The 11 Most Unique College Courses
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Choosing the right college courses can be the difference between a good semester and a great one. Students should consider several factors while registering, including major/minor requirements, time slots, and class sizes.
However, some university requirements and/or major requirements allow for flexibility. In these cases, students can pursue more fun and unique course options like the ones below. Classes like this may be difficult to get into, so make sure you have a backup.
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1. Patternmaking for Dog Garments — Fashion Institute of Technology
In this course, students learn how to create patterns for dogs of various sizes. No previous experience in patternmaking is required, so even first-year students can sign up. While the course specifically focuses on making coats for dogs, students may adapt these skills for personal projects.
FIT offers the class in person or online, with synchronous and asynchronous options to provide more flexible scheduling opportunities.
2. K-Pop Scribner Seminar — Skidmore College
Explored through the lens of expanding globalization, the K-Pop: Unpacking Korean Popular Culture in a Global World seminar at Skidmore studies the social and political influences behind Korean popular culture. The course uses many examples of K-pop, including music, film, video games, and even cuisine.
You'll examine how international influences intersect with Korean culture to create the global phenomenon behind K-pop. This course is offered by Skidmore's anthropology department.
3. Garbology — Santa Clara University
Garbology is the study of waste management. This SCU course follows the path of trashed items, exploring the long-term impacts of landfills, burning, and recycling. You'll examine trash through an ecological and social lens by learning how trash dumps impact marginalized communities.
This course also explores how waste is managed in other cultures and discusses sustainable methods for discarding trash, like green chemistry and zero waste.
4. Cow-to-Cone Ice Cream Short Course — Penn State
This professional course at Penn State teaches students about the production cycle of ice cream from "cow to cone." Taught by the Department of Food Sciences, the class is open to personnel from manufacturing and sales in food services.
The course lasts seven days and offers more than 20 workshops on the production of ice cream. You'll learn about specialized technology in ice cream production in areas like flavoring, freezing, and refrigeration.
5. Science From Superheroes to Global Warming — UC Irvine
In this unique physics course, students explore popular superheroes through a scientific lens. You'll answer questions like "Could Superman really fly?" and "What is Spider-Man's spidey sense?"
The goal of the course is to help students learn the scientific method through different case studies. UC Irvine offers this course through its UCI Open education project to expand access to education.
6. Introduction to Beekeeping — Temple University
This in-person course at Temple allows students to interact with active beehives and learn best beekeeping practices. This course covers practical skills such as:
- Examining a hive for all four stages of bee development
- Identifying drones and queens
- Monitoring the health of a hive
You'll also learn about important topics such as seasonal management and sustainable honey harvesting. This course does not require any previous experience in beekeeping.
7. Tree Climbing — Cornell University
This physical education course at Cornell captures the whimsy of climbing trees in childhood with more practical climbing skills and abilities. In this class, you'll learn how to use ropes and technical climbing gear to safely climb and move around treetops without damaging the trees.
Students must pay a fee to enroll. This course has an overnight requirement, though students who do not miss any classes may skip the overnight if they choose.
8. Introduction to Surfing — Coastal Carolina University
This exciting course at CCU requires no previous experience in surfing. You'll learn basic ocean safety and how to use surfing equipment. You'll also gain practical experience surfing in the ocean, guided by an instructor.
The course focuses on learning about local surf areas, recognizing different styles of waves and how to approach them, and determining favorable conditions for surfing.
9. Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse — Michigan State University
Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse is a multimedia online learning immersive experience course at MSU that explores human psychology and behavior during catastrophes. You'll learn how human behavior changes during times of great stress and catastrophe.
Three professors teach the course: one specializing in human behavior and two working in the visual arts. The accompanying trailer for the course sets the tone by stating, "In times of catastrophe, some people find their humanity, while others lose theirs."
10. Rockets and Instrumentation — University of Washington
This hands-on course at UW walks students through the process of building a rocket, its telemetry system, and its payload. By the end of the course, students will launch their rockets and analyze the data, determining if their rockets behaved as expected and why.
The class incorporates practical knowledge in engineering and design. You'll oversee every part of the rocket production, from fabrication to testing to final assembly.
11. How to Stage a Revolution — MIT
This history course at MIT examines different revolutions around the world. You'll learn about the fundamental causes of various revolutions, such as food shortages and wealth disparity. You'll also explore important concepts behind revolutions, like creating new societal values and whether revolutions need violence to succeed.
The course looks at both successful and failed revolutions through writing, music, and film. Students unravel the historical context behind past revolutions, including social and political factors.