Cool College Electives

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No matter what your major is, there are a variety of fun college electives available to choose from at most colleges.

Cool College Electives

Electives can be a great way to explore an interest completely unrelated to your chosen course of study, or a way to dip your toe into a subject you’re not yet sure about. Most traditional and online colleges require a certain amount of electives.

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There are a few easy college electives found at most schools, but your school may also have plenty of fun elective classes that you’ve never heard of.

Cool and Fun College Electives

The electives found at your school may vary, but there are a wide variety of interesting classes to take in college. The electives you choose may depend on your major, career path, interests, or other factors.

Select the program that most interests you to jump to that section of the guide:

All of these electives can add some fun and creativity to your college degree program and a number of students consider available electives when choosing colleges.

Art / Art History

College students taking Elective in Art History

Studying art or art history can be a valuable pursuit even if you aren’t interested in an artistic career. Many students take this class for fun, as a creative outlet, or to explore art as a hobby.

Regardless of your motives, art can help teach you critical thinking and analytical skills that may benefit you in your chosen career path. Art electives don’t necessarily mean you’ll be painting or drawing, since schools may teach skills like welding, sculpture, graphic design, and more.

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If you are interested in pursuing art or art history as a career, this may be a helpful elective to take. Art history classes may help teach historical and cultural context for the medium you specialize in, while art courses may give you an opportunity to develop your artistic expression. Some art classes may involve opportunities for field trips to visit museums, and to examine and analyze art.

Creative Writing

College students taking Elective in Creative Writing

Creative writing may be a valuable choice for students who are thinking about careers that involve writing or storytelling. Communications, public relations, and marketing are all professions that can fall into this category.

Regardless of your potential career path, many professionals use writing in some capacity, even if their job isn’t centered around it. For example, people may write emails and a resume while in the workforce. Creative writing may help teach you to clearly communicate in these areas.

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Creative writing classes can also just be taken for fun as a creative outlet. You may learn different ways to express yourself, such as through poetry or blogging. This elective may show you how to tell a story through character-building and different narrative devices.

As with other English classes, creative writing courses may also be a great opportunity to hone in on vocabulary, grammar, and spelling skills.


College students taking Elective in Dance

Dance classes can be a lot of fun, and a great way to get physical activity while knocking out a few credits at the same time. College can be a time when it’s easier to develop poor eating or exercise habits, and regular physical activity may help keep students healthy.

The dance electives available may vary by school, but some of the options may include modern, jazz, tap, and hip-hop. Classes may work on individual moves as well as fully choreographed routines. Dance courses may also focus on learning about dance from an academic perspective. Students may have lessons in dance history and culture, and may study and discuss various dance ideologies and routines.

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Students may study the technical aspects of dance as well, which can include choreography, rhythm, lines, and more. Some dance electives may offer the opportunity to choreograph and present routines to their peers.

Foreign Languages

College students taking Elective in Foreign Languages

If you want to learn a foreign language, there’s no better way than to take a class. Learning a new language can be a great addition to your resume, as well as a fun way to get out of your comfort zone.

In addition to learning the language, you may get the chance to learn about a new country’s culture and history. If you’re ever interested in studying or living abroad, knowing another language may help you navigate a different landscape.

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The language that you choose to learn may have an impact on your career, depending on what profession you’re pursuing, how well you learn the language, and other factors. For example, if you end up traveling to China for business, it may be helpful to know Mandarin. Knowing a foreign language may help increase your job prospects, and some employers may see it as a sign that you like to learn new things.

Improv / Acting

College students taking Elective in Improv / Acting

An improv or acting class can be a fun creative outlet where you may learn to express yourself while improving your public speaking skills. If you aren’t interested in pursuing an acting career, you may still learn verbal communication skills that could translate to your desired profession.

While getting up in front of a group of people may sound intimidating, improv and acting classes may help build your confidence and allow you to be more in tune with your emotions. These soft skills may be valuable when working with other people in a wide range of professional settings.

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While in an acting course, you may learn dialogue skills, text analysis, and how to develop a character, among other topics. You may participate in acting exercises, analyze scripts, and learn various improvisation techniques. An acting class may help you professionally in the future, or it may just be a fun way to learn a new hobby.


College students taking Elective in Marketing

If you’re not sure if you want to pursue marketing as a career path, taking it as an elective may help you decide. Jobs in marketing can include social media managers, digital strategists, and email marketing associates.

