Coolest College Classes You Can Take Now
Some people love school. Others view college as a necessary evil to help them get a well-paying job. The cost of education is more of an obstacle than it used to be, but the class options? So much better. Obviously, students are still required to take general ed classes in undergrad, plus specific courses to complete their degree, but electives are way more entertaining than they used to be. Keep reading for the most intriguing college courses that schools have offered or are offering now.
Not included: A Pizza Hut-sponsored course designed to help students perfect the art of crafting the ideal cheesy pizza pie. Where can we sign up?
The Evolution of Taylor Swift
School:New York University
Course description: Swifties, take note from Rolling Stone's Brittany Spanos. At NYU, she taught a course in 2022 about how T. Swift got started in music and evolved from a country artist with a youthful appeal to a contemporary pop artist. The class also delved into how she leaned into femininity to carve out her own niche as a songwriter, plus the musical influences that inspired her style.
The artist was invited to speak in class, but for unknown reasons couldn't make it. Regardless, that sounds like a pretty epic class to take for a music major.
Patternmaking for Dog Garments
School:Fashion Institute of Technology
Course description: Before you say that dogs don't need clothes, there are so many circumstances in which canine couture comes in handy. Small dogs tend to get chilly in cold climates and any breed can benefit from a coat to keep them from getting drenched on long walks in the rain. And if dog clothes are required, why not make them cute?
FIT gives students a chance to learn how to design their own dog apparel patterns, even if they have no experience making patterns for people. Take the class in person or online so your next Gucci-inspired puppy coat can be done in between trips to the dog park. Hey, if the school wants to go viral, they can always rename the course "Doggy Style 101."
Cow-to-Cone Ice Cream Short Course
School:Pennsylvania State University
Course description: Let's not forget that professional ice cream tasting is a real job. It's also possible to learn all the ins and outs of ice cream production if you go to Penn State. Students studying food services are welcome to take this week-long crash course that explains exactly how to make the creamiest, most flavorful ice cream from scratch. It's way more complex than you'd expect, but just as delicious.
Introduction to Beekeeping
Course description: Temple University offers students a chance to help save one of the most important species on the planet: bees. They have several active beehives for students to tend so they can learn how to monitor hive health, identify different types of bees, understand the stages of bee development and, of course, harvest honey.
You don't have to know what you're doing with bees to take the class, either. Just show up and by the end of the semester, you'll be able to successfully start a sustainable hive of your own.
Course description: P.E. has never been this fun before. One physical education course at Cornell takes students straight back to childhood. Instructors teach how to reach new heights, literally. Instead of just climbing trees freestyle, students learn how to use climbing gear to safely scale even the tallest of trees without causing any damage to them.
There's also the option of staying in a tree overnight, which is highly encouraged. Students with perfect class attendance can skip the exercise without penalties, but why would you? Snoozing in a giant sequoia sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
K-Pop Scribner Seminar
Course description: In case you're unfamiliar with Scribner Seminars, they're interdisciplinary discussions intended to challenge students to explore liberal arts on a deeper level, examining complex issues from multiple angles. Skidmore somehow uses K-Pop as the centerpiece for one of their seminars — and students love it.
The course is taught by Park Joowon, an anthropology professor who guides students through an exploration of the K-Pop phenomenon and challenges their viewpoints about culture and the world around them. Being primed for higher education via the sharp dance moves of BTS sounds like a great intro to the university experience.
Queen Bees, Wannabes, and Mean Girls
Course description: Is today's generation of college students into Mean Girls? The movie is dated by now, but the experience of dealing with catty, exclusionary high school cliques and snobby mean girls is, unfortunately, timeless. So why do some girls turn into carbon copies of Regina George, while others remain, well, not terrible?
That's what "Queen Bees, Wannabes, and Mean Girls" covered at Colorado College in 2015. It addresses the psychology behind the mean girl persona and why "queen bees" will go to such lengths to maintain their lofty, albeit unpleasant, social status.
