15 Gen Eds Worth Taking At Penn State
Politics and Activism

15 Gen Eds Worth Taking At Penn State

If you're sweating at the thought of sitting through that mandatory science class or art class, have no fear.

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By some miracle, I made it out of my high school algebra and chemistry classes alive. To be honest, I thought that after those days were over I'd never have to sit in a classroom and learn about formulas ever again.

You could say it was quite the rude awakening when I found out that wasn't true. Yes, math and science general education classes are required in college, even for Comm majors.

I'm almost finished my second year of college now, so I've completed my fair share of Gen Eds. Some were brutal to get through, while others were some of the best courses I've ever taken.

With the scheduling dates quickly approaching, here are some of my and my friends' favorite, easy Gen Eds at Penn State:

1. Hort 150: Plants in the Human Context: GN

Hands down, I would recommend taking this class with Dennis Decoteau. He is the kindest man you'll ever meet. You'll learn about food and wine pairings, farming, beer, plants, spices and more. The lectures fly by and the assignments and quizzes are online.

2. BiSci 003: Environmental Science: GN

BiSci 3 with Christopher Uhl is basically a philosophy class. You literally hand in journal entries for points, and there are no quizzes or exams. The journals and small discussion labs have taught me so much about myself and given me clarity I never thought I would find. I know that sounds super deep and weird, but I believe this class can truly change a person's outlook on life for the better.

3. BiSci 004: Human Body: GN

I am not a science person whatsoever. Anatomy, chemistry, and biology all scare me to death. However, BiSci 4 with Louise Kessler was one of the most interesting classes I've taken, and she made science as simple as it can be. All the work and quizzes are online and you simply attend a majority of the lectures for the additional points.

4. GeoSci 10: Geology of National Parks: GN

I've never taken this course, but one of my best friends said it was the easiest science class she's taken. It's also online, which is never a bad thing.

5. Soc 119: Race and Ethnic Relations: GS; US

Almost every Penn State student I've ever met raves about this course. The professor, Samuel Richards, is basically a legend on campus.

6. Soc 12 / Criminology 003: GS

If you can take it with Martha Sherman, you'll love this class for sure. The lectures go by quickly, and you actually learn useful information about the law. You also learn why people turn out to be criminals and how society handles all of this. One of the best parts about this class is that you get to watch documentaries regarding crime, serial killers, falsely convicted individuals and the law.

7. HDFS 129: Human Development and Family Studies: GS

I think all of my friends and family members are sick of hearing me talk about this class, but I can't think of any other class that's impacted me as much as this one. I think that's mostly due to Molly Countermine, the amazing professor of this course who shares stories, personal examples, and gets you to think about your own life and upbringing.

8. World History 10: GH; IL

While this may be the most challenging class out of all the ones on the list, it's still manageable. I would highly recommend taking it with David Atwill. He's approachable and completely understands that this course is a general education class for many. There are quizzes at the end of lectures, some outside readings, and a few exams, but Dr. Atwill keeps the class fun and interesting.

9. CMLIT 120: Literature of the Occult: GH; IL

Professor Nicolai Volland is so sweet, and mostly just wants the class to participate. There are readings outside of class and quite a few writing prompts, but I thought the material was really amusing overall.

10. InArt 005: Performing Arts: GA

I have yet to take my art gen eds, but students always talk about this class in a positive light. It's online and as long as you do some required readings and attend the various performances, you should be good to go.

11. Music 004: GA

A few of my friends said this course was insanely easy. If you've never held a paintbrush or you aren't curious to learn about art history, this is a safe bet.

12. Theater 100: GA; US; IL

You've probably read about this course or heard about it from at least 20 people. Apparently, it's both entertaining and easy. What more could you want?

13. EDPSY 101: Statistical Data: GQ

This course teaches you how to interpret math and teach it, hence why it falls under education. Basically, you learn about statistics without getting a headache.

14. Math 043: Mathematics of Money: GQ

I regret not taking this course to fulfill my math gen ed requirement. Math 43 includes topics such as interest, discounts, investments, taxes, retirement plans and mortgages. If there's one class you'll need in order to adult, it's this one.

15. BBH 101 or 143: BioBehavioral Health: GHA

BBH 101 is an introduction course, teaching people about how their behaviors affect their health. BBH 143 is also a good pick, as it gives information on drug use, effects and prevention.

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