The skills you can learn in a marketing class may be helpful in a variety of roles. For example, small business owners need to sell their products, and photographers must sell their services. Even if you don’t pursue marketing jobs, you may still use these techniques in the future.

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In a marketing class, you may learn various advertising methods and technologies. These can include social media, public relations, integrated marketing, and more. You may also learn selling techniques and how to construct a persuasive argument. Students may also learn soft skills in a marketing elective, such as strategic decision-making and communication, that can be transferrable in a variety of professions.


College students taking Elective in Music

If you’ve always wanted to learn how to play an instrument, a college elective may be a risk-free way to do so. Many students taking these classes generally have little to no experience, so it can be a good way to dip your toe into music.

There are a variety of music classes you may be able to take, including guitar, piano, and jazz. If you enjoy the course, you may be able to take more advanced classes afterward. Some schools even have music programs and majors for further study.

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In addition to learning how to play an instrument, you may learn about music theory, traditions, and culture. Students in music classes might also study applications in films, plays, and performances. Depending on your school, music electives may be a great way to learn history, art, and a new instrument, whether or not you decide to pursue music as a career.


College students taking Elective in Nutrition

Learning how to eat healthily and take care of your body is a lifelong process, and a nutrition class may be able to help. As college often isn’t the healthiest time in someone’s life, this may be a beneficial time to take a class in nutrition.

You may learn about a variety of health-related topics, including food science, food labels, different diets, and more. The knowledge you may get from a nutrition class can often be applied immediately in your everyday life. In addition to food, you may study topics in biology, cooking, and healthcare, among others. If you’re looking to pursue a career in any of these fields, a nutrition class may help you get to where you want to be.

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Even if your chosen career path is completely unrelated, everyone can benefit from eating well and feeling good, and this elective may be a fun way to learn self-care.

Personal Finance

College students taking Elective in Personal Finance

Personal finance can be a very beneficial course for some students, as many haven’t been previously exposed to these kinds of topics in school. Once students graduate and join the workforce, personal finance is something they’ll likely encounter in their everyday life.

In personal finance courses, students may learn about debt, credit cards, and other means of maintaining financial stability. If you’re wondering how to save, invest, or manage your money well, this elective may help you figure out how to do so.

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These skills can be helpful for the rest of your life, and depending on your financial situation, they may be applicable almost immediately. Being well-versed in personal finance may help you develop a healthy relationship with money in the future.

If you’re planning on pursuing a career in business, marketing, or any other sector that deals with money, a personal finance course may help give you foundational tools to learn about budgeting, financial planning, and more.


College students taking Elective in Photography

Photography can be a great way to express your creativity and may turn into a lifelong hobby. If you’re looking to incorporate it into your work, photography skills may also be needed in roles in marketing, design, journalism, and other fields.

A photography elective can be a great introduction and a way to test if you enjoy it. You may learn professional photography techniques like lighting, editing, composition, and more. Photography classes may allow you to practice taking photos in addition to learning about them.

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Many photos today are taken digitally, but you may also get the chance to learn about film photography. Some classes may also teach you about photography in history, culture, and other contexts. Depending on which school you attend, you may get a chance to build a photography portfolio, which could be useful if you are pursuing a career as a photographer.

Physical Education

College students taking Elective in Physical Education

A physical education elective can be a great way to ensure you’re getting enough exercise in, while simultaneously working toward completing your college credits. Some schools may even have a physical education requirement.

Many schools may have a variety of physical education classes you can choose from, so you can try to find one that you enjoy. Options can include yoga, boxing, Pilates, swimming, and more. You may even be able to find classes such as horseback riding, martial arts, and archery under the physical education category. This elective can be a fun way to pursue a hobby and get exercise at the same time.

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Not only is physical education a great way to get in some body movement, but exercise may be able to help reduce stress and anxiety, which may be helpful to college students taking rigorous classes full-time.


College students taking Elective in Psychology

If you’re interested in becoming a psychologist or working in psychology, an elective can be a great introduction to the field. If you’re just interested in learning more about human behavior, you may also enjoy taking a psychology course.

Learning to understand and effectively relate to other people can be beneficial in a lot of areas of life, from communicating with fellow employees in the workplace to raising children. No matter what you want to do in the future, everyone interacts with other people in some capacity.

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A psychology course may teach you about memory, emotions, personality traits, and other ways of evaluating human behavior. Your school may also offer specialized psychology courses like social psychology, clinical psychology, or forensic psychology.

By taking a psychology class, you may also learn some history or biology as it relates to human behavior. Some courses may also incorporate research into your studies.

