Penn State’s Favorite Gen Eds

Photo by Mitchell Valentin

No matter your major, every Penn State student is required to take a certain amount of general education classes. While some are painful, some are the best classes you will take during your four years here. Consider some of these the next time you are scheduling classes.

1. Soc 119: Race and Ethnic Relations

This giant lecture is taught by Sam Richards, a professor known for “very thought provoking and controversial conversation topics,” says sophomore Caroline Mottur. “We had a weekly lab, and I was always so excited to go and in such a good mood after I left because I felt like I had at least one meaningful or new thought each week.” Soc 119 is truly the easiest four credit class you will take at Penn State.

2. Bisci 003: Environmental Science

The best part of this class is there are absolutely no quizzes or exams — the only thing you have to do is attend weekly lectures and discussion groups and turn in journals that help you further discover yourself. “The lectures and labs really gave me new insight and different perspectives on things I have never thought about before,” says TA Emma Orloski. “I had a good experience with students in my lab and TA and wanted other students to have a great experience like I did.”

3. History 10: World History

The professors for this course understand that for most, it is a general education course, meaning it isn’t super challenging though there are map quizzes and exams as well as a discussion section to help you further understand the course material. “The only downside is you have to go to every class and take a quiz at the end,” says junior John Wagner. However, the daily quizzes are open note and usually based on what you learned that day in class.

4. HDFS 129: Human Development and Family Studies

This class teaches “all about the basics about how people grow and change across life,” says sophomore Alison Bridge. “I took it with Molly Countermine who is an amazing lecturer and always brings in her personal stories and experiences when teaching. I learned so much in the course and it inspired me to add a psychology minor.”

5. English 050: Creative Writing

If you’re into writing and you’ve ever thought about possibly writing a novel or maybe your own poetry, then this class is for you. There are never any tests, just easy assignments and sometimes out of class writing assignments.

6. Anth 140: The Anthropology of Alcohol

Anth 140 is referred to by its professor Kirk French as a class that teaches you about “booze and culture.” Something that may seem casual and everyday on a college campus actually has historical significance to many cultures and people.

There are so many classes that make getting your general education classes out of the way fun and even enjoyable while you’re learning.


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