12 courses to meet your degree requirements
Still trying to figure out what to pack in the fall, or maybe an easy way to meet distribution requirements? Or are you trying to plan all of your undergraduate courses until you graduate? The Daily brings you a list of 12 low-commitment but great courses to cover all your bases.
Although this list meets the distribution requirements of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, students at other schools may find this list useful in meeting their own similar requirements. Maybe you’ll find an interesting class you haven’t thought of yet!
Natural sciences (Domain I)
Earth and Planetary Science 203: History of the Earth System
Offered in the fall, this course is perfect if you are looking for a high-level understanding of the components of the Earth as it changes over time. According to last year’s Course and Teacher Evaluation Council surveys, the course is a great introduction to the subject in a homework-free environment, and it could be ideal for non-STEM majors.
Geography 341: Principles of Cartography
This Spring Quarter course will teach you everything you ever wanted to know about building and reading maps. Spring 2021 CETCs say this course was interesting, and in case you’re intimidated by the course number, it’s almost unanimously voted as taking less than three hours outside of class each week. One-variable calculus is a prerequisite.
Formal studies (Domain II)
General Music 252: Harmony
Interested in taking a course from the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern without the need for musical talent? Lucky for you, this course is only open to non-musicians and covers the fundamentals of music theory and how composers write music. It is offered this fall.
Computer Science 110: Introduction to Computer Programming
In an increasingly digital world, what better way to know than to code? This course is offered in fall, winter and spring and will allow you to acquire the necessary knowledge to create visuals and animations in one of the most popular programming languages: Python. Plus, you wouldn’t have to worry about competing with your CS-major friends, because this class doesn’t meet their requirements!
Social and behavioral sciences (Domain III)
Political Science 351: Middle Eastern Politics
This course examines politics and government in the Middle East and North Africa from their emergence into the 21st century. Through comparative politics, this Winter Quarter class seeks to draw parallels between states, societies, and economies of different regions.
Psychology 244: Developmental Psychology
If you really enjoyed AP psychology in high school, this course provides a deeper understanding of cognitive, social, and personality development in adolescence. In the fall, this course is offered to freshmen only—as long as you have AP credit—and is at half capacity compared to the winter and spring terms. If you want to take it but don’t meet the prerequisites, consider taking the Psychology 110 course for an introduction to psychology.
Historical Studies (Domain IV)
Sociology 277: Introduction to Native American Studies
According to her 2019 and 2021 CETCs, this class is a must-do at NU with sociology professor Beth Redbird — and her dog. This fall quarter class deals with Native American culture, history, and inequality, which CETC says is explained in an digestible and engaging way. This course counts toward both historical studies and social and behavioral science requirements.
Classics 380: Ancient Rome to Chicago, Classical Reception Studies
Want to get to know Chicago better while looking at it through the lens of ancient Rome? This course – with a required lab component – allows you to explore architecture and history through digital city mapping. This fall class counts as both the historical studies and literature and fine arts distribution requirement.
Ethics and values (domain V)
Philosophy 261: Introduction to Political Philosophy
Many CETCs claim that this winter course provides a solid introduction for students who are simply looking for an easy distribution requirement. The class studies historical and contemporary figures in philosophy while reflecting on the meaning of political values and the source of authority and stability.
Religious Studies 172: Introduction to Religion, Media, and Culture
This course examines religion in the context of how it is practiced versus how it is portrayed in media – from commercials and comedy to social media, memes and body art. By the end of the course, you will not only have examined the intersection of religion and media, but also created your own creative work. Also, if you cannot take this course in the fall, it is offered again in the spring.
Literature and Fine Arts (Domain VI)
Italian 275: To love through justice, Dante’s divine comedy
Whether you are interested in Italian, the Christian afterlife, or the Middle Ages, this course explores the intersection of all three through the poetry of Dante’s “Divine Comedy”. His work is examined from a political, social and cultural perspective while drawing implications on modern themes and values. There are no prerequisites for this Fall Quarter course, which is taught in English.
Gender and Sexuality Studies 381: Queer Theory
This winter term course provides an introduction to theories of sexuality, examining the history, politics and media representation of queer theory through discussions and readings. Although this course is the highest in terms of time commitment, CETC rates this course as collaborative, interesting, and comprehensive.
The Daily also compiled a side-by-side comparison of three of the most important CETC measures over the past year for those 12 classes.