Ever since the abandonment of core curricula in higher education, academic standards have slipped or ceased to exist completely in many institutions. The embrace of a more “free” and unstructured approach to education has led schools to offer the most absurd and inane courses for basic requirements.
The American Council of Trustees and Alumni recently compiled a list of the “goofy, lame and lightweight” courses of the 2013–2014 academic year, offered to freshmen across the country to fulfill university requirements.
Below are some of the choicest selections American academics have to offer:
FSEM 136: Sexyback: Sex and Text in the U.S.
Not only does this course allow students to ask “how [we can] account for the attraction and repulsion that sex talk holds for us,” as a “writing-intensive course” it satisfies Hobart & William Smith University’s first-year seminar requirement.
THTR 124: Introduction to Gay Plays
Though the course description does not make clear whether the plays were written by gay writers or about gay subjects, the content of the course matters less than the fact that THTR 124 fulfills University of Nevada–Las Vegas’s “multicultural requirement.” With so many students nowadays graduating jobless and unable to read and write at their grade level, thank goodness there exists a multicultural requirement.
HIST 126a: Early Modern Europe (1500-1700)
At first glance, this class seems a completely reasonable and even worthwhile course for any college student to take. However, at Brandeis University, this history course fulfills the quantitative reasoning requirement. History may be difficult, but it’s not quantitative.
CURRIC 211: Videogames & Learning
To fulfill the communications requirement at University of Wisconsin–Madison, it seems students need only study what occupies most of their time outside of class.
TSEM 102: Let’s Go to the Mall–The Culture and History of Shopping in America
In order to fulfill Towson University’s Towson Seminar requirement, all students need to do is know a bit about shopping. This course examines the “history and culture of shopping in American from 1600” in an interdisciplinary fashion.
Some things only make sense in college.