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Social Sciences

We take an integrated, interdisciplinary, global and conceptual approach to the social sciences. Our courses are designed to encourage critical, creative thinking and reflective decision making. In addition to some of our unique class offerings, we offer courses that meet the needs of American studies for students intending to study in the United States.

Student historians

NHD China is an exciting way for students to present their high quality historical research to fellow students, teachers and other members of the community.

Connecting great minds

Mr. Rajmohan Gandhi was invited by a group of history students to share with the community his grandfather's legacy in India and the importance of choosing love and forgiveness over prejudice and anger.

The business of compassion

Students in the Social Entrepreneurship course familiarize themselves with every aspect of what is needed to run a successful social enterprise.


General Requirements

Humanities Ancient History

In the freshman year, history is integrated with English to compose the Humanities program. This description is designed to give a general overview of the history component of the humanities program. Offering both a chronological and thematic survey of world history from the beginnings of civilization to 1450 AD, the course highlights various topics laying a foundation for further work in world history. The students will learn to interpret a variety of sources: both primary and secondary documents. Oral and written reports will be assigned as deemed appropriate by the instructor reflecting both student interest and class emphasis. World religions are studied and this counts towards the necessary religion credit needed by Grade 9 students.

Duration: 2 Semesters
Credit: 1.0

Modern World History

As a continuation of Ancient World History, Modern World History covers that time span of roughly 1450 to the present day. With such a vast scope of material available, topics for more in depth study will vary from year to year, but within any given academic year the bare outlines of history will be covered. Students will further develop the skills that they acquired in the previous Humanities course and will also refine their skills in interpreting primary and secondary source documents, drawing connections between major political, social and artistic movements and examine the influence of the past on the present. Written work will move to a higher level of scholarly writing requiring proper research, citation, analysis and mechanics.

Duration: 2 Semesters
Credit: 1.0
Prerequisite: Humanities Ancient History

Advanced Placement Courses

AP World History

The purpose of the AP World History course is to develop greater understanding of the evolution of global processes and contacts, in interaction with different types of human societies. This understanding is advanced through a combination of selective factual knowledge and appropriate analytical skills. The Course highlights the nature of changes in international frameworks and their causes and consequences, as well as comparisons among major societies. Please note: For entry in Grade 10, the student must have demonstrated superior command of critical reading analysis and English proficiency along with an appropriate level of scholarship in prior courses.

Duration: 2 Semesters
Credit: 1.0
Prerequisite: Humanities & teacher recommendation

AP U.S. History

The AP course in United States History is designed to provide students with
the analytic skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials in United States history. The course prepares students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands upon them equivalent to those made by full-year introductory college courses. Students should learn to assess historical materials–their relevance to a given interpretive problem, their reliability and their importance–and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship. An AP United States History course should thus develop the skills necessary to arrive at conclusions on the basis of an informed judgment and to present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in essay format.

Duration: 2 Semesters
Credit: 1.0 Prerequisite: Minimum B+ in previous social science class and teacher recommendation

AP Psychology

Advanced Placement Psychology is intended to represent college-level psychology studies and can earn students college credit. The course is designed to comply with the curricular requirements contained in the AP Psychology Course Description. This course introduces students to the systematic and scientific study of human behavior and mental processes—as well as the various approaches to psychology. The research methodology used by psychologists is examined in detail as are the subfields of psychology. The course culminates second semester with the AP Psychology Exam, which tests students’ understanding of ideas that unite major areas of psychological history, study and research.

Duration: 2 Semesters
Credit: 1.0
Prerequisites:2 credits high school history

AP Macroeconomics

Macroeconomics is the study of national and international economics. This AP course covers how we calculate national income and output, gross domestic product, aggregate demand and aggregate supply, employment, inflation, money and banking, investment, consumption, fiscal and monetary policies, interest rates, international trade and finance, exchange rates and current accounts. We continue our readings of the great economic thinkers of the past 200 years.

Duration: 1 Semesters
Credit: 0.5
Prerequisites:2 credits high school history

AP Microeconomics

Microeconomics is the study of how individual consumers and businesses make decisions. This AP course covers basic foundations such as scarcity, opportunity costs and allocation of resources. The course covers microeconomic principles including efficiency, demand and supply, prices and output, market structures, market failure, government intervention and resource markets. We also read about the great economic thinkers of the past 200 years.

Duration: 1 Semesters
Credit: 0.5
Prerequisites:2 credits high school history

*Denotes a one semester course

Social Science Electives

Applied Global Development & Public Health*

This course is designed for students who have taken either Global Development Studies or Epidemiology in the fall semester. This course will allow qualified students time and space to work through the stages of a formal project proposal (a project which is geared to respond to a global issue or global health scenario in a practical and results-oriented way). Students will implement the project or study and document experiences and data. Course goals will include the creation of sustainable partnerships with local organizations as well as sharing findings and experiences through a range of methods.If you see a problem in our world that you’d like to tackle, and you have the energy and passion to see a project through from creation to resolution, this course is the course for you.”

