academics
Article Image
@fbalino / via Instagram

It’s that time of year again—Barnumbians are busy planning out their schedules for next semester. If you’re looking for a few more gen ed classes, or you’re just tired of boring lectures, look no further than Columbia’s quirkiest-sounding courses. Ranging from the rational to the eccentric, the following roundup of unusual courses covers all types of departments and requirements.

The Jazz of Chemistry (CHEM BC1050)

Leave your yawn-inducing Bohr models (ha, see what we did there?) behind, because now you can explore the real-life applications of chemistry, but this time with fun topics (think: crime scene forensics or forging art). (Bonus: This class is known as a pretty easy way to finish your science requirements.)

  • Professor: Meenakshi Rao
  • Time: Monday and Wednesday from 10:10 to 11:25 a.m.
  • Credits: 3
  • Gen ed requirements: Science (Foundations and Nine Ways of Knowing)
  • Open to: Barnard

Making, Breaking Codes (MATH UN3025)

Channel your inner National Treasure code-breaking skills by using algebraic methods to crack existing codes and formulate some of your own. Here, you’ll explore the topics of cryptology and coding theory through hands-on exploration.

  • Professor: Dorian Goldfeld
  • Time: Tuesday and Thursday from 2:40 to 3:55 p.m.
  • Credits: 3
  • Gen ed requirements: Science (Barnard and Columbia) and Quantitative and Deductive Reasoning (Barnard)
  • Open to: CC, SEAS, GS, Barnard
  • Prerequisites: Calculus I to III and linear algebra

Gay Harlem (AFRS BC3550)

Explore the ever-changing community of Harlem and the way it continues to represent the intersection of race and sexuality. In this class, you’ll be able to explore the historical role of Harlem in shaping modern-day society, all while living right next to it. (Note: This class is limited to 20 students and you have to be approved by the instructor in order to enroll.)

  • Professor: Richard Blint
  • Time: Monday from 2:10 to 4:00 p.m.
  • Credits: 4
  • Gen ed requirements: Social Analysis and Thinking about Social Difference
  • Open to: CC, SEAS, GS, Barnard

Necropolitics (ANTH GR4127)

Uncover Foucault’s world of biopower (pretty much the power of sovereigns over the bodies of their people) and the “politics” of the dead. Confused? Don’t be: This is basically just fancy talk for exploring the historical correlation between political power and the ability to choose another person’s fate. (Note: You will need the instructor’s permission to enroll.)

  • Professor: Zoe Crossland
  • Time: Thursday from 4:10 to 6:00 p.m.
  • Credits: 3
  • Gen ed requirements: Arts and Humanities
  • Open to: CC, GS, Barnard

Walking (WRIT UN3016)

No, not a PE class (though we wish there were a PE class that was this easy). Explore the idea of developing creativity through the action of walking. You’ll write creative pieces like poems and short stories based on your experiences and reflections while simply walking.

  • Professor: John Cotner
  • Time: Thursday from 2:10 to 4:00 p.m.
  • Credits: 3
  • Gen ed requirements: Arts and Humanities
  • Open to: CC, SEAS, GS, Barnard

Listening to Hip-Hop (MUSI UN3395)

Dive into hip-hop culture’s past and present by learning to critically listen to hip-hop music throughout the decades. This class features all kinds of hands-on learning experiences, including an assignment to analyze a live hip-hop performance. The workload is pretty light and mostly consists of critical listening assignments.

  • Professor: Ellie Hisama
  • Time: Tuesday and Thursday from 11:40 a.m. to 12:55 p.m.
  • Credits: 3
  • Gen ed requirements: Arts and Humanities
  • Open to: CC, SEAS, GS, Barnard

Drugs and Disease (BIOL GU4300)

This course aims to introduce students to the field of biotechnology in health science through studying current disease problems and the steps being taken to develop new drugs. While the class counts toward the science requirement, much of it analyzes history and current events. Bonus: There’s no final exam for this class—just a final presentation.

  • Professor: Lili Yamasaki
  • Time: Monday and Wednesday from 2:40 to 3:55 p.m.
  • Credits: 3
  • Gen ed requirements: Science (Barnard and Columbia)
  • Open to: CC, SEAS, GS, Barnard
  • Prerequisites: Four semesters of biology

Knocking out those graduation requirements doesn’t need to be boring. Load your schedule up with these cool classes and you may actually be motivated to attend class (no promises, though).

Know of any other unusual-sounding classes? Tell us on our Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat @CUSpectrum.

Mariella Evangelista is a Barnard first-year and a Spectrum staff writer. Yes, she did go through every single class being offered next semester to find the ones that sound the coolest. You’re welcome. Reach her at mariella.evangelista@columbiaspectator.com

weird unique course registration registration requirements cc seas bc gs
ADVERTISEMENT
From Around the Web
ADVERTISEMENT