovatively designed to prepare students with the necessary professional skills to tackle real-world issues and lead with purpose during these extraordinary times. Through our interdisciplinary curriculum, you'll hone your communication, analytical, or technical skills so that you’re prepared to manage change effectively, implement fresh perspectives, and become a force in your industry.

APT 600: Foundations of Applied Technology
This course uses problem-based learning to introduce students to a variety of technology domains used to address human needs and challenges. Technology domains of study may include electrical, mechanical, fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, cybernetics and computer technology. Students analyze a range of case studies and identify technology solutions for scenarios presented. Additionally, students are introduced to methodologies to conduct experimentation and testing.

APT 610: Systems and Critical Thinking
This course introduces systems thinking as an approach to problem solving and a way to address future needs. Systems thinking allows students to view a problem or need from a holistic perspective rather than the individual parts. This course also incorporates concepts to promote critical thinking, creativity, and innovation.

APT 615: Ethical Use of Technology and Data
In this course, students will research, identify, formulate perspectives, and discuss ethical challenges in the use of technology and data. Ethical challenges investigated may include, but are not limited to: environmental impacts, privacy considerations, public safety, workplace exposure, data gathering and sharing, and intellectual property. Students analyze a range of case studies related to ethical issues in emerging technologies and data collection and use. This will be a cross-listed course between the Technology Leadership and Management and Data Visualization programs.

APT 620: Modeling and Simulation for Insight
Students in this course utilize modeling and simulation to enhance their skills in communications, decision making, optimization, cause and effects analysis, and engineering economics. The course introduces deterministic and stochastic modeling techniques, as well as different simulation methodologies. Topics include problem formulation, conceptual modeling, simulation methodologies, verification and validation, design of experiments, simulation execution, and output analysis.

APT 625: Human Centered Design and Implementation
This course guides students through the systematic process of identifying systems objectives from a human perspective, how to accomplish these objectives and how to bring the solution into operation. Students utilize human centered design, along with other design techniques, to bridge the gap between problem domain and the solution domain.

APT 630: Managing and Leading Technical Teams
This course has a significant leadership component with a focus on technical leadership and working with and on technical teams. Techniques for facilitating technical meetings as well as communications, in terms of technical writing and presentations, are an integral part of the course.

APT 635: Emerging Technologies
Existing technologies evolve rapidly, and new technologies are constantly emerging. This course explores current and emerging technologies, as well as broader trends. It also incorporates the management of technology to include technology refresh, integration and phase-out along with interfaces to other emerging technologies.

APT 640: Creative Problem Solving and Decision Making
This course focuses on problem definition and formulation, problem solving, decision making and risk analysis. Students learn to apply problem solving tools, materials, and methods. Basic modeling and simulation methods are also incorporated to support analysis and decision making.

APT 695: Topics in Technology Leadership and Management 
Special Topics allows faculty to develop unique courses that reflect their individual research and interests and that represent important current directions in the field of applied technology. The course topic, requirements, and learning outcomes will be determined by the instructor. The course will incorporate, when appropriate, problem-based learning as applied to the special topic area and a lab component to allow for experimentation of the different technologies associated with the special topic.

DVS 600: Principles of Data Visualization
This course covers the fundamental elements of the database, semi-structured data, and unstructured data. Students will gain familiarity with data visualization concepts, techniques, and tools, including acquisition, augmentation, and restructuring; data storage and aggregation; access to parallel and distributed computing; high-volume data, disparate sources, and performance; and streaming data and dynamic queries. The student will learn to use several programming languages and software packages to create a range of data analyses and visualizations.

DVS 615: Visualizing Time and Place
This course incorporates temporal and spatial dimensions into data visualizations. This includes a range of both static and dynamic visualizations designed to include time as well as geospatial mapping. This course will include designing composite graphics with maps as a component. Using computational methods, students will create drawings, graphs, indices, and maps that explore the database as repositories of information.

