When it comes to electives or Mason Core courses, nobody wants to be the person who accidentally finds themselves in a crazy hard lecture with excessive amounts of homework. While the textbook prices might be unavoidable, here are some easy courses at GMU that will definitely help to boost a GPA and get some major courses out of the way!
1.BIOL 103/104: Introduction to Biology (Non-Major)
If you have a B.S. then your going to need two consecutive lab sciences as part of your major requirements. The lab is once a week and mandatory, these are high school labs involving microscopes, unfortunately the lab manual is $90 and can only be bought through the school. I recommend taking Professor Ravi, you only have to show up for the quizzes and exams because he posts the power points online! Plus, homework is online and you don’t need to buy the textbook.
2. EVPP 110/111: Introduction to Environmental Science
Similar to the classes above these are the consecutive science classes. These classes are super easy and you only have to show up for the exams; which is awesome since the only option is the MWF 8:30- 9:20 lecture. The Lab Manual is $90 and you have to have it. The labs are easy though, but attendance is mandatory (they are once a week).
3. INTS 101: Narratives of Identities
I took this class under the NCLC 101 name, but the course hasn’t changed. As the name suggests this class is really focused on getting to know yourself and understanding the identities of others… meaning if you can bulls**t, even a little, you’re going to get an A. I recommend Mitchell, he is really chill and the class is 6 credits!
4. GLOA 101: Introduction to Global Affairs/ SOCI 120: Globalization and Society
These courses are equivalents and since they are the easiest class to fill the Global Understanding Core class, I highly suggest it. I had to take one of these courses for my major too, so if you are a Global Affairs major don’t wait! There are two books that you are going to need for this class, one is really short and is less than $5 on Amazon. The other is more expensive and some instructors don’t use it.
I took Annie Han and loved it! She posted all the power points, helped make study guides the class before exams, and she only has 5 grades (two short papers , two exams and a choice of essay questions, and class participation). Annie asks a lot of questions and expects participation, so raise your hand!
5. CS 100: Principles of Computing
This course is an easy way to bump up you GPA and knock that Information Technology Core out of the way, all at once. This course covers that basics in computing and other computer related skills. This is a lecture that will have its fair share of homework but most of it will be straight forward and user friendly.
Beware that you will need a PC for this course! If you have a MAC you will be asked to slit your hard-drive (this makes any warranty void, to buy a cheap extra computer, or to use a school computer (which we all know is not gonna happen). If you have a MAC, I would recommend taking another class or find a place you can rent a laptop (the Library has some but they do have a fee).
6. MATH 106: Quantitative Reasoning
Ugh, I know, math. I get nerves sweat just thinking about it. If you, like me, do not have to take an advance math courses, I suggest taking Quantitative Reasoning to fill the Quantitative Reasoning Mason Core requirement. I had to drop this lovely and easy class to pick up Statistics, after I learned that this was not going to fulfill my minor prerequisite.
This course requires an access code and a textbook, like all math classes, but the course is easy and the least painful option available. I would recommend not taking a night class for this though, three hours is a long time and once a week is only going to make it harder.
7. ENGH 302: Advanced Composition
This class is required for all Mason students so you can’t really get around it. There is a wavier process but it is almost more work than it is actually worth, however, if you really can’t fit this class into your schedule, check it out. For everyone else, TAKE IT ONLINE! This course is already a waste of time, don’t make it worse by actually have to show up to a lecture.
8. ARTH 101:Introduction to the Visual Arts
As a Mason student you have to take 3 Art credits. If you like dance, pick one from a variety of classes about dance. If you just really want to get through this with as little effort as possible (my roommate) then this is your class.
The textbook is cheap, and all you really do is learn the basics of different art techniques, learn a few art eras, and take some field trips to the Smithsonian to look at art and identify the techniques and eras. Oh yeah, and some exams, did I mention that. Definitely check the professors out on Rate My Professor first though, just to ensure that you get the professor that doesn’t require attendance and posts everything Blackboard.
9. RELI 272: Islam
This is the course that I choose to fulfill both the Religion and Non-western Civilizations requirements of CHSS. I took Professor Dakake, he was interesting to listen to, easy to follow, and the he gave the exam questions in advance. The exams were equally as easy, you have 3-4 question and you pick 1-2 to answer.
As far as readings go, I never opened the textbooks (and there are 3 but they are all really cheap) but I also never missed a class. My suite mate did all the readings and only showed up for exams and we both got A’s
10. RELI 100: The Human Religious Experience
This is the second Religion class here, but as the College of Humanities and Social Sciences is the largest college at GMU, I though I would mention that this will fulfill the Philosophy or Religious Studies course and it gives a more general overview of all of the worlds major religions, rather than just focusing on one.
The exams for this class are essay questions and you pick form the list provided. Downside, study may actually have to study for this class, unless you are cool with a B+. This is definitely easy if you pick the right professor, finding one where attendance is optional and materials are posted on Blackboard is a must.
Have you taken any of these courses at GMU!? Share in the comments below!
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