10 Coolest Classes at Oberlin College

Welcome to Oberlin College! You’ll have a great time during your four years at this beautiful campus. When you sign up for classes, you’ll want to take the coolest ones. That’s why we compiled this list of the ten coolest classes at Oberlin College.

1. ATHL 144 – Bowling I

A boy bowls in a bowling alley.

This course introduces students to the basic skills and knowledge necessary to play the game of bowling.  Students get to practice and improve their performance and ability in the game. This class is also offered for other sports such as tennis, racquetball, basketball, softball, golf, etc. Students say that the professors are laid back as long as students show up for class on time.

2. ECON 101 – Principles of Economics

Artistic, colorful, economics related visuals.

This course introduces students to the basic foundations about economic growth in the long term and short term.  Students become familiar with the models and patterns of economic growth. Students say that the professors are genuinely caring about the students, and they try to help them understand the material by presenting it in a unique and intriguing way.

3. FREN 101 – Francais elementaire I

The Eiffel Tower is a beautiful sight.

This class is for students who are beginners with either no previous French experience, or less than two years of high school French classes.  Students will learn basic communicative skills including speech, writing, and listening. Depending on which professor you get, the class can be described as “disorganized” and “a breeze,” but is easy and fun nevertheless.

4. ARTS 150 – Approaches to Western Art

An artist paints a piece.

This is a fun and easy course, as long as you have some basic background knowledge of human anatomy. This is because the class focuses on drawing skills, particularly on the human figure.  Other areas of focus are geometric and natural scenes.

5. NSCI 201 – The Brain: An Introduction to Neuroscience

The brain is a complex structure.

This class is for students who are interested in learning about the human mind and its effects in regards to the structure and function of the brain.  The basic principles of human behavior and how the brain works are covered. Heavy emphasis on the biology aspect of psychology.

6. BIOL 213 – Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry

Cell biology is complex and intriguing.

This class involves learning about an introduction to molecules in different types of organisms and the structures of life inside.  Students learn about DNA and RNA. It is a great choice for students who wish to go into a career in biology, and the written exam is worth 90% of the final grade.

7. POLT 120 – Introduction to International Politics

Various countries' flags before a building.

This course introduces students to the field of international politics, as the title of the course suggests. Students explore this subject through the lenses of various countries’ differences in culture, interest, and progress.

8. CSCI 140 – Introduction to Computer Programming

Coding is a valuable skill to learn.

This class is for students who are interested in learning about computer science and/or programming.  The basic principles of computer programming are covered. Professors are well liked and educated in their field.

9. JWST 201 – Intermediate Modern Hebrew I

Hebrew letters are beautifully written.

This course is a great class for students who want to learn the basics and foundations to speaking, reading, and writing Hebrew.  The students who have taken this class agree that the professors are funny during lectures. Professors give great feedback and want to help the students succeed. 

10. POLT 112 – Introduction to Middle East Politics

Map of the Middle East.

In this course, students share ideas and study deep rooted issues about the history of the Middle East.  Students will learn about the conflict that lies in this region of the world and how it came to be so, as well as why it continues to create unease. This course is definitely for people who are interested in history and politics, and lectures are said to be interesting and entertaining.

Now you know the ten coolest classes at Oberlin College. Good luck and have fun as a student here!  You’ll do great. Go Yeomen and Yeowomen!

10 Hardest Courses at 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.

Top 10 Library Resources at Oberlin

Oberlin College has many library resources setup for students. These resources are beneficial for students future path in their program. There are many of them in sources as workshops, orientations, drop-in services and for those that prefer online, there are some information online. Here is a list of the top 10 library resources and a list of 5 libraries.

1. OBIS Catalog

list of results from catalog lookup

The library has a hold of a lot of resources to the point where it would be difficult for students to go find books on the shelves. Using this service will make it more convenient for students. You can type in the tittle of the book and it will show if the book is available.

2. Databases

three cylindrical linked databases icon

Students can use the database online to find research that is related to their topics. The database is set up in alphabetical order and you can pick the sections by your subject. Students can use this at anytime for their research.

