The Top 10 Liberal Arts Classes All Purdue Students Should Take
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The Top 10 Liberal Arts Classes All Purdue Students Should Take

We're all forced to endure Purdue math, but what about liberal arts classes?

The Top 10 Liberal Arts Classes All Purdue Students Should Take
Trevor Mahlmann

Purdue University is famous for it's engineering program, for being Neil Armstrong's alma mater, for having Drew Brees be a former Boilermaker. Purdue is famous for many reasons, but the College of Liberal Arts is often an overlooked area. The College of Liberal Arts has alumni such as comedian Jim Gaffigan, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Booth Tarkington, Emmy-winning writer Ted Allen, award-winning director Tom Moore, and C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb. The college also has the honor of having numerous notable faculty members, such as novelist and essayist Roxane Gay, the father of organizational communication W. Charles Redding, and the editor-in-chief of the Arthuriana Dorsey Armstrong.

The College of Liberal Arts has a core curriculum structured in such a way that students within the college will receive fundamental skills that will help support them as they study their true passions and ambitions in life. There are countless incredible classes in CLA that are beneficial not just to liberal arts students, but to all students.

Here are the top ten liberal arts classes all Purdue students should take.

1. COM204: Critical Perspectives of Communication

I put this on my list first because this is the hardest class I have ever taken, but it's also one of the most educational. On the very first day of class, my instructor showed us what other students had said about the class. Most of them were along the lines of "this is the hardest class ever," "I had to take it twice," "If you miss one class then you pretty much already failed," and my favorite "A class has never made me cry this much."

After that, though, they went on to praise the class despite how hard it is. Everything is graded out of five points, and if someone gets a five on a paper then they have essentially done the impossible.

Why should you take this class? Because you will learn so much about how to think critically, write critically, write a research paper, and support an argument. It sounds simple enough, but other classes where you have to write a research paper have nothing on COM204. For STEM majors who aren't the best at writing or thinking critically, you probably will not pass but don't let that stop you from taking it.

2. WGSS 280: Intro to Women's Studies

The classic women's studies intro course. Often, you hear people mock Women's Studies, but in reality everyone should take at least one WGSS class. Don't knock it until you try it type of thing, but also for people who don't take a lot of humanities courses, employers do actually look to see if you have immersed yourself into intersectional discourse, especially in this day and age. If you're not sure what intersectional discourse is, then take a WGSS class!

The class, in general, is structured differently depending on who you have as an instructor, but most people always discuss how entertaining the classes can be in regards to the discussions you have.

3. PHIL 114: Global Moral Issues

This class is intriguing because it uses ideas and reasoning to try and create moral baselines and explores what sorts of standards we can set for "human rights" and "morality." The assignments are to apply these kinds of free-floating intricate concepts to issues that are globally concerning. It's very much less about current events, and more about analyzing beliefs and ideas that everyone and every country has sort of assumed, and figuring out why and how we may be morally justified to hold them - it's very beneficial to personal growth in that you're forced to be insightful and critical of your own assumed positions on issues everyone tends to feel something for.

This class allows you to think about beliefs when they become policies, so aside from an individual moral standpoint, you look at the philosophy behind countries' policies and statements as well, and have to juxtapose arguments for a plan of action that stands on either side of an issue (like, immigration policy). You always get to choose your side, though. This class was fantastic and eye-opening and although the applications and insight that it gives are far reaching it's also personally beneficial as well.

4. HIST 488: History of Sexual Regulation

This class discusses the ways the government, primarily in the U.S., have regulated and discriminated based on sexuality and sexual acts. Basically, you learn a lot about sex and politics in the U.S., and it's incredibly entertaining. The readings, the conversations, the videos - all are educational and entertaining. You learn things you never learned about in high school and stuff you wouldn't learn about in just any regular history class. Not only is this class entertaining, but you really learn how to write a college-level research paper. Bibliographies, abstracts, primary sources, secondary sources, so many things that are so great for research papers! If you're going to write a research paper and practice at it then why not write it about sexual regulation?

5. ENGL 205: Intro to Creative Writing

A lot of people who aren't in creative writing or even in the English department often take this class to explore their writing. As it turns out, a lot of those people end up really liking creative writing and continue on with it, whether adding it as a minor or doing it in their free time. Some people have even gone so far to add it as a major. The class is divided into poetry and fiction. You write a few poems, get them workshopped by your class, workshop other people's poems, and the same goes for a short story or two. If you end up liking poetry or fiction then there are higher courses to take specifically for those areas. This class can help you with your writing as well, and if you do all that you're suppose to then you can easily pass while enjoying it at the same time.

6. AAS 359: Black Women Writers

This class focuses on written works from black women such as Zora Neal Hurston, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and even Beyoncé. It encourages discussions about race and gender that need to be had, and it is a safe space for many African American students. The discussions and debates are civil, insightful, and very necessary to be had among college students. You get to read a lot of novels from black women and discuss the way the writer portrays gender and race in the context of this novel, and then apply it to how it affects you and modern day society. This class is not only engaging but it is incredibly necessary for most students in regards to what is going on today in the world.

7. HIST 371: History of Rock & Roll

You listen to good music, you learn about said good music, and you do some writing and projects about the same good music. If you don't like rock & roll, then this class probably isn't for you, but perhaps taking it could change your mind. Otherwise, what else do I need to say?

8. WGSS 282: Intro to LGBT Studies

This class also provides an intersectional discourse to take with you in the future, but this focuses on the history and culture of the LGBTQ+ community. You learn all about the different identities, why those identities exist, the history of this community, and the community in modern society. The class is structured depending on the instructor, but often there are many opportunities for unique projects and papers to write. It is a discussion-heavy class, so whatever reading is assigned is often necessary to participate in the discussions, and the discussions are important to have with your fellow classmates.

9. REL 200: Intro to Religious Studies

Another introductory course, and this one is considered an "easy A," but the reason why it should be taken is not just because you learn about the diversity of religions in the world, but you also learn about how religion has played and still plays a role in everyday life, whether through politics, science, or education. This class is often discussion heavy and encourages debate. In this class, you can tell who's a religious studies student and who's just taking it for credit. You can also usually tell who's religious and who's not. So the class can be interesting, and the way it makes you think about religion is beneficial.

10. CDIS 239: Intro to Disability Studies

Last but not least, this class has apparently changed people's lives. This class explores how people of different ableness live in modern society and the history behind how society has treated people based on ableness. It's a riveting class that often helps people understand the intersecting systems of privilege and oppression. Projects, papers, homework assignments are all typical of this class but what makes it life changing are the lessons taught and the discussions had among each other. This class is mostly taken by students in this field of study, so it's highly recommended to all STEM students.

Were there any classes that you thought should've been on the list? Share down below!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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