13 Electives You Should Consider for the Fall 2018 Semester

Fall enrollment is around the corner, and you know what that means: time to pick out your classes! As you progress into harder courses each semester, you should treat yourself to a fun, easy and/or super interesting elective while checking off requirements for graduation. Here are some popular suggestions among the HC and Pitt community.

1. Introduction to Performance

Course Number: THEA 0830

Fulfills: EX

If you love engaging classes, theatre and group collaboration, take Intro to Performance! The class is an easy intro level course. Classes focus on learning basic theatre skills through warm-ups, improve, scene studies of modern plays and games. Your final is a performance of a scene. It’s a great way to meet new people and have fun!


2. Introduction to World Music

Course Number: MUSIC 0311

Fulfills: MA, COM

This course covers two Gen Eds and explores a variety of cultural music without a technical basis. You basically listen to music and learn about its meaning and context in each class, easy enough!


3. Approaches to the Built Environment

Course Number: HAA 0940

Fulfills: None

If you have interests in architecture and how the built environment functions, give this course a try! Approaches to the Built Environment is a seminar style class in which you discuss ideas and problems that affect the shaping of the built environment. Instead of exams and quizzes, you explore course material through essays and hands-on projects that include local site visits and installations in Frick Fine Arts. I am personally taking this course and I love it! I have learned so much about how human functioning impacts design and how the design of a place can greatly influence your experience of it. The course requires effort, interest and participation, but as long as you do this, you will do well.


4. Food for Thought

Course Number: ITAL 0087

Fulfills: HS REG

A class all about Italian food? Sign us up! This course studies Italian food and its social, cultural and economic impacts from ancient times to present day Italy. It is taught through a mix of mediums including literary texts, films, artwork and class discussions. Be sure to eat beforehand!


5. Vampire: Blood and Empire

Course Number: SLAV 0880

Fulfills: REG

Yes, that’s right. There is a Pitt course that studies vampires. In this class you learn all about vampires, their historical origins, and how they have changed over time through literature, movies and pop culture. If you are a Halloween fanatic, this class is right up your alley!


6. Indo-European Folktales

Course Number: GER 1502

Fulfills: LIT REG

In this class, you study a variety of interesting folktales, some that even go back thousands of years! You will examine them through a variety of perspectives and learn about their cultural values. The course requires a lot of reading, but it is an easy A and very interesting!


7. Art of Making

Course Number: ENGR 1716

Fulfills: None

Are you creative, a problem-solver and interested in innovation? Art of Making is the perfect course for you! This course is a hands-on project based course and is open to all students, not just engineers. In this class, you will take on developing solutions to real-world problems, prototyping, and eventually designing and pitching your product. Throughout the semester, you will have individual and group projects and in-class workshops in which you learning the fundamentals of design thinking and the technology needed to make your solutions a reality. While this course requires a great deal of work and effort, we have heard nothing but great things about it!


8. History of Jazz

Course Number: MUSIC 0711

Fulfills: MA

Whether you are a music lover or looking for a GPA booster, you are in luck. History of Jazz is one of the easiest courses at Pitt. You learn about jazz and styles associated with it from the 1800s to present day. Lectures include listening to various jazz songs.


9. Detective Fiction

Course Number: ENGLIT 0625

Fulfills: LIT

Detective Lit will give you an easy A while studying a variety of entertaining crime and mystery novels. You will focus on English and American writers, spanning from twentieth century to contemporary works. The class is mainly discussion based and you often participate in group work, making your workload light outside the classroom.


10. Childhood’s Books

Course Number: ENGLIT 0560

Fulfills: LIT

Another great English Literature Gen Ed is Childhood’s Books. Your reading material? Popular children’s fairytales and novels. Aside from having easy and fun reads, you analyze them and discuss them on levels that you would have never thought about when you read these as a child. Bonus: many professors assign watching the movies that were produced after the books were published. Now you have a legitimate reasons to watch kids’ movies as a college student without being judged!


11. Introduction to Psychology

Course Number: PSY 0010

Fulfills: NS

Everyone should take a psychology course at some point during their educational career. The topics covered in Intro to Psych are beyond fascinating and are applicable to real life situations. It is so cool to learn about how our minds work and why we behave in the way we do! This class is a typical lecture, three exams and homework, but there are extra credit opportunities and the final is optional. Score!


12. Stars, Galaxies, and the Cosmos

Course Number: ASTRON 0089

Fulfills: NS

If you need to fill a science credit, this course is one of the easiest science classes to take at Pitt plus you get to learn all about the cool phenomena that exists in our universe! In addition to lectures, there are a few sessions that take place at Pitt’s Allegheny Observatory. Having class in an observatory and studying the night sky through a telescope sounds like a pretty awesome experience!


13. Introduction to Film

Course Number: ENGFLM 2191

Fulfills: MA

Intro to Film is a great break from your average lectures. You get to watch interesting films in class and discuss them with your class. It’s relaxing and a low stressor in terms of workload. Be cautious of the time slots you pick. If you have a rather short attention span, you should pick the section that meets a few times a week rather than once a week for four hours.

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