3. Course Reserve

Math symbols of plus, multiply, divide and equal signs

Course reserve is when your professor request the librarians to put aside certain course material on reserve. You can get access to this material online on the library’s website. You can search it by inputting your professors last name or typing in your course name.

4. Journal Finder

searching a name of a journal on the Journal finder website

Finding academic journals can be hard for your research papers. To make sure that you have peer-reviewed journals make sure to use the journal finder online. Students can search the journal finder for all kinds of serial publications, magazines, journals, newspaper and annual reviews.

5. Ask A Librarian

Librarian holding a stack of books at the library

If have questions on trying to find a book or have other questions about the library you can ask a librarian. They will be more than happy to help the students so make sure to ask. You can drop-in to the circulation desk or call them, you can find the numbers online.

6. Research Appointment

Librarian helping students in the area of research

Being first year students at Oberlin college it can be hard to find research resources related to their topic. To get some help you can schedule a research appointment and meet one-on-one with a reference librarian at any librarian. This will help allot.

7. Interlibrary loan

interlibrary loan graphic with open book in front of planet earth

This service lets students get hold of books that are not available in their school’s library. The main purpose is, they will have the books available for you from borrowing it from other libraries. This is a convenient service for students.

8. Group Study Area

group study room with a table and chairs with a TV

There are group study areas in the libraries. This will be great for students that can’t find a space to work at or are bothered by other students conversation. You can book a room online and work in that area.

9. Collection Areas

special collection of historical books

The library has special collection areas that you can only find at your school’s library. Most are related to history such as Oberlin history, american history & culture and world history. There are collections in sciences and fine arts also, so make sure to check them out.

10. Computers

computer set with a desktop, mouse and keyboard

The school’s library has computers in many areas of the library. Students can visit the library to use the computers and get some online work done. You can also get access to software programs that are used in most of the courses that take place in school.

Top 5 Libraries at Oberlin College

1. Central Library

study space of the Central Library

This is the main library at Oberlin college and the primary location for humanities, social sciences, mathematics, computer science, and general interest works. The main floor also provides students with research assistants and learning assistance.

2. Art Library

and art piece at the art library

Art library is located on the top floor of the Allen Memorial Art Museum. They have 36 study carrels and a collection of 110, 000 plus volumes. Since it is the art library it also covers all the visual arts worldwide, all time periods, and all art forms.

3. Conservatory Library

outside view of the Conservatory Library

This library has research areas and workstation areas. In addition to that they contain 12 networked computers equipped to play CD’s and DVDs, 2 listening/viewing rooms and study carrels that are not assigned and opened to all at any time.

4. Science Library

collection of books in the science library

This library is special to most science disciplines and contain books in those areas. They provide study carrels that are based on reservations, iMac labs and group study rooms. They have a lot of resources so make sure to take advantage of it.

5. Columbus Metropolitan Library – Whetstone Branch

outside view of Columbus Metropolitan Library - Whetstone Branch

This library has a great selection of books and research material. They have a children section, this will be great for students that have kids to have them busy. They also have lab areas so you can work on the computers and at time to time there are events and screenings.

10 of the Coolest Clubs at Oberlin College

University students can find it hard to manage their schoolwork with their extracurricular activities, but often find their activities outside of school to be worthwhile in the end. University is a place to experiment with new hobbies and make friends, rather than to work everyday. Below are 10 of the coolest clubs to join at Oberlin College:

1. Hip Hop Collective, Oberlin (OHOP)

An image of hip hop dancers

OHOP is a team comprised of talented and committed dancers who strive to instill self-confidence, motivation and diversity through their high-energy performances. OHOP has become a family, supporting each other even after they graduate.

2. Oberlin Student Theater Association (OSTA)

An image of theater actors

OSTA is a student organization at oberlin college dedicated to producing theater on campus. It is a student-founded, student-run organization that brings theater to campus all year round. In addition to producing five fully-staged shows a year, OSTA also facilitates playwriting workshops, holds staged readings, and hosts a semiannual 24-hour theater competition in the fall and spring, in which students are challenged to create and perform new pieces in just one day.

