10 cool classes to take at UC Berkeley

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So you’re coming to CalSO. It could be only your first or second time ever stepping foot on campus. In these few days, you will eat at UC Berkeley dining halls, explore Telegraph Avenue, attend an ungodly amount of info sessions, talk to your advisers for the first time and sign up for classes. Your advisers can help you out to the best of their abilities, but you need advice from real UC Berkeley students on the best, most interesting classes to take here.

Your adviser will encourage you to engage in what they call “targeted exploration,” which they say will help you figure out what your major will be, while also getting the most out of the classes Berkeley has to offer. We suggest you take a look at these classes for the exploration part of “targeted exploration” and really enjoy your time here.

  1. L&S C30T: Drugs and the Brain — This class is a favorite among molecular and cell biology, or MCB, majors because it fills a lower division requirement and is a very compelling class. This class is perfect for those of you in the humanities as well, though, because it fulfills your Biological Sciences breadth requirement.
  2. African American Studies 142AC: Race and American Film — This class focuses on the portrayal of race in American film. This class has movie screenings, which give you a chance to get really familiar with American film and explore race portrayal. Plus, it fulfills your American Cultures requirement!
  3. History 151C : The Peculiar Modernity of Britain — This class is all about learning the story of Britain. Professor James Vernon is a skilled and engaging lecturer, and he will be sure to get your critical thinking juices flowing. You have the opportunity in his class to exchange your final for a research paper to hone your writing skills.
  4. ESPM 50AC: Introduction to Culture and Natural Resource Management — This class is another student favorite for fulfilling the American Cultures requirement, especially for students in the College of Natural Resources, or CNR. Make sure to add this class in phase one of enrollment because it fills up super quickly.
  5. L&S 20E: Edible Stories: Representing California Food Culture — Not often do you get the opportunity to learn about the fantastic and hallowed food culture of California. This discovery course, taught by Kathleen Moran, recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award, will take you on a culinary journey and maybe even compel you to get in the kitchen.
  6. MCB 50: The Immune System and Disease — This lower division MCB class will give you a taste of one of the concentrations of the major: immunology. Interesting material and compelling lectures make this class a must take for MCB majors as well as people from all majors.
  7. Philosophy 133: Philosophy of Language — This philosophy class will blow your mind. Professor John Searle will make you interested in a subject you didn’t even know existed: linguistic philosophy. His expertise and renown alone is astonishing, as he’s one of the most prolific American philosophers of this age.
  8. L&S C180U: Wealth and Poverty — This class is taught by the incomparable Robert Reich, who served under both President Carter and President Clinton. His passion and intensity come through in all of his lectures. This class fills up quickly though, so you may even end up first phasing it as a senior.
  9. Astronomy C10: Introduction to Astronomy — Alex Filippenko is widely known as one of the most compelling and passionate teachers here at UC Berkeley. Make sure to take his Astronomy C10 course to fulfill your Physical Sciences breadth requirement and learn about the wonders of the universe.
  10. FemSex DeCal — This student-taught DeCal will inspire you and make you think about female sexuality in a completely different and novel way. The student teachers care so much about the material they’re teaching and that’s what truly shines through in this DeCal.

Welcome to UC Berkeley, new Bears! We hope your first experience with CalCentral enrollment isn’t too confusing.


Contact Sasha Ashall at [email protected]

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