MSN Encarta - Top 10 Odd College Courses: "College courses aren't all Econ 101 and The History of Europe: 1500-Present. A trend among many colleges and universities is to offer courses that are slightly off the beaten track. Many of these courses draw their themes from pop culture or sports, or they may be the brainchildren of professors who want to share their passion with students. They may be no less serious than traditional courses, but they certainly cover new academic ground.
Students take these offbeat courses for a variety of reasons--hoping for an easy A, to try something fun, or to explore a new interest. Underwater Basket Weaving 101 may be an urban legend, but these ten unusual courses are for real:
1) You can boldly go where no other philosophy student has gone before in Georgetown University's 'Philosophy and Star Trek' course, where students discuss the nature of time travel, the ability of computers to think and feel, and other philosophical dilemmas facing the crew of the Starship Enterprise.
2) Discover how Brick really felt when Opal left him for his neighbor's best friend's sister in the University of Wisconsin's course entitled 'Daytime Serials: Family and Social Roles.' Students analyze the plots, themes, and characters of daytime soaps and discuss their impact on modern life.
3) If you've been longing to research how hot dogs, theme parks, and the five-day workweek have impacted American leisure culture, check out the University of Iowa course 'The American Vacation.' This course pays particular attention to how American families' varying backgrounds shape their vacation experiences.
4) Bowdoin College students can delve into 'The Horror Film in Context' in the school's English Department. Students read Freud and Poe and watch Hitchcock and Craven, all while discussing the horror genre's treatment of gender, class, and family.
5) At Williams College, students can learn more about those in the cement shoe industry by enrolling in 'Comparative History of Organized Crime,' which compares the work of goodfellas from the United States, Italy, Japan, and Russia.
6) If you've got a romantic urge for adventure, check out Barnard College's course on 'The Road Movie,' which studies Easy Rider and Thelma and Louise, while also discussing the genre's literary precursors, like On the Road and The Odyssey.
7) If hitting the road doesn't satisfy your rebellious streak, sign up for Brown University's course on 'American Degenerates,' in which students discuss how early British-American writers embraced the grotesque, monstrous, 'not our kind' status bestowed on them by the mother country and reflected their zeal for cultural and physical degeneracy in their literature.
8) Those artsy types at the Rhode Island School of Design can put down their paintbrushes and take 'The Art of Sin and the Sin of Art,' which contemplates the relationship between sin and the art world. The course catalog invites you to 'lust with the saints and burn with the sinners.'
9) If talking about death several times a week in class sounds like a good time to you, try Purdue University's 'Death and the Nineteenth Century' course. Every poem and novel in the course deals with the 19th-century conception of mortality and the world beyond.
10) At Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, students can take 'Art of Walking,' in which students not only read literature by noted perambulators like Kant and Nietzsche, but go for neighborhood strolls with their professor and his dog.
Most college programs offer interesting courses to introduce you to new and fascinating subject matters. Take advantage of the many possibilities offered to you by sitting down with your advisor to talk about course options and then really thinking about the courses you choose to take."