Duration: 1 Semester
Credit: 0.5
Prerequisite:2 credits high school history

BIG History

BIG history is an introduction to the big ideas and methods of science and history and to the many different fields of research that continue to advance our understanding of the cosmos, ourselves and our trajectory as a species. It does not fit neatly into either science or history. Instead, it bridges those boundaries to reveal a larger narrative and encourages students to synthesize and think critically about different types of knowledge.While it may seem ambitious to tell the history of everything in a single course, the story unfolds in a logical progression of ideas and themes, making it both understandable and an ideal setting for student development. By covering so much subject matter, spanning so many disciplines, the course helps students develop critical thinking skills, synthesize information and identify and create arguments based on different forms of evidence—skills students will use for the rest of their lives. Just as crucially, the course is designed to stoke students’ curiosity about the world around them and to empower them with the context and tools to learn about anything that interests them.

Duration: 2 Semesters
Credit: 1.0
Prerequisite: Humanities Ancient History

Debate*

This one semester course provides instruction and practice in advocacy and argumentation, more readily known as debate. Students train to compete in Forensics, MUN and local Shanghai debate tournaments in the events of Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Policy Debate, Public Forum Debate (a type of team debate), Extemporaneous Speaking (impromptu speeches analyzing current events) and Model Congress. A large portion of the course focuses on the in-class debating of major political and ethical issues. Students are taught case-writing, rebuttals, cross-examination skills, analytical thinking and political and moral philosophy. Students are required to participate in at least one debate tournament (APAC Forensics-audition, Shanghai Cup, MUN-audition and a Concordia Hosted Debate tournament with local area schools). The course offers opportunities to increase self-confidence, improve communication, research, writing and public speaking skills and gain an appreciation of the relationship between the advocacy of world issues and the argumentation required to pursue policy and change.

Duration: 1 Semester
Credit: 0.5
Prerequisite: None

Global Development*

“A different world cannot be built by indifferent people.”– Horace Mann Is it possible to eliminate global poverty? Is an education a privilege or a right? What does sustainable development actually mean? What is my individual role in responding to global issues? This semester-long course will explore these questions and more by providing an introduction to global issues and sustainable development. Students will spend the semester developing a firm foundation of knowledge about key global issues and the interconnectedness of these issues, as well as an understanding of what defines a sustainable solution or response. Students will explore numerous case studies and analyze real and potential solutions for complex problems. For any student interested in making our world a better place, this course will be both a starting point and a launch pad for awareness and action.

Duration: 1 Semester
Credit: 0.5
Prerequisite: 2 credits high school history

International Relations

IR/PCS is an interdisciplinary course that focuses on the social, political and economic issues that have shaped the contours of the modern geopolitical landscape. Students will learn about the structure and function of the modern state system and will study the historical landmarks of its evolution, from the Treaty of Westphalia to 9/11. Major topics in this course include globalization and its impact, international law and human rights, poverty and inequality, security policy, terrorism and the growth of transnational environmental movements. The second semester of this course will incorporate hands-on case studies employing predictive analytics to help students analyze and evaluate the conditions that predispose states to civil conflict. Students will be introduced to a variety of data sets and analytic tools including Watson Analytics and Python. This element of the course is designed to equip students with both the knowledge base and the analytical tools needed to understand and evaluate many major issues relating to international security. Beyond this, students will be challenged to cultivate an ethic of stewardship toward the global commons, to see themselves both as agents of change and as members of a global community and to work together to posit thoughtful and creative solutions to the global challenges of the 21st century.


Duration: 2 Semesters
Credit: 1.0
Prerequisite: 2 credits high school history

Shanghai Studies*

Living in Shanghai provides us with the opportunity to experience 21st century China from a variety of vantage points. In this course, students will become closely acquainted with the city through multi-disciplinary studies, urban walking tours, museums, film, literature and interviews. An introductory unit will introduce students to the geography and culture of Shanghai. Students will then explore the history of the city through key individuals, architecture, and events using the city itself, as well as historical texts. Literature, art, photography and film which revolve around Shanghai life at different periods will provide additional source material. Special attention will be given through guest speakers and readings to Shanghai as an economic hub as well as a cosmopolitan center of religious and ethnic diversity. At the culmination of the course, students will deliver a multi-media presentation to the public that provides a glimpse of Shanghai through a unique thematic perspective.

Duration: 1 Semester
Credit: 0.5
Prerequisite: two years of HS history

U.S. History

The U.S. History course takes a chronological look at the history of the U.S., from early Native American civilizations to the present day. Students will learn to interpret a variety of sources: both primary and secondary source documents. Oral and written reports will be assigned as deemed appropriate by the instructor reflecting both student interest and class emphasis.

Duration: 2 Semesters
Credit: 1.0
Prerequisite: two years of HS history

Social Entrepreneurship+

Social entrepreneurship is an emerging field that lies at the intersection of business and social change. A social entrepreneur uses skills and strategies within the business world to innovatively and sustainably solve social, environmental, and economic problems. In the first part of this course we will explore sustainability, innovation and creativity. You will learn what makes an effective social entrepreneur through readings, case studies and guest lectures, and develop a set of skills and tools that you will apply to an actual social entrepreneurship venture in semester two. After completing this course I hope that you will be an agent for change, no matter where you go after you leave Concordia.

Duration: 2 Semesters
Credit: 1.0
Prerequisites:Grade 11/12 students

*Denotes a one semester course
+Created as a result of X-Plorations curriculum incubator