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POLITICS

The lamest core courses at American colleges

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Michal Conger

Straight from their course descriptions, the Intercollegiate Studies Institutes’ Intercollegiate Review has compiled a list of the top five lamest college courses that satisfy core curriculum requirements.

IR found the most outrageous classes in five disciplines at five major U.S. colleges to see just how easy graduating with an impressive-sounding degree can be.

To satisfy their Literature and Arts requirement at Harvard, students can take “Race, Gender, and Ethnicity in Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee.” From the course description:

On their road to becoming iconic figures in America’s contemporary cinematic and artistic avant-garde, Scorsese and Lee radically transformed received or conventional perceptions of Italian Americans and African Americans in mainstream American film.

At the University of Texas at Austin, students can satisfy their science requirement by taking “Animal Sexuality.” UT Austin defends the course this way:

Hormones are powerful molecules that not only help shape the development of the body and regulate physiological processes, but they also act on the brain to influence how individuals behave… Although males and females produce the same hormones, they produce them in different amounts and patterns and it is important to be aware of how these different hormones may exert their anatomical or physiological effects.

And in case religion makes them uncomfortable, students at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., can skip the Bible altogether and help beautify the college grounds instead. From the “Gardens and World Religions” course description:

A survey of the historical and cultural backgrounds of the major garden traditions of the world associated with religions… Special focus will be given to elements of the campus Japanese Garden Initiative: teahouse gardens and monastic viewing gardens. Field trips to regional gardens will be made. For the final project, students design small virtual contemplative gardens for possible construction at specific campus sites.

Read the whole list here.

Update: The first paragraph incorrectly attributed the study to the Institute for Humane Studies. It has been corrected to say Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

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