10 Interesting Classes to Take At UMass


Picking classes to take at UMass is one of the most stressful things you’ll do in college. You have to fulfill your major, minor, or track requirements along with Gen Eds and maybe take some interesting classes along the way. Here is a comprehensive breakdown on the most interesting classes at UMass Amherst! Hopefully, you’ll take one!

1. Comparative Literature 335: Comic Art in North America

Official description on Spire: This course introduces Comic Art in North America, from beginnings of the newspaper comic strip through comic books graphic novels, and electronic media including the history and aesthetics of the medium, comparison between developments in the United States, Mexico, French Canada, and social and cultural contexts in which comic art is created and consumed

Some facts about the class: It is offered in the Fall semester and there is a discussion section associated with this class. It covers the AT and DU Gen Ed requirements and you can elect pass/ fail.

Sponsored Link

2. Communications 260: Public Speaking

Official description on Spire: This course blends theory and practice in exploring public speaking. The theory of speech composition, presentation, and evaluation is discussed in relation to public discourse, civic engagement, and the ethics of persuasion. Students also practice and develop their own skills by giving several formal and impromptu speeches. Requirements include frequent in-class speaking assignments and related practices, including written analyses of speeches.

Some facts about the class: It is offered during both semesters and there is no discussion or lab section associated with this class. It covers no Gen Ed requirements and you can elect pass/ fail.

10 Interesting Classes to Take At UMass

3. NRC 120: Basic Scuba

Official description on Spire: Introduction to SCUBA, designed for students with no diving experience.  Class time is spent half in campus pool learning to use SCUBA equipment and half in classroom. Optional ocean dive at end of course.

Some facts about the class: It is offered both semesters but class starts at the beginning of the new year. No discussion or lab section is associated with this class, it covers no Gen Ed requirements, and you can elect pass/ fail. The school requires a $175 extra fee, department consent is required, and a textbook is required. This is one of the best classes to take at UMass!

4. Astronomy 100: Exploring the Universe

Official description on Spire: Lecture: For nonscience majors. Introductory survey of astronomy. How we learn about the Universe and what we already know of it, how it originated, evolves, and its ultimate fate. Emphasis on modern research in solar phenomena, stellar evolution (including white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars, and black holes) and galaxy studies (including quasars).

Lab: Multiple sections.  For nonscience students.  Introduction to the night sky, telescopes, astronomical events, and celestial maps.  Visual and telescopic observations of the constellations, moon, planets, stars, an d other interesting astronomical objects.  Attendance is required.

Some facts about the class: It is offered during both semesters and there is a lab section associated with this class. It covers the PS Gen Ed requirement, you can elect pass/ fail, and iClickers are required. This is easily one of the most interesting classes to take at UMass!

5. Microbiology 160: Biology of Cancer and AIDS

Official description on Spire: Not for credit toward major. How cancer and AIDS begin and progress. The roles of individual cells, the immune system, mutations, and viruses. How various physical and subtle factors influence one’s chances of getting cancer. How to not get AIDS. The principles of vaccine development and why AIDS presents special difficulties. Established and new medical treatments for cancer and AIDS. What cancer and AIDS can teach us about health, healing, disease, living, and dying.

Some facts about the class: It is offered both semesters, there is no discussion or lab section associated with this class, it covers the BS Gen Ed requirement, and you can elect pass/ fail.

Sponsored Link

6. Psychology 100: Introduction to Psychology

Official description on Spire: Overview of the field. The natural and social science sub-areas of psychology; includes biological psychology, cognitive psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, and clinical psychology. Relating research and theories to contemporary issues and problems in day-to-day life.

Some facts about the class: It is offered both semesters and there is no discussion or lab section associated with this lab. It covers the SB Gen Ed requirement, you can elect pass/ fail, iClickers are required, and text and additional supplements are required.

7. Public Health 160: My Body, My Health

Official description on Spire: Principles of health promotion and wellness with an emphasis on helping you get the most out of your college experience. Using active, socially engaged approaches we will examine topics such as resilience and stress, social image, healthy eating, social activism, substance use, healthy relationships, and human sexuality

Some facts about this class: It is offered both semesters and there is no discussion or lab section associated with this class. It covers the DU and SI Gen Ed requirements, you can elect pass/ fail, and it’s open to freshmen, sophomores, and all Public Health majors.

10 Interesting Classes to Take At UMass

8. Education 202: Social issues in intergroup dialogue: Exploring social/ cultural differences and common ground

Official description on Spire: This course focuses on student dialogue about issues of difference, identity and community to facilitate intergroup understanding.  Students actively engage, read about, and examine social justice issues in small groups.

Some facts about this class: It is offered during the Spring semester and there is no discussion or lab section associated with this class. It covers the U and SB Gen Ed and you can elect pass/ fail. This is one of the most interesting classes to take at UMass!

Sponsored Link

9. Stockbridge school of agriculture 120: Organic farming and gardening

Official description on Spire: Introduction to principles of soil fertility and crop management by organic procedures which are contrasted and evaluated against conventional chemical methods of farming. A science course.

Some facts about this class: It is offered during the Spring semester and there is no discussion or lab section associated with this class. It covers the BS Gen Ed, you can elect pass/ fail, and textbooks are optional.

10. Theater 100: Theatrical Frontiers: Live Performance in the World Today

Official description on Spire: This course explores the art of contemporary theater and the power of live performance through a series of shows the students attend in person, along with theater projects they create in a group. Through engagement with both longstanding and new ways of making theater, students will gain exposure to how live theater is being made in the world today — an exciting moment of new frontiers and forms.

Some facts about this class: This class is offered both semesters and there is no discussion or lab section associated with this class. It covers the AT Gen Ed, and you can elect pass/ fail. This is one of the best classes to take at UMass!

Do you have any other suggestions for interesting classes to take at UMass? Let us know below!
Featured image source: https://weheartit.com/entry/316191061?context_page=2&context_query=note+books&context_type=search
Comments, Questions & Rants

Open