10 Coolest Courses at University of Portland

Are you tired of taking the same breadth courses in college? One way to fix this solution is by enrolling in classes outside of your major to help spice up your education. Luckily for students attending the University of Portland, there are a variety of different classes that are open to all students. In this article you will find many different and fun classes that are available to you. Do not be afraid to enroll in one today!

1. CST 107 – Effective Public Speaking

A man giving a speech.

This class is a fun way to get better at public speaking while also getting to meet new people. It is a great course that mainly encourages participation for your grade. This is a great way to take a break between classes.

2. MUS 130 – Class Piano I

this is a girl playing piano

This is a beginning piano level course that is available for any student to take. It is a basic class of instruction for piano that focuses on sight reading and improvising. This is a great way to not only get credit for your classes, but also learn a new musical instrument.

3. THTR 207 – Introduction to the Art of Theater

this is an empty theatre.

Another fun class to learn more about a topic many people haven’t learned much about is THTR 207. Some things you will focus on include design concepts and art techniques. You will also focus on drawing and painting as well as the theatrical side of art theatre including script analysis.

4. SOC 101 – Introduction to Sociology

these are words revolving around the word sociology

If you have ever had an interest in Sociology, SOC 101 is the perfect introduction for any student in any major. Some topics you will focus on include society, culture and social institutions. You will focus on also creating your own opinions on different theories and scientific methods.

5. PHL 314 – Philosophy and Feminism

these are women holding hands representing feminism

A very unique course to the University of Portland is Philosophy and Feminism. You will focus on different feminist theories and perspectives. You will also focus on how feminism has changed and developed through the years. You will focus on feminist theories from De Beauvoir to Irigaray.

6. CST 301 – Media and Society

these are groups of people representing society

Another fun course is CST 301, Media and Society. In this course, you will focus on the impacts of Media on Society today. You will study how interactions and the world has changed in relation to media. This is a very interesting course that can help you create a different perspective on how media has also impacted your own life.

7. MUS 101 – Music Theory I

these are different music platforms.

Music Theory I will give you a well rounded education on music as a whole. You will focus on musical concepts on its elements specifically. It is a fun class that also requires you to listen to different music genres and create your own preference and perspective on music.

8. THTR 325 – Acting for Non-Majors

actors performing on stage

In this course, you will focus on the fundamentals of the acting process. You do not be afraid or have any previous experience in acting because all students in this course are encouraged. You will practice different acting methods and how to read script work. You will be expected to participate and perform in this course.

9. SOC 325 – Cultural Diversity and Cultural Competence

these are the different circles of society.

In this course you will focus on issues regarding human diversity. You will discuss topics such as privilege, prejudice and discrimination. This is a very heavy course that covers deep topics. However, it is equally a very enlightening and informational course that can help you create different perspectives on issues you many have not put much thought into previously.

10. SW 357 – Perspectives on Gender and the Body

these are symbols representing different gender groups

This course is another unique course to the University of Portland. In this course, you will focus on different meanings of “gender” and “body” in society today. You will learn the different cultural meanings of gender and body images as well. You will be expected to be respectful and to participate with your own opinions in this course.

Don’t let your education wear you down. Make sure you are always taking classes that help you broaden your education and perspective. This is an amazing way to learn more about different topics outside of your major. Look for one course that interests you today!

10 Hardest Classes at University of Portland

Have you ever picked a class you thought was going to be easy but it turned out to be really hard? Well, not anymore! Continue reading this post to learn about some of the hardest classes offered at University of Portland.

1.CHM 325 – Organic Chemistry I

A chemical bond

Students across the country typically find organic chemistry to be a difficult class. A main topics in this class are nomenclature, stereochemistry, and the structure of organic compounds. To accomplish this, students will learn about reactions of organic substrates and applications of NMR and IR spectroscopy.

2. EE 261 – Electrical Circuits

An example of an electrical circuit

This course is focused on important circuit elements and concepts, such as Ohm’s and Kirchhoff’s laws. Students will review matrix algebra and simple resistive circuits. This allows them to do problems about node voltage, superposition, the maximum power transfer theorem, capacitance, inductance, and more.

3. BIO 107 – Plants as Food and Medicine

A drawing of plants

This class consists of three lecture hours a week. Students will be introduced to importance of plants in different human societies. After learning about plants’ origin, history, and biology, students will explore how people around the world use plants for uses like food, medicine, spices, fibers, and more.

4. PHY 204 – General Physics I

A physicist writing equations on a chalkboard

Physics is hard on its own but this specific course incorporates calculus. Topics covered include kinematics, Newton’s laws, energy conservation, momentum, linear momentum, particles, and more. In addition, students are required to participate in a lab component.

5. ME 222 – Engineering Graphics

An example of engineering graphics

This class introduces students to graphical communication of engineering design through traditional sketches, drawings, and computer modeling. Students will visualize and manipulate existing models by generating drawings, building assemblies, and creating different engineering drawings. Some of the main topics learned are three dimensional modeling, engineering drawings, dimensioning, and tolerances.

