You Can Study Taylor Swift at These Colleges

Swifties entering their "University Era" will find a slew of new course offerings examining the superstar, her songbook, and the success of The Eras Tour.
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Margaret Attridge is a news reporter for BestColleges focusing on higher education news stories in California. She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in May 2022 with a BA in journalism and government and politics....
Published on August 4, 2023
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  • Colleges and universities are embracing the popularity of Taylor Swift and offering courses on the singer, studying her lyrics, legacy, and pop culture reign.
  • Berklee College of Music and Stanford University are among the schools offering Taylor Swift-focused classes.
  • Last year, the University of Texas at Austin and New York University offered Swift-inspired courses.

College students are gearing up to get back on campus just as Taylor Swift wraps up the first U.S. leg of her Eras Tour with a six-show stand in Los Angeles. And while there's no degree for being a Swiftie, fans can now take courses inspired by the superstar at schools across the country.

BestColleges combed through course catalogs and found classes empowering students to explicate Swift's lyrics, analyze her albums era by era, and examine the societal impact of her hits.

Here's our syllabus of colleges and classes helping students study Taylor Swift and her music, impact, and success.

"Honey, Life Is Just a Classroom"

Stanford University is no stranger to Swiftie-designed classes. Last winter quarter, the university offered "All Too Well (Ten Week Version)," a course that featured an in-depth analysis of Swift's hit "All Too Well," led by students in the Italic arts program.

Next spring, Stanford will offer students the chance to study "The Last Great American Songwriter: Storytelling With Taylor Swift Through the Eras."

Stanford student Ava Jeffs will teach the class. She told BestColleges that she was inspired by courses at other schools and wondered if she could build a Swift-centered class at her university.

"I created a syllabus over a couple of months and then sent it out to a bunch of professors because I really didn't know how the process worked," she said. "Eventually, one of the professors in the English Department told me that he liked my syllabus and he'd be willing to sponsor a class as a sort of student-initiated course."

Each week, students will dissect a different album, studying Swift's storytelling techniques through each era, Jeffs said. Students will examine each of her albums to learn about what that era or album represents in terms of its themes, motifs, literary references within the songs, how different songs connect to a broader storyline, and where the album — or era — fits into her broader discography.

Arizona State University will also offer a Swift-inspired course taught by a student.

Alexandra Wormley, a graduate student at Arizona State, announced she would be teaching her Taylor Swift class the same day "Speak Now: Taylor's Version" was released.

"On a most auspicious day for Swifties everywhere, I am thrilled to announce that I will be teaching a class this fall entitled 'Psychology of Taylor Swift,'" she wrote. The course will cover "advanced topics in social psychology," including the psychology of music, social media, revenge, and romantic relationships.

Students at the Berklee College of Music in Boston will have the opportunity to dive into Swift's ability to write chart-topping hits this fall. "Songs of Taylor Swift" will focus on Swift's song composition and lyrics, according to The Boston Globe.

Rice University in Houston will also offer a course on the lyrical evolution of Taylor Swift.

The course will seek to answer questions about Swift's songwriting evolution and personal growth by taking students through each of Swift's albums in chronological order, focusing on topics such as femininity and gender; social media and public opinion; politics and social impact; fiction and nonfiction; American nationalism and whiteness; and family and feuds, according to the course listing.

Though Swift's Eras Tour has rocked cities across the country this summer, elevating the superstar to another stratosphere, classes covering her music aren't exactly new.

In addition to Stanford's past Swift-studies offering, the University of Missouri last spring offered the class "Taylor Swiftory: History & Literature Through Taylor Swift." The University of Texas at Austin and New York University's Clive Davis Institute also taught courses covering her music in 2022.