Every new semester comes with the excitement of enrolling in new subjects, but for a lot of students, it could also mean a frantic scramble for the right classes. If your current schedule is full of prerequisites and breadth requirements and is still just short a few units, don’t be afraid to venture outside the comfort zone of your major. When denser coursework has you pulling all-nighters throughout the semester, having at least one class that’s guaranteed to be different than what you’re used to can make all the difference. Here are some unusual courses offered this semester that still have several open spots.
1) African American Studies 24: Researching “Mixed-Race” History and Images in the United States (1 unit)
Time and place: Wednesday, 10-12 p.m., 205 Wheeler
Race relations have always been and continue to be a complex topic, with an increasing percentage of people that come from multiple ethnic backgrounds. This freshman seminar examines the history of mixed-race heritage within the United States as well as contemporary trends from sources such as census data, literature and film.
2) Materials Science & Engineering 24: Physics and Materials Science of Skateboarding (1 unit)
Time and place: Thursday, 10-11 a.m., 285 Cory
Whether you prefer a longboard or Penny board, this course is ideal for anyone who enjoys a more easy-going lifestyle, or maybe just a Southern California native. Freshmen interested in this seminar can learn skateboarding basics from a hands-on scientific perspective, with topics focusing on the relation between the skateboard’s design and physical properties.
3) Letters & Science 125: Time (4 units)
Time and place: Tuesday and Thursday, 2-3:30 p.m., 150 GSPP
If high-school you ever imagined college to be full of New Age music and deep philosophical musings, this class would probably be the closest thing to it. As one of the Big Ideas Courses that promotes interdisciplinary learning, this discussion-style course looks at disciplines such as physics, psychology and natural sciences for an unconventional approach to understanding the concept of time. With no restrictions, this class is open to any major and class level and fulfills the physical science breadth requirement.
4) Letters & Science 70A: Physics and Music (3 units)
Time and place: Monday and Wednesday, 1-2 p.m., 4 Le Conte
Have you ever thought about the science side of your favorite songs or musical genres? While science and music isn’t the most obvious pairing, its unconventionality is what makes it all the more appealing. In this class, students can learn about the technical aspects of music and its contribution to scientific thinking. This course also satisfies the physical science breadth requirement and specialized knowledge in music theory or scientific background not required.
5) Letters & Science C46: Climate Change and the Future of California (4 units)
Time and place: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9-10 a.m., 101 Barker
Environmental consciousness is perhaps the most significant and pressing issue of our time. This course features a study of California’s economy and natural environment within the greater context of climate change. Discussions will also be supplemented with a focus on public policy, emphasizing the role of voters in combating climate change and shaping a better understanding of environmental issues.
6) Scandinavian 150: Studies in Scandinavian Literature Magic, Monsters & Miracles in Medieval Scandinavian Literature (4 units)
Time and place: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1-2 p.m., 247 Dwinelle
Are you a fan of “Game of Thrones” or medieval fantasy games? If stories of sorcery and magical creatures are your thing, this might be for you. This class explores a prominent element in Scandinavian literature: the supernatural. Discussions focus on the role of the supernatural within medieval texts and how they influenced attitudes toward scientific advancement. The class also fulfills the arts and literature breadth requirement.
7) Classics 28: The Classic Myths (4 units)
Time and place: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1-2 p.m., 145 Dwinelle
This course is ideal for those with a special love for the Percy Jackson series and Disney’s Hercules. Focusing on an extensive survey of ancient Greek and Roman mythology, this course features readings on familiar figures such as Zeus, Prometheus, Odysseus and yes, Hercules. Through the lenses of literature, film and other material, students can learn about how these iconic images have evolved over centuries.
8) Southeast Asian 10B: Peoples and Cultures of Island Southeast Asia (4 units)
Time and place: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9-10 a.m., 170 Barrows
Interested in learning about new cultures? In this introductory course, students can learn about the rich history and cultural traditions of the countries of Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and East Timor. Studies include cultural art practices as well as a look at the countries’ political systems. This class is open to all class levels and has no restrictions.
9) Classics 39K: Travel and Transport in the Ancient World (4 units)
Time and place: Tuesday and Thursday, 330-5 p.m., 134 Dwinelle
With modern luxuries, we can easily take for granted how hard life was back then. This freshman and sophomore seminar dives into the travel experience of people from ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. Students will look at topics such as technological advancements, archaeological data and the relationship between economy and travel.
10) Integrative Biology 24: Animal Navigation: Which Way is Home? (1 unit)
Time and place: Monday 2-3 p.m., 5192 VLSB
Want to know more about how animals successfully migrate to their precise location? In this freshman seminar, students can learn about the primary methods of animal navigation. Students will have the opportunity to conduct experiments based on magnetic fields but will also get the chance to work on their own individual project involving their preferred animal.
Contact Hazel Romano at [email protected].