Top 10 craziest courses you can actually take at university

Bare with us as we count down some of the most unusual courses students are taking at university.
Bare with us as we count down some of the most unusual courses students are taking at university.

With an ever-changing world offering new and exciting career opportunities, so many institutions to explore different fields of study, and the option to tailor the entirety of your tertiary education the way you want to, you have the option of signing up for Information Systems, Music Technology and The Emergence of Modernity in Fine Art, all in the same semester.

Gone are the days of having to get into the most prestigious of institutions, committing yourself fully to a four-year degree and choosing strictly between Med and Law School. Now, you can hone in on your tree-climbing skills, study the ins and outs of beauty pageantry and become fluent in Elvish – all of which are offered as full courses at selected universities across the world. And these aren’t even the craziest of the lot. In fact, How To Win a Beauty Pageant comes in at number 10.

So here follow some amazingly inventive courses for further learning.

10. How To Win a Beauty Pageant

Oberlin College offers the course How To Win a Beauty Pageant, which explores and analyses the race, class and gender dynamics of contestants. An added bonus: There’s also an outing to an actual beauty pageant in the course.

9. Wasting Time on the Internet

No, this isn’t a joke – the University of Pennsylvania actually offers a course that allows you to surf the internet as part of a social experiment in the hopes that the class will engage with each other on what they find. However, students may only communicate through chatrooms or social media networks on their computers, you know, as one does, except at UPenn, it’s for credits.

8. Elvish as a Second Language

While some are taking up Xhosa, Mandarin and French, at the University of Wisconsin students can take up Elvish! The course is taught as if you were learning just another language, rather than a made-up one. Aaye! (Hail!)

7. Tree Climbing

Cornell University offers tree-climbing, except you won’t be doing it to get a frisbee or drone stuck in a tree, but for course credits, using professional climbing gear. 

6. The Art of Walking

Students can learn about the lost art of, yes, walking, as a method of transportation, while exploring the great outdoors and various historical sites, as a class at the University of San Francisco.

5. Ice Cream short course

At Penn State, this course teaches you everything you need to know to become an ice cream connoisseur, from “cow to cone”. Word is, it even launched Ben and Jerry into the ice cream industry and we’re sure there’s plenty of actual ice cream tasting involved. Where do we sign up?

4. Tightwaddery

Tightwaddery isn’t so much a crazy course, but a useful one in our opinion. Because we really should be taught how to save, be frugal and survive on a budget in primary and high school already. Good on you, Alfred University – this isn’t the course we want, it’s the course we need!

3. Intro to Wine

This history of wine, the wine tasting and the wine pairing – check, check, check. At Cornell University you can take on an entire course to learn about wine. And that includes both the theory and practical aspect of it. At Stellenbosch University you can do a four-year BScAgric degree in Viticulture and Oenology, which is basically vine-growing and wine-making.

2. Furniture Making

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offers what is essentially a university-level shop class with their course on furniture-making.

1. Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

Finally, taking the number one position, is Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse at Michigan State. And while it’s not about literally protecting your brain, the course does look at how groups of humans react to massive catastrophes, and with that knowledge students should then be able to strategise on how they might survive a potential zombie apocalypse.

Which of these courses would you take? Are there any courses you wish universities would offer? Tell us by emailing and we may publish your comments.

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