Last update: 10/29/96


College of Humanities
Dean: Nancy McDermid

College of Science and Engineering
Dean: James C. Kelley

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Dean: Joel Kassiola

College of Creative Arts

College of Business
Dean: Arthur Wallace

NEXA Program
HUM 415
Director: Michael Gregory

Undergraduate Adviser: M. Gregory


Professors--Anton, Araki, Burke, Ericson, Fisher, Gabow, Goldstein, Green, Gregory, Kahn-Hut, Kelley, Lea, Luft, Lunine, Markowitz, Niesen, Pestrong, Peters, Provence, Ritter, Rogers, Scully, Shapiro, Sommers, Stanley, Zimmerman

Associate Professors--Caulfield, Peel, Scott


Minor in NEXA

Program Scope

Founded in 1975 under a development grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), NEXA was originally known as "Science and Humanities: A Program for Convergence." The NEXA curriculum was supported jointly by NEH and San Francisco State University and partially by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Since fall semester 1979, the NEXA instructional program has been fully supported by the university.

NEXA provides a unique curriculum that may be used by students in several ways (major, NEXA minor, General Education, or electives). NEXA courses are focused on areas of interest and concern shared by a variety of disciplines and perspectives. Most NEXA offerings are taught cooperatively by pairs of instructors representing different, but complementary, fields of knowledge. NEXA faculty are drawn from the Colleges of Humanities, Science and Engineering, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Creative Arts, and Business. Faculty from sixteen departments participate in NEXA, and the program consists of about thirty courses, most of which are offered once each year.

The NEXA program is charged with maintaining a curriculum that demonstrates the historical, philosophical, and ethical interactions among humanities, arts, business, and the physical and social sciences. NEXA's general objective is to provide a point of convergence among diverse fields of knowledge, and to offer the student a form of liberal education that is both modern and substantial.

NEXA courses span western cultural history from Mesopotamian origins to the present day. An additional course has been introduced to investigate an array of alternate futures. The NEXA curriculum is divided into three groups: Concepts, Sequences, and Issues.

NEXA organizes and presents public events on topics of general concern to both sciences and humanities. These events range from talks to panel discussions to colloquia and symposia, all of which relate to some aspect of NEXA's mission of enhancing the possibilities of convergence among academic disciplines. For example, colloquia are often devoted to exploring the implications for ethical responsibility and public policy of such questions as recombinant DNA and nuclear energy. Symposia are addressed to such large intellectual issues as sociobiology, Einstein's cultural influence, and the cultural and technological relationships between China and the West. NEXA's public events are designed to place San Francisco State University at the center of new thought and creative debate, both locally and nationally.

NEXA courses are available to students, regardless of major, either for General Education or for elective credit. (NEXA 698, however, is reserved for NEXA majors and minors.)

The NEXA minor is designed to serve the needs of students who are primarily committed to other academic disciplines, but who believe that an understanding of the historical and humanistic context of science or, conversely, the influence of scientific thought on our cultural tradition, would be a valuable adjunct to their specialized educations.

Career Outlook

NEXA was created to provide a new model of liberal arts education at San Francisco State University. NEXA does not prepare the student for any single career; rather, it provides a coherent intellectual basis for a life as well as for a profession.

Students choosing NEXA courses for elective credit or for a formal NEXA Minor should discover that this curriculum enhances their majors by providing interdisciplinary background, richness and depth. NEXA offers the kind of broadly humanistic experience that is often identified as desirable by post-graduate institutions, such as schools of medicine and law. In this way, NEXA supplements programs that prepare students for specific careers.

Inasmuch as NEXA focuses on questions of values, it exposes students to problems of value differentiation and value choice that are crucial in the practice of any professional career as well as in the conduct of one's life.


The NEXA curriculum is divided into three groups: Concepts, Sequences, and Issues. Courses for this discipline are listed in alphabetical sequence (consult Index for page reference).


NEXA 281	Mythic and Scientific Thought
NEXA 327	Business and Culture
NEXA 355	Chinese Science and Culture
NEXA 369	The Demonic Pact: The Faust Myth in Music and Literature
NEXA 380	Cosmologies and Worldviews
NEXA 382	Time in Human Consciousness
NEXA 383	The City in Civilization
NEXA 384	Words, Cultures, and Change
NEXA 392	Culture and Technology
NEXA 456	Reality and the New Physics


NEXA 330	The Marxian Revolution
NEXA 331	The Feminist Revolution
NEXA 340	The Nuclear Revolution
NEXA 387	Origins of Modern Science
NEXA 389	The Darwinian Revolution
NEXA 390	The Einsteinian Revolution


NEXA 362	Computers in the Arts and Humanities
NEXA 365	Convergent Computer Research
NEXA 369	The Demonic Pact: The Faust Myth in Music and Literature
NEXA 391	Biological Sex and Cultural Gender
NEXA 394	Split Brain: Mythos and Logos
NEXA 397	Communication Between Humans and Other Animals
NEXA 398	John Steinbeck and "Doc" Ricketts: Literature and the Sea

Directed Study Courses

NEXA 698 Senior Project NEXA 699 NEXA Independent Study

Composition Course

NEXA 214	Second Year Written Composition: NEXA

For current information on the NEXA curriculum, please contact Dr. Michael Gregory, NEXA Program Director (415/338-1302).

The formal requirements for a NEXA minor are seven NEXA courses, with at least one from each of the Concepts, Sequences, and Issues subdivisions. A student electing the NEXA minor is required to consult a NEXA adviser no later than the second semester prior to graduation to discuss his/her interests and to draw up a plan for the minor program.

Program Requirements

Seven NEXA courses including at least one 
Concepts, one Sequences, and one Issues course				21

Total for minor								21

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