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Chances are that when you chose to come to Barnard, one of the draws was the fact that it is in NYC. Lucky for you then that one of your Foundations requirements is called “Thinking Locally—New York City,” but what does that mean? Thinking, in general, as NYC dwellers, or thinking about New York? If the latter, what about it?

Classes in this section range across all subject matters, from dance to environmental science to history. This shouldn’t be a class that you just want to get out of the way—a lot of these classes actually involve going out into the city and seeing a show, going to a museum, etc., so you should have some fun with this. Here are some of the best picks.

Quick note: None of these courses have separate discussion sections, but we’re positive that there’ll be plenty of discussion integrated into regular class time.

New York Theatre (THTR V2002)

If you’re a theatre geek, New York Theatre is the class for you. You have a weekly lab meeting to enhance your understanding of New York theatre and its history, but you also get to go to a lot of performances (for free). Keep in mind, enrollment for this class is limited, and you’ll have to get permission from the professor at the first meeting.

  • Professor: TBA
  • Time: TBA
  • Credits: 3
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Permission required? Yes

Dance in New York City (DNCE BC2570)

Similar to New York Theatre, if you love dance (whether performing or just watching) and want to have an excuse to go watch shows for class credit, Dance in New York City is a pretty self-explanatory class to take. You’ll learn about the history of dance in NYC and its cultural roots. The class involves attending weekly events, lectures, and performances.

  • Professor: TBA
  • Time: TBA
  • Credits: 3
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Permission required? No

Environmental Science 1 (EESC 1001 and EESC 1011)

Environmental Science 1 not only can count for your Thinking Locally requirement, but also for the science requirement. You’ll learn about climate change, invasive species, water resources, and sustainability, to name a few. This class isn’t as hard as other science classes you might take, but it might be more work compared to other Thinking Locally classes (especially since there is a lab component). Don’t let that put you off though, because the labs involve a lot of hands-on field trips—for example, going on a boat on the Hudson River. And who doesn’t love boats?

  • Professor: Terryanne Maenza-Gmelch
  • Time: Tuesday and Thursday 11:40 a.m. - 12:55 p.m.
  • Credits: 4.5
  • Prerequisites: Must also take the lab to receive credit
  • Permission required? Yes

Design Futures: New York City (ARCH UN1010)

If you don’t think you have enough of an appreciation of the Big Apple’s architecture, take Design Futures: New York City. In this class, you’ll learn about design through lectures, discussions, design work, and (of course) field trips around the city. Since the class is four hours long, and only 20 people take the course, the discussion component is integrated into the regular course time.

  • Professor: TBA
  • Time: Friday 1:10 - 5:25 p.m.
  • Credits: 3
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Permission required? No

United States 1940-1975 (HIST BC2413)

The United States from 1940-75 is a pretty interesting time in history because it’s enough in the past that it can be analyzed and discussed, but recent enough that you still feel kind of close to it. This course covers some pretty big social movements (civil rights! Feminism! hippies!), but also covers a lot of foreign policies and wars—WWII, as well as the Cold, Korea, and Vietnam wars. If the other classes seem a little too NYC-centric, this course is a bit broader.

  • Professor: Mark Carnes
  • Time: Monday and Wednesday 11:40am - 12:55pm
  • Credits: 3
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Permission required? No

Overall, there are a lot of options for Thinking Locally classes, in almost every department you can imagine. A lot of the classes have a bunch of field trips, which can be really fun and different from your usual seventh-floor Hamilton discussion section. Make the most of this gen-ed requirement.

What are you thinking of taking for your Thinking Locally requirement? Let us know on our Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat @CUSpectrum.

Victoria Yang is a SEAS first-year and Spectrum staff writer. She wants to take these classes, but she’s bogged down with a bunch of STEM. Reach her at victoria.yang@columbiaspectator.com.

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