Posts Tagged ‘college courses’
When deciding on a major, it is important to first assess what you are interested in and what careers are available for someone with your intended skill set. You will have many opportunities to put your studies to work in classes, jobs, and internships throughout college, which will also help you narrow down your field of study to something that you will genuinely enjoy doing after you graduate. As a freshman, if you find yourself struggling to pick a major, don’t worry! There’s still time to figure it out, and the great thing about college is that it’s pretty easy to change your major later on if you feel you may be better suited to study something else.
What Do You Like?
An easy way to preliminarily decide what you want to major in is to think about what you liked learning in high school. There are different paths available in every major from computer science to nutrition to art and design, and understanding where your general academic interests lie is a great way to narrow down the field. Once you decide what subject you’d like to explore, the major requirements you need to take will help you figure out which specific aspects of the subject most appeals to you.
Make the Most of General Requirements
Throughout college, you will need to take certain classes to fill university-wide requirements. Generally, students will need to take a combination of a foreign language, an introduction to science, a low-level math class, and one or two college writing classes in order to graduate. Though you may initially see these classes as an undesirable addition to your course load, changing your attitude and seeing them as a way to explore different majors can help you find a subject you may be drawn to that you weren’t aware of before. It is very common for students to change majors after declaring, or pick up a minor they would have never considered upon entering school. Look through the course guide and pick classes that meet requirements and afford you the opportunity to explore new interests.
Use Your Resources
College syllabi and older upperclassmen can be great resources when choosing on a major. Many professors will post required readings and assignments with the course description, allowing you to see what the workload will be like before you sign up for the class. As you decide what classes to take, explore the syllabi and see if the coursework is something that interests you. If you find yourself dreading most of the work you will have during the semester, it may be a good idea to consider looking for different tracks of study within your field, or changing your major altogether. Another great resource that is available is the peer-advising office, where you can get advice and talk to upperclassmen in your major about what they enjoy most and least about the program.
As a freshman, you’re at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to registering for classes. Though a number of seats are usually reserved for freshmen students, you may find that all of the classes you were planning on taking are full by the time it’s your turn to register. If this happens, don’t panic—there are ways you can get into the class after the initial registration period.
Have A Back Up Plan
Most likely you will only be taking four or five classes a semester, but when preparing for registration, it is important to have back up options in case your first-choice classes are full. Take the time to look through the entire course guide and note the classes you’d be interested in taking—anywhere from six to ten back up classes will be sufficient. Look at the assignments, readings, exam schedule, and meeting time of each course to make sure they would be a good fit with your other options—you don’t want to burn out during your first year.
Join the Waitlist
For classes with a waitlist available, adding your name will give you a realistic indication of how likely it is that a seat will open up for you. If you’re anywhere from 1-10 on a waitlist for a lecture, it is likely that enough students will drop the class and allow you to register. On the other hand if you have a low number, like somewhere in the 20s or 30s, you don’t want to get your hopes up—it is unlikely that that many students will drop the course.
After the initial round of registration has ended, students continually drop and add classes at the beginning of the semester. If the classes you’re interested in do not have a waitlist available, continually checking to see if spaces have opened up is your best chance of getting into the classes you want to take.
Email the Professor
If you have a connection to the professor teaching a course you want to take, sending an email detailing your interest and asking for an override may get you the extra push you need to enroll in the class. Professors can sometimes issue special permission to register, and will give these to students they feel will be an excellent addition to the course. It doesn’t work in every case, but there’s no reason not to try.
One of the best parts about being a college student is undoubtedly the amount of control you have over your schedule. Besides choosing for yourself what you’ll do with your time, you get to take charge of your course schedule. While you’ll still be required to take a certain amount of science, history, English, and math as part of your core coursework, and while there are some courses in your major you won’t be able to avoid, when you take these classes are largely up to you! Before you jump at the opportunity to start your days at noon, check out these guidelines that will help you create a winning course schedule!
If You’re Undecided
If you haven’t chosen a major yet, you might want to spend your first semester or two plowing through your core coursework. With classes in multiple fields, you might be able to get a better idea on what it is you’ll want to further pursue. In addition, with your core coursework out of the way, you’ll be able to breeze through your major coursework without being held up by all those other 100 level classes you put off. This can increase your chances of graduating on time.