3. Comics Collective, The Oberlin (OCC)

An image of comic books

The Oberlin is the place for students who love to read, draw, write, and learn about the tricks behind the best comics or graphic novels. If you want to have fun with your friends, are a creative thinker, or if you can see yourself becoming involved in this industry someday, then this is the place for you!  

4. 3D Print Club

An image of a 3D printer

The Oberlin 3D Printing Club provides students with the means and opportunity to construct and work with open source 3D printers and projects associated with 3D printers.

5. Archery Club (OCAC)

An image of archery

The Archery Club exists for the purpose of providing its members and the general public with a positive safe environment to practice and learn the recreational and competitive sport of archery. This organization is in a position to provide instruction to new members as well as access to official archery competitions for those students who wish to compete on the high school level.

6. Tumbling Club, Oberlin (OTC)

An image of tumbling

The Tumbling Club includes members of varied backgrounds in acrobatics, gymnastics, tricking (a combination of acrobatics, martial arts, and capoeira), and several circus arts.

7. Musical Theatre Association, Oberlin (OMTA)

An image of musical theater

OMTA is committed to promoting the highest standards in the education and training of musical theatre performers, teachers, coaches, and consultants for all performance media. The association serves teachers and administrators who teach students in professional musical theater training programs.

8. Improv Coalition, OC (OCIC)

An image of improv

Improvisation, or improv, is a form of live theatre in which the plot, characters and dialogue of a game, scene or story are made up in the moment. Often improvisers will take a suggestion from the audience, or draw on some other source of inspiration to get started.

9. Photography Association Co-op, Oberlin (OPAC)

An image of photography

The mission of the Photography Association is to provide a supportive environment for interested photography students to share their creativity, knowledge and passion for photography while attending Oberlin College.

10. Oberlin College eSports Club (OCeSC)

An image of eSports

OCeSC is a multifaceted community that hosts casual gaming events and supports competitive team eSports. Its goal is to foster a community of students of any major across campus to rally behind their peers playing against other college eSports teams while also having fun playing games themselves.


Top Events During the School Year at Oberlin College

1. Big Parade

An image of the Big Parade at Oberlin

The Big Parade project began in 2002 as a collaborative arts event created by artist Zach Moser ’02. He described the project as an experiment in the power of our human need to express ourselves as well as in the effectiveness of decentralized organizational theory. The premise was to facilitate a parade that allowed an open forum for individuals and organizations to represent themselves in any way that they saw fit.

2. Commencement

An image of Commencement at Oberlin

Commencement has been a mixture of tradition and ceremony often taking place on Tappan Square and in earlier years, inside First Church or Finney Memorial Chapel. From the big tent brought in by late 18th century revivalist Charles G. Finney to lighting the campus walkways with Japanese lanterns, Commencement at Oberlin has always been a distinctive occasion. While ceremonies have changed over time, the basic concepts of pageantry, hopefulness, purpose, and celebration have remained.

3. Convocation

An image of Convocation at Oberlin

Oberlin College and community enjoy a long, proud history of discussing important and compelling issues. To deepen that dialogue, over a decade ago the Office of the President, in partnership with the Finney Chapel Lecture Committee, inaugurated what is now the annual Oberlin Convocation Series. The series has brought to campus many of the country’s leading thinkers who represent an array of viewpoints, disciplines, and professional fields.

4. Drag Ball

An image of Drag Ball at Oberlin

Activists within Oberlin’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) communities began Drag Ball to celebrate non-normative gender presentation and the art of drag. Initially, the celebration was the final event of Oberlin’s first Transgender Awareness Week in the late 1980s, but has since become its own entity.

