10 Coolest Courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology

Fashion Institute of Technology

If you’re at FIT, chances, are you know exactly (or, approximately) what you want your career trajectory in life to be. Still, many students want to explore or try something new in college, whether it be picking up a new hobby or craft, learning an interesting new subject, or exploring their own passion from a different perspective. For anyone looking for a fun new challenge, here are 10 of the coolest courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

1. TY 313 — Soft Toy and Doll Design

Many soft toys are manufactured overseas in factories such as this one.

If the thought of Chucky coming to life didn’t scare you that much and Toy Story’s strange world of anthropomorphic toys seemed exciting, then FIT’s toy design program may be just the right place for you. TY 313 goes over the basics of toy design, with a specific focus on stuffed animals and toys, as well as dolls. Just hope your creations don’t come to life with a vengeance.

2. PL 431 — Philosophy: Ethics

Picture of a balance with the word ethics on it.

Life often throws choices at us – blue shirt or red dress? Chai latte or vanilla frappe? – those are easy decisions. Occasionally, though, and especially in the world of business, we are faced with a more ethically challenging and ambiguous decision. PL 431 goes over the philosophical literature concerning ethics and ethical decision making and even brings up real-life examples of ambiguous ethics for students to puzzle through.

3. SS 202 — Bollywood and the Making of India

Poster for a revolutionary Bollywood film, Ek Ladki ko Dekha toh aisa laga looks at the complex issues of gender roles, following your passion, and LGBTQ rights.

Through the rise of global and more cross-cultural media, people from all over the world are being exposed to the unique TV shows, movies, and music of many different cultures – from anime and Kpop to One Direction and Bollywood. Bollywood, and the Hindi film industry, has not only revolutionized media in India, but it has also changed cultural practices and views through the nation, often portraying more “western” ideas of love, sex, and fashion. Students in this course will explore how Bollywood has changed and shaped the modern societies of India.

4. SS 309 — Tattoos and Body Modification: Social Stigma and Acceptance

Picture of man's back covered in tattoos. In many Polynesian cultures, these beautiful and intricate designs carry great social and cultural  significance.

Before it was a rite of passage for drunk college students who got their two-month boyfriend’s name inked permanently on their bodies, tattoos and body modifications were often linked to major social practices in many cultures around the world. For example, in many Polynesian cultures, tattoo designs signified social hierarchy, with priests and warriors often bearing intricate designs that showcased their respected status. Students taking this class will get a more in-depth understanding of the cross-cultural meanings of tattoos and gain an appreciation for the ancient art of body modification.

5. FR 132 — French in Paris

Picture of the beautiful and historic city, Paris is the capital of France, and often considered the City of Love and Light.

What’s cooler than learning the language of love in the city of love? In FR 132, students will undergo a truly immersive study of the French language in the capital city of France. Known for its beautiful Gothic and Renaissance architectural landmarks, amazing historical art museums, and mouthwatering food, Paris is sure to be a city you’ll fall in love with.

6. CL 131 — Fashion in France and Italy

Picture of a model walking on the runway.

Often considered pinnacles of style in high fashion, French and Italian designers battle it out on the runway annually at world-famous fashion shows. Another chance to hop across the pond, CL 131 takes students to the iconic European fashion capitals of France and Italy. From Paris to Milan, you’ll gain firsthand experience in the industry of fashion, exploring haute couture shops and establishments, fabric mills, design studios, and museums.

7. HI 207 — Hollywood: A History

This 1964 James Bond movie was part of a movement of "Red Scare Cinema", which played a part in engendering fear about Russian espionage at the height of the Cold War.

Hollywood has had an undeniably integral place in American culture. Iconic films – including Casablanca, Citizen Kane, and the Godfather – have stood the test of time, as many people still find them to be valuable pieces of art. On the flip side, students in this course will also explore how Hollywood perpetuated political and social norms and stereotypes. Why were so many of the baddies in 60s action flicks vaguely Eastern European (looking at you, James Bond)? Here’s a hint: The Cold War definitely had something to do with it.

8. MC 207 — Devouring the Screen: Food in Film

Picture of Da Vinci's famous painting, many filmmakers use scenes of characters "breaking bread" to pack their films with religious symbolism.

What’s better than a food scene in a good movie? You can practically taste the delectable delights the characters are eating (or, depending on the context, feel absolutely disgusted at the prospect of eating the same thing). In many movies, food is more than just food – clever filmmakers used it as a medium to symbolize things Hollywood wasn’t ready to take on, like sex, drugs, and rock and roll (okay, maybe not the last one). Students taking this course will explore how food is portrayed in different films, both from a domestic and global standpoint. Make sure to eat lunch before the lecture though!

9. MU 202 — Latin American and Caribbean Music

PIcture showring three women dancing to Caribbean music, which have both Latin and African influences.

The music of this region is just as rich and diverse as it’s plethora of different cultures. From bachata and bossa nova to samba and salsa, there are so many different styles of music, singing, and dance, and many have had unique influences on Western music. Jazz, R&B, and country music have all grown from Latin beats and African-inspired rhythms from the Caribbean and Latin America. Students in this course will have a chance to listen to all these styles of music and gain an appreciation for the cultural diversity of the region.

10. SC 149 — Chemistry for Cosmetics and Fragrances

PIcture of person in lab making perfume.

It takes hard scientific work to bottle up a scent, and many of the high-end perfumes sold in stores started out in test tubes at a laboratory. We often hear the phrase “don’t buy anything that has ingredients you can’t pronounce”, but what chemicals are actually in our cosmetics and fragrances, and why are they there? In SC 149, students will be able to understand the chemistry behind cosmetics and perfumes, and learn the purpose behind many of the “unreadable” chemicals in these products. They’ll also be able to put their new knowledge to the test in the lab!

Author: Santosha Veera

Santosha Veera is currently a freshman Biology major at Virginia Commonwealth University with a focus on pre-medical studies.

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