DVS 625: Interactive Visualizations
This course focuses on interactive data visualizations, including web-based applications. Students will design interactive visualizations with the primary purpose of exploring data. Emphasis will be placed on the unique aspects of user interaction with the data.

DVS 640: Advanced Visualization Design
This course focuses on designing effective, compound data visualizations that contain information-rich graphics and multiple elements in order to tell a story or create an argument. Emphasis will be placed on static and dynamic dashboards and report card style visualizations that are often utilized in organizational and management settings. Students will gain working knowledge of R, Python, and other Cs+ languages. To enroll in this course, students must have completed 9 credit hours of Data Visualization courses or receive permission of the instructor.

DVS 695: Special Topics in Data Visualization
Special Topics allows faculty to develop unique courses that reflect their individual research and interests and that represent important current directions in the field of data visualization. The course topic, requirements, and learning outcomes will be determined by the instructor.

DVS 6XX: Communication of Data (Course recently approved; course number forthcoming)
In this course, students will develop the oral and written presentation skills demanded in data-driven environments. Students will learn to identify and articulate business questions and then translate data into compelling and effective narratives for decision-making. This course will introduce students to a variety of media that can be used in the analysis, interpretation, creation, and transfer of information. The importance of understanding the context, the audience, and the intended use of the data are emphasized.

EAM 610: Principles of Evaluation Design
This course will examine the role of evaluations in organizations, policy making, programmatic decision-making and fundraising. It will introduce research designs commonly employed to monitor ongoing programs and measure outcomes. The course will also address strategies for engaging stakeholders in evaluations. By the end of the course, students will be able to identify the appropriate research design for a specific evaluation need, taking into consideration financial and logistical constraints. Students will also design logic models to guide evaluation planning.

EAM 620: Data Collection
This course prepares students to use both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and address how, when, and why different methods are deployed. In this course, students learn about data collection methods, sampling strategies for quantitative research, effective survey design, conducting focus groups and in-depth interviews, the role of sample size, categories of quantitative variables, and assessing the reliability and validity of their measurement tools.

EAM 630: Data Analysis
This course provides an overview of the theoretical foundations of qualitative and quantitative data analysis, and teaches practical skills related to data management, analysis, and theory development. Students will learn to code and interpret qualitative data and to interpret statistics most commonly used in evaluation sciences.

EAM 6XX: Data Analysis II (Course recently approved; course number forthcoming)
This course introduces students to a variety of statistical methods for multivariate data. Multivariate analyses are complex methods that build upon the univariate analyses covered in EAM 630 Data Analysis I. Topics will include methods for hypothesis testing (multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), multiple regression), data reduction (factor analysis, principal components) and classification (cluster analysis).

EAM 640: Project Management
Successful interventions and evaluations depend on strong planning and project management skills. This course covers skills and strategies related to budgets, planning, stakeholder engagement, staff supervision, and fundraising. Additionally, students will learn about different leadership styles and will work to develop leadership skills.

EAM 695: Special Topics
Special Topics allows faculty to develop unique courses that reflect their individual research and interests and that represent important current directions in the field of evaluation and assessment. The course topic, requirements, and learning outcomes will be determined by the instructor. May be repeated as topics change.

SOI 600: Principles of Social Innovation
Social innovation - which has its roots in entrepreneurship and business development – involves using entrepreneurial skills to craft innovative responses to social problems. Social innovation involves recognizing opportunities, combining and mobilizing resources, triggering positive change within and across various domains and sectors, and building sustainability. This course will introduce entrepreneurial concepts that can be used to stimulate entrepreneurial thinking and behavior in individuals for the benefit of communities. Students will be exposed to the concept of social innovation and its various applications across sectors, organizational and legal forms, and geographic locations.

SOI 610: Foundations in Social Policy
In this course, students are provided a historical perspective on the development of social institutions, programs, and policies and how such institutions, programs and policies aim to address social problems. Students study the influences of power, oppression, diversity and culture on how various social problems are viewed, experienced, expressed and addressed. Students also learn methods of current social policy analysis and social problem evaluation.

