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7 Interesting Classes at UMass

Course enrollment at UMass is often very stressful for a number of reasons. Does anyone else feel like they’re waiting to buy Beyonce presale tickets while they wait for their enrollment period to begin? Besides that, it can also be difficult to find a nice balance of classes that fulfills requirements and gives diversity (and enjoyment!) to your schedule. As a second-semester senior, I’ve taken 40+ college courses; I’ve seen it all and I am here to help you. In no particular order, here are 7 courses I’ve taken at UMass that I’ve really enjoyed.

*Note: Course number, title, and offering is subject to change each semester.*

1. Anthro 256H: Bizarre Foods

A really eye-opening course, and very different from anything I’ve ever taken before. Throughout the course, students are challenged to critically analyze our Americanized concept of what is “bizarre.” You will come to understand and appreciate the food of other cultures and even question a lot of what we eat here in the United States. Plus, there are opportunities to try some exotic cuisine, from larva, to camel jerky, to durian fruit (look it up).

2. Dance 106: Jazz Dance

The dance department offers a handful of courses every semester for non-majors. Completely attendance and participation based, it was a fun way to let loose during the week, while earning two credits. Plus, it forced a workout into my week. Win-win.

3. Classics 224: Greek Mythology

Really interesting to learn about, plus it can cover a gen-ed. I will admit it is a solid amount of material (lots of names and stories), but incredibly fascinating to study. It is definitely worthwhile, and afterwards you’ll understand more cultural references to Greek Myth.

4. Comm 260: Public Speaking

Do you hate public speaking? Then take public speaking. It is a skill that not many of us have, but need. Everyone who is taking the class is taking it because they are trying to improve their ability, not because they are already good at it. It’s exciting to see yourself, as well as others in the course, grow over the semester. It’s good to take things that scare you and take risks. Plus, you will leave with a skill. It was a really rewarding course to take.

5. PoliSci 121:World Politics

To be honest, as much as I try to change my ways, I can be fairly ignorant of world politics and goings-on. And I don’t think I’m alone on this. This course really helped open my eyes to events going on across the globe, not just the major stories you see on the news. It is really a worthwhile course if you can fit it in your schedule.

6. Women’s Studies 395F: Feminism, Comedy, and Humor

I’m in this course right now and loving it. It provides you with a whole new understanding of many of the films, shows, and comedians that you probably already love. Plus, the class is a welcoming space to discuss pertinent and relevant issues. The course also allows for creative work and participation in humor production workshops. It is a really fun and refreshing course.

7. Comm 446: Film Documentary

This course mainly comprises of weekly film viewings and written reflections. By the end of the semester you’ve watched 13 documentaries on a huge array of topics (from fracking to Big Bird). Actual video production is not required, but certainly an option. Definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re a lover of documentary film!

What courses would you add to this list? 

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Allie Bush

U Mass Amherst

Senior Communication Major at UMass Amherst
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