Introduction to Surfing
School:Coastal Carolina University
Course description: Call us biased, but going to school on a coast is the best. Getting to hit the beach like it's permanently spring break is a plus, but students who are lucky enough to attend Coastal Carolina U can pick up surfing in place of a boring P.E. class.
"Intro to Surfing" covers all the basics, including styles of waves, how to identify safe surfing conditions and how to find the best local surfing spots. Of course, students gain hands-on experience.
Wasting Time On The Internet
School:University of Pennsylvania
Course description: No, we're not joking. In 2015, "Wasting Time On The Internet" wasn't merely a fun elective at Penn U. It was a popular choice for English majors to fulfill some of their degree requirements. We're confused about the exact purpose of the course, but according to the description, the assignments included staring at screens and communicating only via social media, chat rooms and other online mediums.
Multi-tasking and procrastination scrolling were encouraged. Call us crazy, but couldn't most college students teach that course? Talk about an easy A.
Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse
School:Michigan State University
Course description: No one likes paying for classes they'll never use in real life. How often do most of us really use calculus? "Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse," on the other hand, sounds so practical.
Before you get too excited, the immersive online course isn't directly about zombie attacks. Instead, the course covers the psychology of human behavior during emergency situations. Interestingly, not one, but three, professors team up to lead the course. One is a human behavior expert, while the other two are visual arts professors.
The course comes with a trailer to reel in students right from the start, leading with the bold statement, "In times of catastrophe, some people find their humanity, while others lose theirs." We're just wondering if we can get extra credit points for binge-watching the last season of "The Walking Dead."
How to Stage a Revolution
School:Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Course description: We're surprised this history course is taught at MIT instead of France. Students get to learn about the fascinating history of numerous revolutions around the world. It's not just about how they occurred, but why. Food shortages and wealth disparity are two of the most common themes leading up to revolutions, though there are plenty more to learn about.
"How to Stage a Revolution" also looks at the reasons why some revolutions fail and others succeed, all while untangling the complex social and political climate that causes them in the first place. We're a little disappointed that the textbook isn't just an instruction manual on how to stage a coup, but this seems cool too.
School: Texas A&M University
Course description: We've got to hand it to this Texas school for keeping sports education interesting. Their School of Human Development includes a number of creative classes, like "Aqua Zumba" and "Ice Sports." If you're a novice paintballer, you also have the option of joining the school paintball club and taking this unusual course.
It covers everything you need to know to maximize your paintball performance, with built-in practice opportunities with one of the largest collegiate competitive paintball teams in the country. As long as you don't mind being covered in bruises all semester, it sounds awesome.
Vampire: Blood and Empire
School:University of Pittsburgh
Course description: The fun part about college is that professors can name their courses almost whatever they want. This one is designed for freshmen and covers all the ins and outs of vampirism. It falls under the Slavic Languages & Literatures department and it's mostly about the folk tales and legends of vampires throughout Central European culture.
Students get to spend about half the course watching movies and reading novels about blood sucking legends. Where can we sign up?
The Art of Selfies
School:City Lit College
Course description: In today's era of social media, it's impossible to get through college without snapping some selfies. Students enrolled at London's City Lit College in 2015 got to take their skills up a notch with a course called "The Art of Self Portraiture." It really was all about taking social media-worthy snapshots of yourself.
Sounds fun right up until you realize all of your selfies were up for critique by a classroom of your peers. Isn't the comment section enough?
Dealing Tactfully with Difficult People
School:University of California, Los Angeles
Course description: Gaslighters and toxic bosses, begone. As the course enrollment page explains, the course provides concrete strategies for addressing manipulation, negativity, attention-seeking behavior, distraction, people who never hold themselves accountable and a number of other common behaviors that students are bound to encounter in school, the workplace and, dare we say, every time they head home for winter break. Where was this course when we were in school?