Being a part of the Liberal Arts program, I’ve had the opportunity to take a variety of fascinating
electives here at Purdue. Although Purdue University is largely a STEM- based school with its
national engineering program, electives are a great way to utilize and explore your passions
along with your major! In my article, I’m going to recommend my favorite classes I’ve taken
here at Purdue.
To preface, I’m a sophomore majoring in History along with minors in German and Forensic
Science. Many of these classes are requirements for my degree. Depending on your major, these
classes would be considered electives in your degree requirements!
1. POL 229 Spies and Lies: Studies in Intelligence and National Security
As a liberal arts major, all students are required to take six classes in “disciplinary
studies” for their degree. For example, being in the history program, I had to take five
classes in other liberal arts programs, such as anthropology and political science. This
semester, I’m in this class and I couldn’t love it more. Taught by Professor Melissa Will,
a former CIA analyst, she delves into American intelligence efforts and debunks theories
surrounding espionage and other misconceptions. I highly recommend it if you're
interested in working in intelligence! Also, she teaches a class on modern weapons and
terrorism if you’re interested in those topics.
2. NUTR 303 Essentials of Nutrition
Again, I’m in this class to fulfill my science portion of my degree. If you’re not a math or
science-oriented person, I couldn’t recommend this class more. Even if you’re in need of
an extra elective, this class is for you. It teaches you the basics of nutrition and eating in a
way to fuel your body. It’s not hard and very minimal homework is involved.
3. ENTM 128 Investigating Forensic Science
This is the class that made me become a forensic science minor. Hoping to attend law
school after graduation, I wanted to take a few classes involving forensics and
constitutional law. Taught by Professor Hans, a world-renowned forensic entomologist,
she is a well-spoken lecturer and is extremely passionate about victims involved in cold
cases. In addition, she uses movies and tv shows to explain various concepts, such as
blood stain analysis and collecting fingerprints. Not for the faint of heart, this class
involves graphic imagery. If you’re a fan of true crime like myself, you’ll enjoy this class
4. PSY 350 Abnormal Psychology
Part of my forensic science minor, I’m taking this class this semester. Before taking this
class, you will need to take PSY 120 or elementary psychology. Taught by a former
clinical psychiatrist, Christopher Eckhart delves into the topic of abnormality in regard to
various mental disorders. Downside, lots of note taking but a very interesting class
5. Any history classes!
Like myself, if you’re a giant history nerd, any history classes offered at Purdue are
extraordinary. I haven’t had one bad professor and I genuinely enjoy researching various
topics. If you’re interested in a certain period of history or specific historical event, I
guarantee there is a class here at Purdue that you will love!
As you sign up for spring classes, I hope you will consider taking one I recommended. Talk to
your adviser and choose what’s right for you.