Across the country, thousands of bright-eyed undergrads are beginning their college career. Likewise, thousands of parents are worrying about their precious child as they start this journey. What these parents may not realize is that the universities that should be educating their children are providing courses that are, well, questionable. Yes, universities are still offering the standard Intro to English Literature and Biology 101. However, colleges have started working these wacky and offbeat classes into their curriculum as well.
1. Sociology of Miley Cyrus – Skidmore College
Ever wondered why the media is so obsessed with Miley Cyrus? College students can learn about the media frenzy surrounding Miley and her transformation into a public figure and musician. It is disheartening to know there is a distinct possibility that students will be writing “twerk” in actual academic papers.
2. Breaking Down ‘Breaking Bad’ – SUNY Buffalo
Yes, there is a college course about ‘Breaking Bad.’ The course examines key plot points in the AMC drama and features guest speakers from the Drug Enforcement Administration and more. Remember, binge watching ‘Breaking Bad’ on Netflix is only bad when it isn’t your homework.
3. What if Harry Potter is Real? – Appalachian State University
“How can fantasy reshape how we look at history?” Students in this class use “historical imagination” to look at the Harry Potter series’ geography, real (and imagined) historical events in the novel and world-wide reactions to the famous book series.
4. Demystifying the Hipster – Tufts University
Students in this course cover some vital academic material: the definitions, debates, and history of the hipster. They are expected to become experts and critics in the field of hipster identity and culture. Yes, really.
Beyonce is considered queen on many college campuses and this class is no exception. By pairing the pop star’s songs and music videos with writers like Sojourner Truth and Alice Walker, students attempt to answer the question, “Can Beyonce’s music be seen as a blueprint for progressive social change?”
Fans of Game of Thrones might enjoy this one: a course devoted to analyzing the TV show and books. This course delves into hard-hitting topics like fan culture (aka fandoms), the nature of spoilers and ways the TV show deviated from the book series.
7. Tree Climbing – Cornell University
If you’re scared of heights (or want to take worthwhile coursework), Cornell Outdoor Education’s Tree Climbing course might not be for you. During this class, students learn how to climb any tree, move around, and even to climb from one tree to another without touching the ground.
8. Stupidity – Occidental College
Students in this course learn to accept the normalcy of stupidity and are taught that it is “the double of intelligence rather than its opposite.” The course covers everything from Nietzsche to Beavis and Butthead, giving students a comprehensive range of material through which they can study stupidity.
9. Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse: Disasters, Catastrophes and Human Behavior – Michigan State University
Finally, a course that will prepare students for the real world! In this class, students will learn all the skills they need to ward off brain-hungry zombies and deal with the impending catastrophe of the zombie apocalypse.
10. The Art of Walking – Centre College
You may think there’s nothing more to walking than putting one foot in front of the other, but Professor Ken Keffer would disagree. He instructs students in the art and experience of walking—more specifically, observing the world so that you will never be bored while taking a walk.
11. Philosophy and Star Trek – Georgetown
What better way to learn philosophy than through the lens of Star Trek? During this course, students are expected to watch Star Trek—now there’s a tough homework assignment—and discuss how key concepts from great philosophers are applicable.
12. How to Watch Television – Montclair College
Somehow, it seems difficult to believe that today’s students need any further instruction on how to watch TV. Yet, this course is completely dedicated to showing students the impacts of television in their own lives and in culture. One can only assume homework includes countless hours of television.
13. “Oh, Look, A Chicken!” Embracing Distraction as a Way of Knowing – Belmont University
There really is no better way to describe this class than the course listing itself: “This course will pursue ways of knowing through embracing [little ants, carrying a morsel of food across the table] what it means to be a distracted [I could sure enjoy a peanut butter sandwich right now] learner as well as [OMG–I get to go to the beach this summer] developing an awareness [I need to trim my fingernails] of one’s senses.”