Cool College Electives

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Unlike classes that are required to complete your major or minor, an elective is a course that you choose. It can be something you find fascinating, a class that lets you blow off steam, or just a fun no-brainer that you think you’ll enjoy…and breeze through.

Cool College Electives

Most colleges require a certain amount of electives, which is a nice change of pace from that required 8 a.m. Chemistry 101 lab!

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Here are some of the more unusual electives we found when scouring course catalogs from schools across the country.

Witchcraft, Sorcery, and Magic
Williams College
This supernatural class asks students to reconsider the idea of rationality by asking, “Are witches presumably rational people holding apparently irrational beliefs? Or not?” Students draw from case studies including love magic, oracles, voodoo and historical witch societies. Leave your love potions at home.

Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll
University of North Carolina – Wilmington
Celebrity, hedonism, addiction, creativity, beauty. What’s not to love? This class studies the repercussions of indulgence and its attraction. The professor describes the class as a “work in progress” and encourages students to add to its content. There’s a hefty required reading list, but with such a fun topic, who cares?

The (Sur)Real World of Reality TV
Indiana University
Get credit for watching TV? It’s a win-win class as coeds study the international phenomenon from a historical, legal, ethical, cultural, economic, psychological and sociological perspective. Bring your own popcorn.

Music of the Grateful Dead
UC-Santa Cruz

UC-Santa Cruz

Maybe your parents would approve of this hippie-lover’s course that explores the music of the legendary ’60s band with its own traveling groupie posse. Students try to understand the sociology and history of the psychedelic movement and the band’s evolution. Wear your tie-dye shirt.

Images of Disasters in Film and Media
University of North Texas
In real life, does the person who’s freaking out during a disaster really need to be slapped? Share your opinion in this course that examines the pop culture phenomenon of disaster movies.

Students talk about the myths of human behavior in emergency situations and how to seriously address them. Truly a “groundbreaking” class.

Practical Wisdom
Swarthmore
Aristotle called it “phronesis” but we call it useful – and fun. Learn how practical wisdom helps people make choices to better their friendships, education, work, love life, politics and community activities.

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Students discuss morals and how to make good decisions while trying to understand their own character development. Be prepared to answers some tough questions … and not just on the tests!

Girl Culture
Duke University
Don’t mistake this class for a course in male-bashing. Students entrench themselves in all things feminine from the 19th century to now in the United States by discussing Powerpuff Girls, goddesses, teenage fairies, witches and black-belted heroines, as well as all-female bands and Cybergrrls.

Theories on good girls vs. bad girls and how the labels relate to sexuality, race, ethnicity and economic class are backed up by “girly” traditions like slumber parties, makeovers, dolls and dress-up. We dare any guy to sign up!

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Elizabeth Abner
WRITTEN BY Elizabeth Abner

Elizabeth is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Foreign Policy and earned her master's degree in business administration. For her undergraduate studies, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in international business. Elizabeth's research is focused on universities offering online degree programs.