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Despite what their university major is, most students have to take a certain number of elective courses in order to graduate. While many people like to take basic online courses as electives, it can be very rewarding to branch out and try something out of your comfort zone. If you’re looking to do this in the coming semesters, below is a list of arts courses you may want to consider.

1.     Popular Music

This course may not be offered in all universities, but I was lucky enough to have this option for this Fall’s schedule. Taking this class has exposed me to an academic perspective of popular music, including the history of several genres of music such as jazz, blues, techno, and even rap. This course has been such a great method of exposure regarding the deeper meanings and cultural motivations behind each genre of music, and it has been fascinating to apply my personal love of this art in an academic setting.

2.     History of Art

This course is a great option for students interested in a more historical understanding of art. The History of Art course covers various periods in art history, and exposes students to concepts and important artists who have shaped our current understanding of this cultural component. Getting this exposure to the arts and achieving course credits simultaneously is a great way to broaden your understanding of the topic, and hopefully enjoy the concepts you are learning about.

3.     Screenwriting

Screenwriting is typically offered as a Communications course, but it can also be taken as an elective for non-major students. This selection gives students the opportunity to engage with this behind-the-scenes aspect of film and documentary making, and it is a really unique way to build your creative writing skills. Screenwriting can be a very fun way to meet other creative students and work in groups to develop a script for a short film or documentary. Again, this is a less traditional but very enjoyable way to obtain a course credit!

4.     Photography

Photography is something most of us have probably dabbled in at some point, at least on an amateur level. However, taking a photography course can give you a greater understanding of camera settings and editing techniques, and you can come out of the course having created many great pieces of art. Introductory photography courses are a hands-on way to better understand this topic within the arts, and they also give you a chance to showcase your artistic side.

5.     Philosophy

While the topic of philosophy may scare some students off, taking an introduction to the concept can certainly help bolster your academic knowledge. Philosophy courses tend to deal with topics such as human motivation, and theories on life and morality. There are also reviews of historical philosophers that are widely cited throughout all faculties, such as Plato or Aristotle. While these courses may require significant reading and effort, this is a great way to interact with a wider topic included in the arts.

So whether you’re studying engineering, history, or any other non-arts subject, taking an arts course is a great way to expand your knowledge and experience in exchange for course credits. Above are a few courses I’ve had good experiences with, and that may offer you an interesting semester as well! Engaging with the arts is important no matter what career path you see yourself pursuing, and courses such as these ones are a great start on this journey.


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UWindsor '20

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