5 Unique Classes To Take At UC Davis

UC Davis offers a broad range of courses that undergrad students from any major can benefit from. Personally, one upside of coming into college undeclared meant that I was able to try out lots of different classes during my first year to see what I did and didn’t like. A good handful of the classes I’ve taken as an undergrad were not related to my majors or field, but I still had fun in these classes and learned invaluable lessons along the way. Hopefully, this list broadens your educational journey beyond the scope of your major and hopefully enriches your college experience.

ECH 001: Design of Coffee

Shallow Focus Photography of Cafe Late Photo by Kevin Menajang from Pexels

If you’re a college student, there’s a pretty good chance you like coffee. And for those coffee-lovers out there, this is a fun and easy course that checks off GE requirements. Students study the fundamentals of chemical engineering hands-on by brewing coffee and adjusting different factors like water temperature or coffee bean roast to argue what makes the perfect cup of coffee. Other fun, drink-related GE classes to check out our FST 003: Intro to Brewing and Beer, and VEN 003: Intro to Winemaking.

ENG 008: Introduction to Entrepreneurship

Unfortunately, UC Davis does not offer a business degree for undergraduates. While two business-related minors provide undergrads with classes relating to business this course is technically offered by the Department of Engineering. It’s taught by instructor and venture capitalist, Aaron Anderson, and is open to students from all majors. This course is discussion-based and very engaging, covering the fundamental principles of entrepreneurship and business. ENG 008 is highly applicable to all students because entrepreneurship doesn’t always mean starting your own company – people can practice entrepreneurship even when working within larger companies after graduation.

AHI 001C: Baroque to Modern Art

Exhibit Painting Display Riccardo Bresciani/Pexels

If you’re an art lover or the museum-going type, you’ve likely either seen or heard of a great number of artworks discussed in this course. AHI 001C is an introductory art history survey course covering European and North American art pieces and important movements from ca. 1800 – present. This includes Impressionism, Expressionism, Modernism, and much more. If you’re even remotely interested in art and need in of arts and humanities GEs, this course is a great option. As a survey course, this is definitely the most challenging class on the list and does involve some memorization. Plus, you’ll have some great contributions to make next time you’re in a modern art museum.

PSC 051: Relationship Science

This course essentially examines the psychology and science behind romantic, interpersonal relationships and provides you with a deeper insight into your own relationships from a scientific perspective. Unfortunately, it does have a prerequisite PSC 001: General Psychology (also a great course to take if interested in psychology and social sciences). PSC 051 had been recommended to me so many times so I had to see what it was about, and I genuinely couldn’t be happier that I ended up taking this course. 

CMN 101: Communication Theories

This is one of the rare upper-division courses offered by the Communication Department that does not have any prerequisites and is open to all majors during Pass 1 (i.e. is not major-restricted). I would only recommend this course to be taken with Virginia Hamilton (this is CMN 101 – not CMN 101Y). The course covers a wide range of theories in social sciences and Professor Hamilton uses real-world examples to apply these theories to everyday life. Communication is an important skill for anyone, regardless of career direction. This course also covers theories relating to communication within organizations which is helpful for those soon entering the workforce.

From business and art to science and psychology, this list has something for everyone. Even if these classes don’t resemble your typical class schedule, they can be beneficial to get out of your comfort zone and try something new while getting GE credit. As always, talk with your academic advisor to ensure your schedule will allow you to take non-required courses. This list isn’t comprehensive, and there are many more fantastic courses offered, but I hope this list helps you in taking advantage of all that UC Davis has to offer.