Photo of two students smiling while reading

Plan ahead: Consider adding these courses to your spring semester schedule

Fall break offers not only a chance to rest and recharge after midterms, but an opportunity to look ahead to the spring semester and start planning out the perfect course load.

Course registration for undergraduates begins Nov. 14, and some graduate students can register even earlier. To make sure you’re prepared and have your “shopping cart” full when your time slot opens, make sure to consider your schedule as soon as possible. Need some inspiration? We’ve pulled together a list of some unique classes to consider adding to your spring schedule.

Our suggestions cover a wide scope of topics, which we’ve categorized into four broad subjects:

  • Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Business, Law and Politics
  • Health and Wellness
  • Science and Tech

Before signing up for a course, review the prerequisites and other course details to make sure it’s a good fit for you.

Looking for other ideas to develop your schedule? Visit the Student Information System (SIS) to see additional course listings.

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

AFST 302: The Lemonade Class: Religion, Race, Sex and Black Music

AFST 302, ETHS 302, MUHI 316, RLGN 302, RLGN 402 and WGST 302
Instructor: Joy Bostic, associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies

Primarily framed around two artists—Beyoncé and Prince (who died two days before the 2016 release of Beyoncé’s album Lemonade)—this course examines religion and musical performance as creative responses to the racial and gendered conditions of Black life. The course investigates how both artists have used music as a platform to explore issues of race, gender, commerce, sexuality, power and divinity. The course also looks at examples from the works of earlier artists who addressed similar themes, such as Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Muddy Waters, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Little Richard, James Brown, Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin.

Introduction to American Sign Language

COSI 220
Instructor: Keri November, lecturer in the Department of Psychological Sciences
Prerequisite: Second-year standing or above

This course covers basic vocabulary and conversational interaction skills in American Sign Language. Syntactic and semantic aspects of American Sign Language will be addressed.

Working with Transgender and Gender Diverse Individuals and Communities

SASS 500
Instructor: Dana Prince
Prerequisite: Master of Social Work students

This course aims to develop an understanding of what gender affirmation means for transgender and gender-diverse individuals across the lifespan in all sectors of life (e.g., social, legal and medical health/mental health). Taking an intersectional and strengths-based approach, students will learn how to be effective in advocacy and activism with/for transgender/gender-diverse individuals and communities.

Special Topics – Socio-Tech of Cyber Security

SOCI 255
Instructors: Brian Gran, professor of sociology and law; Ann Wang, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

This course will collaborate with community partners to prepare students from any undergraduate degree program to understand core technical issues as well as ethical/societal/policy implications of cyber attacks and protective technologies. This course seeks to foster public interest technology apprenticeships and internships with partners and students who plan careers in cyber-security technology and policy.

Business, Law and Politics

Race, Law & Society – Indigenous Peoples

LAWS 1931
Instructor: Multiple
Prerequisite: Open only to first-year law students

An official definition of “indigenous” has not been adopted by any United Nations body. Instead, the UN has articulated an understanding of the term based on several factors. As a foundation for discussion and learning, students will read a seminal literary work, selected by their section leader (a faculty member). Students will meet for monthly small group discussion sessions (limited to 12 students per group) on the chosen texts.

Revenue Management

Instructor: Qi Wu, associate professor of operations at Weatherhead School of Management

Have you ever wondered: 

  • Why hotel room rates and airplane ticket prices fluctuate all the time? 
  • How fashion retailers decide on prices, promotions and markdowns? 
  • Why airplane companies oversell their seats, taking the risk of having to compensate passengers to give up their seats later on? 
  • Why Costco offers different vacation package bundles? 
  • Why different meal plans are offered at the dining hall? 
  • And how are the prices set? 

This data-driven revenue management course will help students understand these business settings. The course will focus on the theories and applications of data techniques to analyze demand models, and use optimization techniques to inform strategic decision making upon pricing and revenue management problems.

Health and Wellness

Head and Neck Structure and Function

HEWB 134
Instructors: Multiple
Prerequisite: Open only to first-year dental students

The sessions will cover the gross anatomy of the face, neck, cranial cavity and orbit and will help reinforce the knowledge gained during lecture and gross lab sessions. HoloLens sessions will be sprinkled throughout this course in the spring. 

The Climate Change and Human Health TBL

Instructors: Team-led
Prerequisite: Medical students only

The social determinants of health module focuses on the drivers of climate change and the effect on human health, especially among vulnerable populations. Students will review  greenhouse gas emissions, environmental impacts of climate change, local health departments’ responses to climate change, health equity and climate change and draw concept maps for the impact of climate change on health.

Science and Tech

Intelligent Infrastructure System

Instructor: Xiong (Bill) Yu, chair of the Department of Civil Engineering

The course will allow students to expand their vision on the new generation of infrastructure systems, which will significantly improve public life in this new century. It will cover a range of topics on smart infrastructure systems; sensors; smart materials, smart city technologies, and data-driven support for intelligent management of infrastructure systems.

Introduction to Oceanography

EEPS 115
Instructor: Anne Willem Omta, adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences

Physical, chemical, biologic and geologic features and processes of the oceans will be explored through this course. Differences and similarities between the oceans and large lakes—including the Great Lakes—will be covered. Required: Sunday field trip.