10 Coolest Classes at Pacific Lutheran University

Pacific Lutheran University

Located in Parkland, Washington, Pacific Lutheran University is a private, 4-year institution that offers many courses of study and majors for students interested in nearly everything. From Anthropology to Theater Studies, PLU students can explore new hobbies, cultivate unique passions, and find lifelong careers. For all those looking to expand their horizons, here are ten of the coolest courses at Pacific Lutheran University.

1. ANTH 104 – Intro to Language in Society

different ways to say hello from different languages in different coloured speech bubbles

Language is all around us, every day, even if we take it for granted oftentimes. Many of us can read, write, and use sounds to communicate – some even in multiple different languages and dialects. It’s hard to realize, but this wasn’t always the case in the history of humanity. In ANTH 104, students will track and understand the spread of language from the earliest human civilizations’ pictograms to the thousands of languages in the modern world.

2. ARTD 230 – Ceramics 1

A person forms a vase on a pottery wheel

Although much of college takes place in lecture halls, classrooms, and laboratories, this unique art design course will take students straight into the studio. Using hand-built and wheel-thrown methods of creating pottery and other ceramic works, students will gain a great introduction to the art of ceramics!

3. ARTD 110 – Graphic Design

Graphic Designer surrounded by color palettes and drawing tablet as he designs.

Graphic Design is a major career field, especially in the world of online businesses, with new technologies and companies popping up every day. ARTD 110 goes over the basics of color theory and composition. For students who are interested in art and design, this introductory course to the topic is a great way to explore this potential career path!

4. ASLS 102 – American Sign Language

Hands spelling out ASL in American Sign Language.

American Sign Language is an incredibly useful skill that allows hearing people to communicate with the Deaf community and hard of hearing people. For students looking for a unique language to learn – one that involves motion and visual cues instead of spoken words – ASLS 102 offers a great introduction. Students will learn vocabulary, grammar usage, and the basics of culturally appropriate behavior when using sign.

5. BIOL 369 – Marine Biology

Diver swimming above a large whale.

Marine biology is the study of the living organisms, including both plants and animals, that live in ocean ecosystems. In BIOL 369, students will be able to take field trips to the ocean and participate in labs about the topics they learn in lecture. From sea turtles and urchins in the reef to the magnificent whales off the coast, students will get a close-up understanding of the creatures in the deep blue.

6. COMA 212 – Public Speaking

A close-up photo of a microphone in front of a crowd

It’s something we all have to do at one point or another – no matter how horrible we feel about it. Let’s face it – public speaking is one of the most common fears in the world, and it’s not hard to see why. Thankfully, COMA 212 helps students tackle those fears head-on, covering topics of speechmaking, audience analysis, and delivery.

7. CLAS 326 – A History of Medicine

Historical drawing of a European plague doctor

If you broke a bone, caught the flu, or had chronic pain in Ancient Egypt, what would the doctor treat you with? Although there was no such thing as Aspirin back then, you might be surprised to know that you could receive a prescription for willow bark, the natural plant containing acetylsalicylic acid (the active ingredient in aspirin). CLAS 326 reveals the fascinating journey of human knowledge in healing and medicine, from Egyptian herbology, Hippocrates’ theories, and French plague doctors all the way to the golden age of science during the European Renaissance.

8. DANC 251 – Ballet 1

a ballerina in pointe shoes

If sitting in a lecture hall for hours on end doesn’t interest you anymore, consider taking a dance class! Ballet, a Russian art form that tells stories through orchestral music and dance, is a beautiful and athletic dance to learn. In DANC 251, students will learn the basic technique, vocabulary, and traditions of ballet. Don’t let the grace of a prima ballerina fool you, however – ballet is rigorous and athletically challenging!

9. ENGL 227 – Intro to Poetry and Fiction

Bookshelves filled with multicolored books.

Calling all budding writers! Whether you want to be the next J.K Rowling or Dr. Seuss, Intro to Poetry and Fiction is a perfect starting point. In ENGL 227, students will participate in a workshop-style course where techniques of fiction and poetry writing will be taught. Feedback from peers and instructors will also be offered, but don’t worry – beginners are definitely welcomed.

10. PHED 225 – Ballroom Dance

Silhouette of a couple dancing.

Want to impress at the next wedding you go to? This increasingly forgotten, yet classically beautiful skill is great to have under your belt! In PHED 225, students will learn the basics of ballroom dance with a partner, learn different styles of dance, and have fun in a supportive environment. So ditch that awkward sidestep, put on your dancing shoes, and head onto the dance floor with an air of confidence.

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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