As you choose classes to fit your schedule and consider your general education and major/minor requirements, it can be easy to miss some of the other fun classes that are out there! Feel free to explore, using this list as a few suggestions.
1. Any research experience class
For me, it’s PSYC 290 (and then PSYC 494, because I am writing a thesis). Whether you want to go into a career in academia or you just want to try it out, research experience classes are an excellent way to get course credit, get involved with your department, learn your interests, and prepare for graduate school. People looking to get into departmental honors programs/gain departmental distinction should take note of these courses because they are usually a prerequisite. In beginning research classes, you’ll most likely be working on a project created by a professor or a graduate student, but as you move on, you will be able to design your own. Many people who I know that don’t want to go into research do not regret taking these classes.
2. Grand Challenge Learning courses
These fit multiple gen ed requirements and allow students to become immersed in their learning through projects such as exhibits with the Krannert Art Museum, or engagement with pertinent organizations. GCL classes typically have many guest speakers for a more enriching experience. I am currently taking a GCL class for fun and our class hosted housing activists from South Africa and criminal legal activists from Chicago. With three possible pathways to choose from, these classes offer something for everyone.
3. ENG 398
This is a special topics in engineering course open to LAS majors (and everyone else for that matter!). I am currently enrolled as an Engineering for Social Justice Scholar. This is a program that involves engaging elementary-age African-American boys in STEM projects in hopes of getting them excited about engineering and disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline. Another program one of my sorority sisters participated in is called the Honduras Water Project. It devises ways to bring clean water to Honduras and assists the community with implementing the solution in person over Winter Break. Each of these courses emphasizes building relationships with community partners and provides students with interdisciplinary learning experiences and fun.
4. LAW 199
This undergraduate open seminar is for people who want to go into law. It’s an introductory class about the judicial process for undergraduates. Not many people know about it, and it’s a wonderful way to see if law is right for you. It’s a three-hour course that meets once a week. A similar class that’s sometimes offered also allows students to become familiar with mock trial.
5. MUS 199
Is playing a musical instrument on your bucket list? If so, this is the class for you. You can schedule a one-on-one lesson with an instructor and have it count for course credit in order to keep you accountable in your goals!
6. EPSY 203
For people who are social-justice/practicum/educational psychology-oriented, this class is for you. It’s all about organizing dialogue around tricky issues such as race, gender, class, ability status, and more. It will teach you all of the facilitation skills you need. It might also be a good course for people thinking of becoming a resident advisor or counseling center paraprofessional because it will give you a jump start on the skills you’ll need for these professions.