SOI 615: Community and Economic Development
Community Economic Development provides a theoretical and practical overview of community development and community economic development. Through this course, students will learn the different forms of development (public, private, and cross-sector) and their benefits and trade- offs for addressing the social, economic, and socio-economic needs of communities and neighborhoods. Students will also learn about community economic development practices in various geographical contexts (urban and rural communities within domestic and global contexts).

SOI 620: Funding and Investing in Social Ventures
Social innovators must determine the most appropriate funding model(s) to use to achieve social impact and financial sustainability for their ventures. In this course, students will learn how to use financial modeling tools and how to apply creative approaches to sourcing funds to build and grow their social ventures. This course also informs students of the importance of impact investing by assessing the viability of early stage social ventures.

SOI 625: Entrepreneurial Leadership and Ethics
Most successful entrepreneurs learn quickly the importance of influencing others to support their ideas and to help shepherd those ideas into operational ventures. In this course, students will explore the traditional and modern theories of leadership, what entrepreneurial leadership means from an ethical and social responsibility perspective, how to instill trust and commitment from others (both within and outside the venture), and the processes and outcomes of ethical decision making within entrepreneurial workspaces.

SOI 635: Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy
The Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy course provides a historical overview of the nonprofit sector and its role in addressing social problems. Students will learn tools and skills applicable to the management of nonprofit and non-governmental organizations, particularly in relation to for-profit businesses and governmental agencies. Students will also learn about the influence of philanthropy, voluntarism, advocacy and social movements on organizational policy, strategy and management.

SOI 660: Social Innovation Practicum
The Social Innovation Practicum course is designed to provide students practical experience in identifying and addressing issues faced by social entrepreneurs in the Metropolitan Atlanta area. Social Innovation program students work in teams to analyze and suggest recommendations (whether operational, financial, or otherwise) for specific organizational challenges faced by the social entrepreneurs and their ventures. The student teams apply the theories, concepts, approaches and tools they learned during their first year in the Social Innovation program – as well as research data the teams collect -- when developing an action plan to address the social ventures’ challenges.

WDC 610: Content Strategy and Digital Portfolio Design
This course covers principles of content strategy, the methodology digital communicators use to craft content that reaches their intended audience on their chosen platforms in order to achieve organizational or creative goals. Students will learn the fundamentals of user-centered text, and how to select optimal technical platforms as they plan and build websites to house their digital portfolios. They will learn to analyze web design and content, employ analytics to evaluate content, explore pathways of innovation, follow the law regarding intellectual property and fair use, and create effective web-based content. Along the way, they will consider the rhetoric and ethics of personal branding and representing the professional or creative self online. A completed, professional quality digital portfolio aligned with their stated goals is a requirement for the master’s degree, to be submitted for evaluation in the final semester following guidelines established by the program.

WDC 612: Creative Writing in the Digital Age
This course explores traditional genres of creative writing—poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and dramatic writing—as well as cross genre, multi-genre, and experimental forms—as they are embodied in or augmented by digital media. Students will seek an expanded understanding of text and of genre as they analyze and practice creative writing. The course emphasizes deep revision, line-editing, oral interpretation, and multimodal presentation of final work.

WDC 614: Grant and Proposal Writing
This course covers the complete process of grant and proposal writing and the contexts and strategies of the philanthropic environment. Students will learn how to research funding opportunities, identify and plan successful projects, devise achievable goals and budgets, write proposals for public and private foundations, follow up on both successes and rejections, and incorporate digital technologies. This course satisfies an elective for the evaluation and assessment methods graduate certificate.

WDC 615: The Craft of Analytical Writing
In this workshop-style course, students will hone the writing and speaking skills necessary for success in their academic and professional careers. Reading assignments will focus on developing sophisticated critical analysis and argumentation skills adaptable for different purposes and audiences. Writing assignments will focus on developing clear, persuasive prose at the sentence, paragraph, and essay levels, culminating in drafting and revising an original research paper, which students will adapt for a 10-15 minute oral presentation.

