10 Hardest Courses at Oberlin College

Oberlin College

Oberlin College is an independent co-educational institution who holds a distinguished place among American colleges and universities. This college is a place of intense energy and creativity, built on a foundation of academic, artistic, and musical excellence. With a top-ranking liberal arts college, a world-class conservatory, and a first-rate art museum. They offer quite a number of amazing courses in both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Here are the top 10 hardest courses at Oberlin College.

1. POLT 208 – Environmental Policy

An image of recycling  with empty cans

This course is an introduction to national environmental policy with an emphasis on major issues of climate change, the loss of biodiversity, and the issues of growth. The course includes discussion of regulatory policies, taxes, market solutions, and other policy options applied to energy policy, and transportation policy. This course will require students to read a lot because of the high volume of course content.

2. BIOL 312 – Animal Physiology

comparative image of Animal Physiology

This course explores the function of the body, from the molecular level like the generation of electrical signals in the nervous system to the organismal level like adaptations to pregnancy, exercise, or extreme environments. Students also study the function of the cardiovascular system, lungs and respiratory system, kidneys and renal system, and reproduction. The laboratory section is the toughest part of this course.

3. CHEM 325 – Organic Mechanism and Synthesis

Various aspects of Organic Mechanism and Synthesis

This course will systematically explore the reactions of carbon-containing compounds and the mechanistic pathways involved in these processes. Reactions and topics that will be discussed include functional group transformations, oxidations, reductions, cycloadditions, stereospecific reactions and carbon-carbon bond formation. The equations of reactions employed in this course are very difficult to comprehend.

4. MATH 338 – Probability Models and Random Processes

picture of two dice being rolled

This course is an introduction to operations research models which incorporate methods of probability theory. Topics will be chosen from inventory theory, queuing theory, decision analysis, game theory, simulation, Markov chains, and project management. Students need to take much of their time to practice all the rigorous calculations in this course.

5. CSCI 364 – Artificial Intelligence

A pictorial representation of Artificial Intelligence

Students learn the techniques currently being used in programs that mimic intelligent or human behaviour. Topics covered include production systems, search strategies, resolution theorem proving, rule-based deduction and plan-generating systems, and knowledge representation techniques. Advanced programming techniques will be taught, but elementary experience with LISP or scheme languages is required.

6. ECON 211 – Money, the Financial System, and the Economy

picture of money stacked up to represent saving up

The course deals with the linkages between financial markets, financial institutions, monetary policy and the economy. Topics will include the function of money in the economy, the determination of interest rates and exchange rates, the origin and evolution of financial intermediation, and the role of the financial system in the transmission of monetary policy.

7. PHIL 120 – Knowledge and Reality

An image of Knowledge, observation, and Reality

Students are introduced to two of the major branches of philosophy, metaphysics and epistemology, and their interconnections. Study and discussion of topics such as the relationship between minds and bodies, the existence of God, the possibility of freedom of the will, the grounds and limits of human knowledge, and the nature of truth are also discussed in details.

8. GEOL 361 – Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology

Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology

This course will emphasize the concepts and methods of igneous and metamorphic petrology, including the use of the petrographic microscope for the determination of minerals and the interpretation of rock textures. Topics to be covered include interpretation of phase diagrams, thermodynamics, classification of igneous and metamorphic rocks, origins and differentiation of magmas, rock associations in the geotectonic cycle, especially the spatial and temporal development of igneous and metamorphic terrains.

9. NSCI 325 – Neuropharmacology

picture of someone taking a pill, with his face made out of pills

The principals of synaptic transmission and signal transduction are reviewed to better understand the ways in which drugs act in the central nervous system and how drugs influence behaviour. Topics such as addiction, drugs and mental illness, drug effects on learning, sleep, pain, and weight control are covered in this course.

10. PSYC 219 – Cognitive Psychology

Pictorial representation of Cognitive Psychology

This course covers a variety of topics that deal with the scientific study of human cognition. Topics may include perception, memory, learning, thinking, problem-solving, language, and reasoning. Historical as well as contemporary perspectives will be discussed, and data from behavioural experiments, cognitive neuroscience, and computational modelling will be addressed. This course is very difficult and boring.

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