6. MTH 301 – Vector Calculus

The word "Calculus" and some of the important topics in it

If you struggled in Calculus I and/or II, be prepared to struggle in this class as well. This is UPortland’s equivalent to most other schools’ Calculus III. Topics covered includes vectors, matrices, partial derivatives, optimization, integration, surface integrals, curl, divergence, Green’s Theorem, Stokes’ Theorem, and more.

7. LDR 225 – Foundations of Leadership

Two people following their leader

Being a good leader isn’t something that everyone can do. In this course, students will learn what it means to be a good leader by assessing and understanding their strengths, exploring leadership theories, and creating an action plan. In addition, this course costs an extra $250.

8. EGR 361 – Analysis of Engineering Data

A blueprint of tools needed in engineering

In this course, students will use probability and statistics to analyze engineering data. In order to do this, students will be introduced to statistical experimental designs and error mitigation. Students will also learn different methods for displaying data and statistical tools like linear regression.

9. CS 203 – Introduction to Computer Science

Two computer scientists looking at and writing computer code

While no programming experience is needed and this is an introductory course, don’t be fooled. In order to build a strong computer science foundation, students will learn about good design and programming techniques through writing, running, and debugging computer code. Some topics covered include objects, control statements, classes, inheritance, strong data typing, parameters, and more.

10. AS 001 – Air Force ROTC Physical Training

An Air Force member holding a camera in front of a plane

Hate exercise? Definitely steer clear of this class. This course meets three times a week where you’ll be doing rigorous exercise for an hour. However, this class will prepare cadets for duty in the Air Force. To train for this, students will complete a fitness assessment that is made up of a 1.5 mile run, push ups, sit ups, and more.

College is meant to be a little challenging, it doesn’t need to be unnecessarily difficult. Reading this post is the first step to learning about what classes you want to take and which ones you want to avoid. Keep this post in mind when you’re picking your classes for next semester!

10 Easiest Classes at UP

The University of Portland is a large school and therefore offers a wide variety of courses which can make selecting elective courses a difficult choice to make. Here are 10 of the easiest classes at the University to consider when filling gaps in your timetable.

1. FA 207 – Introduction to Fine Arts

An overview of the varying disciplines in the fine arts is covered in this light introductory course. Students will learn about expressions such as visual art, theatre, film, music, and architecture. This course is great for students outside the fine arts major to explore various forms of art they may want to take further courses in the department.
A photo of two dancers on stage, one midair jump

2. PSY 320 – Psychology of Learning

This class is an introduction to the current literature, theories and history in topics such as classical and operant conditioning, procedural learning, and memory. Neural and anatomical basics of these topics are explored and students come away with a deeper understanding of the processes of learning.

A group of students working at a desk


3. PSY 330 – Cognition

The higher mental processes involved in cognitive functions like memory, language, problem-solving, attention, and reasoning are explained in this class. Students enjoy this course for its incredibly fascinating content, enthusiastic professor, and manageable course load.

a figure holding a brain and pointing to it with a pointer stick.


4. FA 318 – Digital Photography

The basics of how to operate digital cameras, digital photography techniques, editing images, and printing are covered in the Digital photography course at U of Portland. The class is incredibly hands on and is comprised of lectures, field trips, lab assignments, weekly shooting assignments, and a final project/portfolio.

A camera on a wooden desk.


5. PHL 150 Introductory Philosophy

Students are introduced to the basic theories in the field of philosophy. If you love debating concepts of morality, free will, life and death, and other fascinating topics, you will find this course to be a great choice. There is some writing involved in course assignments and critical thinking but it is overall a fair and easy course to manage.

a lightbulb inside a thought bubble drawn on a chalkboard.


6. CST 107 – Effective Public Speaking

Theory and practice of effective public speaking is taught in this course through hands-on assignments and group work. Topics such as issue analysis and argumentation in public communication are explored in depth. Course assignments are short and completed with ease.

An illustration of a man giving a speech at a podium.


7. BIO 205 – Foundations of Biology

The basic principles of biology such as biochemistry, protein structure and function, metabolism, genetics, and cell structure are explained in this course through three hour lectures weekly.It is a lower level introductory type course that spans a number of topics. If you want to avoid written assignments and prefer examinations, this is a great choice.

A student working on a laptop while sipping a cup of coffee.


8. CST 101 – Introduction to Communication Studies

Introduction to Communication studies gives students a chance to improve their research and academic writing skills while exploring the theories in communications. Students will also learn about the different viable career options for those with communication skills and education.

A photograph of a microphone.


9.HST 311 – The American Revolution

This course is on the the era of the American Revolution from 1750 to 1820. Topics covered include the political history of the war, the military, politics and protest, and foreign policy crisis. The course has quite a bit of reading but they are not complex and easy to digest. Students come away from this course with a wealth of historical knowledge and usually a great grade.

A notebook with a pen lying atop it.


10. LDR 225 – Foundations of Leadership

This class explores what it means to be an effective leader in a variety of different contexts. Students will assess and understand their strengths through the studying of various leadership theories and action planning activities. This is an easy course that also allows students to gain an incredible sense of self-awareness.



Craig Keilburger, the founder of the WE charity, speaking into a microphone.


These are just a few of the courses offered at U of Portland that students are likely to excel in. These courses also offer you a chance to learn about a subject outside your study discipline, broadening your mind and providing you with an opportunity to gain new perspectives on different subjects.