In his most recent blog post, CA Zach talked a bit about the CAS Focus that all COM students must complete and the ways in which you can work it into your major. That got me thinking a lot about the upcoming Spring semester scheduling as well as one of the biggest concerns potential students always seem to have: our liberal arts foundation requirements, AKA the COM Foundation Requirements.
As an employee of COM Undergraduate Affairs, I constantly speak with prospective students about he various classes they would need to take as a student here. Something that always seems to concern or at least surprise people is the inclusion of the COM Foundation Requirements, previously known as our Freshman/Sophomore Foundation Requirements. Often times people seem to worry about fitting these classes into their future schedules or finding classes that will interest them. Whenever this seems to be a potential students concern, I love to tell them about the endless opportunities that the College of Arts and Sciences provide us in order to fulfill these requirements.
So, if you are looking at BU and you’re concerned about what you’ll have to take a student here, listen up! You have so many choices over in CAS. As a Film student, I was very stressed at the idea of having to take Humanities, History, Philosophy, etc classes. However, once I actually looked at the extensive list of the classes offered, I discovered just how many options I had. I took a Film and Philosophy class my first semester here, something that ended up being one of my favorite classes, and guess what? There goes my philosophy foundation requirement, completed! I know quite a few people taking a class called Politics of The Wire right now that counts as a Political Science class. Honestly, any class that lets me watch TV as homework is okay in my book. And for all you Journalism majors, there is a huge selection of history classes, many of which cover topics relevant to journalism and its history.
But you know what else is cool about the Foundation Requirements? The classes you take don’t HAVE be relevant to your major. As much fun as it is to take a Film Anthropology class, it can also be very cool to take a basic archeology course, or learn about the potential for life on other planets in an Astronomy class. I think one of the greatest strengths of COM’s liberal arts requirements is that it really forces us to explore other topics, things we might not ever have had an interest in. I know I discovered a love for anthropology because I had to take a social science class, and now I’ve taken that interest and made it into my CAS Concentration (maybe a minor, but that’s still up in the air).
As we approach Spring scheduling (yikes, this semester is really flying by), stay open minded. Find the classes that seem interesting to you, or find a class that covers a topic you’ve always wanted to learn about.
Here are some recommendations for some great liberal arts classes:
AN101: Cultural Anthropology: This class was great. I never expected to find anthropology as engaging as I did. I think what appealed to me most is that much of the course material is old in story form via first hand reports on various cultures, and as a writer, this really connected with me.
Philosophy and Film: This was a great philosophy class, especially for someone without much knowledge on the more “theory” based side of film studies. It was also a great way to pick up some basic terminology and concepts before taking Understanding Film, a required FTV major class.
MA113: Elementary Stats: Okay, math is not my favorite subject. But this class made it bearable. Whenever someone comes to COM Undergrad Affairs to talk about math classes, I always urge people to check out this class. Its simple, especially if math is not your strongest subject, but everything you learn is valuable in real world situations. Plus, you don’t have to use a graphing calculator, which is honestly fantastic. I hate graphing calculators.