5. Illumination

An image of Illumination at Oberlin

The first illumination in Oberlin occurred in November 1860 to celebrate the election of Abraham Lincoln as the 16th president of the United States. However, the longstanding tradition began in May 1903 during the inauguration of Oberlin College President Henry Churchill King. Frederick O. Grover, professor of botany, helped mark the occasion by stringing and lighting Japanese lanterns around campus. The former Harvard professor suggested it after a custom he had witnessed of illuminating the Harvard Yard. The college purchased several thousand lanterns to string along the posts on campus and several streets of the town.


10 of the Easiest Courses at Oberlin

College is one the best times in one’s life. It’s a time to meet new people and make new memories in a newfound place. However, it can also be a time of stress and self-discovery. Taking courses throughout college can allow people to discover their own interests, but many of these courses can be troublesome due to the amount of work you will have to do throughout. There are, however, easier courses that you can take in order to settle into the stress of college life. Below are 10 of the easiest courses to take at Oberlin College.

1. ANTH 102 – Human Origins

In this course, students will study paleoanthropology. Students will be given an introduction into the evolution of mankind. Topics to be discussed are fossil evidence, primate behavior, classification, relationships between humans and primates, and biological and cultural development of humans.An image of a theory of how humans evolved. 

2. ARTS 040 – Visual Concepts and Processes: Drawing

This course will focus solely on the methods, practices, and techniques of drawing. Students will be able to gain an appreciation and understanding of graphic expression as they draw their own work on a sketch board. This course will focus on shape, dynamic, value, use of a line, texture, and drawing vocabulary.A drawing of Michael Jackson. 

3. ATHL 117 – Hatha Yoga

In this course, students will learn about the many practices and postures of yoga. Students will develop flexibility and balance throughout the duration of the semester. This course will also touch on the history and philosophy of yoga practices.A woman standing in a yoga pose. 

4. CINE 112 – Intro to American Documentary: 1960 to the Present

This course will be an introduction into important works of American film starting from the 1960s to the present. This course will focus on the aesthetics and style of film and how they relate to the social and political movements that were involved in the era of which the film came from. Famous filmmakers to be discussed include Michael Moore, Marlon Riggs, and Laura Poitras.A film roll on the set of a movie production. 

5. DANC 107 – Samba

Get ready to Samba! This style of dance originates in Brazil. This course will primarily focus on the foot movements and physical techniques that play a role in aligning the body with the steps. This course will also touch base on the music, history, and traditions of Samba and Brazil.Samba dancers dancing in a Brazil show. 

6. DANC 100 – Contemporary Dance I-Beginning

What is dance? In this introductory course, students will study the physical principles of contemporary dance. Students will learn how to enhance their own emotions and apply that to how they dance. Students will also explore partnering, composition, and improvisation.Contemporary dancers dancing on stage. 

7. ECON 207 – Urban Economics

How does the money you spend go into shaping the environment around you? More specifically, how does the economy affect a city’s shape, size, and overall function? This course will explore how economic policies shape urban life. Students will learn about housing, zoning, transportation, sub-urbanization, and the provision of public  services.An image of American money. 

8. SOCI 241 – American Urbanism

In this course, students will explore the culture, community, and ways of life in American cities. This course will primarily focus on the Los Angeles and Chicago. Students will learn how these cities have shaped to fit the customs of American culture. Other topics to be discussed include technology, segregation, gentrification, and sub-urbanization.The Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, California. 

9. THEA 172 – Production: Scenery

What’s it like behind the scenes of a live production? This course will take students through the technical techniques and principles of scenery. Students will study stage rigging, production management, and orthographic projection. Students will also participate in making a scene for some of the semester’s productions in the dance, theater, and music departments.Scene from the Phantom of the Opera. 

10. ASTR 100 – Introductory Astronomy

In this course, students will explore the field of astronomy. This course will take students through the skies as they explore the stars, galaxies, and cosmology. This course will also touch base on eclipses, moon phases, and constellations.A telescope pointing to the night sky. Oberlin College offers students the chance to explore many fields. These courses enables students to also transition to college as they take on more responsibilities and freedom. Hopefully the courses on this list are some you find interesting. Go ahead and try one or two to get into the groove of college things!