If you have some idea on what you’ll be majoring in, but just aren’t sure specifically what path to take, you can start taking some of your major’s general courses that will be required by everyone perusing that field. For example, if you’re not sure if you want to be a state trooper or a crime scene investigator, a 100 level criminal justice class is probably required for both.
If You’ve Chosen a Major
Instead of planning your schedule for this semester, try to plan for all of college. What courses will you need to take and when? You don’t want to put off a class that’s uninteresting, only to later find out it’s a prerequisite for every class you’ll need to take your sophomore year.
Don’t take too many classes that are similar in nature or workload. While biology may be your passion, four biology lectures with four labs due every Friday can get both confusing and exhausting.
Make note of the time you have between classes. Is there time to get lunch? Do you have chunks of time in your schedule you could use for group projects or papers? You don’t want to leave yourself with just enough time to do nothing everyday!
If the same class is taught by multiple professors, you may want to do some research. Read up on the backgrounds of your professors, and decide which you think will have more to offer. Ask other students who have taken the class. What do upperclassmen have to recommend? While one friend may advise you to avoid a professor based on the intense workload, an upperclassman may report that if they hadn’t had that professor, they wouldn’t have done so well in their other classes.
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I took a couple, something on dinosaurs (which, to my surprise, did have more than one lecture simply stating, ‘And then they went extinct’) and one on Harry Potter. And you know what? Those professors know what they’re doing because I actually learned a lot more than I bargained for–a lot of information on how rocks form, which is WAY more exciting than it sounds, and a bunch of themes in British literature that even J.K. Rowling herself is not immune to (probably because she knew what she was doing while she was writing the best books ever).
What’s super neat-o awesome about a liberal arts education is that you can take a class on the metaphysical mechanics of Doc Brown’s time machine in Back to the Future, and you will leave knowing so much more about the world than you could’ve possibly expected. That’s the beauty of the liberal arts; it’s not just black and white. That’s why it’s important to study different mediums to discuss language, philosophy, science and history. Even if one of those fields is your major, there’s a good chance there’ll bee some cross-pollination (see what I did there?) You’ll have to know how to study history if you’re an English major and vice a versa.
So when you’re looking through that course guide, don’t just skip over the flashy pop culture courses because you think you won’t get anything out of them; you most definitely will.
On that note, here are 11 popular culture classes being offered this semester at colleges across the nation. Do any interest you?
1. Consumerism and Social Change in Mad Men America, 1960-1963
What it’s about: Taught and conceived by Professor Michael Allen, this Mad Men class will assign students to watch episodes of the popular TV series, which Allen believes accurately portrays American life in the 1950s-60s.
2. South Park and Contemporary Social Issues
What it’s about: Dr. Baron (Philosophy) and Dr. Raley (Sociology) of McDaniel College are using South Park–a show which has never shied away from tackling the big social issues from its own point of view–paired with historical and contemporary texts, theories, and concepts from sociology and philosophy to understand and discuss contemporary social issues.
3. Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame
University of South Carolina
What it’s about: Students who take the course with Mathieu Deflem will focus on relevant elements of the societal context of Lady Gaga’s rise to fame, with students better able to engage in scholarly thinking about relevant aspects of popular culture, music, and fame.
4. Zombies in Popular Media
Columbia College Chicago
What it’s about: This course explores the history, significance, and representation of the zombie as a figure in horror and fantasy texts. Instruction follows an intense schedule, using critical theory and source media (literature, comics, and films) to spur discussion and exploration of the figures many incarnations….beware…
5. Wordplay: A Wry Plod From Babel to Scrabble
What it’s about: Professor Joshua Katz teaches this course with the goal to bring together interesting reading, thoughtful scholarship, and hands-on revelry in the exploration of the ludic side of language. Linguistic play is part of many people’s normal experience (think of the daily crossword puzzle and the excitement that surrounds the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee) and yet it is widely considered a trivial pursuit, often childish (Dr. Seuss and counting-out rhymes) but sometimes abstruse (James Joyce and Vladimir Nabokov).
