Cultural Explorations RAP
Fall 2014

Students in the Cultural Explorations RAP (previously calleld Exploring Society) will consider a variety of questions such as:

  • What is society?
  • What is the nature of American Culture?
  • How has our society changed over the course of history?
  • How do people of the United States and around the world think about these questions?   

Students will focus on the current debates in our society and examine topics such as democracy, free speech, media and technology, video games, immigration, and citizens' rights.

When you join this program you will...

  • Explore the ways in which historical events together with life experiences influence people's perceptions of society from a personal and a broader world perspective.
  • Identify ways to incorporate your interests with your academic studies.  
  • Begin your academic career in an environment designed to foster your creative endeavors and develop your academic skills. 
  • Connect easily with classmates for study groups and class projects.
  • Learn about the various related programs, events and opportunities available to UMass Amherst students.

During your weekly seminar meeting you will have an opportunity to explore topics from both current and historical contexts. Readings, multimedia, and social media will insprire lively and meaningful class discussions.

The seminar will also provide a supportive environment for personal reflection and critical thinking on the topics generated by the group. These exciting conversations will begin in class and since the students will be living together, you will have the opportunity to continue discussing and debating with friends when class is over.


"The American Family", History 242 course (for students living together in Pierpont Hall) will provide an historical and cross-cultural approach to the study of families in America. Beginning in the seventeenth century, we will examine how different groups within America constituted their family units in response to changing political, social, cultural, and religious attitudes. Ending with the family today, the course explores the changing function of families in America, and in particular the role of youth within family structure.

Be sure to visit the How to Join page on this website to learn about the process and important timelines you must follow to become a member of this fantastic program! 

Classes and Locations

Fall 2014

ALL students in the Cultural Explorations RAP will enroll in the following classes taught in the residential area:

"RAP Seminar"- UNIV 190R
1 credit


Gen Ed class (4 credits) - specific to each location. 

"The American Family"- History 242(Gen Ed HS).
Students will live together in Pierpont Hall in Southwest area of campus.

"Social Change in the 1960's"
- History 154 (Gen Ed HSU).
Students will live together in Gorman Hall in Central area of campus.

"Culture Through Film" - Anthro 106 (Gen Ed G SB).
Students will live together in Wheeler Hall in Orchard Hill area of campus.


"College Writing" - English 112 (Gen Ed CW), 3 credits, a limited number of sections will be offered in the residential area both Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 semesters.

Spring 2015

  • No required RAP classes.
  •  Small sections of Gen Ed classes will be offered in each residence area.

Pamela R. Marsh-Williams, Ph.D.
Assistant Provost & Dean

This website is part of Undergraduate Advising & Learning Communities. We provide undergraduate students a variety of opportunities and services designed to facilitate the best academic experience possible. 609 Goodell Building, UMass Amherst.

UA&LC Units: Undergraduate Advising, Residential Academic Programs, Domestic Exchange Programs, Five College Interchange