5 Fun and Easy Gen Eds Offered at Penn State

5 Fun and Easy Gen Eds Offered at Penn State

With scheduling for the fall semester well underway, students are looking to the official Penn State course listing to select their next round of classes. It can be somewhat difficult finding five or six classes that will provide you with enough credits to eventually graduate, and won’t bog you down with pointless projects and seemingly endless textbooks. The worst thing to follow is the dreaded watch list which forces you wait for an available seat in “that” class that would fit perfectly in your schedule. Receiving the text that a spot is finally open evokes a feeling similar to how you would feel if you saw someone drop a $100 bill in the middle of the HUB and then walk away. If waiting for a spot to open isn’t bad enough, it seems even more hopeless when watch lists fill up with hundreds of other students, all trying to get into some of the better known gen eds, such as Ballroom Dancing (KINES 017) or the infamous SOC119 – Race and Ethnic Relations.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were gen ed classes that were easy but still provided you with useful information? What if these classes were also enjoyable and didn’t put you to sleep? What if you didn’t need to wait on the watch list to get into them? Thankfully, classes like these exist, they’re just few and far between. For now, allow me to enlighten you on a few gen eds that you should consider for next semester.

COMM 150: The Art of the Cinema

Who would have guessed that watching movies like Fight Club and Goodfellas could fulfill 3 GA (Arts) credits. This class has received mixed reviews from students, but speaking from my own experience with it, I can say that it is a great gen ed. The class, which meets on Tuesdays to watch a movie and Thursdays to talk about that movie, was moderately difficult with how much information there was, but it taught me to appreciate older films, film writing, and the art of cinematography. The lectures can become long and tedious at times, but you are almost guaranteed a seat in this class.

scuba penn stateKINES 045: NAUI Basic Scuba

Wouldn’t you rather be spending your morning at the bottom of a pool, fully equipped with scuba diving gear, than in a classroom? This class, which fulfills 1.5 credits of Health and Physical Activity (GHA), seems like one of the most exciting classes to take at PSU. According to Maddie Larson (junior, HDFS), after taking this class, “I felt really prepared for my first open water dives. The lecture part was a little informal, but practicing the skills in the pool was very intensive and repetitive; the way it needs to be to stay safe while diving.” Best of all, the class has the option to go to Saint Lucia in the summer to put their practice to the test! A slightly more expensive gen ed, but highly worth the time and money.

ENGL050: Creative Writing

If you enjoy reading and writing like I do, you’ll love coming to class for this 3 credit GA (Arts) gen ed. Classes are spent reading and discussing works of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry and then applying the lessons you’ve learned to write some of your own. If you are hoping to get something out of a gen ed class to take with you, or if you simply love literature and composing literature, then this class is for you.

INART 115: Popular Music in America

We all know today’s hits radio stations play some of hottest and newest music creations, but not many people know how music got to where it is now in the 21st century. This class aims to show the development of music and how it reached where it is today. From the Jazz Era to today’s hits, this 3 credit GA (Arts) and U.S. Cultures (US) gen ed is offered online along with a plenty of other online music courses (all under the subject of INART). The highlight assignment of this class is a debate on who is the most influential musician of today. My personal vote is for Bruno Mars, but that’s just me.

CMLIT 120: The Literature of the Occult

This class fulfills 3 credits of GH (Humanities) and also IL (International Cultures). The description provided by the schedule of courses reads “Important literary works dealing with witchcraft, demonology, vampirism, ghosts, and related concepts, from biblical times to present.” When you’re learning about literature ranging from Shakespeare’s Macbeth all the way to the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, your brain will be thanking you for a nice break from your core classes. CMLIT 120 in known to be an enjoyable class that may even provide you with some fun reading to do outside of class. There is currently no watch list for the class either, so better sign up before it’s too late!