6. “Oh, Look, a Chicken!” Embracing Distraction as a Way of Knowing
What it’s about:This course challenges the general conception that being distracted, i.e. students with A.D.D, infringe on “knowing”. T he course is all about ways of knowing, so it embraces the fact that we are distracted as a culture, why are we distracted, how can we embrace it and how do we get back to the thing that we were doing in the first place
7. What if Harry Potter is Real?
Appalachian State University
What it’s about: This course asks questions about the very nature of history. Who decides what history is? Who decides how it is used or mis-used? How does this use or misuse affect us? How can the historical imagination inform literature and fantasy? How can fantasy reshape how we look at history? The Harry Potter novels and films are fertile ground for exploring all of these deeper questions. Wingardium leviosa!
8. The Textual Appeal of Tupac Shakur
University of Washington
What it’s about: The course explores the philosophical, historical and literary influences of the late rapper and activist, Tupac Shakur.
9. Goldberg’s Canon: Makin’ Whoopi
What it’s about: Simply said, it’s a symposium on the career of Whoopi Goldberg.
10. Philosophy of Star Trek
What it’s about: Taught by Associate Professor Linda Wetzel, this course will go at light speed discussing topics in metaphysics that come up again and again in Star Trek. In conjunction with watching Star Trek, excerpts from the writings of great philosophers, extract key concepts and arguments will be assigned.
11. Sociology of Hip Hop: Jay-Z
What it’s about: The course is taught by Michael Eric Dyson, who wanted to seriously investigate the fuss behind Jay’z rhetorical impact.
Do any of these classes pique your interest? What class would you want taught?
There are ton of moving parts that go into a college search, and one of the most important things to figure out when you’re choosing a college is how you’d fit in to the college culture.
The Princeton Review recently published which colleges and universities had the most studious student bodies. So if you think you’re a bookworm who would fit in with the other kids at the library, check out these ten most studious schools:
1. Harvey Mudd College
Fun fact: Students at Harvey Mudd are encouraged to take classes for academic credit at the other four Claremont colleges-Pitzer College, Scripps College, Claremont McKenna College, Pomona College, Claremont Graduate College and Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences.
Fun fact: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States.
3. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
Fun fact: The College currently awards the half-tuition Olin Scholarship to each admitted student.
4. Harvard University
Fun fact: Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.
5. Princeton University
Fun fact: Princeton has been associated with 33 Nobel Laureates, 17 National Medal of Science winners, and three National Humanities Medal winners.
6. United States Military Academy, West Point
Fun fact: Candidates for admission must both apply directly to the academy and receive a nomination, usually from a congressman.
7. Davidson College
Fun fact: Both the town and college were named after Brigadier General William Lee Davidson, a Revolutionary War commander.
8. Haverford College
Fun fact: Although the College no longer has a formal religious affiliation, the Quaker philosophy still influences campus life such as its Honor Code, which allows for students to schedule their own final exams.
9. University of Chicago
Fun fact: The University of Chicago is said to look the most like the fictional magic school Hogwarts.
10. California Institute of Technology
Fun fact: Caltech has a strong tradition of practical jokes and pranks, but similarly to Haverford, student life is governed by an honor code which allows faculty to assign take-home examinations.
Would you want to go to one of these “bookish” schools? Leave a comment!
When deciding on a college, college-bound students have a cornucopia of factors to pick and choose from–the programs it offers, the location, the professors, the campus, the sports–there are just so many elements!
One of the most important factors that often gets overlooked, or is just misunderstood like your 8th grade goth self, is school size. The size of an enrollment class completely changes the culture of a school. Going to a university with 300 people in your freshman class is far different from going to a college with 10,000 people in your class. So if you’re looking for that big school atmosphere, today, we’re giving you a list of the ten universities with the largest undergraduate enrollment:
1. University of Central Florida
Enrollment – 45,398
Fun fact – UCF was founded with the goal to educate current and future students for promising space-age careers in engineering, electronics and other technological professions, thus serving as a support system for the nearby Kennedy Space Center. 3….2…..1…take off!
2. Ohio State University
Enrollment - 41,348
Fun fact - OSU was among the first group of public universities to raise a $1 billion endowment in 1999.
