Getting a degree, whether online or at at traditional college campus, is a tremendous amount of work. It takes patience, discipline, and self-motivation to get through every homework assignment and to cram for every final exam. Of course, there is an end goal: you’re torturing yourself now so that you can have a better career and a better future. No pain, no gain.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t have at least some fun with education, right? Even universities like Yale and Ohio State have embraced the trend of offering courses related to Harry Potter. Oh, but it gets so much weirder. While some of these might seem straight out of an episode of Community these are all possible courses to take in real life. Here is just a smattering of fun subjects you can explore at an institute of higher learning. Bonus: most of these have an online component! Another perk of e-learning (as if you needed another).
- Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse: Disasters, Catastrophes, and Human Behavior – This online course taught at Michigan State University is open to not only MSU students, but students from other schools, and the general public as well. This knowledge could come in handy one day…
- Topics in Comparative Media: American Pro Wrestling – Probably one of the last things I would have expected from one the perennially ranked top schools in the nation was a course that explores the history and culture of professional wrestling. Yet here it is, as part of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Open Courseware program.
- Starcraft Theory and Strategy – Here is a series of videos that teach the strategy behind the computer game Starcraft, presented by students at the University of California at Berkeley. Note: “Calculus and Differential Equations are highly recommended for full understanding of the course.” This class is a part of the DeCal (Democratic Education at Cal) program, where students create and teach a course. Other such programs include The Simpsons and Philosophy, the Physics of Superheroes, “Sex and the City” and the Contemporary Woman, and more.
- The Art of Walking – Ok ok, so you can’t take this one online, but check out the syllabus from Centre College, read the books on your own, and step away from the computer for a few miles. Oh, you think this class is too easy? Well then maybe Tree Climbing at Cornell is more up your alley.
- The Art of Self Portraiture – What’s so amazing about this course description is that in almost 700 words, they never mention the word “selfie.” If you’re going to go to London just to take pictures of yourself, I suggest doing it in front of Big Ben or Buckingham Palace. At least you’ll also get a history lesson out of it that way.
- Demystifying the Hipster – Sadly this course at Tufts University can’t be taken online, but the syllabus shares different books, essays, and movies to determine if you’re one of them. Start your own snarky blog and fight through this identity crisis.
- Pet Product Design and Marketing – I suppose Fido has to have a Ralph Lauren of his own. You could be that “Woof” Lauren.
- Dog Psychology – Speaking of Fido, sometimes he gets confused about life. Begin your new career in dog psychology, because sometimes it takes more than a new pair of shoes to cheer up man’s best friend.
- The Amazing World of Bubbles – This video from Caltech will teach more than you ever wanted to know about bubbles. Yes. Bubbles.
- How to Learn (Almost) Anything – Forget everything you read above and just take this course from MIT.
While we may be sad that Xavier no longer teaches The History of Pig in America or we can’t take a business course dedicated to Oprah’s success at the University of Illinois, there’s still plenty out there that piques our interest. These courses may not be required for your degree but they will at least make for some great ice breakers at parties.