8 Must-Take Classes For UW-Madison Freshman
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8 Must-Take Classes For UW-Madison Freshman

A guide of some of the best courses available to freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

8 Must-Take Classes For UW-Madison Freshman

Dear Baby Badgers,

Welcome to the University of Wisconsin-Madison! At SOAR, registering for classes can sometimes become extremely overwhelming and stressful! While some majors and programs have more concrete prerequisites and course requirements, many freshmen will find themselves overwhelmed with freedom and options. The course guide appears to have infinite numbers of classes, so here is a guide to some of the current 2016-17 freshman’s favorite courses that they took!

1. Inter-He 201

The Ecology of Human Happiness, also known as EcoYou, is arguably the best class for freshmen to take at UW-Madison. Professor Whelan's lectures make attending class genuinely enjoyable. Besides, how could a class on happiness make you miserable?

What students are saying: “EcoYou was by far my favorite class I took freshman year! I honestly looked forward to attending the lectures and discussions. It really taught me the true way to gain ultimate happiness” - CR

What it fulfills: This course is 3 credits and counts towards the social science breadth.

2. Art 100

Do you want a fun and hands-on course to spice up your schedule? Art 100 is a great option for students interested in art or looking for a fun way to receive credits! Students find that although this class may be a different learning environment than Calculus, it still is an amazing learning experience and rewarding course.

What students are saying: “Art 100 is such a fun class to take freshman year, especially for someone that took art in high school. The small class size allows for strong relationships with both teachers and classmates and promotes a laid-back environment. It's just one of those classes you don’t dread going to” - AK

What it fulfills: This class counts towards the humanities breadth, and it is 3 credits!

3. English 100

If you are looking for a way to fulfill your Com-A requirement, English 100 is an amazing option. If public speaking isn't your thing; take this chance to have a smaller class size and a fun learning opportunity!

What students are saying: "English 100 is a great environment for freshmen. The small class setting allows friendships to form with peers and your teacher. While having fun and meeting new people, I learned a lot about writing in English 100." - JM

What it fulfills: This course will complete your Com-A requirement, and it is 3 credits.

4. Com Arts 100

Communication Arts 100 is another amazing way to fulfill the Com-A requirement! If you are a good public speaker or eager to improve at it, this class is the right fit for you. Many UW majors and programs require an introductory public speaking course, so keep this in mind as you plan your schedule while talking to your advisor at SOAR.

What students are saying: "Com Arts 100 is a really good class to practice public speaking and to become comfortable speaking in front of an audience. It has taught me skills that will definitely be helpful later in life" - BH

What it fulfills: 3 credits that will fulfill your Com-A requirement.

5. English 207

After fulfilling the Com-A requirement, English 207 is the perfect way to continue improving your writing skills second semester of freshman year. English 207 focuses on creative writing, and only meets once a week for an extended time period. This 3 credit course has overwhelming amounts of love and is definitely a Badger favorite!

What students are saying: "I honestly love English 207. I have learned so much about creative writing, and the class is actually so interesting and fun. Plus, there isn't an overwhelming amount of work; it's just a really enjoyable class" - RK

What it fulfills: The Com-B credit, and also is 3 credits.

6. Anthro 105

Looking for a way to complete the biological sciences breadth? Anthropology 105 is the way to go! Professor McFarland’s extensive experience and knowledge in biological anthropology make lectures exciting and insightful.

What students are saying: “I definitely do not consider myself a science person, but anthro 105 was an awesome way to fulfill this credit. We even had a lab which required us to take a field trip to the zoo, which I thought was honestly really fun and cool” - AH.

What it fulfills: This 3 credit course counts as biological science credits.

7. J201

For students interested in the field of journalism or strategic communications, this is a must-take freshman year course! After completing your Com-A requirement, freshmen are able to take this interesting introductory course. Additionally, it is a prerequisite to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

What students are saying: “I’ve really loved taking J201 so far this semester as the course has been much more interesting than I expected. My favorite topics that have been covered so far have been strategic communications and advertising, mostly because I love the creative aspect within journalism!” - AG

What it fulfills: It’s 4 credits, and it will count towards your Com-B requirement!

8. Asian American 160

Professor Cheng is probably the nicest professor in all of UW! Asian American 160 is an exciting, fast-paced history course that is extremely interesting. The course features two papers, a midterm, and final, plus tons of extra credit opportunities. You will be motivated to succeed and your grade result will leave you happy!

What students are saying: “I loved Asian American 160 because both my professor and TA were extremely passionate about the subject material which made me want to do well in the class.” - SN

What it fulfills: This 4 credit class also counts towards the ethnic requirement.

Other Badger-favorite 3-4 credit courses:

Com Arts 155, Anthro 104, ILS 200, LIS 201, Asian American 540, GWS 103, Soc 138, Soc 120, Afro Amer 154, Jewish 318, Couns Psych 225, Geo 170, LSC 100, Cons Sci 257,

1-Credit Classes:

Some people take 1 credit classes to boost their GPA or simply to get up to the recommended 15 credit mark. Depending on how many credits you come in with, it’s always a good idea to take an easy and fun one credit course. However, keep in mind, a majority of freshman do not take 15 credits first semester because college is such a big adjustment!

Some popular one credit courses: Consumer Science 111, Music 113, Consumer Science 250, Geosci 331, Counseling Psych 115, The Wisconsin Experience Seminar.

While this is just a basic overview of the thousands of courses available at UW-Madison, consider this a starting guide to determining what classes to take. There are so many amazing classes not featured in this article that you should still be eager to try! Also, keep in mind, college is finally the time where you can choose what you want to study, so take advantage of that!

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