WDC 618: Technologies of Social Change
Students will learn to analyze the impact of digital technology on the formation and effectiveness of social movements and on social change. Focusing on both historical and current events, this course examines the roles of rhetoric and technology in collective action whether in the form of social movements or as embodied and enacted by individuals. We will also study the role of digital communication in promoting behavioral change, such as in the fields of public health or politics.

WDC 620: Developing Content for the Web and Social Media
This course covers principles of writing, editing, and developing multimedia content for the Internet and social media, as well as emerging media forms, and creates opportunities to put these principles into practice. Students explore media technologies and their impact on writing, communication, identity construction, and culture as they learn to anticipate, lead, and adapt as media change over time. This course also examines rhetorical conventions associated with media and digital citizenship. Students will develop and pitch measurable multi-platform content strategies to address a central communication challenge set by the instructor. A panel of industry experts will provide feedback.

WDC 624: Transmedia Storytelling
This course explores transmedia storytelling as a form of communicating ideas across a range of digital delivery platforms. Students learn to produce unique but connected stories for diverse audiences and for multiple purposes, including entertainment, marketing, and social change. Students identify and analyze the ways in which themes acquire a new aesthetic and social significance as distinct stories are developed for the different media.

WDC 626: Journalism in the Digital Age
This writing-intensive course explores the evolution of narrative nonfiction feature stories from magazine articles to longform stories produced for native online formats. Students will develop advanced skills in journalistic research techniques and writing craft while producing a professional quality feature story suitable for digital publication.

WDC 628: Persuasive Writing and Speaking
Through case studies of communication practices spanning public health, political, and crisis communication, advertising, public relations, and propaganda, this course illuminates major theoretical perspectives and concepts related to persuasion in the digital age. Students will become familiar with qualitative and quantitative approaches to persuasion and will explore the opportunities, limitations, and ethical implications of persuasive communication by developing original content for a digital media campaign.

WDC 630: Visual Thinking and Web Design
Students will learn to expand their digital design skills to resolve visual problems, implementing line, texture, color, spatial illusion, materiality, compositional frameworks and subject matter. Emphasis is on the design process and conceptual development relating to web and mobile platforms. This course equips students with a working knowledge of industry-standard creative software and Cascading Style Sheets and acquaints them with principles of accessibility and UX.

WDC 640: Critical Communication
How do communications theories and research apply to or evolve in a digital world? This course examines the multifaceted role of communication in the formation of social bonds, identities, and communities in digital spaces. The course draws on insights from rhetorical theory, visual rhetoric, performance studies, public memory studies, critical cultural studies, film studies, and audience analysis (demographics and psychographics) to understand how communication works in digital environments.

WDC-650 Internship
See the Graduate Career Coach in the Office of Internship and Career Services for assistance.

WDC 670: Digital Media Production
This course will provide an overview of the research, strategies and methods that go into producing accessible audio and visual media for consumption via a variety of delivery technologies. Students will learn lighting, camera, and sound design techniques for video and audio production, including streaming content. Students will examine principles of digital filmmaking, film analysis, and sound design, along with how to use common sound and video-editing software, as they produce a multi-episode podcast around a common theme, as well as a short standalone video.

WDC 695: Topics in Writing and Digital Communication
Special Topics allows faculty to develop unique courses that reflect their individual research and interests and that represent important current directions in the field of writing and digital communication. The course topic, requirements, and learning outcomes will be determined by the instructor.

WDC 6XX: Solutions Journalism (Course recently approved; course number forthcoming)

This writing-intensive course explores “Solutions Journalism," a news discipline focused on exposing societal problems and highlighting successful citizen or institutional responses to them at the global, national, state, or local level. Students will develop advanced skills in field research and reporting while producing a professional quality story suitable for digital publication.