Since the dawn of humanity, mankind has struggled between quenching its thirst for knowledge and the temptation of idle laziness. This dichotomy is perhaps no better demonstrated than in a typical university student. Despite paying extraordinary sums of money and sacrificing blood, sweat, tears, and time in high school to achieve a high caliber university; many decide to embrace their newly found freedom by…slacking off and taking easy courses. This is no different at good old George Washington University. While we all might have told ourselves that we were going to be the next Obama, our work ethic is often more aligned with that of his successor. Though we justified GW’s outrageous tuition and housing prices to our parents by citing GW’s academic rigor and access to internships, in reality it’s difficult to get up at 8 AM. While we might have wanted to pursue a doctorate and a career in academia, it turns out binge drinking, working 9 to 5, and writing for Society19 can be just as fulfilling. Whether you’re trying to pad the ol’ GPA after failing International Econ for the second time, or you need some breathing room after doing two internships and work study in one semester, here are 10 easy classes at George Washington University!
1. Intro to Stress Management
Whether intentional or not, the Intro to Stress Management is probably the most hands-on, practical course at GWU. Not because any of the strategies are particularly helpful (although they can be) but because the class is impossibly easy. With homework assignments such as “cleaning your dorm room”, Intro to Stress Management is a great class to cram in for those 3 extra credits.
2. Philosophy and Film
While the class title sounds made up, this class is surprisingly informative. The class only meets once a week, and homework consists of watching a movie and a short reading passage (usually no more than fifty pages). Professor Venner explains both the readings and film theory eloquently, and one walks away from the course with a well rounded, introductory view of both disciplines. The course grade is based on four homework assignments (one page essays) and a brief midterm and final.
3. Intro to Acting
GWU’s theater department has about 3 students majoring in it, and I’m pretty sure two of them graduated in 2016. Yet, every semester there’s about six or seven Intro to Acting classes. Why?
Because it’s an easy way to fill that damn visual arts requirement. Inevitably, there’s always one Intro to Acting class for the real actors. The one with the tough professor who busted his ass on Broadway and isn’t going to waste his talent teaching your hungover self how to project your voice on stage. That is not the section I’m talking about here. Intro to Acting is a fun, laid back class with little written assignments and is a fantastic way to meet people.
4. Media in a Free Society
This is an “Intro to Journalism” class that is not open to Journalism majors. So you would think the class would be about fifty people right? All of them eager journalism minors?
Well, you’d be wrong. The class regularly fills the seats in one of the big 1959 E Street lecture halls and occasionally has a second section. Two multiple choice exams and a short, five page essay about any topic of your choice. This class is not only extremely easy, it’s also an extremely interesting, albeit shallow, study of mass media and journalism.
5. Intro to American History
If you’re reading this, odds are you got a 5 on the APUSH exam and already took this class; but if you haven’t, this is a nice, simple intro class, especially if you grew up in the United States. The course is split into two separate courses, pre-1876 (HIST 1310) and post-1876 (HIST 1311). This author personally recommends HIST 1311. Yours truly prefers the post 1876 class, which you can easily study for by talking to your grandpa.
6. Chemistry For Non-Science Majors (aka “Baby Chem”)
As if relentless taunting from SEAS students about not having a “real major” wasn’t enough, all GWU students are required to take at least one science class. SEAS kids, if you have time to take an elective (and some free time from all of your bitching about your classes) this class will be cakewalk to you. For everyone else this class will be…whatever is slightly harder than a cakewalk (a cakerun?) While yours truly only managed to get a C (turns out skipping every lecture isn’t a great idea), this class has been around since ol’ man Washington himself crossed the Delaware; and the multiple choice test rarely changes. Ask you’re older sorority sisters or friends from Hillel or College Dems/Republicans for a study guide. If you’re not in any of the above, offer to buy (RE:STEAL) dinner for your friend and have them get a copy. If you don’t know anybody from any of the above orgs, congratulations! You probably have plenty of time to study for this relatively easy exam, because you don’t know a damn person on this campus.
7/8. History of World Cinema I & II (one in fall, one in spring)
Your homework is to watch movies. Your lecture is to talk about movies. You’re graded on a presentation (about a movie), two multiple choice exams (about movies), and a short essay about a movie. While Professor Wilt can be a little dry, he’s a lenient grader with a generous curve. Plus you have an excuse to procrastinate from your ECON homework by telling yourself watching a movie counts as studying.
9. Math and Politics
When Washington himself founded the university with Mabel Thurston , mathematics was a relatively straightforward field. Add a few numbers, multiply a few fractions, and you had a doctorate. So we can forgive him for having a math requirement for all students…that’s right even us poli sci majors. Thankfully, GWU administration found an ingenious solution- rather than fail every poli sci student in math or have a higher SAT score requirement (or an SAT score requirement at all), they made math fun (for politics nerds). Per the course description:
“A mathematical treatment of fair representation, voting systems, power, and conflict; impossibility theorems of Balinski and Young and of Arrow; the electoral college; the prisoner’s dilemma.”
Basically, the course is some game theory with a few fractions. Just like your 3rd grade teacher had you count cupcakes to learn fractions, your Professor for this class will make math fun by applying it to the electoral college. Your roommate in SEAS will make fun of you for years, but the joke’s on her; you’re padding that GPA with an easy A in your worst subject!
10. Welfare, Work, and Poverty
10. Intro to World Religions
An easy way to knock out humanities class, Intro to World Religions is a classic intro class- learn a little about everything. The course covers Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism. About 260% of GW’s population is either Jewish, from New Jersey, or both- so odds are you’ve been to a Bar Mitzvah or two and already know a few things about Judaism, so 1/6th of the class is covered before you set foot in the door. DC’s such a diverse city, you’re likely to bump into someone on your Thurston floor or at an embassy event who follows one of the above religions. Show up to class a few times, pray to whatever your deity you believe in, and slide an for an easy A.
Are there any more easy classes at George Washington University that should be on this list? Let us know down below!
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