Public Speaking

College students taking Elective in Public Speaking

Public speaking can be a valuable skill in multiple careers but may be especially valuable in fields that require a lot of verbal communication, such as public relations and politics. A public speaking elective can be a great way to practice in a low-pressure environment.

While in a public speaking course, you may learn how to write speeches, prepare presentation materials, actively listen, and more. This class may involve a mix of lessons and practice making speeches or presentations to fellow classmates.

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Students may also learn persuasive speaking techniques, which may be useful in careers like sales or marketing. Public speaking classes may also involve learning to debate, which may help build critical thinking and analytical skills.

If you ever find yourself in a position where you need to interview, give a presentation, or train a group of people, among other tasks, public speaking may help you feel more confident in doing so.


College students taking Elective in Statistics

You don’t have to be a math major to benefit from a statistics class, as this subject can be useful for a wide variety of career paths. Statistics may be used by financial analysts, data scientists, and other roles that involve looking at different data sets.

If you’re not interested in directly pursuing a career in data analysis, there are roles in operations, marketing, management, and more that may occasionally need statistics. It may also help you stand out on your resume when applying to jobs.

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In a statistics elective, you may learn how to collect data, analyze it, and effectively communicate your findings. You may also learn some aspects of computer programming, math, and business. Statistics may also be a useful skill in your personal life. It may be helpful in creating a budget, financial planning, and other ways of managing your money.

Web Design

College students taking Elective in Web Design

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in web development, a web design course may help you learn skills to get there.

Web design professionals may be able to build their own freelancing business, or they may pursue full-time opportunities at corporations. Web design skills may also be useful in a variety of other careers, like graphic design, marketing, and communications. You may even be able to use these techniques to build a website if you one day own a business.

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A web design elective may teach you coding, visual planning, user research, product design, and more. You may have the chance to build a portfolio of your work, which may help your resume stand out when applying to jobs. Even if you take a web design class purely for fun, you may enjoy the creativity that comes along with building a website and customizing it to fit your preferences.

How to Choose the Right Elective Classes in College

Friends looking online for College Elective options

When deciding which cool college electives to take, there are a variety of factors to take into consideration, a few of which are below.

  • Class schedule
  • Personal interests
  • Desired career path
  • Class format
  • Skills that complement your major

You may choose to only take electives that are directly related to your career path. An example of this would be taking a psychology elective as a psychology major. You could also decide to take a class that may complement your major, like public speaking for a communications major. Students also sometimes just take fun elective classes to learn a new hobby, enhance a skill, or expand on a personal interest.

What Are Electives in College?

UC-Santa Cruz

Electives in college are classes that aren’t part of a student’s core curriculum, but that are often required for college graduation. Through elective classes, students may get the chance to learn about subjects they have no previous experience with.

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There are usually plenty of fun classes to take in college, which may expose students to new hobbies and allow them to develop new skills. Besides being fun ways to pursue a passion, electives may help graduates stand out when looking for jobs.

Should I Take College Electives for Fun?

After college, you may spend a good amount of your time working, which can leave less time for discovering new passions. Outside of college, fun classes may also be an added expense, so college can be a great time to take advantage of the variety of electives available.

When planning for college, there is a multitude of reasons to take college electives for fun, including the ones below.

  • Change of pace
  • Broaden your perspective
  • Get outside of your comfort zone
  • Discover new interests
  • Develop intellectual curiosity
  • Discover your desired career path

Fun college electives may also be a much-needed break from an otherwise intense curriculum. They may also set you up to experience a variety of interests and hobbies after graduation for a more well-rounded life. It can also be beneficial to have some classes that you truly enjoy and feel less pressure from. There’s no doubt that college can sometimes be stressful, but electives may help make it fun too.

Taking Fun College Electives

College students attending their elective class

College can be an ideal time for self-exploration, and electives may help you discover new passions, interests, and hobbies that you weren’t previously aware of. You may get the chance to learn photography, acting, marketing, and nutrition, among other subjects.

College electives may also be beneficial for your desired career path. While major-related classes may focus mostly in one area, electives may help make your resume more well-rounded while teaching you useful skills for future jobs.

If you’re curious about what electives your school offers, you can most likely browse fun electives to take in college on the accredited school’s website or speak with the admissions office.

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Stephanie Friedman
WRITTEN BY Stephanie Friedman

Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine and a Certificate in Journalism and Newswriting from New York University. Stephanie focuses on researching affordable education opportunities, non-traditional career paths, and online learning.