The 10 Craziest College Classes of Fall 2013

As you crack open your textbooks and pore over your syllabi for Econ 101 and Western Civ this semester, aren’t you wishing you could take a class a bit more relevant to your interests? Well, forget those lame lectures and check out these cool and unique classes being offered at colleges across the country this fall. For binge Mad Men watchers, paw-friendly animal lovers and just about anyone in between, these classes make fall schedules more fun!

1. Robotics with LEGO – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This fall, UNC is giving students the opportunity to relive a childhood play date with a class in robotics using LEGOs. The course focuses on computer science through designing, building and programming LEGO robots. And in case these students forgot to pack their LEGO collection when they left home, they’ll each be lent a complete LEGO Mindstorms NXT kit for the semester. This class will turn a beloved childhood toy into a real-world tool as students participate in friendly competitions to evaluate their robots. Unfortunately for the rest of the LEGO-loving Tar Heels, Robotics with LEGO is a First Year Seminar, which means it’s only open to freshmen. For those freshmen, however, Robotics with LEGO will introduce them to computer science, regardless of their level of programming experience, and it will even fulfill a general education requirement.

2. Writing and Academic Inquiry: Hipster Accessories – University of Michigan

Some freshmen at the University of Michigan this fall will fulfill their First Year Writing requirement by reading and writing about hipsters! This unique first-year seminar will attempt to define hipster culture by analyzing the material symbols of a stereotypical hipster – things like a calculator watch and thrift shop glasses. “If this class was offered when I was a freshman, I definitely would have taken it!” says Katie Syzmanski, a junior at UMich and a contributing writer for HC. Maybe freshman English classes wouldn’t be so boring if we could all study hipsters!

3. Assistance Dog Training – University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Lucky students at UNCW can earn credit this fall by learning about and working with service dogs! Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors, this recreational therapy course teaches students about the role of service dogs in physical, mental and emotional therapy programs. Students even have the opportunity to get up close and personal with these miracle-working dogs during class. The course is held in partnership with paws4people, an organization that trains service dogs, and serves as the first of a four-course certificate program in assistance dog training. Morgan Francis, a junior at UNCW, will be one of the lucky students in Assistance Dog Training this fall. “I’ve always loved dogs, and when I saw that the school offered this class, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” she says.

4. Zombies in Popular Media – Columbia College Chicago

Whether you’re mentally preparing for the imminent zombie apocalypse or you just think Zombieland was the funniest movie of all time, a class about zombies is sure to spice up your fall schedule. Students at Columbia College Chicago can take Zombies in Popular Media, during which they will read and watch different media representations of zombies. This apocalyptic course fulfills the Humanities Literature graduation requirement at Columbia College. Who knew that knowledge about zombies could actually get you closer to your diploma?!

5. Consumerism and Social Change in Mad Men America – Northwestern University

Year after year, freshmen at Northwestern University can indulge their Mad Men addictions – or develop one if they haven’t already – with this freshman seminar. The course analyzes the economic and social changes that occurred in the United States after World War II and created the climate in which Mad Men takes place. Discussion topics include the history of advertising, workplace dynamics, sex and sexuality and the Cold War. It is a “writing-intensive” class, but you do get to watch Mad Men in and outside of class!