If you think college is just one boring lecture after another, think again.
Unlike the curriculum high school offers, college has a much more flexible and broader set of courses you can take. More importantly, these are courses you can choose on your own and put together based on your own interests. While every college and university will offer the same standard subjects (math, science, history), they each will also have very unique courses only they’ll have.
Here’s a list of courses that will make you wake up at 8AM voluntarily:
University of Washington: Superheros
Also more formally known as ENGL 207A: Introduction to Cultural Studies, Superheros is a 200 level English course that explores the concept of superhuman, and how the concept is gendered and how science fiction is portrayed. The focus will be on Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and Captain America – comic book superheros from the WWII period. Read more here.
Rutgers University: Politicizing Beyoncé
If this wasn’t already a course, it most certainly will be now since her latest album, Lemonade. The aim of the course is to answer this question: “Can Beyoncé’s music be seen as a blueprint for progressive social change?” Throughout the semester, the course will analyze her lyrics and music videos and compare it to the timeline of black feminist struggle in the U.S.
Boston College: Disney and the Wonder Tale
You’ve probably heard of this class before you even step on campus. Professor Bonnie Rudner has always taught a Children’s Literature course. She found inspiration for this one when many students never read the original fairy tales and simply referred to the Disney films. By making her class read the original stories first and then rewatching the Disney films, Professor Rudner has her students thinking about 3 questions:
What strategies are used by Disney to change the narratives of fairytales in order to make highly successful movies?
What’s the role of myth and narrative in shaping people’s identities and desires?
Finally, what happens when a culture’s most powerful stores are taken over and used to make a profit?
Michigan State University: Surviving The Coming Zombie Apocalypse
Did you know college courses win awards? We didn’t know either, but this MSU course on the zombie apocalypse did! This online course is offered to both MSU undergraduate and graduate students, as well as non-MSU students. The course explores the human instinct to survive and how humans behave when faced with disasters. Here’s more information.
University of Pennsylvania: Wasting Time on the Internet
How much time have you wasted in lectures reading through Buzzfeed articles and scrolling through your Facebook feed? What if that’s not you paying attention, but actually doing coursework? That’s what this course at UPenn offers. Though there’s a decline in print text, professor Kenneth Goldsmith wrote in a New Yorker article, “We’re reading and writing more than we have in a generation, but we are reading and writing differently—skimming, parsing, grazing, bookmarking, forwarding, retweeting, reblogging, and spamming language—in ways that aren’t yet recognized as literary.”
Georgetown University: Knights of Old & Harry Potter
Georgetown University already looks like Hogwarts. Healy Hall has a striking resemblance to the Hogwarts castle, but that’s not all this Jesuit university has to offer. As part of its Medieval Studies department, Georgetown offers a course that explores the medievalism of the Harry Potter novels. The course draws comparison between the Harry Potter series and medieval literature, specifically the narrative of a hero experiences. For more information, read here.
Pitzer College: Learning from YouTube
What do you do when you don’t know how to do something? You either Google it or Youtube it. Without much thought, we’ve grown dependent to the readily available information that’s out there. We learn how to babyproof our apartments, french braid our hair and generate excel spreadsheets in a 2-minute Youtube video. This course examines how that has changed the way we learn and whether it’s made us complacent about academic inquiries.
Course catalog might not be a priority for most when searching for colleges to apply to, but it certainly is something to keep in mind! Not every university will have the same departments and some departments are bigger than others. Make sure it’s part of your research and hopefully, you’ll get to enroll in one of these amazing classes! For more favorite classes, check out AdmitSee’s blog.
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About Frances Wong
A math major turned growth hacker, Frances has worked in PR and marketing in Hong Kong, New York and San Francisco. AdmitSee is her third edtech startup, coming from Course Hero and Purpella. Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. Fun Fact: Frances was a certified and licensed EMT during her time at Georgetown.
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