3. Arizona State University
Enrollment - 41, 256
Fun fact -To ensure college access to all Arizona residents, ASU has relatively liberal admission standards. Admission is ensured to Arizona residents in the top 25% of their high-school class with at a weighted secondary GPA of 2.5 GPA, or anyone with 24 credits of community college work with a 2.0 GPA minimum.
4. Rutgers University
Enrollment - 38,902
Fun fact – Rutgers is one of the nine Colonial colleges founded before the American Revolution. “Education is coming; education is coming!” – Paul Revere’s cousin.
5. Texas A&M University
Enrollment – 38,810
Fun fact -Texas A&M’s original mission was to educate males in farming and military technique. Because everybody knows, if you can plant a seed, you can grow an army.
6. Pennsylvania State University
Enrollment – 38,630
Fun fact – The 22,000+ student section at home football games is the largest concentrated student section in the nation…which is either a dream come true or your biggest headache.
7. University of Texas at Austin
Enrollment – 38,168
Fun fact - To show your UT pride, just show the Hook’em Horns hand signal to show you’re a Texas Longhorn. Make sure not to show it off in the wrong neighborhood though.
8. University of South Florida
Enrollment – 36,595
Fun fact – USF is also one of the nation’s top centers for the advancement in research of treatments for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s disease.
9. Michigan State University
Enrollment – 36,389
Fun fact - East Lansing is pretty much all college town, with 60.2% of the population between the ages of 15 and 24
10. University of Florida
Enrollment – 33,628
Fun fact - Approximately 5,200 undergraduate students (or approximately 15%) are members of either a sorority or fraternity.
What’s your take? Is a big school right for you? Leave a comment!
Connect with over 20 colleges and universities during our CappexConnect Online College Fair to
learn more about admissions, financial aid, and be entered for a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship.
Do words like business, philosophy, chemistry, literature, communications etc. just make you bored and want to fall asleep? Then you might want to take your college aspirations to a university that offers a different kind of major.
Take a look at these 7 out of the ordinary college majors:
1. Bowling Industry Management
This is what we’d call a turkey of a major. Learn to bowl without bumpers at Vincennes University.
2. Canadian Studies
This really shouldn’t be that weird, but it is! When have you ever learned anything about Canada in a class? It’s actually kind of sad. If this brings a sweet maple tear down your cheek, enroll now at SUNY Plattsburgh.
3. Professional Nanny
Thinking about a theater major? This would be the perfect minor to pair with it from Sullivan University. If you write some diaries, you might even get a movie deal where Scarlett Johansson plays you!
4. Poultry Science
Bawk, bawk bawk. You are not a chicken if you leave with a degree from North Carolina State University in poultry science. You are our hero.
It always seems like there’s one sole bagpiper marching by his lonely self on a misty hillside after the morning rain. Join his cause and the bagpipe revolution at Carnegie Mellon University.
6. The Beatles
At the Liverpool Hope University, instead of yellow school busses they have yellow submarines and instead of normal school weeks, classes are 8 days a week. Does this sound up your alley (or Abbey Road?).
7. Sports ministry
Belhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi offers the dream degree for folks who love youth sports and want to be ministers. It’s a combo degree that sounds like holy home run!
Is there a college major you wish existed? Comment and let us know!
Crazy College Stories: College Professor Sticks A Camera in His Head Only to Find Camera is Not Wanted
It’s time for, drum roll please, a crazy college story! College and university life is definitely the time for trying new things, but where does it go too far? Would sticking a camera in your skull suffice to say the experience has “gone too far”? At New York University, arts professor Wafaa Bilal, recently implanted a camera in the back of his head only to realize his body did not want it. According to The Huffington Post, “[Bilal] underwent surgery on Friday after his body rejected one of the titanium posts anchoring the device to his skull.” The article goes on explaining:
Late last year, Bilal had the digital camera inserted into a two-inch hole drilled into the back of his head. According to The Chronicle of High Education, the body-modification artist who performed the surgery also installed three posts between Bilal’s skin and skull to root the setup in place.
The troublesome post has been removed, but the other two remain. “I’m determined to continue with [the project],” Mr. Bilal said, according to The Chronicle.
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